"American Revolution: 1763-1789" Musical Play by Bad Wolf Press
  • "American Revolution: 1763-1789" Musical Play by Bad Wolf Press
  • Musical Play: American Revolution - AMRE-PL
  • Musical Play: American Revolution - AMRE-PL
  • Musical Play: American Revolution - AMRE-PL
  • Musical Play: American Revolution - AMRE-PL
  • Musical Play: American Revolution - AMRE-PL
  • Musical Play: American Revolution - AMRE-PL
  • "The American Revolution" Musical Play
  • "The American Revolution" Musical Play
  • "The American Revolution" Site License
  • "The American Revolution" Site License
Bestseller!
    • 45-minute musical play for grades 3-8
    • Includes the script, teacher's guide, and audio recording (which contains a vocal and instrumental version of each song)
    • Simple to do - no music or drama experience needed!

    From the French and Indian War to the election of George Washington as the first president, The American Revolution gives students the chance to sing their way through the most exciting period in our nation's formation.

    Please scroll down to read the script, listen to the songs, read reviews, and get all the details about the play (plot, curriculum/content, educational standards, and vocabulary).

    Item # Description Availability Qty Break Price Quantity
    For individual teachers or directors:
    Order 1 copy of play for each teacher/director who will be using it. Includes permission to print/photocopy for all participating actors. Mix and match 2 or more plays to get them for $30/each.
    AMRE-PL-DIG
    Downloadable Version of Play
    - You will receive a PDF and MP3 files
    Instant Download 1
    2+
    $39.95
    $30.00
    AMRE-PL-PRI
    Printed Version of Play
    - You will receive a Spiral-Bound Book and Audio CD
    In Stock 1
    2+
    $39.95
    $30.00
    For whole schools or grade levels:
    Order 1 site license per school/site. Includes permission to print/photocopy for all participating students AND teachers. Why a site license? Because it's cheaper than ordering 3+ individual copies of the play.
    AMRE-SL-DIG
    Downloadable Version of Site License
    - You will receive a PDF and MP3 files
    Instant Download 1+
    $79.95
    AMRE-SL-PRI
    Printed Version of Site License
    - You will receive 3 copies of the Spiral-Bound Book and Audio CD
    In Stock 1+
    $79.95

    $0.00

    Betsy Ross---a bit prone to exaggeration---tells her grandkids how the colonies became a nation. It's a difficult time: taxes are high, Sam Adams hates tea, and Paul Revere keeps forgetting his horse. The colonies don't even like each other that much, and John Hancock is spending way too much time practicing his signature. But it's a glorious story nevertheless, and will help enliven an exciting part of our history.

    Key Concepts

    While there's no way any short play can cover all the happenings of the American Revolution, this show contains lots of curriculum in the songs and dialogue; it covers the major events and issues during the 25-year period of 1763-1789. For even more detail on the constitution, see U.S. Constitution; for a higher-level overview of the whole period from 1600-1791, check out 13 Colonies.

    The American Revolution reinforces students' familiarity with the following events and concepts:

    • The French and Indian War
    • England's relationship with the Americas and European nations
    • England's Acts, duties, and levies on the Americas
    • The Boston Tea Party
    • Taxation without representation
    • Paul Revere
    • The Declaration of Independence
    • The nature of warfare during the revolution
    • The Treaty of Paris
    • The Articles of Confederation
    • State representation in Congress
    • The creation of the Constitution
    • The electoral college
    • George Washington elected as the first president
    • See the "Read the Script" tab (on this page to the right) for the full character list

    The American Revolution 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!


    Publication Information

    Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)
    ISBN: 978-1-886588-28-8
    © 2003 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

    Song Samples

    Full Song List

    1. Tell Us, Betsy
    2. It's Great to Be an Empire
    3. Taxation
    4. Down, Down, Down
    5. Paul Revere
    6. Where Do I Sign?
    7. Bet You Can't Find Me
    8. 13 Little Countries
    9. Big/Small States Rule
    10. Gonna Vote for President
    11. Tell Us Betsy (reprise)


    Casting

    Flexible casting from 11-40 students. Use as many Vikings, Soldiers, Colonists, etc. as desired. One student can easily play several roles if needed. Note that roles are not gender specific: George Washington can easily be played by a girl, for example, and we recommend that the part of the Game Show Host be played by a girl as well;see our comments on page 32 of the Teacher's Guide.

