Character Matters III: Empathy Training
    • 30-minute musical play for grades 1-5
    • Includes the script, teacher's guide, and audio recording (which contains a vocal and instrumental version of each song)
    • NO familiarity with Character Matters I or Character Matters II is required
    • Simple to do - no music or drama experience needed!

    Join your favorite Fairy Tale Advice Council for another round of hilarious character education! This time they're out to help a world in empathetical crisis as they teach about empathy and how it's related to making good decisions.

    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
    PLAY - 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 $35 each.
    Downloadable Version of Play
    - You will receive a PDF and MP3 files
    Download 1
    Printed Version of Play
    - You will receive a Spiral-Bound Book and Audio CD
    In Stock 1
    Duo Version - Download AND Printed Book
    - You will receive 1) a PDF and MP3 files, and 2) a Spiral-Bound Book and Audio CD
    In Stock 1
    SITE LICENSE VERSION OF PLAY - 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.
    Downloadable Version of Site License
    - You will receive a PDF and MP3 files
    Download 1 $90.00
    Printed Version of Site License
    - You will receive 3 copies of the Spiral-Bound Book and Audio CD
    In Stock 1 $90.00
    Extra/Replacement Audio Recordings
    Downloadable Audio Files
    - You will receive a ZIP file containing individual MP3s
    Download 1 $12.00
    Audio CD
    In Stock 1 - 9
    Downloadable Audio Files (MP3) + Audio CD
    In Stock 1 $20.00
    Sheet Music
    Downloadable Sheet Music (PDF)
    Download 1 $12.00
    Printed Sheet Music
    In Stock 1 $8.00
    Downloadable Sheet Music (PDF) + Printed Sheet Music
    In Stock 1 $16.00


    Coldness and cruelty have settled like a curse upon the land! In response, the Fairy Tale Advice Council is hosting special workshops all over the kingdom to educate a world in empathetical crisis. These esteemed advisors will assist their cohorts from favorite folk tales in understanding each other and relating on a deeper level. What can be accomplished with a little empathy? Nothing short of magic!

    Key Terms and Concepts

    Character Matters III refers to and builds on students' familiarity with the following:

    • Concepts of empathy, sympathy, compassion
    • How to build/practice empathy
    • How empathy leads us to feel and engage in kindness toward others
    • How empathy can help us form genuine friendships
    • Empathy in tough situations
    • Empathy as reciprocal ("two-way street")
    • The Golden Rule: treat others as you want them to treat you
    • The Platinum Rule: treat others as THEY want to be treated
      Note: Platinum Rule® is a registered trademark of Dr. Tony Alessandra, who graciously gave permission to use it in this show.

    Character Matters III is a great, non-threatening way to get students thinking and talking about character issues. 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: Lisa Adams and John Heath (Book and Lyrics) and Mike Fishell and Ron Fink (Music)
    ISBN: 978-1-886588-72-1
    © 2019 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

    Song Samples


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


    Puss in Boots
    Fairy with the Turquoise Hair
    Little Red Hens (3)
    Peter Pan
    Lost Boy
    Stepsisters (2)
    Country Mouse
    City Mouse
    Trainees (6)

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


    This is the first third of the script.

    (CLASS enters and sings:)

      Song 1 - Listen now!

    Our show features
    Famous creatures
    From great fairy tales
    So don't think twice
    To take advice
    From fairies, beasts, or singing mice.

    She will tell ya
    How to act real nice
    Before you go
    Has something he wants you to know...

    Character matters three times more
    Than anything we've learned before
    Hope you enjoy our jeu d'esprit
    As we ramp up our empathy.

    She will tell ya
    How to act real nice
    Before you go
    Has something he wants you to know...

    Status and glamour, fame galore
    And money oozing out each pore
    Character matters three times more
    Character matters more.
    Character matters more.

    (Actors sit facing the audience in a semicircle around stage. CINDERELLA, PUSS IN BOOTS, AND FAIRY enter.)

    CINDERELLA: Welcome to today's empathy training session! I'm Cinderella.

    PUSS: I'm everyone's favorite fashion-forward feline, Puss in Boots.

