The Poetry Machine – play for children

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In this play for older children, an ageing poet is suffering a severe case of writer’s block. The poet comes across a gypsy who promises that a poetry machine will be able to help him/her write by simply placing material in the machine to form a story. The writer takes the machine home and after putting his/her grandchild’s toys in the machine, concocts a story in poetry about a pirate, robot and teddy bear. The poet finishes reading the story to find that his/her grandchild has disappeared, presumably having crept inside the poetry machine.

The poet also enters the machine and encounters the characters invented from the previous story, each inhabiting the opposite persona from that of the story. In the quest for his/her grandchild, the poet tries his/her best to comfort the chaotic characters when the gypsy reappears. Blaming the gypsy for the disappearance of his/her grandchild, the gypsy continues to infuriate the poet by speaking in riddles until the poet is finally awoken by his/her grandchild. Back in reality the poet realizes that the machine was not necessary to renew his/her writing and that s/he had the talent all along.

play for children
Photo of the cast of a 2014 production of The Poetry Machine. Courtesy of Western Stage Youth Theatre

Author: Revelly Robinson

Genre: Two-act play for children

Type: Two-act play

Length: Twenty Five  Minutes

Number of Actors:  Six, 6 actors,  all N/M/F

Ages of the actors: It can either be performed by children aged 6-13 years old, or alternatively with 5 older actors and one child

Suitable for: All ages, aimed at children.

Set:   Act 1: Scene one and three are in a house with a writing desk, scene two is a market, but can be performed elsewhere on the stage. Act 2: Inside the dream world of the poetry machine and ends back at home.

Level of Difficulty:  6/10 – script is easy to remember as it is mostly in verse.

Read a Sample of the Script

Cost is $6 for this previously performed children’s play

Contact Off The Wall Plays with any queries about the Poetry Machine

Copyright December 2013 Revelly Robinson and Off The Wall Plays

Like this play? Have a look at some of our other plays for younger performers:

A Manger Carol – a funny nativity play for kids
Adventures of Mojo and Snowy in Lochloosa – an alligator filled adventure!
The Wandering Bard’s Tale – a children’s fairytale in one act

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