• 35-minute musical 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!

Watch the exciting hit reality show Back from the Dead in its most dramatic season yet! The contestants are the actual writers and framers of the Constitution, come back to life and fighting to be the last Founding Father standing. Each week they'll need to explain, justify, and argue how they contributed to the making of the Constitution. Who will be voted off the island?

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

Key Concepts

U.S. Constitution: the Reality Show reinforces students' familiarity with the following events and concepts:

  • Confederation Congress
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Executive, legislative, and judiciary branches
  • The Great Compromise (big states and small states)
  • The two houses of Congress
  • States' rights
  • Checks and balances
  • Presidential veto
  • Impeachment
  • Amendment 22
  • Ratification
  • Federalist Papers
  • Article One
  • Bill of Rights
  • Marbury v. Madison
  • Judicial review
  • ...And, of course, reality shows

U.S. Constitution: The Reality Show 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

A previous version of this play was published under the name U.S. Constitution: Reviver: Philadelphia. The songs are identical; dialogue throughout has been changed.

Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath with Lisa Adams (Book and Lyrics)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-42-4
© 2008, 2016 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

Song Samples

Full Song List

1. Preamble
2. Articles of Confederation
3. We're Gonna Write a Constitution
4. The Great Compromise
5. Executive Branch
6. Ratified
7. Congress is Cool
8. Bill of Rights
9. Judicial Review
10. Preamble (reprise)


Casting

Flexible casting from 11-40 students.
Use as many delegates, messengers, etc. as desired.
One student can easily play several roles if needed, and
individual roles can be doubles up. Note that all roles
can be played by either boys or girls.

Script

This is the first one-third of the script:

CHARACTERS:

Sally Sassafrass
Bill O'Rights
John Hancock
Samuel Huntington
Ben Franklin
Alexander Hamilton
Big State Delegates
Little State Delegates
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
George Washington
John Jay
Samuel Adams
Messengers
Benedict Arnold
James Monroe
James Madison
George Mason
Internet Celebrity
Two Anoynymous Founding Fathers
John Marshall
Supreme Court Justices
and a CHORUS comprised of all students who are not
playing roles on stage at the time.

(Entire CLASS faces audience and sings:)

  Song 1 - Listen now!

CLASS:
We the people of the United States,
in order to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty
to ourselves and our posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States
PART of CLASS (echoes): For the United States
for the United States
PART of CLASS (echoes): For the United States
for the United States of America.

We the people of the United States,
in order to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty
to ourselves and our posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States
PART of CLASS (echoes):
For the United States
CLASS:
For the United States
PART of CLASS (echoes):
For the United States
CLASS:
For the United States of America
of America
of America.
(SALLY, the HOST, enters and addresses the audience)

SALLY: Welcome to the hit reality show, Back from the Dead. I'm your host, Sally Sassafras. This season we have the most dramatic storyline yet ...historical drama, that is. Our contestants are the actual writers and framers of the Constitution, duking it out to be the last Founding Father standing. Here to go over the rules is my co-host, Bill O'Rights. Bill?

BILL (already halfway across the stage):
Thank you. This year, we've conjured up the Founding Fathers so we can witness the birth of our nation. You know, Sally, I witnessed the birth of my son, and it was really something.

SALLY (embarrassed): Why don't you go on with the rules, Bill?

BILL: He looked just like me, right down to the cone-shaped head. I couldn't have been prouder!

SALLY: The birth of the NATION, Bill?

BILL: Oh, yeah, right. Through a magical process referred to by scientists as (waves his arm majestically)"a magical process" we've revived the creators of the Constitution. Each week we'll be following our Founding Fathers as they explain how they contributed to the making of the Constitution. At the end of each episode, the one individual judged to have been the least important will be sent back into the bleak, pathless oblivion of history.
(cheery)
Is this gonna be fun or what?

SALLY: Let's get started.
(looking to side of stage)
Here are John Hancock and Samuel Huntington, leaders of the Confederation Congress in the mid-1780s.
(HANCOCK and HUNTINGTON enter)
They're worried they will be held accountable for the Articles of Confederation, the first governing document of the country. It was in effect before the Constitution, and it had some major problems.

(SALLY and BILL exit)

HUNTINGTON: I tell you right now, John, I have no intention of being the scapegoat here.

HANCOCK: Nor do I, Sam. I didn't scrawl my name all over the Declaration of Independence just to be the first person voted off the island.

HUNTINGTON: The island?

HANCOCK: I was speaking metaphorically.

HUNTINGTON: No one can hold us responsible for the weakness of the Articles of Confederation. They've done their job getting the colonies successfully through the Revolutionary War.

HANCOCK: And for 6 years they've given the 13 states some sort of national government.

HUNTINGTON: But we all know the problems: No strong central government; no executive branch; no way to raise money; no federal court system; no way to control state legislatures.

HANCOCK: But it's not our fault! Maybe we can get the other Founders to vote out Ben Franklin. He's 80 years old, out playing with his kite in thunderstorms.

