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  October 24, 2014
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Short Children's Drama Plays for Teachers
Christopher Columbus Skits

 
 

Home > Holidays > Columbus Day > Drama Plays and Skits > Christopher Columbus > Scene I

Christopher Columbus Play for KidsChristopher Columbus
by Augusta Stevenson

SCENE I

TIME: one morning; 1484.
PLACE: a street in front of King John's palace, Lisbon, Portugal. Gates to courtyard of palace in background.


CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS. KING JOHN.
SCHOOLMASTER. COURTIERS.
CARLOS. JESTER.
ROQUE.4 RIVERRA,6 A SEA-CAPTAIN.
PANCHO.5 PORTER.
BOYS, HOSTLERS, SERVANTS.

[Enter CARLOS, ROQUE and PANCHO. They carry their school-books. A noise is heard in courtyard.]

ROQUE (stopping; listening). There's stirring in the King's courtyard!

[He runs to closed gates; peeps through a crack.]

CARLOS. Come, Roque, we shall be late to school.

ROQUE (throwing down books). Come, look! They are laying the red carpets in the court!

PANCHO (throwing down books; peeping). 'T is for the King they lay them!

CARLOS. Come, the master will be angry.

ROQUE. But the King will soon be coming!

PANCHO. Let's wait and see him, Carlos!

CARLOS. Not I! I know how the master flogs! Yesterday I came late to school.

PANCHO. Why were you late?

CARLOS. I stopped to watch the crazy Italian, Columbus.

[He starts off; the others follow.]

ROQUE. I saw him once!

PANCHO. I wish I might see him!

CARLOS. There he comes now! (Calling.) Loco![Footnote: Pronounced l[=o]'k[=o]; Spanish for crazy.] Loco!

ROQUE. Aye, there he is! (Calling.) Loco! Loco!

PANCHO (calling). Loco! Loco!

[Enter COLUMBUS, dignified and gentle. A crowd of BOYS follow.]

ALL BOYS. Loco! Loco! Loco! Loco!

[Enter SCHOOLMASTER, carrying a switch.]

MASTER (flourishing switch). To school with you! To school now!

[Boys run off in alarm.]

MASTER (turning angrily upon Columbus). You were teaching them your foolish notions, sir!

COLUMBUS (smiling). I'd like the chance to do so, master.

MASTER. Ah, then you have been at it! I saw them all about you!

COLUMBUS. I taught them nothing, master,—this time.

MASTER. 'T is well for you, sir, that you did not. The world is flat, sir, flat! Do you not know that, sir?

COLUMBUS. I was so taught—

MASTER. How do you dare, then, to say the world is round?

COLUMBUS. Much study and common sense, dear master, have made me dare.

MASTER. The lessons taught your fathers are good enough for you, sir.

COLUMBUS. That cannot be, dear master. How, then, could the world move on?

MASTER. Move on? Hear him talk! Do you think, sir, that an elephant carries this flat world on his back and walks about with it? Ha, ha!

[Gates are opened; PORTER is seen.]

MASTER (going). Go tell the King this world is round! Ha, ha! Go tell the King!

[Schoolmaster goes.]

PORTER (seeing Columbus; aside). Ah, 't is the crazy Italian!

COLUMBUS. Porter, I seek the King!

PORTER. Do you think he'll listen to your silly talk? O, I've heard of you! Away!

COLUMBUS. Come, let me in!

PORTER. Away! Away with you, loco!

[Enter from gates, the JESTER in cap and bells, HOSTLERS and SERVANTS.]

JESTER. Who's away? Who's crazy?

PORTER. The Italian there! He who says this world is round!

JESTER. Round? How now? Round, say you?

PORTER (nodding; laughing). With people on the other side!

JESTER. A-standing on their heads—so!

[Jester stands on his head; all laugh. Enter a COURTIER.]

COURTIER. The King comes!

[Enter KING JOHN and many COURTIERS.]

JESTER (capering about Columbus). Ha, ha, ha, ha!

KING. What's this, Jester?

