Musical Play: “13 Colonies”

Complete Script & Audio: $45 (other items also available)

What is this? An easy, flexible, 30-minute musical play for grades 3-8. Comes with the script, audio recording (with both a vocal and instrumental version of each song), and a teacher's guide. No music or drama experience needed!
Story & Content Funny script ✓ Catchy tunes ✓ Flexible casting ✓ Dumb jokes
A funny and tuneful romp through 300+ years of early American history, all in just 30 minutes. Learn more!
100% Money-Back Guarantee

We sell wonderful, short, funny plays and musicals for use in your classroom, after-school program, drama club, music class, summer school program, homeschool, and any other place where kids can thrive by participating in theater! If you are not familiar with us or how to use theater to teach, check out our Q&As.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER (complete play, replacement audio, sheet music)

  • I am ordering... (check all that apply) *

  • Are you purchasing for your own use? *

  • The Complete Play - License Type *

    WHAT'S INCLUDED? Everything you need to put on the play: script, audio recording, and teacher's guide. The audio recording includes two versions of each song: a vocal version for learning the songs and an instrumental version for performance. Sheet music is a separate, optional purchase that you can add to your order below.

  • Format *

    We offer both downloadable and physical/printed versions of our plays.

    • - The downloadable version includes a PDF of the script/teacher's guide and an MP3 file for each track of the audio recording.
    • - The printed version is a spiral-bound book with audio CD inside.
    • - For the most flexibility, choose the duo version and get both formats at a big discount.

    SELECT ONE:

    “13 Colonies” Musical Play – Download Version (PDF/MP3s) $45

    13CO-PL-DIG

    “13 Colonies” Musical Play – Physical Copy (Spiral-Bound Book/Audio CD) $45

    13CO-PL-PRI

    “13 Colonies” Musical Play – Duo Version (Download + Physical Copy) $60

    13CO-PL-DUO

  • Name of User/License Holder *

  • Email of User/License Holder *

  • License #2 - Format *

    We offer both downloadable and physical/printed versions of our plays.

    • - The downloadable version includes a PDF of the script/teacher's guide and an MP3 file for each track of the audio recording.
    • - The printed version is a spiral-bound book with audio CD inside.
    • - For the most flexibility, choose the duo version and get both formats at a big discount.

    SELECT ONE:

    “13 Colonies” Musical Play – Download Version (PDF/MP3s) $45

    13CO-PL-DIG

    “13 Colonies” Musical Play – Physical Copy (Spiral-Bound Book/Audio CD) $45

    13CO-PL-PRI

    “13 Colonies” Musical Play – Duo Version (Download + Physical Copy) $60

    13CO-PL-DUO

  • License #2 - Name of User/License Holder *

  • License #2 - Email of User/License Holder *

  • License #3 - Format *

    We offer both downloadable and physical/printed versions of our plays.

    • - The downloadable version includes a PDF of the script/teacher's guide and an MP3 file for each track of the audio recording.
    • - The printed version is a spiral-bound book with audio CD inside.
    • - For the most flexibility, choose the duo version and get both formats at a big discount.

    SELECT ONE:

    “13 Colonies” Musical Play – Download Version (PDF/MP3s) $45

    13CO-PL-DIG

    “13 Colonies” Musical Play – Physical Copy (Spiral-Bound Book/Audio CD) $45

    13CO-PL-PRI

    “13 Colonies” Musical Play – Duo Version (Download + Physical Copy) $60

    13CO-PL-DUO

  • License #3 - Name of User/License Holder *

  • License #3 - Email of User/License Holder *

  • Site License Format *

    We offer both downloadable and physical/printed versions of our site licenses.

    • - The downloadable version includes a PDF of the script/teacher's guide and an MP3 file for each track of the audio recording. These can be distributed to all teachers at your school or site.
    • - The printed version comes with three spiral-bound books, each with an audio CD inside.
    • - For the most flexibility, choose the duo version and get the downloads plus three physical copies of the book/CD set.

    SELECT ONE:

    “13 Colonies” Downloadable Site License $90

    13CO-SL-DIG

    “13 Colonies” Physical Site License (3 copies of Book/Audio CD) $90

    13CO-SL-PRI

    “13 Colonies” Site License Duo (Download + 3 Physical Copies) $150

    13CO-SL-DUO

  • Name of School/Site *

  • User Accounts *

    • Please provide the NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS of each teacher/director so their downloadable products can be delivered to them. (If you ordered only the printed version, you may skip this field.)