    Script

    CHARACTERS:
    Betsy Ross
    Students
    King George III
    Counselors
    John Adams
    James Otis
    Sam Adams
    Bostonians
    John Jay
    Patrick Henry
    Paul Revere
    Rachel Revere
    Revere Kids
    Clerk
    Ben Franklin
    Thomas Jefferson
    John Hancock
    Redcoats
    Minute Men
    Bert
    AMREe
    General Rochambeau
    John Paul Jones
    Benedict Arnold
    Colonists
    James Madison
    Alexander Hamilton
    Small States
    Big States
    Voters
    and a CHORUS comprised of all students who are not playing roles on

    stage at the time
    (TWO STUDENTS step forward and address the audience )

    STUDENT #1: If you're like me, you're tired of the same old stories
    about the American Revolution.

    STUDENT #2: Enough about George already! We want to hear from someone
    else. Like...

    STUDENT #1: Betsy Ross.

    STUDENT #2: Betsy Ross!

    STUDENT #1: Finally the woman who sewed the first American flag tells
    all about the stitch heard 'round the world.

    STUDENT #2: And now everybody, here she is...the Seamstress of the
    Revolution...

    STUDENT #1: The Empress of Embroidering...

    STUDENT #2: The Sultan of the Saddle-Stitch...

    STUDENT #1: The Guru of Needlework...

    BOTH STUDENTS: Betsy Ross!

    (Music begins as BETSY steps forward with knitting needles and nods
    at the audience. She sits in her rocking chair at the side of the
    stage.)

      Song 1 - Listen now!

    STUDENTS:

    Tell us, Betsy, tell us
    Shoo bee doo bee shoo bee doo shoo
    Come on, Betsy, tell us
    Shoo bee doo bee shoo bee doo shoo

    Tell us how your sewing
    Helped us win the war.
    Tell us, Betsy, tell us
    The tales you've told before.

    STUDENTS and CHORUS:

    Tell us, Betsy, tell us
    Shoo bee doo bee shoo bee doo shoo
    Come on, Betsy, tell us
    Shoo bee doo bee shoo bee doo shoo

    Tell us how you tailored
    Food at Valley Forge.
    Tell us, Betsy, tell us
    The one how you saved George.

    STUDENTS: Tell us how you knitted muskets

    BETSY: I felt it was my duty.

    STUDENTS: And then crocheted a cannon

    BETSY: Oh that one was a beauty.
    (spoken)
    Oh, and it sparkled!

    STUDENTS and CHORUS:

    Tell us, Betsy, tell us
    (clap)
    Come on, Betsy, tell us
    (clap)

    Tell us how your sewing
    Helped us win the war.
    Tell us, Betsy, tell us
    The tales you've told before.

    STUDENTS: How you stitched the revolution

    BETSY: You know I'm double jointed

    CLASS: You sewed the Constitution

    BETSY: No, that I needle-pointed.
    (spoken)
    And didn't it turn out fine!

    STUDENTS and CHORUS (whispered):

    Tell us, Betsy, tell us
    (clap)
    Come on, Betsy, tell us
    (clap)

    Tell us how you tailored
    Food at Valley Forge.
    Tell us, Betsy, tell us
    The one how you saved
    (loudly)
    Shoo bee doo bee shoo bee doo
    Shoo shoo bee doo bee shoo bee doo shoo.

    STUDENT #1: Can you tell us about the American Revolution again,
    Betsy?

    BETSY: Oh my. It's been so many years.

    STUDENTS: Pleeeeaaaaase!?

    BETSY: Okay, okay. Well, let's see. A good place to start is when
    England defeated France and Spain in a long war.

    STUDENT #2: My dad told me about that. The colonists helped the
    British defeat the French here in America in 1763.

    BETSY: Yes, but the French and Indian War was just a small part of a
    much bigger conflict. A patch in the quilt of world politics. England
    became the leading power in the world. How King George III gloated.

    (THEY exit. GEORGE III enters with COUNSELORS)

    COUNSELOR #1: Tremendous news, your majesty. We've won the Seven Years
    War.

    GEORGE III: Well it's about time. We've been fighting for...um...how many
    years now?

    COUNSELOR #1: Seven.

    GEORGE III: That's quite a coincidence, isn't it?

    COUNSELOR #2: Yes, my lord. Our victory is especially beneficial for
    our prospects in America.

