Morris, Vera. Legend of Pocahontas. Pioneer Drama Service, 1995. 38 pp. B+ K-5 Reviewed by Robbie Stephens Almost every American is familiar with the story of Pocahontas. This play draws from the legends we have heard. Pocahontas is about ten years old during this play. She is a prankster who is great friends with Captain Smith and the Pilgrims. Her father, Chief Powhatan, does not like the Pilgrims, and has left them to their own devices during the winter. Pocahontas continually tries to persuade Chief Powhatan to give the Pilgrims some food. During the play, we are introduced to more of Pocahontas’ friends, including various forest creatures and the Spirit of Mother Earth. Matters come to a head when Captain Smith is away and one of the citizens of Jamestown decides to capture Pocahontas and hold her for ransom. When this news gets back to Powhatan, he declares war on the settlers, stating his warriors will attack at dusk. Captain Smith finds out about the kidnapping and releases Pocahontas. Together they return to her village to persuade the chief not to attack. During the ensuing action, Pocahontas saves Captain Smith’s life. Because of the law of the Algonquin’s, Pocahontas and Captain Smith are now brother and sister. As such, her tribe and the city of Jamestown restore peace, and Chief Powhatan helps the settlers. This play keeps the dignity of both the settlers and the Indians, but does show the medicine man in a slightly menacing way. The Legend of Pocahontas requires eleven female and seven male parts, with three animals that could be played by either. The cast could be enlarged by using extra Indians, settlers, or forest spirits. It could also be reduced in size by having the Wordspinner and Mother Earth played by the same actor and doubling some other roles. Scenic and costume requirements could be minimal.
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