    FAIRY: And I'm the Fairy with the Turquoise Hair. We are the current members of the Fairytale Advice Council.

    QUEEN (a trainee) (rises/raises hand): Excuse me. You don't have turquoise hair.

    FAIRY (sighs): Yes, my parents had a strange sense of humor. Nonetheless, that is my name.

    CINDERELLA: Let's get started. We are here today to teach you about empathy and good character.

    PUSS: We have set up these training sessions all over the kingdom.

    FAIRY: And not a moment too soon. According to the latest report from Compassion Digest, sympathy, empathy, concern, and solicitude are measuring at record lows. [SHE refers to chart]

    PUSS (dramatically): Ours, my friends, is a world in Empathetical Crisis!

    GOOSE: That sounds really scary, have a question.

    CINDERELLA: We are happy to answer any questions.

    (GOOSE looks at PIG)

    PIG (stammers): Right...well. Um... (looks at DOG)

    DOG:'s just

    PUSS: Spit it out, man!


    (THEY sing:)

      Song 2 - Listen now!

    Empathy it's sounding so exciting
    What it is though isn't really clear
    Maybe you can chew it
    Maybe you shampoo it
    Maybe it can make all of your acne disappear.

    Empathy I think it's made by Honda
    Drive an Empathy right off the lot
    I think I have guessed it
    Maybe we ingest it
    A little deep-fried empathy could really hit the spot.

    We're confessing
    We're just guessing
    What could empathy be?
    We're surmising
    Empathizing must be...
    Must be something!

    Empathy it sounds a bit contagious
    Hope that penicillin does the trick
    Maybe it's a creature
    Help us fool the teacher
    Tells us how to spell and then do all our math real quick!

    We're confessing
    We're just guessing
    What could empathy be?
    We're surmising
    Empathizing must be...
    Must be something big.

    (PIG, DOG, and GOOSE return to their seats.)

    FAIRY: I'm glad you asked. As you see on the chart, we have many terms that are related. Empathy, sympathy, compassion...

    PUSS: Yes. And all of them mean that we try to understand and feel for other people.

    CINDERELLA: But empathy is slightly different from the others. It means that we feel the feelings of someone else.

    TRAINEE #1: But that's impossible! I'm myself and he's himself and she's herself.

    PUSS: An apt observation.

    FAIRY: But that doesn't mean you can't understand another person's emotions.

    PUSS: Exactly. Everyone knows I am a very clever cat. But I also felt empathy for my master, and that's what inspired me to be so very clever on his behalf.

    FAIRY: And I felt empathy for Pinocchio, which is why I helped him. What a deranged little puppet he used to be.

    CINDERELLA: Now we're going to hear from some other people who learned empathy and transformed their relationship. Please welcome Beauty and the Beast!

    (BEAUTY and BEAST enter, while TRAINEES applaud)

    BEAST: Hi there, glad to be here.

    CINDERELLA: As everyone knows, these two didn't always get along.

    BEAUTY: She's right. I didn't understand him at all.

    BEAST: She thought I was scary and smelly!

    BEAUTY: were.

    BEAST: Sometimes when you live alone, you start to let things go.

    BEAUTY: But once I listened to him, I realized that he was sad and lonely. I understood why he was acting the way he was. Like throwing tantrums. And refusing to bathe.

    BEAST: I was working through some stuff, okay? So yes, at first I didn't appreciate how she was always shoving soap at me. And shampoo. And deodorant.

    BEAUTY: Don't forget the Febreze!

    BEAST: But once I listened to her, we began to trust each other.

    BEAUTY: We understood each other's feelings.

    BEAST: And now we're best friends!

    (BEAUTY and BEAST sing:)

      Song 3 - Listen now!

    I have to say when we first met
    You struck me as one ugly pet
    Your howling and your hygiene just weren't cool
    And almost way too late I spied
    The gentle beast beneath the hide
    And now I do not even mind the drool

    We're walking hand in paw
    Best friends you ever saw
    A beauty and a beast now who'd have thought?
    It took a while to see
    That you're a lot like me
    And now, hurrah!
    We're walking hand in paw.