JESTER. Here's he, sire, who says this world is round!

[He capers about Columbus; all laugh.]

KING. I've heard of your notions, Columbus. So you think there's land to be discovered, do you?

COLUMBUS. Yes, your Majesty, I'm sure of it.

JESTER. With people a-standing on their heads—so!

[He stands on his head; all laugh.]

KING. Silence! Columbus, I've a mind to listen, and give you ships and money. Have you maps and charts to prove your plans?

COLUMBUS (taking maps from cloak). Yes, sire.

KING. Wait, then, till I have spoken with my Courtiers.

[Columbus bows, retires, and unrolls maps. CAPTAIN RIVERRA crosses to Columbus; talks with him aside.]

KING (speaking softly to Courtiers). You know, my Courtiers, that should there be new lands, great glory will be given the discoverer of them.

FIRST COURTIER. Aye, sire, 't will bring him great honor.

SECOND COURTIER. And riches.

KING. 'T is I, and I alone, who should have the honor and the riches!

FIRST COURTIER. Aye, sire!

SECOND COURTIER. Aye, sire!

THIRD COURTIER. But nothing can be done without the Italian's maps and charts. No one but he knows the route over the unknown seas.

KING. Well, we must have his maps and charts.

FIRST COURTIER. He'll not sell them, sire. You may depend on that.

KING. And we'll not buy them. Go, bid my fool take them.

(Courtiers showing surprise.)

Go, I say, and see to it!

[Courtiers talk aside with Jester.]

RIVERRA (to Columbus). I wish you well, sir, for I believe that what you say is true.

COLUMBUS. I'm glad to hear you say that, Captain.

RIVERRA. My ship is in the harbor now, and I must go. But I wish you well, Columbus, I wish you well.

[Columbus, throwing his maps on the stone bench near gates, takes Riverra's hands in his. The Jester creeps up, takes maps, runs into the court with them, and disappears.]

COLUMBUS (with feeling). I thank you, Captain—so few believe in me—

KING. Come now within, Columbus; I'll look at your maps and charts.

[Riverra goes.]

COLUMBUS (turning to take up maps). Why, how is this! My maps were here but just a moment ago!

KING. Who saw his maps?

(Pause.)

The Courtiers are silent, sir.

COLUMBUS. I laid them there, sire!

KING. Then there they should be.

COLUMBUS. Some one has taken them—'t is a joke—

KING (interrupting). My Courtiers do not play jokes in my presence.

COLUMBUS. Those maps and charts are precious to me, sire!

KING. Come, now, I'm not so sure you ever had maps or charts.

COLUMBUS. Your Majesty!

KING. Well, produce them.

COLUMBUS. But, sire,—

KING (interrupting). I'll not hear excuses! Your maps, sir,—at once, sir!

COLUMBUS. I'll make other maps and charts—

KING. Away with you!

COLUMBUS. Your Majesty—

KING. Away, I say! And come to us no more with tales of unknown lands.

[Enter JESTER from gates.]

JESTER. With people a-walking on their heads—so!

[Jester stands on his head; all laugh. Columbus goes, showing bitter disappointment.]


NOTE TO TEACHER.—This play conforms to the spirit of the traditional story of Columbus, but the dramatization has made it necessary to condense into one scene the somewhat prolonged negotiations with Ferdinand and Isabella.

Footnote 1: (return)

The explanations in brackets may be read by the teacher.

Footnote 2: (return)

The words in parentheses are not intended to be read aloud; they will give the child the cue as to how the part should be rendered.

Footnote 3: (return)

A Mohammedan judge.

Footnote 4: (return)

Pronounced R[=o]'k[=a].

Footnote 5: (return)

Pronounced Pän'ch[=o] (ch as in church.)

Footnote 6: (return)

Pronounced R[=e]-ver'rä.

Footnote 7: (return)

Pronounced Pin'th[=o]n

 

 

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Christopher Columbus Play for KidsColumbus Day Skits

Christopher Columbus
by Augusta Stevenson
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