    GEORGE III: America? How splendid! Did we get any of those fur hats?
    You can't beat America for fur hats.

    COUNSELOR #2: Even better, your majesty.

    GEORGE III: Better than fur hats? You don't mean...fur sunglasses?!

    COUNSELOR #1: Your majesty. We've driven the French out of most of
    America. The entire North is ours, as well as Florida, and everything
    east of the Mississippi.

    COUNSELOR #2: Our empire's never been bigger. We rule the seas. Our
    colonies are rich and well-organized. England is the most powerful
    country in the world.

    GEORGE III: In other words...

    COUNSELORS 1 &2: That's right, your majesty:
    (THEY shout)
    You're da man!

    (quickly, back and forth)

    GEORGE III: Who da man?

    COUNSELORS: You're da man.

    GEORGE III: Who da man?

    COUNSELORS: You're da man.

    GEORGE III: Rootin' tootin' right I'm da man.

      Song 2 - Listen now!

    GEORGE III and COUNSELORS:

    We spanked old Spain
    We flogged the French
    We whipped the world
    Yeah we're a mensch.

    Our colonies
    Are our great joy
    Hey, America
    Our fav'rite toy.

    And it's great to be an empire
    Everyone shines your shoes
    Yeah it's great to be an empire
    Nobody can refuse.
    It's great to be an empire
    In its early days
    In its early ways
    It's great to be an empire
    'Cause it pays.

    (During the dobro solo, GEORGE and his COUNSELORS
    do a Victory Dance.)

    Now we're in debt
    Up to our knees
    So where to turn?
    The colonies!

    They fought with us
    To win the war
    Hey, and now they'll know
    What they fought for.

    GEORGE III, COUNSELORS, and CHORUS:

    And it's great to be an empire
    Everyone shines your shoes
    Yeah it's great to be an empire
    Nobody can refuse.
    It's great to be an empire
    In its early days
    In its early ways
    It's great to be an empire
    'Cause it pays.

    It's great to be an empire
    In its early days
    In its early ways
    It's great to be an empire

    'Cause it pays.

    (THEY exit. STUDENTS and BETSY enter.)

    STUDENT #3: What do they mean,"it pays"? Does being an empire come
    with a salary and retirement plan and stuff like that?

    BETSY: Even better. England was in debt for over 140 million pounds.
    King George and Parliament figured the colonies could help pay.

    STUDENT #1: 140 million pounds! Wow, like, you'd need to diet for
    months to lose that.

    BETSY: Pounds as in English money, dear. The British Parliament passed
    a series of acts that placed duties and taxes on the colonists. By 1767
    they weren't happy.

    (THEY exit. JOHN ADAMS and JAMES OTIS enter)

    JOHN ADAMS: Mr. Otis, what's the latest?

    OTIS: John Adams! I'm glad I ran into you. It's another British
    outrage. They've passed the Townsend Acts, which put import duties on
    just about everything.

    ADAMS: I didn't think it could get any worse. We've already had the
    Hat Act, the Wool Act, Iron Act, Currency Act, and Sugar Act.

    OTIS: I know it. The British just can't get their Acts together.

    ADAMS: Remember the Stamp Act?

    OTIS: A direct tax on everything we printed, from cards to calendars.

    ADAMS: I loved what you said. What was it? "Taxation without
    representation is exploitation."

    OTIS: "Tyranny."

    ADAMS: What?

    OTIS: I said "tyranny." "Taxation without representation is tyranny."

    ADAMS: You did?
    (pauses, then:)
    Doesn't really rhyme, though, does it?

    OTIS: It's not supposed to rhyme. It's an aphorism.

    ADAMS: Well of course, but the good ones rhyme. Take Ben Franklin's
    maxims. "He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing." "Little strokes
    fell great oaks." "Plough deep while sluggards sleep."

    OTIS (interrupting): Okay, I get it. The point is the British are not
    treating us as equals but as subjects. They've prohibited us from
    settling beyond the Appalachians. They've even started enforcing the
    Navigation Laws so all commerce between England and here must be by
    British vessels.

    ADAMS: You're right. This has got to stop.

      Song 3 - Listen now!

    ADAMS and OTIS:

    They're taxing my coffee, my paper, my wine*
    They're paying for theirs with what ought to be mine.
    They're taxing my glass -- and everything I see
    They call 'em "levies" -- they feel like a tax to me.