  • Extra Audio Options *

    • It never hurts to have backup CDs and/or the downloadable audio recording on hand!
    • Want copies for students? 10+ CDs are $5 each and 10+ audio downloads are $3 each.

    “13 Colonies” Audio Recording Download (MP3s) $12

    13CO-AU-DIG

    “13 Colonies” Audio CD $12

    13CO-AU-PRI

    “13 Colonies” Audio Recording Duo (Download + CD) $20

    13CO-AU-DUO

  • Sheet Music (Optional) *

    • Sheet music is optional, but it is essential if you plan to perform with a piano or guitar (or other!) accompaniment rather than using the audio recording.
    • - For this play, the sheet music is a Piano/Guitar Score (includes melody, notated accompaniment, and chord symbols).

    “13 Colonies” Sheet Music Download (PDF) $12

    13CO-MU-DIG

    “13 Colonies” Printed Sheet Music $12

    13CO-MU-PRI

    “13 Colonies” Sheet Music Duo (Download + Physical Copy) $21

    13CO-MU-DUO

  • Extra/Replacement Audio Recordings *

    • Replace a broken or skipping CD, get the audio recording in MP3 format, or get both!
    • Want copies for students? 10+ CDs are $5 each and 10+ audio downloads are $3 each.

  • Sheet Music *

    • Sheet music is optional, but it is essential if you plan to perform with a piano or guitar (or other!) accompaniment rather than using the audio recording.
    • - For this play, the sheet music is a Piano/Guitar Score (includes melody, notated accompaniment, and chord symbols).

Synopsis

"What America needs is some history catchy enough to hum along with." --George Washington

Hosted by George and Martha Washington, our musical review of early American history covers the period from before the arrival of the Europeans through the signing of the Bill of Rights (in other words, around 1500 to 1791). Everyone seems to show up, from Leif Erickson, the Iroquois, and Ponce de Leon to Ben Franklin, Sibyl Luddington and The 13 Colony Singers. Keeping all the characters in line are the History Police, crashing the party whenever it looks like the hosts have started to "mess around with history."

Preview the script and songs!

Key Concepts

First time doing a U.S. history play? This is your show! Since we're covering 300 years of material here, you won't delve into any one topic in depth -- it's just a great overview of the whole period. The songs are simple and catchy and the dialogue and curriculum are a bit less detailed and challenging than those in, say, American Revolution or U.S. Constitution.

In short, 13 Colonies is a great complement to your curriculum resources in social studies. And, like all of our plays, this show can be used to improve reading, vocabulary, reading comprehension, performance and music skills, class camaraderie and teamwork, and numerous social skills (read about it!) -- all while enabling students to be part of a truly fun and creative experience they will never forget!

Aligned with national standards! View the standards and vocabulary. 

Publication Info

Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)

ISBN:
978-1-886588-09-7

© 1997
Bad Wolf Press, LLC

4 reviews for Musical Play: “13 Colonies”

  1. Mrs. R (verified owner)

    <p>My students LOVED this musical!! It was so easy to put together and they are still talking about it months later. I highly recommend it to any teacher considering it!</p>

  2. Marie Tarbet (verified owner)

    I've taught music at Madrona Elementary for the last 14 years. Every year the fifth grade performs the "13 Colonies" play and I help them learn the songs. I am also a composer and I just wanted to let you how great that show is! So clever and fun, with just the right amount of humor and information. The flow is perfect and so entertaining. Every year I think how wonderful it is and how grateful I am to writers Ron Fink and John Heath. I love watching the kids experience the joy of performing and cooperation, but I also think they will never forget all the history they learned in those songs. So much better than reading it out of a book.
    I just wanted to say thank you!

  3. JacquiO (verified owner)

    Its always somewhat magical when, after long hours of rehearsing a play that you thought was humorous, to actually hear a real live audience laughing out loud. Such was the case when my 6th and 7th grade students performed '13 Colonies' for an audience of around 300 people. The kids were tickled that all their hard work had paid off and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The favorite song of both parents and students was 'Bill of Rights'. As we are now studying our country's founding, there are many lessons that just need review as the information was artfully woven into songs which they will never forget. This play was fun, educational and sooooo useful to provide students practice in public speaking. An unforgettable experience.
    Also, I love that Bad Wolf Press, not only puts out a high-quality product, but is also so easy to work with. They give you a free hand to make changes if needed. We took the Ben Franklin song, "A Million Things to do" and put some 1st grade kids in it with each saying a famous Franklin quote. I would highly recommend this company and the '13 Colonies' play to enhance your study of American History.

