The (Mis)Adventures of Charlie & Jay
by Thomas M. Kelly
Charlie and Jay are your typical house pets. Or are they?
Jay has been the queen of the house for years. Charlie is a newly-acquired
puppy. They can and do get into the same adventures as the children in their
audiences. Charlie, short for Prince Charlemagne de Coquille, is a French
Briard puppy. The Briard, sometimes called the Chein Berger de Brie, is an
Ancient French herding dog. Jay is short for Jaida de les Etoiles
(Pronounced: Aye-twa-lay) - French for Jaida of the Stars. She is a Persian
Red Point cat. Together, the have the run of their Master and Mistress’
house and the all-important backyard (and beyond). All of the four plays
herein cater to a child’s endless imagination by engaging them in the plot,
and by getting them interactively involved to help our dynamic duo through
their (mis) adventures! Included are:
You’re in Trouble Now, Charlie!
Master and Mistress are at work. Charlie and Jay begin their day in the
backyard. Jay deliberately leaves the backyard to sun bathe, while Charlie
is left to the confines of the backyard. Charlie, showing his breed, spirit
and initiative, decides to follow Jay by digging a hole under the fence. He
reappears with a pie in his mouth. Two raccoons, watching from the
neighbor’s yard, try to deceive Charlie into surrendering his newly found
prize, by posing as “backyard police,” but with the help of Jay, the two
teach those raccoons a well-deserved lesson. ~50 minutes running time,
depending upon the activities of the actors, and the response from the
audience. Also in this production: RANDI and BANDY: Mischievous and
deceptive raccoon brothers.
This is Not our Backyard, Charlie!
Master and Mistress take a trip to the forest with Charlie and Jay. Upon
arrival, Charlie jumps out of the car with Jay close behind. They are lost
in the forest and eventually become very hungry and tired. In the afternoon,
they meet new animals and plants, the occupants of the forest backyard.
Their new-found friends try to find them food and shelter, and voice their
concerns for their “backyard,” of which they are quite protective. ~60
minutes running time, we learn the dangers as well as the pleasures of the
forest backyard from the antics and interaction of the characters. Also in
this production: LEWGAR: The Cougar; SNAVELY: A hand-puppet that looks like
a tree-climbing snake; WHO: A hand-puppet that looks like a wise old owl;
TREE: A huge, stationary Redwood approximately three feet in diameter, with
access through the back. Tree’s branches/limbs are fitted so that the actor
inside is capable of manipulating the hand-puppets within; STUNK: The Skunk;
could be played by an adult or child in black sweat suit with white stripe
and tail; SCHQUIRE: The Squirrel; could be played by an adult or child in
gray sweat suit; BRANDY: The Big Brown Bear; could be in brown sweat suit
with wadding; BUSH: Voiceover. Manzanita is stationary. His branches shake
when he speaks either an off-stage voice or a recording with speaker; MANDY:
Brandy’s bear cub; could be in a brown sweat suit; FIELD MOUSE: A mouse that
darts on and off stage; PRISCILLA: Voiceover. The mother Eagle way up in
Tree; and MASTER & MISTRESS: Voiceovers.
Wake Up, Jay! It’s Christmas!
Charlie and Jay wake on the eve of Christmas. They become deeply embroiled
in their breeding credentials as Jay teaches Charlie the art of singing
Christmas carols. They continue singing, which disturbs and wakens the
Master and Mistress. Unknown to them, Mistress is pregnant with their first
child, and it is due momentarily. ~ fifty minutes running time. Also in this
production: SANTA CLAUS: A man who needs no introduction; MASTER & MISTRESS:
Stop Snoring, Jay! I’m
Dreaming of Christmas!
A 45-minute one-act children’s Christmas play with Christmas songs for the
entire family with child actors. Also in this production: FRANCOIS
MARCHAND: the French Briard Puppy; a snooty stuffed toy; MARY CHRISMOUSE:
the Christmas Mouse; a meek and shy stuffed toy; LA BELLA DONNA: the Diva
Ballerina; an Italian toy who dances and speaks when spoken to; ROBIE THE
ROBOT: a toy who speaks in monotone; JUNO THE CLOWN: a toy who speaks when
spoken to; SWEET: a stuffed Gingerbread cookie; YULE (Voice Over): a
Christmas Tree; bright and cheery personality; SANTA CLAUS: A man who needs
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