Books: rapunzel's revenge
  Readers theater script

Readers theater is a wonderful tool to help kids engage with a text. A small group of students (in this case, four) can take a book, select a scene, and create a readers theater to perform for an audience. Different from a play, readers theater doesn't require costumes, blocking, or memorization. The students can read right from their script, adding characterization as they see fit.

While this exercise works best when students select a scene and create the script themselves, I want to make available the script I created for Rapunzel's Revenge. It's very tricky to do this with a graphic novel, so I gave Rapunzel extra voice in narration to describe the action you would normally see in the illustrations. Feel free to use this for any educational purposes.

Rapunzel's Revenge script for Readers Theater
Taken from Part 2: “Rustling Up Some Grub”

A - Actor reading Rapunzel's narration
B - Actor reading Rapunzel's dialog
C - Actor reading Guy and Cowboy (this could be split for two separate actors
D - Actor reading Jack

A - NARRATION: After four years in that tower, Mother Gothel figured I was never going to reform into the submissive little girl she wanted. When she gave up on me, the food stopped coming. I had to get out now or starve. Fortunately every day my hair and been growing longer, and the tree outside my tower window had been growing taller.

A - NARRATION: I tried for hours to lasso that tree with my braid and was about to despair...but then at last...

B - RAPUNZEL: Come on, come on...

A - NARRATION: ...I hooked a tree branch...

B - RAPUNZEL: Yes!

A - NARRATION: ...swung gracefully from the tower...

B - RAPUNZEL: Aaaa!

A - NARRATION: ...climbed down the tree's branches...

B - RAPUNZEL: Ow, oof, ow, uh...

A - NARRATION: ...and landed triumphantly on the forest floor.

B - RAPUNZEL: Uhh....

NARRATION: I knew I had to skedaddle before the magically huge beasts of this forest got whiff of me. But I wasn't fast enough. I was barely on my feet when a boar the size of a buffalo was snorting into my face.

RAPUNZEL: Nice piggy?

A - NARRATION: The boar charged. I leapt aside, but one of my twenty-foot-long braids got tangled in its tusk and it dragged me through the bracken.

RAPUNZEL: Help! Stop! Ack!

A - NARRATION: I scrambled for my other braid while trying to run along behind the beast.

B - RAPUNZEL: Wait! Agh! Wait, you evil hunk of ham!

A - NARRATION: With a desperate flick, I lassoed its other tusk and jumped onto the boar's back.

B - RAPUNZEL: Yee-haa!

A - NARRATION: I wonder if I could've ridden that boar clear out of the forest and all the way back to Mother Gothel's mine camps, but there was a crack of gunfire and the animal crumpled beneath me.

B - RAPUNZEL: Ow! What in the--oh!

A - NARRATION: Standing before me, a fancy rifle in hand, was a dandified cowboy, the first human being besides Mother Gothel I'd seen in four years.

C - GUY: Are you all right?

B - RAPUNZEL: Am I...am I all right? Well, I was until someone shot my new pet pig. I was going to call him Roger.

C - GUY: You're welcome! All in a day's work. I'm an adventuring hero.

B - RAPUNZEL: Well, it's nice to meet you. It's nice to meet anyone, really. Can you give me directions to—

C - GUY: I was getting so bored watching the workers farm my fields all day, so I decided to have an adventure. I left behind the civilized comforts of Husker City, following tales of a beautiful maiden trapped in a high tower.

A - NARRATION: There were kind and generous people in this world after all, and here was one, a nice, handsome man who'd risked so much to rescue me!

B - RAPUNZEL: That's so noble of you to come all this way to help her.

C - GUY: Yes, noble is a good word for me. I can't actually rescue her, of course. The word is she's Mother Gothel's pet and I won't risk crossing the old lady. But I can tell her I'm going to rescue her. She's bound to be too naēve to know the difference, and it'll be such fun in the mean time!

B - RAPUNZEL: Oh.

C - GUY: So, tiny ragamuffin, as payment for saving you from that rampaging beast, you may point the way to her mystical tower.

B - RAPUNZEL: Uh, yeah, the tower is a huge tree just back that way, but...but she's slightly deaf. If you keep calling out, she'll hear you. Eventually.

C - GUY: Excellent! And I'm off.

B - RAPUNZEL: Remember to yell as loud as you can!

A - NARRATION: This is where the "once upon a time" part ends, with yours truly finally free from that perpendicular prison. All I could think about was saving my real mother from the slave mines. And along the way, I had a thought to teach Mother Gothel that she can't just snatch girls from their homes and lock them inside magic tree towers without earning a swift kick in the rear.

A - NARRATION: I spent most of the day trudging through that cursed forest, and by the time I broke through the trees and came upon a town, I was hungry enough to eat a horse and chase the rider with a fork.

A - NARRATION: I straggled into a saloon where a grisly cowboy waited behind the counter and a couple of others slumped over tables, sleeping. I wanted to shout, “People! Glorious real people to talk to and laugh with and eat with,” but all I could manage to say was—

B - RAPUNZEL: Water?

C - COWBOY: All right, but then you and your interesting hairdo had best get on.

A - NARRATION: After four years in a tower, it wasn't quite the welcome I'd been hoping for.

C - COWBOY: Down from the Carrion Glade, are you? Nothin' good comes from there.

B - RAPUNZEL: Oh. Well, I'm not from there. Originally. I was just, you know, escaping.

C - COWBOY: Is that so?

B - RAPUNZEL: I grew up in a villa with my...with a woman named Mother Gothel.

C - COWBOY: Says she's from Gothel's Villa! That's a good one.

B - RAPUNZEL: You've heard of it? Could you give me directions?

C - COWBOY: Naw, I don't mess with Mother Gothel, not in any way. Too risky.

