"European Explorers in the New World" Musical Play
  • "European Explorers in the New World" Musical Play
  • "European Explorers in the New World" Musical Play
  • "European Explorers in the New World" Musical Play
  • "European Explorers in the New World" Site License
  • "European Explorers in the New World" 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!

    The Best News Show Ever team, led by anchorwoman Isabelle Scurvy, has discovered a flood of people sailing away from Europe for uncharted destinations. Why are they leaving? What are they hoping to find? To get the answers, our scrappy reporters will track down Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, Jacques Cartier and John Cabot, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Montezuma and Atahualpa, soldiers of De Soto and Coronado, Ferdinand Magellan and Francis Drake, and the British colonists who settled Virginia. And don't forget Leif Ericson, who's on a mission to remind us that the history books don't always play fair.

    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.
    EXPL-PL-DIG
    Downloadable Version of Play
    - You will receive a PDF and MP3 files
    Instant Download 1
    2+
    $39.95
    $30.00
    EXPL-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.
    EXPL-SL-DIG
    Downloadable Version of Site License
    - You will receive a PDF and MP3 files
    Instant Download 1+
    $79.95
    EXPL-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

    Would people risk life and limb to get their hands on spices? Could germs really destroy entire civilizations? Were there really Seven Cities of Gold in North America? It's time to find out!

    Key Concepts

    European Explorers mentions and reinforces the following curriculum:

    • Leif Ericson: Norse exploration and temporary settlement c.1000.
    • Prince Henry the Navigator: Portuguese exploration of Western Africa to spread Christianity, create new maps, and discover a trade route to the East (fall of Constantinople in 1453; Vasco de Gama)
    • Christopher Columbus: his four voyages and mistaken identifications (the Reconquista; the Line of Demarcation)
    • Amerigo Vespucci: his exploration of the coast of Brazil and the new continent(s) named after him (Pedro Cabral)
    • John Cabot and Jacques Cartier: the search for a Northwest Passage (importance of spices for food preservation and preparation)
    • Vasco Nunez de Balboa: the challenge of crossing Panama to encounter the Mar del Sur (later called the Pacific)
    • Montezuma (Aztecs) and Atahualpa (Incas): conquistadors, gold, and disease (Cortes in Mexico and Pizzaro in Peru)
    • Vasques de Coronado and Hernando de Soto: the search for gold and attempts at colonization in the interior of present-day U.S. (La Salle; Champlain; Seven Cities of Gold)
    • Ferdinand Magellan and Francis Drake: circumnavigation of the globe
    • British colonization of Virginia: Roanoke, Jamestown, Plymouth (Walter Raleigh)

    Places Mentioned

    • Africa
    • Constantinople
    • India
    • St. Lawrence River
    • Italy
    • Portugal
    • Hispaniola
    • Mar del Sur/South Sea
    • Spice Islands
    • Caribbean
    • Asia
    • Mississippi River
    • Greenland
    • Newfoundland
    • Panama
    • Mediterranean Sea
    • England
    • China
    • Bahamas
    • Canada/New France
    • Cuba
    • Japan
    • The Indies
    • Granada

    European Explorers in the New World is a great complement to your curriculum resources in elementary and middle school history. 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: John Heath (Book and Lyrics) and Mike Fishell (Composer)
    ISBN: 978-1-886588-56-1
    © 2012 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

    Song Samples


    Casting

    This is the first third of the script.

    FLEXIBLE CASTING:
    From 11-40 students. Use as many Fans, Crew Members, etc. as desired. One student can easily play several roles if needed, and individual roles can be doubled up. Note especially that all roles can be played by either boys or girls; we've written most of the news team with female names, but these can easily be changed.

    CHARACTERS

    Isabelle Scurvy
    Makeup Artist (non-speaking)
    Amber, the Assistant Director
    Silvia Scoop
    Prince Henry the Navigator
    Jennifer Ravioli
    Christopher Columbus
    Amerigo Vespucci and Fans
    Leif Ericson and Norseman
    Sonny Daze
    Jacques Cartier
    John Cabot
    Vasco Nunez de Balboa
    Diego and Francisco, soldiers of Balboa
    Montezuma and Atahualpa
    Wendy Wellness
    Juan and Pedro, soldiers of De Soto
    Alanso and Miguel, soldiers of Coronado
    Peyton Pastime
    Ferdinand Magellan
    Francis Drake and Crew Members
    British Colonists

    and a CHORUS composed of all students who are not playing
    roles on stage at the time.