    They're taxing my sugar, they're taxing my paint
    I don't think there's nothing I've got that they ain't
    They're taxing my tax -- and adding on a fee
    They call 'em "duties" -- they feel like a tax to me.

    Taxation
    Taxation
    Without representation
    It's not right
    Time to fight
    Lai lai lai lai lai.

    Taxation
    Taxation
    Without representation
    It's not right
    Time to fight
    Lai lai lai lai lai.

    The Hat Act and Wool Act, the Iron Act too
    The Townsend Acts, Greenville Acts, what can we do?
    So what else is left? They wouldn't touch my tea!
    They call 'em "acts" but they feel like a tax to me.

    ADAMS, OTIS, and CHORUS:

    Taxation
    Taxation
    Without representation
    It's not right
    Time to fight
    Lai lai lai lai lai.
    Taxation
    Taxation
    Without representation
    It's not right
    Time to fight
    Lai lai lai lai lai.

    (THEY all freeze on the last note. Then THEY exit. SAM ADAMS enters
    with BOSTONIANS)

    SAM ADAMS: This is the last straw, my fellow Bostonians.

    BOSTONIANS: You tell 'em, Sam.

    SAM ADAMS: Did we fight the Townsend Acts? We refused to import English
    goods and pay the duties. And what did they do?

    BOSTONIAN #1: They sent warships into our harbor.

    SAM ADAMS: And did we relent?

    BOSTONIANS: Never!

    SAM ADAMS: What about the Boston massacre?

    BOSTONIAN #2: Right. The British shot and killed three un-armed
    colonists.

    SAM ADAMS: Did we give up?

    BOSTONIANS: Never!

    SAM ADAMS: And finally they had to repeal the Townsend Acts in 1770.

    BOSTONIANS: Yes!

    SAM ADAMS: But here we are, three years later. They've passed the Tea
    Act. Are we going to keep paying a tax on tea?

    BOSTONIANS: Never!

    SAM ADAMS: They've shipped a half million pounds of tea to America,
    driving down the price of tea. Are we going to buy it?
    (silence)
    Well, are we?

    BOSTONIAN #1: Come on, Mr. Adams. We've got to have a spot of tea.

    BOSTONIAN #2: Yeah, I mean, we're only human.

    BOSTONIAN #3: And the prices are so low!

    (BOSTONIANS mumble in agreement)

    SAM ADAMS: Listen to me! Today it's tea. Tomorrow it's sugar. The next
    day it's those nice fuzzy slippers with the bunny ears that keep our
    feet so cozy in winter.

    BOSTONIANS: Not our slippers!

    SAM ADAMS: Yes, your slippers! How long are we going to keep letting
    the British kick us around? It's time for action!

    BOSTONIANS: Right!

    SAM ADAMS: It's time we stopped calling soccer "football"!

    BOSTONIANS: Right!

    SAM ADAMS: It's time we started riding on the RIGHT-hand side of the
    road!

    BOSTONIANS: Right!

    SAM ADAMS: And it's time we dressed up as natives and dumped those 342
    chests of tea into the harbor!

    BOSTONIANS: Right!

      Song 4 - Listen now!

    SAM and BOSTONIANS:

    Down , down , down
    Just dump it off the boat
    Down, down, down
    Let's see if it can float.

    Down, down , down
    It's sinking in the sea
    Something's brewing boys and it ain't tea.
    Something's brewing boys and it ain't tea.

    Trouble's brewing for the crown
    Tell them all in London town
    London town
    All their lovely tea just drowned
    Send some more it's going down
    Send some more it's going down.
    Send some more it's going down.

    SAM, BOSTONIANS, and CHORUS:

    Down, down , down
    Just dump it off the boat
    Down, down, down
    Let's see if it can float.

    Down, down, down
    It's sinking in the sea
    Something's brewing boys and it ain't tea.
    Something's brewing boys and it ain't tea.

    SAM and BOSTONIANS:
    Something's brewing boys and it ain't tea.

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


    "Thank you for giving me such an interactive, fun way to recreate history with my fifth graders! I did this musical three times and it was truly a hit with everyone. The students and I have the music constantly going through our heads. Through this music, they are able to better connect to what we are currently studying in social studies (the American Revolution). Students retain concepts better when they are able to act them out and sing about them. I did this play as a BIG musical production on stage and the kids learned so much more than just history - the importance of teamwork and cooperation really came into play (no pun intended!).