    Although you shuddered at first glance
    You were willing to give me a chance
    And saw the good inside of me somehow
    Despite a shower and good hair rinse,
    I still don't quite look like a prince
    But things are looking rosy for us now.

    BOTH and CHORUS:
    We're walking hand in paw
    Best friends you ever saw
    A beauty and a beast now who'd have thought?
    It took a while to see
    That you're a lot like me
    And now, hurrah!
    We're walking hand in paw.
    And now, hurrah!
    We're walking hand in paw.

    (BEAUTY and BEAST exit.)

    FAIRY: I love that story. Each one tried very hard to relate to the other.

    PIG: I still don't get it.

    DOG: Me either. I don't know how talking helps you understand somebody else.

    CINDERELLA: Talking is an important part of it. But you also have to engage your emotions.

    GOOSE: Engage your emotions? What does THAT mean?

    PUSS: It means that you really try hard to imagine yourself as the other person, and feel what they feel.

    CINDERELLA: And now we're going to practice doing just that. (to PIG, DOG, and GOOSE) You might recognize our next guest.

    (LITTLE RED HENS enter)

    PIG: Oh no! It's the Little Red Hen!

    GOOSE: Our old roommate!

    DOG: She's always so mad at us!

    HEN #1: Hello, there. Do you even understand why I was so angry?

    (PIG, DOG, and GOOSE shake their heads)

    HEN #2: Hel-LO! You refused to help Little Red Hen do ANYTHING! And then you got upset when she wouldn't share her food with you.

    HEN #3: So typical. I lived in a house with a goat once. She ATE my nest! And my rare book collection.

    HEN #2: I'm so glad we chickens all moved in together.

    HEN #3: Me too. We have achieved Hen Zen!

    HEN #1: It IS a lot nicer living with folks who think about each other's feelings.

    FAIRY: All right, trainees. Try to imagine that you are the Little Red Hen as you listen to her story.

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

    Overall Customer Rating:
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    Customer Reviews: 2

    Monterey, CA

    review-star review-star review-star review-star review-star

    Empathy is full of catchy songs and meaningful lessons.

    Before we were interrupted by the Coronavirus shelter-in-place rule my students were preparing to present the Empathy play for the school. The theme for this play goes hand-in-hand with our social-emotional program called Toolbox. The children were excited about the songs and loved the parts they were playing. Sadly, unless we return to school in time to review and practice the play, we will not be performing it.

    Manatee Bay Elementary, Weston, FL

    review-star review-star review-star review-star review-star

    • Energetic
    • Easy to Learn
    • Fun
    Character Matters III - Empathy Training

    Yet again, my students had an amazing time performing this musical. The message is LOUD and CLEAR! I think that both my students and the many who came to our six shows (all in one day) learned a LOT about empathy. This is such an important life skill! Thank you for your wonderful shows!
    review image  

    Common Core and Other National Standards

    Character Education

    Language Arts

    • Common Core Reading Standards for Literature: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
    • Common Core Reading Standards: Foundational Skills:
      • K and 1st: Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Word Recognition
      • 2nd: Phonics and Word Recognition
      • 3rd, 4th, 5th: Phonics and Word Recognition, Fluency
    • Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration - K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
    • Common Core Language Standards: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use - K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
    • Common Core Standard 10: Range, Quality & Complexity: Range of Text Types for K-5th

    History/Social Studies

    National Core Arts Standards


    jeu d'esprit ramp up status glamour solicitude sympathy
    compassion ingest improvise surmise contagious penicillin
    apt deranged hygiene hide (n) shudder engage
    zen feat mill (v) rye amoeba organism
    single-celled swashbuckler syndrome shtick clique simpleton
    prattle cuisine knack photogenic infiltrate regret
    failing (n) snide cornerstone sham pretentious deconstructed
    nuance sorrow passion      

    Phrases and Expressions

    "ciao" "fashion-forward" "feel at ease" "no-can-do" "no way, no how" "feelin' the feels"
    "two-way street" "in the buff" "blow this popsicle stand"    
    Number of questions: 0

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