    (At the front of the stage, to one side, news anchorwoman ISABELLE SCURVY sets up to deliver the news. She can take her place behind a desk, or she can sit on a stool, or just stand. She can hold on to a small stack of papers. A MAKEUP ARTIST does final touch-up. AMBER, the Assistant Director, shouts out:)

    AMBER (holding up hand with fingers outstretched): Quiet everyone! Five seconds to air!
    (MAKEUP ARTIST exits as AMBER counts down with fingers)
    Four! Three!
    (SHE points with two fingers and then one finger to Isabelle)

    ISABELLE: Welcome to a special edition of...

    (AMBER always makes some silly trumpet sound with her lips
    before the phrase "Best News Show Ever.")

    AMBER: Bum bumbum bummmmmmmm!

    ISABELLE: ...The Best News Show Ever. I'm Isabelle Scurvy. We've got a breaking story. The...

    AMBER: Bum bumbum bummmmmmmm!

    ISABELLE: ...Best News Show Ever team has discovered a flood of people sailing away from Europe for uncharted destinations. Why are they leaving? What are they hoping to find? How long will they be gone? Can I housesit for them in August? We'll explore these and other important questions tonight, on...
    (pause; nothing happens. ISABELLE glares or gestures at AMBER)
    ...on...

    AMBER (who hasn't been paying attention): Oh. Sorry. Bum bumbum bummmmmmmm!

    ISABELLE: The Best News Show Ever. Now to our reporter on the scene, Silvia Scoop. Silvia, where are you and what's going on?
    SILVIA (stands in the middle of the stage with a microphone. Next to her stands HENRY): Hello, Isabelle. I'm standing here in the middle of...
    (SHE pauses, looks all around)
    ...in the middle of the fifteenth century. With me is Prince Henry the Navigator, the patron of Portuguese exploration.
    (to HENRY)
    So you like to navigate, huh?

    HENRY: Who, me? No, I can't stand it. You won't catch me on one of those ships. Floating death traps.

    SILVIA: Then why do they call you the Navigator?

    HENRY: My mother gave me that name because when I was born I had a birthmark on my back that looked exactly like a map of Mediterranean Sea.

    SILVIA: Really?

    HENRY: No, of course not. I'm a prince -- I send OTHERS to sail along the west coast of Africa. Spread Christianity. Make new maps. Find trade routes. I LOVE to trade.
    (looks closely at SILVIA)
    I'll give you a shiny trinket for that microphone.

    SILVIA: I can't do that. This belongs to...

    AMBER: Bum bumbum bummmmmmmm!

    SILVIA: The Best News Team Ever.

    HENRY (startled): What was that? I have to get me one of those.

    SILVIA: Back to the trade routes. You traded with Africa?

    HENRY: At first. But then in 1453 the Turks took over Constantinople, and we Europeans pretty much lost the land routes to the east. We had to find a new way to reach the silk and spices and wealth of the east by sailing around Africa.
    SILVIA: And you did that?

    HENRY: What, me? I told you, I hate ships. Sail right off the edge of the world. But by the end of the century, less than 40 years after my death, my countryman Vasco de Gama reached India.

    SILVIA: And so that explains all these people leaving Europe.
    (looks around and behind -- members of the CLASS are moving around in a hurry)
    Everyone here is getting on a ship and heading east.

    CLASS: Not everyone!

      Song 1 - Listen now!

    CHORUS:
    It's the fifteenth century
    A time of great discovery
    The Age of Exploration has begun.
    The Portuguese are in the lead
    They think their empire will succeed
    By sailing eastward towards the rising sun.

    But I am here to tell you that's the wrong way
    Yeah I am here to tell you that's the long way.

    PART of CHORUS: Sail west
    OTHER PART of CHORUS: Yeah west!
    CHORUS:
    Oh west is best
    Sail west it can't be far
    Japan and China straight ahead
    And India's right there, I read.

    PART of CHORUS: Sail west
    OTHER PART of CHORUS: Yeah west!
    CHORUS:
    Oh west is best
    Sail west it can't be far
    There's nothing there to block our quest
    Come on come on come on sail west!