B - RAPUNZEL: Oh. Well, I'm mighty hungry.

C - COWBOY: You can stop ogling my stew. Food doesn't just grow on trees, you know.

B - RAPUNZEL: Actually, sometimes it—

C - COWBOY: You want something, girl, you gotta earn it. If you grab that broom and clean up, you can have a bite before you get gone.

A - NARRATION: I was sweeping up spittle, sawdust, and broken glass when a strange girl entered the saloon. She wore a bright purple dress and bonnet, her cheeks thick with rouge, and she carried a goose under her arm.

D - JACK (musically): Good afternoon, sir. I was wondering if you had some honorable barmaid work, and if so, I would be eager to apply for such position post haste.

C - COWBOY: Tarnation, girl, you ain't got the face for front work. But how much you want for that goose? That bird looks like good eatin'.

D - JACK: As much as I'd like to accept your offer, being in urgent need of gold, this particular goose is not for sale.

C - COWBOY: I don't recall giving you a choice. We haven't seen a good tussle in weeks. Name a fair price, little lady. I'll be taking that bird whether you like it or not.

A - NARRATION: Everyone was staring and sweating, and I had an achy feeling in my gut that something bad was about to happen. Then the strange girl smiled, as pleasant as punch.

D - JACK: So sorry to tread upon your peaceful afternoon, fine folk. If you'll be so kind, I'll just take my exit.

A - NARRATION: She started to walk away when the cowboy grabbed at her, pulling the bonnet off and revealing short, chopped hair.

C - COWBOY: Not so fast...hey, hold the fort, that's a boy!

A - NARRATION: The boy in the dress tried to scurry away, but the cowboy yanked him back by his collar. The big cowboy kneed the boy in the back, knocking him to the ground, and snatched up the goose by its neck.

C - COWBOY: Now we get a little supper!

A - NARRATION: The cowboy raised his gun to the goose's breast.

D - JACK: No!

A - NARRATION: These people were no better than my so-called mother, grabbing whatever they wanted no matter who they hurt. I was mad, there was that poor little goose, and I didn't think twice before pulling out my braid and whipping that cowboy hard in his hand. He hollered and dropped the pistol.

B - RAPUNZEL: Wow! First try even!

A - NARRATION: I was kind of proud of myself. Only, this wasn't like whipping flies off the tower wall. My heart was thumping, my hands felt cold, and there were people with guns.

C - COWBOY: That raggedy little girl whipped me! I'll show her...

D - JACK: No you won't!

A - NARRATION: Bonnet boy dove for the pistol, knocking it away.

C - COWBOY: Henry! Rattlesnake! Wake up and grab your guns!

D - JACK: Uh-oh, that's our exit. Come on, we've gotta scram.

B - RAPUNZEL: But...but I was hoping for some stew.

D - JACK: You'll be the stew if you don't hustle. I hope you know how to ride. Pick one of those horses out front and ride like the wind.

B - RAPUNZEL: These are your horses?

D - JACK: Sure.

A - NARRATION: We were saddled up and galloping off when the cowboys burst through the saloon doors, and before I knew it, bullets were whizzing past my head.

B - RAPUNZEL: We're on their horses, aren't we?

D - JACK: Ours now. Giddy up!

A - NARRATION: We rode hard into evening, finally pulling up in a rocky area by a small desert spring.

D - JACK: The name's Jack, by the way.

B - RAPUNZEL: I'm Rapunzel, howdy and all, but how dare you trick me into stealing horses?

D - JACK: Hey, it was either that or get a behind full of buckshot. You should thank me!

B - RAPUNZEL: You had no right to turn me into a thief—

D - JACK: Around here, it's rob or get robbed, sister. Don't you know that? Where've you been?

B - RAPUNZEL: In a prison.

D - JACK: Oh.

A - NARRATION: I was so spittin' mad, I was about to trudge off into the brush and sand alone.

D - JACK: Wait, don't go. You saved my goose, and I'm sorry about the horses. Look, we should take a rest here tonight, at least. It's dangerous out there, and I'm itchin' to change my garb.

B - RAPUNZEL: You are... I've been in this dress for four years. But maybe we should keep moving. I don't want to get caught by those villains before I have a chance to return the horses you stole.

D - JACK: No one knows about this spring.

B - RAPUNZEL: How did you know about it?

D - JACK: Hideouts have become my specialty. I've been...er...lying low for awhile.

B - RAPUNZEL: How come?

D - JACK: I...I took something that I shouldn't have. Well, it started with one thing but became a lot of somethings... Never mind. I'd rather hear your story.

A - NARRATION: So I told it all--discovering Mother Gothel's lies, finding my real mother in her slave mines, and getting thrown in that tower to quell my rebellion. It occurred to me that I shouldn't just trust a stranger like that. But talking to someone felt so good, like stretching after a long sleep.

D - JACK: So you aim to keep running before Gothel can catch you?

B - RAPUNZEL: No, no, I have to go back. I have to get my real mother out of those horrible mines.

D - JACK: Look, uh...I've got a proposal for you, if you're interested. I've spent the past months...uh, earning...some gold, only to be picked clean of it by a bunch of outlaws. You're pretty handy with your...hair, so I'll help you get to Gothel's Villa if you help protect me and my property. Which at this precise moment consists of these fine leather boots and my goose, Goldy. But I plan to better that.

B - RAPUNZEL: But I...I don't know how to protect anything. I was kidnapped twice and spent my entire life locked up.

D - JACK: I saw you in that saloon. You have what they call potential.

B - RAPUNZEL: Wait...you're not going to trick me into stealing more horses or something then run off and leave me to hang?

D - JACK: Uhh...no.

A - NARRATION: I wasn't so sure, but he did know the terrain. Besides, it was feeling awfully nice not to be alone.



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