HUNTINGTON: Franklin's crafty---don't underestimate him. I think our best shot is to admit the Articles aren't working and hope we're safe in tonight's vote.

  Song 2 - Listen now!

HUNTINGTON:
Well I don't want to be too bleak
But congress, folks, is sad and weak
And all of the laws we pass are just a waste of ink

HANCOCK:
We have no way to enforce our acts
We can¹t raise troops and we can't tax
The articles of confederation really stink.

HUNTINGTON and HANCOCK:
This won't do
This won't do
This won't do
Thirteen states without glue
Time we tried
Something new
The articles of confederation just won't do.

We ask each state to pay its share
But we got zilch from Delaware
And Georgia sent peaches with a note that just said no*

Each state is king so bold and brash
Now every state prints its own cash
The articles of confederation gotta go.

HUNTINGTON, HANCOCK, CHORUS:
This won't do
This won't do
This won't do
Thirteen states without glue
Time we tried
Something new
The articles of confederation just won't do.
Just won't do
Just won't do.

(THEY exit. ALEXANDER HAMILTON enters, walking across stage reading a document. When HE gets about half-way across the stage, BEN FRANKLIN enters, trying to catch up with HAMILTON. FRANKLIN is a bit slow-footed.)

FRANKLIN: Alex! Alexander Hamilton, slow down a minute!

HAMILTON: Ben Franklin! Just the person I wanted to see. Have you heard the news?

FRANKLIN: What news? Hancock is scheming against me, isn't he? I knew it!

HAMILTON: I don't know about Hancock. But I do have news.

FRANKLIN: Have they finally named a state for me?

HAMILTON: No, not that.

FRANKLIN: A city, then? Congress could at least name a city after me.

HAMILTON: No, Ben, I'm sorry. They're leaning towards Washington.

FRANKLIN: Washington? For a city?

HAMILTON: And maybe a state, too.

FRANKLIN: BOTH? What about me?

HAMILTON: Well, they've named a stove after you.

FRANKLIN: A stove? A STOVE?

HAMILTON: It was either that or a new species of squirrel. But I've got bigger news.
(waving the paper in his hand; with excitement)
Congress has accepted my proposal to hold a convention.

FRANKLIN: For a new constitution? That's fantastic!

HAMILTON: Well, yes and no. It's not supposed to be for writing a new Constitution. See, Congress has agreed to allow us to organize a convention in Philadelphia next May...
(reads from paper)
. ..for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation. They're calling it a "federal" convention.

FRANKLIN: That's ridiculous! We need to throw out the Articles and start over. We need a CONSITUTIONAL convention.

HAMILTON: I know, I know. So here's my plan. We need to form an alliance.

FRANKLIN: Yes, an alliance! Against Hancock! We'll vote him off. Him and that quill.

HAMILTON: Sure, Ben. But first I've got something else in mind. We gather all the best thinkers in the country, pretend we're going to make a few slight changes to the Articles, and then, BLAMMO, we turn it into a brand new constitutional convention.

FRANKLIN: But that would be dishonest. "Honesty is the best policy," I always say.

HAMILTON: They almost named a squirrel after you, Ben.

FRANKLIN (thinks for a moment, then): Good point. Let's write us a Constitution!

  Song 3 - Listen now!

FRANKLIN and HAMILTON:
Congress was very explicit
Told us what we could do
It is not busted
So just adjust it
A fresh coat of paint ought to do.
Congress wants just a revision
A fix-it up job here and there
We're on a budget
So just retouch it
It doesn't need that much repair.

We said "We concur"
We told them "For sure"
But we think the patient is dead
We are not tinkers
We are great thinkers
So we¹ve go our own plan instead...

We're gonna write us a constitution
Gonna start anew from scratch
Toss out the old that's the real solution
There is nothing left to patch.

We're gonna write us a constitution
Gonna have ourselves some fun
We're gonna have a great institution
When this whole shebang is done!

We¹ve got Washington, Madison, and Hamilton too
Gonna party here all summer long
And though Benjamin Franklin is at least 81
That ol' sucker is still going strong.

FRANKLIN, HAMILTON, and CHORUS:
We're gonna write us a constitution
Gonna start anew from scratch
Toss out the old that's the real solution
There is nothing left to patch.

We¹re gonna write us a constitution
Gonna have ourselves some fun
We¹re gonna have a great institution
When this whole shebang is done!
Done! Done!
(THEY exit. SALLY and BILL enter)

SALLY: Hello again. It's time we met some more of our competitors.

BILL: There are more?

SALLY: All 13 states sent representatives to Philadelphia. Except Rhode Island.

BILL: What's with that?

SALLY: Rhode Island refused to send any delegates.

BILL: I've always been suspicious about Rhode Island.

SALLY: Don't worry about it.

BILL: I mean, it's not even an island.

SALLY: Bill...

BILL: Or a road! It's completely misleading tourists.

SALLY: Let it go, Bill. The other state legislatures elected 74 delegates.