    Prince Henry sends his sailors forth
    They first head south and then head north
    To sail 'round Africa -- so orthodox.
    Seeking spices, gold, and silk
    De Gama and folks of his ilk
    Just cannot seem to think outside the box.

    It's time that eastward trip got some correction
    It's time to sail the opposite direction.

    PART of CHORUS: Sail west
    OTHER PART of CHORUS: Yeah west!
    CHORUS:
    Oh west is best
    Sail west it can't be far
    Japan and China straight ahead
    And India's right there, I read.

    PART of CHORUS: Sail west
    OTHER PART of CHORUS: Yeah west!
    CHORUS:
    Oh west is best
    Sail west it can't be far
    There's nothing there to block our quest
    Come on come on come on sail west!

    (THEY exit. ISABELLE addresses audience.)

    ISABELLE: Thank you, Silvia, for that update on the latest trend: sailing west. Let's go now to our Special Assignments reporter, Jennifer Ravioli, for an in-depth interview with the first great explorer to head across the Atlantic.
    (JENNIFER appears with microphone)
    So, Jenny, I understand you've found Columbus.

    JENNY (bubbly): Oh my gosh, Isabelle, this is so cool. I've found Columbus, right here in the middle of Ohio. It's like such a great city -- I've made SO many friends. But it's weird, you know, cause there's not like an ocean anywhere around.

    ISABELLE: You were supposed to track down CHRISTOPHER Columbus.

    JENNY: No way! You mean that old Spanish guy who sailed on those three ships, the Fresca™, the Latte, and the Pina Colada?

    COLUMBUS (entering, upset): I am Italian, not Spanish! And my ships were not beverages. Two of my ships, the Nina and Pinta, were called caravels -- they were smaller ships that could sail better into the wind. My own vessel was the larger Santa Maria, although it ran aground off the coast of Hispaniola.

    JENNY: Cool. So who ARE you?

    COLUMBUS: I'm Christopher Columbus! I sailed to the New World, although I admit that I thought I had reached the East Indies and China.

    JENNY: You should get a GPS. I have one on my ankle so I can always find myself.

    COLUMBUS: I claimed many lands for Spain. After my first voyage, Portugal and Spain signed a treaty to divide the new western territory with an imaginary line -- the Line of Demarcation -- through the Atlantic: all the lands to the east of the line were Portugal's; all the lands to the west belonged to Spain.

    JENNY: Wait a minute. If you're Italian, how come you sailed for Spain? And what kind of food did you eat? Could you take pizza on a Spanish ship, or would you get in trouble?

    COLUMBUS: My request for funding was rejected by the crowns of Portugal, Italy, France, and England. Even King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain made me wait six years until they had completed the Reconquista and driven the Muslims out of Granada. Finally, in 1492...

    JENNY (interrupting, excited): Wait, wait! I know this one! I remember from school: In 1492 you sailed the ocean blue. Although that's kind of a lame rhyme. "Ocean blue" -- who says that? It should have been something like "in 1492 Columbus sailed a big canoe." Or how about, "In 1493, Columbus sailed the big blue sea." I think it's okay to change history if it rhymes better.

    COLUMBUS: I DID make a second trip in 1493! And also in 1498 and 1502. I thought that I only had to sail 3000 miles westward to reach Asia and all the gold and spices waiting in Japan and the Spice Islands. But it was more like 12,000 miles, and there were a couple unknown continents and a lot of islands in the way. I never did figure out just what went wrong.

    JENNY: You thought the Caribbean was Asia? Couldn't you tell from the reggae music?

    COLUMBUS (shrugs shoulders, admits): Hey, I didn't know!

      Song 2 - Listen now!

    CHORUS:
    He didn't know
    COLUMBUS (shrugs his shoulders, palms up):
    I didn't know
    CHORUS:
    Where he was going
    Didn't know just where he was
    And when he got back home again
    He didn't know where he'd been.

    He didn't know
    COLUMBUS: I didn't know
    CHORUS:
    What he'd discovered
    Though he sailed there four times

    COLUMBUS:
    They tell me it's the New World
    Is that so?

    CHORUS:
    He didn't know!
    COLUMBUS:
    I thought I'd hit the Indies
    But something wasn't right
    'Cause it was the Bahamas
    A little oversight.

    We landed next on China
    Though people now all scoff
    So what if it was Cuba?
    That isn't so far off.

    CHORUS:
    He didn't know
    COLUMBUS: I didn't know
    CHORUS:
    Where he was going
    Didn't know just where he was
    And when he got back home again
    He didn't know just where he'd been.

    He didn't know
    COLUMBUS: I didn't know
    CHORUS:
    What he'd discovered
    Though he sailed there four times

    COLUMBUS:
    They tell me it's the New World
    Is that so?

    CHORUS:
    He didn't know!

    COLUMBUS:
    We didn't find the spices
    The gold was missing too
    The natives were not Asian
    You'd think I'd get a clue.
    Nine thousand miles in error
    Is tricky to explain
    A million misread islands
    But I claimed them all for Spain!

    CHORUS:
    He didn't know
    COLUMBUS: I didn't know
    CHORUS:
    Where he was going
    Didn't know just where he was
    And when he got back home again
    He didn't know where he'd been.

    He didn't know
    COLUMBUS: I didn't know
    CHORUS:
    What he'd discovered
    Though he sailed there four times

    COLUMBUS:
    They tell me it's the New World
    Is that so?

    CHORUS:
    He didn't know!

    JENNIFER (addressing ISABELLE at side of stage): And that's the story here, Isabelle. Gotta run. Columbus has invited me to an Age of Discovery dance. We're gonna party like it's 1499.
    (THEY EXIT)

    ISABELLE: Thank you, Jennifer. I think.
    (to audience)
    We turn now to entertainment reporter, Sophie Spectacle.
    (SOPHIE enters, stands in the middle of stage)
    So what's the buzz out there, Sophie?

    SOPHIE: Exciting news, Jennifer. I'm here in Germany in 1507 where a map-maker has just named a new continent after an up-and-coming Florentine explorer. The crowds love this rising superstar. Oh, I think I see him now!

    (AMERIGO VESPUCCI enters. HE is a cross between Elvis Presley and a lounge singer. HE is followed by two FANS who are very excited, screaming, and asking for his autograph. HE could wear dark glasses.)

    FAN #1: Oh, please, please, sign my map. Here -- on that blob called America.

    (AMERIGO takes the map, signs it, hands it back. To the other FAN, swooningly)

    Look. He touched the map. Right there. See? It's a smudge. It's HIS smudge. I'm never going to wash this map.

    SOPHIE (approaching him with microphone, trying to get through FANS to AMERIGO): Excuse me. Pardon me.
    (To AMERIGO)
    Hi. I'm Sophie Spectacle with...

    AMBER (from out of nowhere): Bum bumbum bummmmmmm!

    SOPHIE: The Best News Show Ever! Are you Vespucci?

    AMERIGO (very cool): That's right, little lady. Vespucci.
    (perfect pause, like James Bond)
    Amerigo Vespucci.

    BOTH FANS (squeal in delight): Eeeeeeee!

    FAN #1: They named America after him!

    AMERIGO: I like to think of the new continent as "Vespucci Land." But "America" is cool too.

    FAN #2: He sailed several times to South America, and he claimed that whole bump on the eastern side of the continent for Portugal.

    SOPHIE: Wait...but didn't Columbus land on South America several years before you?

    FAN #1 (upset by question): Why are you hatin' on Amerigo?

    SOPHIE: And what about Pedro Cabral -- didn't he get blown off course and bump into Brazil too?

    FAN #2: Stop with all your facts! You're freaking me out!

    AMERIGO: Hey, it's all good. See, I figured out that this place wasn't Asia at all, but a new continent. I sailed up and down the coast looking for a passage through. Didn't find one, but hey, you don't have to be first to be the best.

    (music starts. AMERIGO should ham it up.)

      Song 3 - Listen now!

    AMERIGO VESPUCCI and FANS:
    I'm not the first to cross the ocean
    I'm not the first to fill the gap
    But still off I went
    And hit a continent
    And now my name is on the map.

    I sailed to find a western passage
    Three thousand miles along the coast
    Though it wasn't there
    Well why should I care?
    There's still one thing of which to boast.

    FANS:
    Amerigo
    Amerigo
    People know your name no matter where you go
    Amerigo
    Well there ya go
    You represent a continent, Amerigo.