    "I love that the play can be adapted for any number of students and it suits all levels of confidence in stage performance. Even the most reluctant students come away from the experience of performing in a play with a sense of accomplishment and pride. It gives students a chance to shine if they love to perform, or it helps build confidence in those students who are more shy about being in front of an audience."

    ---Kristina Cevallos, Teacher (5th grade), Riffa Views International School, Kingdom of Bahrain


    "It was fabulous! Not only was the show funny and entertaining, but my class learned a lot about history. My principal was very impressed! I hated doing plays before and now I can't wait until next year!"

    ---Jennifer Baker, Teacher (4th grade), P.S. 184, New York NY


    "We performed The American Revolution for an audience of about 200. We have used three of your plays before with great success, but everyone says this was the best ever! The best part, as always, was that the students learned so much American history. I chose this play because of the history, but the music was lively and I thought the kids would like it. They did!"

    ---Donna Baker, Logan County Home Educators, Russelville, KY


    "I only had four weeks to teach this standard. I played the music while the kids read the script and I elaborated on the important stuff. The kids were thrilled and I was relieved."

    ---Olga Cammer, Teacher (5th grade), Sierra Vista School, La Habra, CA

    Common Core and Other National Standards

    History/Social Studies

    Language Arts

    Fine Arts

    • National Music Standards 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8 for K-4th, Standard 1 for 5th-8th
    • National Theater Standards 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8 for K-4th, Standards 2 and 6 for 5th-8th
    • National Dance Standards 1 and 2 for K-4th

    Vocabulary

    acts
    duties
    taxes
    levies
    traitor
    conceded
    incorpration
    boycott
    petitions
    Common Sense
    Townsend Acts
    Stamp Act
    Greensville Acts
    "a patch in the quilt"
    "getting their threads in a tangle"
    "about to bust a stitch"
    pleat
    embroidering
    saddle-stich
    needlework
    knitting
    crocheted
    needle-point
    memorabilia
    savoire-faire
    gloated
    aristocrat
    mensch
    parliment
    aphorism
    maxims
    commerce
    continental breakfast
    reconciliation
    assuredly
    endorse
    endowed
    unalienable
    eloquence
    literally
    skulking
    legislative
    executive
    judiciary
    darn
    empire

    Number of questions: 0

    Frequently Asked Questions About Bad Wolf Products and Licensing

    How does your pricing and licensing work?

    A: In short: each teacher/director using the play should have a copy of it. That's it! Your purchase gives you the right to use the play with as many classes as you wish, to photocopy the script for your actors, and to put on as many performances as you wish. This one-time purchase gives you a lifetime license. See below for more information on site licenses (for 3+ teachers or whole schools).

    Q: What comes in the package?

    A: Every musical play comes with the script and a 12-page Teacher's Guide that provides lots of tips and advice for using the play from start to finish. It also includes the audio recording for the play, which has all the songs both WITH and WITHOUT vocals. Sheet music is NOT included with the basic package, but it is available for $9.95. Extra/replacement CDs are also available for $9.95.

    Every non-musical play comes with the script and the 12-page Teacher's Guide.

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    A: No! Your purchase gives you a lifetime license to be used with as many actors and classes as you wish. If other teachers/directors wish to use the play as well, they will need to purchase their own licenses.

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    A: No! Your purchase includes permission to photocopy the script for your actors.

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    A site license is the economical choice when a whole school or grade level wants to put on the same play. Instead of each teacher/director having to purchase a script, the school/site can purchase a site license. This comes with three copies of the play (or one digital download) and permission to make copies for any additional participating teachers, as well as all the actors.

    Q: I understand that I can get two or more scripts for $30/each. Do they have to be the same play?

    Nope! The discount applies whether you are purchasing multiple copies of the same show or single copies of multiple shows.

    Q: What is the difference between the printed and digital versions? Which one should I get?

    There is no difference in terms of content. The printed version of a musical play comes with an audio CD in a plastic sleeve in the back of the book. The digital version comes with two downloadable files: the script (PDF format) and the songs (individual MP3 files compressed in ZIP format). The advantage of the digital version is that you will not pay shipping and you can start using it instantly. Please read the question following this one about the technical requirements for digital files.

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    A: Yes! Consider the play to be a jumping-off point. You are always welcome to change or omit anything that doesn't work for your class, administration, or parents. You are welcome to rewrite lyrics, lines, or jokes -- or add your own! (The kids love doing this, by the way.)

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