  4. Courtney (verified owner)

    I did this play when I was in 5th grade- which was a long, long, time ago! So when I had the opportunity to pick a play for my theatre class, I jumped on the opportunity to have them perform "13 Colonies". The finale song, "Boogie with the Bill of Rights", is so catchy I still remember the lyrics 20-ish years later!

    Thanks Bad Wolf Press for creating such a memorable play! This script was easily adaptable for the number of students I had, it was lighthearted and funny, educational, and a whole lot of fun!

    I had homeschool students in 2nd grade to 8th grade, and they all enjoyed the play immensely! So it's great for all ages!

Add a review

The Show

We want you to know what you're getting, so the cast list and first third of the script are available here! Bad Wolf shows are written for flexibility and can be edited however you like to meet the needs of your actors, school, curriculum, parents, astrological chart, latest whim, etc. If you have questions about the portions of the script not shown, please contact us.

Casting

Flexible casting from 11-40 students. Use as many Vikings, Soldiers, Colonists, etc. as desired. Actors can easily play several roles, or a single role can be divided between multiple actors. All parts can be played by any gender.

CHARACTERS:

George Washington
Martha Washington
Leif Erickson (and Vikings)
Iroquois
Seminole
Ponce de Leon (and Soldiers)
Colonial Boy and Girl
Game Show Host
Contestant (Betsy Smith)
Benjamin Franklin
British Soldiers
Samuel Adams, John Adams, Abigail Adams
Salesman
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sibyl Ludington
Colonists
James Madison
History Police (A and B)
and a Chorus made up of all students who are not playing roles at the time.

Script

This is the first one-third of the script.

(GEORGE and MARTHA WASHINGTON enter)

GEORGE WASHINGTON: Hello, my name is George Washington.

MARTHA: And I'm Martha Washington. George and I are here to tell you the marvelous story of how our country began. It's a story filled with excitement and drama...

GEORGE (interrupts): ...dreams of gold, the clash of nations...

MARTHA: ...and best of all, we get to play the starring roles. Oh George, I never get tired of this. The bright lights! The photographers! It just makes me want to salute something!

(LEIF ERICKSON enters loudly. He's accompanied by two other Vikings, carrying footballs)

LEIF: I, Leif Erickson, claim this land for me and all the Vikings.

GEORGE: Excuse me, but we're starting a show here.

LEIF: I know. I visited America nearly 1000 years ago. I want some credit for being part of the thirteen colonies. I was here first.

GEORGE: No you weren't.

LEIF: I wasn't?

MARTHA: Not at all. Native Americans were here hundreds of years before you arrived. Isn't that right, George? (GEORGE nods)

LEIF: Oh. Sorry. Come on, men. Back to Minnesota.
(THEY exit)

GEORGE: In fact, let's take a visit to the eastern seaboard in the 16th century and see what's going on with the local tribes. (IROQUOIS enter)

MARTHA: Here come some Iroquois-and George, they don't look happy.

Song 1

Listen to a sample!

IROQUOIS:
We've lived on this land
For hundreds of years
There's no place that we haven't been
But something is new
The neighborhood's changed
The Europeans are moving in.

They unload their ships
They back in their vans
They're putting our lives in a spin
We give them some corn
They give us the mumps
The Europeans are moving in.

The isle of Manhattan we sold to the Dutch
And people say it was a steal
But have you all seen what they've done to the place?
We got us a heck of a deal!

They're shaking our hands
And taking our lands
Our patience is now wearing thin
You never can tell
But it doesn't bode well
The Europeans are moving in.

The Spanish are searching the South for some gold
We don't think that they're gonna stop
The French in the North want the timber and furs
The New World's a great place to shop!

IROQUOIS and CHORUS:
We've lived on this land
For hundreds of years
There's no place that we haven't been
But something is new
The neighborhood's changed
The Europeans are moving in.
The Europeans are moving in and in and in and in.
(THEY exit)

GEORGE WASHINGTON: Let's move south to Florida to get a closer look at some of those new European explorers.

MARTHA: I see a Seminole coming our way. Isn't it exciting?

SEMINOLE (enters through audience with a tray filled with maps slung around his neck. Shouting): Programs, get your programs here! Charts of hidden treasures! Guides to the Everglades, right here! Directions to cities built of gold, maps to the houses of the stars! Programs, get your programs!