    AMERIGO and FANS:
    My name lives on in every atlas
    Both North and South now if you please
    'Cause I sailed with skill
    And I hit Brazil
    And they're still speaking Portuguese.

    FANS AND CHORUS:
    Amerigo
    Amerigo
    People know your name no matter where you go
    Amerigo
    Well there ya go
    You represent a continent, Amerigo.

    FANS (salute):
    Amerigo
    Amerigo
    Vespucci is his name.

    FANS and CHORUS:
    Amerigo
    Amerigo
    People know your name no matter where you go
    Amerigo
    Well there ya go
    You represent a continent, Amerigo.

    (THEY exit. LEIF ERICSON and a fellow NORSEMAN hurry onto stage from opposite side, just missing THEM.)

    LEIF (shouting their direction): Hey, wait a minute!
    (disappointed)
    Where'd that reporter go? Man, I can't catch a break.

    NORSEMAN: I know, Leif. It isn't fair.

    LEIF: But I landed on North America 500 years before those guys. Remember? We Norsemen sailed from Greenland.

    This concludes the first third of the script.

    Overall Customer Rating:
    Customer Reviews: 1


    Rating:

    Pros:
    • fun
    • %20easy
    • %20fantastic
    • %20educational
    Cons:
    Students learned so much

    I am a fifth grade teacher and used this as an introduction to our European Explorers unit. Students learned so much from the play. Students from all academic levels enjoyed and succeeded. It was a great success and I will definitely be purchasing more for next year.



    "Having used the play 13 Colonies for over 10 years in my 5th grade classroom, I knew the power of teaching concepts through musical theater. Never did I imagine how much my students would learn about the Age of Exploration with the the play European Explorers in the New World. Our Common Core focus demands that we teach concepts more fully using higher levels of learning that ultimately focus on creativity. This play truly met that goal. My students found the play not only humorous, but through singing these songs, they were able to clearly convey the major concepts and accomplishments of exploration. I was so impressed with this year's class's deeper understanding of the Age of Exploration and I know it was because I incorporated this play."

    ---Nona Reimer, Teacher (5th grade), John S. Malcom Elementary School, Laguna Niguel, 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

    Names and Terms from the Curriculum

    Vikings Queen Isabella Spanish Inquisition Queen Elizabeth Henry VII Spanish Armada
    King Ferdinand Reconquista        

    General Vocabulary-Building

    uncharted patron trinket orthodox vessel GPS
    reggae atlas binger cumin legume exploitation
    proliferation quaint allure pacific dominion domain
    schlepp trek scour ad-lib scrappy wily
    résumé epitaph roving scurvy caravel circumnavigation
    conquistador Florentine turnover thwart figurative  

    Phrases and Expressions

    housesit death trap egad tip of the iceberg run aground fill the gap
    hot seat tears your heart out well-honed shoo-in like a sardine pillage and plunder
    did us in catch a break come to terms bite the dust up-and-coming  
    "book" someone (for a show) think outside the box    
    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.

    Q: I'm just one teacher putting on a play. If I use the play with multiple classes, do I have to purchase multiple licenses?

    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.

    Q: Do I need to purchase scripts for students?

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

    Q: What is a "site license"? How do I know if I need one?

    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.

    Non-musical plays are available in the form of a printed book or a PDF file.

    Q: What are the technical requirements for the digital version?

    You will need to have Adobe Reader (free) or another software application that can open PDF files. You will also need to be able to open ZIP files (the vast majority of computers should be able to do this without difficulty) and have some kind of audio player (such as iTunes or Windows Media Player) that will play MP3 files. Advanced technical knowledge is not required; but please note that we do not have the ability to offer technical support for issues related to digital files. If you are unsure, it is probably best to stick with the printed version.

    Q: What is your return/exchange policy?

    A: Bad Wolf proudly offers a 100% guarantee. You can always exchange a product for another or get a full refund. No time limits, no questions.

    Q: Is it OK if I edit the script?

    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.)

    Q: How long does shipping take?

    A: We say that you should allow for one week within the U.S., but most orders are shipped the same day and arrive 1-3 days later. International orders usually take around two weeks to arrive.

    Q: Do I need to pay any performance royalties?

    A: As long as your admission price is less than $5 per ticket, you never need to pay performance royalties with a Bad Wolf show. If you decide to go big and use one of our masterpieces on Broadway, just contact us for information about licensing fees.