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The Landing of the Pilgrims

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The play in this book has actually been produced on the radio. Possibly you have listened to this one when you tuned in at home. The persons whose voices you heard as you listened, looked just as they did when they left their homes to go to the studio, although they were taking the parts of men and women who lived long ago and who wore costumes very different from the ones we wear today.

The persons whose voices you heard stood close together around the microphone, each one reading from a copy of the play in his hand. Since they could not be seen, they did not act parts as in other plays, but tried to make their voices show how they felt.

When you give these plays you will not need costumes and you will not need scenery, although you can easily arrange a broadcasting studio if you wish. You will not need to memorize your parts; in fact, it will not be like a real radio broadcast if you do so, and, furthermore, you will not want to, since you will each have a copy of the book in your hands. All you will need to do is to remember that you are taking the part of a radio actor, that you are to read your speeches very distinctly, and that by your voice you will make your audience understand how you feel. In this way you will have the fun of living through some of the great moments of history.


There are some directions in this play which may be new to you, but these are necessary, for you are now in a radio broadcasting studio, talking in front of a microphone. The word [in] means that the character is standing close to the microphone, while [off] indicates that he is farther away, so that his voice sounds faint. When the directions [off, coming in] are given, the person speaking is away from the microphone at first but gradually comes closer. The words [mob] or [crowd noise] you will understand mean the sound of many people talking in the distance.

Both the English and the dialect used help make the characters live, so the speeches have been written in the way in which these men and women would talk. This means that sometimes the character may use what seems to you unusual English. The punctuation helps, too, to make the speeches sound like real conversation; for example, you will find that a dash is often used to show that a character is talking very excitedly.

The Landing of the Pilgrims CAST



It was in the month of December in 1620 that the Pilgrim Fathers landed on Plymouth Rock and proceeded to establish the first permanent white settlement in New England. But the Pilgrims had not set out for America to establish their new home in New England—far from it—they had a charter permitting their settlement in the northern portion of the Virginia plantation, and it was toward Virginia that the little band of passengers aboard the Mayflower thought they were heading. The story of how they happened to come to the stern and rockbound coast of New England and of how they happened to stay there and carve out of the wilderness a great commonwealth is told here....