(PONCE DE LEON enters with SOLDIERS. THEY ALL carry cups and jugs of water)

PONCE DE LEON (to Chart-seller): Hey, you! Wait! I am Ponce de Leon, famous Spanish explorer.

SEMINOLE: Welcome. Wanna buy a map to a city paved with diamonds and rubies?

PONCE DE LEON: Do you think I'm some dumb tourist? Get real. (pause) Though, I was wondering-you don't happen to have any maps to the fountain of youth, do you?

SEMINOLE: Those are very hard to come by. Let me look.
(rummages through maps)
Ah, you're in luck! I have one left.

PONCE DE LEON: You do?! I'll take it!

SEMINOLE: That'll be a pound of gold.

PONCE DE LEON (to his SOLDIERS): Well, don't just stand there, pay the man.
(THEY do, as HE unfolds map)
At last! This has been a very difficult journey.

Song 2

Listen to a sample!

PONCE DE LEON:
Some people want adventure
While others look for gold
But me-I want some water
To make me young once more.

(SOLDIER offers him a cup of water)

I drink from every fountain
Though I don't have a thirst
And ev'ry stream and river
I think I'm gonna burst.
(He grabs cup from SOLDIER)
Is that something from a swamp?
I'll try it!
(lifts up cup)
Here's to my new liquid diet!
(takes a drink)

Are my wrinkles disappearing?
Is my grey beard turning black?
Tell me boys, I must know the truth
Am I younger? Am I taller?
Has my bald spot gone away?
Have we found the fountain of youth?

(THEY examine PONCE closely)

PONCE and SOLDIERS:
I drink from every fountain
Though I don't have a thirst
And ev'ry stream and river
I think I'm gonna burst.
(THEY ALL grab cups)
Is that something from a swamp?
I'll try it!
(lift up cups)
Here's to our new liquid diet!
(take a drink)

PONCE, SOLDIERS, and CHORUS:
Are my wrinkles disappearing?
Is my grey beard turning black?
Tell me boys, I must know the truth
Am I younger? Am I taller?
Has my bald spot gone away?
Have we found the fountain of youth
The fountain of youth
The fountain of youth?

(PONCE, SOLDIERS, and GEORGE WASHINGTON exit)

MARTHA WASHINGTON: Good evening, again. My husband George got a splinter from his wooden dentures and he's having his gums massaged. Isn't that remarkable? Now, where are we? Oh yes...The 1600s brought the British to America. You know what that means: Jamestown. John Smith. Pocahontas. You know the story. You've seen the movie. You've bought the product tie-ins.
(pause)
Life was tough on the first pioneers as they pushed out on the frontiers. Let's get up-close-and-personal with a young boy and girl.
(BOY and GIRL enter)
Welcome, pioneer boy and girl. Tell me, what's your life like?
(MARTHA sits down and watches them during their song)

Song 3

Listen to a sample!

BOY:
Out of bed but I'm still asleep
Cut potatoes to feed the sheep

Got no shoes but I'm out the door
Bring in wood then I'm gone once more.

Sunrise to sunset
Gotta work all day
Sunrise to sunset
Not much time for play.

GIRL:
Lots to do, there's no time for school
Picking berries and spinning wool.

Feed the hens and learn how to sew
Weed the garden so our veggies grow.

Sunrise to sunset
Gotta work all day
Sunrise to sunset
Not much time for play.

(during musical pause, BOY and GIRL take up new tasks)

BOY:
Gone all day as I tend the herds
I just talk to the trees and birds.

(This concludes the first one-third of the script.)

The Songs

Click on any song to listen to a snippet. Click the cart icon to purchase any track for $1.

* Songs 14 and 15 are exactly the same. There are two tracks on the recording so that the person in charge of music can simply pause and play during the performance without having to replay the same track.

Standards

Common Core and Other National Standards

History/Social Studies

Language Arts

National Core Arts Standards

Vocabulary

marvelous eastern seaboard mumps bode
the Everglades dentures premise mahogany
enforce maxim chat quiche
adieu chapeau souffle family tree
crumpet tyranny fling dramatic license
hemisphere veneer et cetera nuisance
behalf resolution rummages various
intervals


Historical Figures and Terms

Vikings Manhattan New World Jamestown
John Smith Pocahontas pioneers religious toleration
Quaker William Penn Betsy Ross Franklin stove
postmaster fur trade parliament Lafayette
Paul Revere militia King George "Common Sense"
Thomas Paine Valley Forge Nathan Hale Benedict Arnold
Bill of Rights "No taxation without representation" Poor Richard's Almanac

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE