Large Cast Plays and Scripts for Kids to Perform!

ArtReach Children's Theatre Plays
Great Plays for Great Kids!
Plays, Scripts, Musicals for Children, Kids, Teens, Families, Schools & Theatres


School Plays
Touring Plays
One-Act Plays
Christmas Plays
Halloween Plays
Musical Plays
List of All Plays

School Play Package
Purchase Orders
Shopping Cart
My Account

Directing Tips
Classroom Activities
Behind the Scenes
Creative Drama
News & Reviews

Contact Us

See our facebook page

Read Cast List, Hear Sound Cues, Read Free Script

 A Thousand Cranes for Kids to Perform

 A Thousand Cranes - Play for Children

A Thousand Cranes is the Winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Playwriting Award.

 Uplifting Play About Peace

"I can't tell you how much performing A Thousand Cranes meant to my students and me. Everyone was very moved and inspired. Thanks for such a beautiful script!"

Diane Purvis, Teacher & Librarian

 A Thousand Cranes Script for Children to Perform

A Thousand Cranes is the Winner of an Ohio Arts Council Playwriting Award.

 A Thousand Cranes - For Kids!

Performed at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

 Children's Play - A Thousand Cranes

“When I first read this script I knew that we had to share this play with our community. The kids have really embraced it."

Pam Chernesky, Artistic Director, Houlton Star Bright Children's Theatre

 Kids Can Learn, Perform and Enjoy A Thousand Cranes

"Using traditional Japanese theatre styles, A Thousand Cranes offers a wonderful opportunity to share in a truly multi-cultural experience."

 Nebraska Theatre Caravan

Award Winning Script - A Thousand Cranes

"The play is deeply spiritual. The message is that hope rises from the ashes of tragedy."

Dori Baker, Washington Post

School Play for Children - A Thousand Cranes

Asian Children's Festival

"The story of Sadako has done much to help my life and I believe this play will be another source of strength and courage for me and many others." 

Jonathan Kiddish Weatherly PA

A Play That Inspires Compassion!

David Heard founded the National Crane Project
National Crane Project: David’s Origami Cranes

 School Play for Children - A Thousand Cranes

"The children were amazing and our audience very appreciative. We made 1000 cranes to send to Japan and now all feel emotionally satisfied with our efforts. What a great experience!"

Phyl Cameron, NZ

 Large Cast Script for Kids

"We had two wonderful performances. The play's theme is very appropriate for these times. The students did a superb job portraying the message, which brought me to the verge of tears."

Dorothy Loveland, Bayan School, Bahrain

Play for Teens to Perform! "Our critic judge couldn't say enough about the show. We also won Best Actor and All Star Cast Members!"

Marissa Vasquez, SISD, TX



Play for Kids to Perform! A Thousand Cranes School Play for Children!
Large Cast School Play Script for Children to Perform

Cast List
CD Soundtrack Cues
Script Sample

Running Time: About 40 minutes
Flexible cast of about 17-38, 6 Male, 5 Female, All others M/F
Easily adapted for larger or smaller cast

CHORUS: (up to 10), Male or Female
CHORUS 1  (M/F, 18 lines)
CHORUS 2  (M/F, 18 lines)
CHORUS 3  (M/F, 18 lines)
CHORUS 4  (M/F, 17 lines)
CHORUS 5  (M/F, 17 lines)
CHORUS 6  (M/F, 17 lines)
CHORUS 7  (M/F, 17 lines)
CHORUS 8  (M/F, 17 lines)
CHORUS 9  (M/F, 17 lines)
CHORUS 10 (M/F, 17 lines) 

HOSPITAL PEOPLE: (up to 4), Male or Female
HOSPITAL 1  (M/F, 12 lines)
HOSPITAL 2  (M/F, 10 lines)
HOSPITAL 3  (M/F, 10 lines)
HOSPITAL 4  (M/F, 11 lines) 

SPIRITS: (up to 4), Male or Female
No lines, Significant movement

SADAKO: (up to 8), Female
SADAKO #1  (F, 17 lines)
SADAKO #2  (F, 24 lines)
SADAKO #3  (F,   8 lines)
SADAKO #4  (F, 11 lines)
SADAKO #5  (F, 13 lines)
SADAKO #6  (F, 10 lines)
SADAKO #7  (F, 10 lines)
SADAKO #8  (F,   9 lines)

KENJI: (UP TO 4), Male (or Female)
KENJI #1  (M/F, 16 lines)
KENJI #2  (M/F,   8 lines)
KENJI #3  (M/F, 13 lines)
KENJI #4  (M/F,   5 lines)

MOTHER  (M/F, 19 lines)
FATHER  (M/F, 17 lines)
GRANDMOTHER  (F, 26 lines)
EMPEROR SPIRIT (M/F, Significant movement)
MR. ARAKI  (M/F, 1 important speech)
MRS. WATANABE  (M/F, 1 important speech)
DAISUKE  (M/F, 1 important speech)

"A Huge Success!  Easy to Stage!"
School Play for Children - A Thousand Cranes School Play for Children - A Thousand Cranes
5th Graders, Upland Country Day School, Kennett Square, PA

"My Year 6 students performed A Thousand Cranes three times last week and each performance was a huge success. Thank you for such a great script that was easy to stage and which had such a beautiful and moving message!"
Mary Westall, St. Therese Primary School, Sydney, Australia


Written especially for young people to perform.
While you may find large cast plays from other publishers, most of those were originally written for adults or professional actors to perform. They often contain difficult dialogue, unfamiliar or complex language, and speeches too long for young children to memorize. They may even contain jokes, innuendos and subject matter that may not be appropriate for children.

Easy to understand and memorize.
Dialogue is simple, fresh, quick and humorous, keeping the action flowing without stops and starts between scenes. This keeps young people and young audiences engaged throughout the performance - no awkward pauses, no dead-time, no wiggles!

Everyone participates!
All children are involved throughout the performance. This builds confidence, promotes team spirit and eliminates rehearsal rowdiness. The audience is often asked to join in the fun, and action often spills into the aisles! All of our SCHOOL PLAYS give suggestions on how to divide up large parts (such as Snow White or Cinderella) among several performers so that no one child is the "star".

Feel free to edit!  Go ahead and tape it!
Most publishers insist that no changes may be made to their scripts.  We know that your goal is to engage every child in the most meaningful way and that your needs are unique.  Cut, eliminate, re-assign lines, or add as much as you like!  Also, there are no restrictions on video tapes.  Parents want a tape or DVD to remember their child's big moment.   Go ahead and tape away!

Kathryn Schultz Miller is one the most prolific and most produced playwrights for children.  Her script, A THOUSAND CRANES, won the National Endowment for the Arts Playwright Award (and countless others) at a time when plays for children were not considered serious works. Now, many of her published scripts are considered classics for young audiences.  When teachers voiced their need for great plays that kids can perform Ms. Miller responded with ArtReach’s School Plays:  “I never dreamed I’d write for anyone other than professionals.  But writing for child performers has been the most profound and rewarding experience of my life”.


Some years ago my husband and I were watching a nature documentary on television about the whooping crane.  As an aside, they mentioned what the crane means in Asian cultures and told the brief story of Sadako and her paper cranes.  My husband suggested it would make a great play for kids.  I nearly laughed at him.  A play about Hiroshima for children?  They could never understand!  And besides it would never sell! 

Of course, the story stayed with me and against what I thought was my better judgment I took a chance and produced A Thousand Cranes for my theatre company, ArtReach.  Since then, this little play seems to have flown on its own wings all over the world.  I have seen it many times, in countless styles, with music and dance, small cast and large, amateur and professional.  It's quite a durable little story; it seems to stand up under any circumstances.

The most important advice I can give you is to forget about making it perfect.  No one is paying big money to see it; no one expects a Hollywood hit. It's not important that the kids memorize all the lines, let them carry a script.  Let the audience see all of it; the changing of costumes, the playing of instruments, eight Sadako(s).  Let them see the children stumble and triumph as Sadako did.

Sadako's message of peace becomes more meaningful everyday.  The heartbreak of current events belongs to all of us, even the children.  By tackling A Thousand Cranes, you and your young friends will take an active role in keeping Sadako's healing strength and hope alive.

Thank you so much for choosing A Thousand Cranes.  I hope you and your young friends have a most successful production!


Scholastic Publishing A Thousand Cranes
Published by Scholastic - Centenary Stage Co. NJ


Cues, sound effects, original background music

The CD Soundtrack contains special sound effects and background music (original music written for the play) that may be used to greatly enhance the performance. It does not contain music for the performers to sing along with. Cues have 10 seconds of silence at the end - times shown below include silence.
[ Click on [sample] to hear a short sample of the indicated cues ]

1.  CRANE FOLDING / A-BOMB  (2:09) [sample]

2.  RUNNING MUSIC  (1:44) [sample]

3.  HOSPITAL VOICES  (1:14) [sample]


5.  KENJI FROG  (0:48) [sample]

6.  HOSPITAL / FOLDING  (1:21)

7.  FOLDING / FLYING (repeat)  (6:58) [sample]

8.  A-BOMB  (0:38)


Note: Some teachers choose familiar songs, obtain sheet music and insert these songs into the play.  We recognize that each school has a wide variety of educational needs to fulfill and we invite you to be creative in your use of our scripts; including changes or additions that are appropriate for your students. As author/publisher of our own creative works, we do ask that you obtain proper copyright permission for any additions you might make - that responsibility is up to you.

Music & Sound Resources Available on the Internet
( Sheet Music, Song Books, CDs, DVDs, Sing-along, Karaoke, Sound Effects )

"Such an Inspiring Play!"

Bednarcik Junior High School, Oswego IL

"Thank you for writing such an inspiring play.  I've been teaching drama for three years at St. Mary Magdalen and never have my students been more engaged with a story."
Anne Mantha, St. Mary Magdalen School - Hazel Park, MI


A Thousand Cranes has many light moments!  This is a fun, lively exchange between Sadako and her friend Kenji.
(Script pages 8-9)

(CHORUS picks up beat , and begins to count, quietly...)

CHORUS:  Sixty-seven, sixty-eight, sixty-nine, seventy...

(KENJI comes bounding into playing area, out of breath and laughing.   He begins to count, determining by how many seconds he has won the race with SADAKO.)

(Fading.)  Seventy-one... seventy-two... seventy-three...

KENJI:  One... two... three... four...

(SADAKO runs into playing area, out of breath and laughing.)

Beat you by four seconds!

SADAKO:  Four?  You're lying!

KENJI:  It was actually four and a half but I let you have that.

SADAKO:  Oh, you... (Slumping.)  You always win!  You should let somebody else win sometime.

KENJI:  Why, Sadako.  You can't mean that I should cheat so that you can win.

SADAKO:  It wouldn't be cheating so much as... polite.

KENJI:  (Laughing.)  And I suppose when you run in the girl's contest next month you'll want the judges to be polite and let somebody else win.

SADAKO:   Well, no.

KENJI:  I thought so.

SADAKO:  Oh, Kenji, do you think I have a chance to win?

KENJI:  You?  You win the race against the fastest girls in Hiroshima?  You can't win.

SADAKO:  Why not?

KENJI:  Because you're a turtle that's why.  A great big lumbering turtle.

(He pretends to become a turtle, laughing at his jest.)

SADAKO:  I am not a turtle!

KENJI:  Yes, you are.

SADAKO:  Am not.

KENJI:  Are too.

SADAKO:  Well, if I'm a turtle, then you're a frog!

KENJI:  A frog?

SADAKO:  Yes.  A great big green one with warts all over it.

KENJI:  Sadako, you can't possibly mean... croak!

(KENJI pretends to be turning into a frog.)

Well, where on earth could that have come from?  Croak!

SADAKO:  Oh, you.

KENJI:  Look, Sadako, my hand is turning all green... croak! ...and it has warts all over it.

(He crouches to a frog position and sticks out his tongue, leaping around, croaking.  He uses the bill of his cap to indicate the mouth of a croaking frog.)

Croak!  Croak!

SADAKO:  (Laughing in spite of herself.)  Now you stop that.

Note: This is a sample from the actual script.  To review the entire play, order the PERUSAL SCRIPT (online instant download). Or to save 20% on the full production kit and royalty for one performance, order the SCHOOL PLAY PACKAGE (below) and start rehearsals today!


One payment for everything you need to perform the play at your school or organization. No need to purchase multiple scripts, no royalty quote, no separate royalty payment. Order the School Play Package and you're done -- start rehearsals immediately!

1. Master Script ($9.95)
2. Teachers Guide ($9.95)
3. CD Soundtrack ($29.95)
4. Performance License ($60.00)
(License: Rights to copy script, Royalty for one performance)
Get Everything ($109.85 value) - Only $99.95

Looking for large cast plays & musicals for your students to perform?
We have scripts written just for you! Click on any title below...

A Christmas Carol * A Christmas Cinderella * A Christmas Peter Pan
A Christmas Wizard of Oz * A Snow White Christmas * A Thousand Cranes * Aladdin
Alice in Christmas Land * Alice In Wonderland * Beauty and the Beast * Cinderella
 Emperor's New Clothes * Jack and the Beanstalk * Jungle Book * Kid Frankenstein
Legend of Mulan * Legend of Sleepy Hollow * Little Mermaid * Peter Pan * Pinocchio
Princess and the Pea * Reluctant Dragon * Sleeping Beauty * Snow White
Treasure Island * Twas the Night Before Christmas * Velveteen Rabbit
We Are The Dream * Wizard of Oz * El Mago de Oz (Spanish Wizard of Oz)
Children's Christmas Plays & Children's Christmas Musicals

Link to ChildrensTheatrePlays Home Page
   4047 Pro Am Ave. E  Bradenton, FL 34203                        941-753-3222

| CATALOGUE | School Plays | Touring | One-Acts | Christmas | Halloween | Musicals | List of All Plays |
| ORDERS | School Play Package | Downloads | Purchase Orders | Shipping | Shopping Cart | My Account |