BILL: 74! How many Founding Fathers does one country need?

SALLY: Only 55 attended the meetings in Philadelphia.

BILL: That's still a pretty big pack of patriots. And we¹ve brought them all back to life? What if they go nuts during a challenge and trash the Pennsylvania State House?

SALLY: Independence Hall, as it is now known, will be just fine. By the end of the summer of 1787 only 39 signed the Constitution. And one of them will be the winner of Back from the Dead.

BILL: I hope it's no one from Rhode Island.

SALLY (trying to escort BILL off stage): Let's go, Bill. Here come some more competitors right now.

(THEY exit. FOUR DELEGATES enter. TWO represent Big States; TWO represent Small States.)

BIG STATE#1: We should win this thing easy! We solved the biggest problem of the convention.

LITTLE STATE #1: Too much starch in our wigs?

BIG STATE #2: No! How to make sure both the big states and little states could feel they had a say in a strong national government.

LITTLE STATE #2: I thought you Big States would never give us a congress with an equal number of representatives for each state.

BIG STATE #1: And you Little States weren't exactly thrilled at a congress that gave representatives according to population.

LITTLE STATE #1: We were awesome!
(pause)
Uh, how'd we solve it?

BIG STATE #2: Weren't you there when we came up with the two-house compromise?

LITTLE STATE #1: Well, yeah. But I couldn't hear anything.

LITTLE STATE #2: Why not?

LITTLE STATE #1: I had too much starch in my wig.

  Song 4 - Listen now!

LARGE STATES: Small states all they did was shout

SMALL STATES: We just wanted our share but the
Big states tried to squeeze us out

LARGE STATES: That would only be fair!

ALL FOUR (pointing at each other):

They said blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
It drove me out of my mind
They said blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
I never thought we would find

The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise.

Then we came up with a scheme
Congress split into two houses
Neither one of them supreme
One each for me and you!

House of Representatives
It gave the big states a break
Then we made a Senate too
It got the small states to make

The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise.

(BIG STATES and SMALL STATES do the Congressional
Dance. Basically, they can run around in delight and then
shake hands. )

LARGE STATES, SMALL STATES, CHORUS:

The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise.

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


"We are having such fun with U.S. Constitution. It is great and we will be performing it before school ends. Thanks again for creating products that not only support the curriculum, but are fun and easy to use. I am already thinking about next year's production!"

---Connie Patterson, Teacher (5th grade), Cayuga Heights Elementary, Ithaca, NY


"We got the play on a Tuesday and it went up in front of the school and parents two weeks later to rave reviews. The writing was fresh and clever. The songs were catchy (I woke up nights with those songs going through my head). At the same time we were working on the play, we were studying the US Constitution using "We the People" (from Center for Civic Education). Generally, we complete this study with a mock congressional hearing. But this year we did your play instead. Students said, 'The play helped me to understand what we were reading in "We the People" and because of the songs, I remember it.'

"Your suggestions for putting on the play were right on the money. And you were really easy to deal with. Quick, honest communication, with very personal service. Amazing."

---Melody Murphy, Teacher (5th grade), Glenwood Elementary, San Rafael, CA


"This has some of the best music in the Bad Wolf collection. The kids loved it and it was easy to stage. Excellent and entertaining storytelling which directly aligned to material our fifth graders had to learn. One of my favorites."

---April Cochran, Director, Market House Theater, Paducahl, KY


"Thanks for a fun script. We had a blast and you can see it in the kids' faces."

---Deborah Pasarow, Teacher (7th/8th grade), St. Prius School, Buena Park, CA


"Students loved it -- great songs."

---Patricia Bell, Teacher (4th/5th grade), Norma Coombs School, Pasadena, CA.


"I'm a second year teacher and just had my first performance with my eighth grade class. Kids loved it. Parents loved it. Principal loved it. I loved it! Doing another in the spring! Thanks!"

---Jen Vargas, Teacher (8th Grade), Ophir Elementary, Newcastle, 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

union
welfare
bleak
crafty
explicit
shebang
FDR
treaties
acquiesced
politicking
supreme
insure
liberty
framers
oblivion
immunity
concur
reactionary
hindsight
monarchy
turncoat
allegiance
tranquility
posterity
conjured
scapegoat
species
tinkers
subconscious
executed
representation
indiscretion
colluding
domestic
ordain
revived
metaphorically
alliance
institution
cheese-steaks
pardons
bonafide
heiress
implied

Phrases
cart-blanche
rule the roost
pro or con
Capitol Hill
hollandaise sauce
attending session
Eggs Benedict
null and void

Key Terms and Curricular Concepts
Constitution
Declaration of Independence
executive branch
judiciary branch
two houses
Senate
Federalist
presidential veto
Amendment 22
Federalist Papers
Bill of Rights
judicial review
Confederation Congress
Articles of Confederation
legislative branch
The Great Compromise
House of Representatives
States Rights
Checks and balances
impeachment
ratification
Article One
Marbury v. Madison

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.