The Magic Garden

Play Information
Rating: Dependable
Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Irene Lockridge Corey
Publisher: Anchorage Press Inc.
Year: 1956
Pages: 67
Acts: 2
Estimated Runtime: 75 minutes
Number of Characters: 19
Cast Requirements: 5 female, 8 male, 6 either, doubling possible.
Time Period: 1950’s, any
Production Requirements: Cyclorama lighting, multi-level stage, several scene changes, fanciful costuming. 


A young boy named David and his football team has just lost a game to the local team sponsored by the candy factory. David and his team have been eating candy before dinner and then avoiding the vegetables they are served. David discovers a cast of characters in his garden including Dandy Lion, King Onion and other vegetables. The vegetables are worried about the nationwide disdain for vegetables and love of sweets. They decide to visit the Queen of Sweets to discuss a solution. The Onion King is trapped by the Queen of Sweets and narrowly escapes. Leaving an oniony aftertaste in a vat of sweets, the candy surplus is diminished and the vegetables prevail allowing that a “little sweet” after eating vegetables is acceptable. Meanwhile, David and some team members have been drinking vegetable juice provided by the garden vegetables helping them to defeat the candy factory team. 

Characters in this script are well developed and will interest children as will the physical humor. Red and Hot – a duo of hot peppers with silly overlapping lines will bring on the giggles. The opportunity for spectacle with oversized garden elements and showy costumes could also draw the audience in. The preachy and overt message may be a bit off-putting for modern audiences.  With a scaled down concept, the play could be suitable for a touring group.