One of the challenges of an adaptation of The Green Bird is that I have to serve two masters (obligatory commedia reference!) which means that the sort of risque joke a commedia troupe or community theatre can do might be too much for a school. To that end, I’m compiling a list of the raciest parts of the script below with pre-approved cuts and modifications for schools in need of a tamer alternative. There’s also some suggestions for cutting for length below as well.

You’ve pre-emptively got my permission to make these cuts as outlined below but if you run into other issues, please email me and I’ll help you out.

Act 1, Scene 6

TRUFFALDINO. Well, aren’t you the sad clown. You’re the one always going on about how you could have married that prince or whatever. Where’re all your rich lovers now?

FRANCESCHINA. Oh, no you don’t, you’re not turning this around on me. That’s all over and done with and you know it. Besides, at least my dalliances were a net profit for this family.

TRUFFALDINO. I told you, they give you a discount if you take the ones with the sores. I was being thrifty!

FRANCESCHINA. Yes and your thrift cost us thrice as much in doctors’ fees to get you clean enough to share a bed with again. It’s like they charged by the pound.

TRUFFALDINO. Don’t flatter yourself. As if you’re such a prize these days. Your skin is falling off your bones.

FRANCESCHINA. You blame me for that?

TRUFFALDINO. I do! When the twins were babes, you milked yourself into a skeleton while they turned into fat little piglets. I left those sausages for you this morning. Did you eat them?

FRANCESCHINA. Well, Barbarina was still hungry after her breakfast so I—

(proceeds as written)

Act 2, Scene 3

CALMON. Give me a minute. I’m trying to figure out if I can fit a “Who’s your daddy?” joke in here somewhere.

(Omit everything here until Pantalone’s line)

PANTALONE. Will you focus! They’re all going to kill each other!

(proceeds as written)

Later in the same scene

PANTALONE. Not this again. How will I ever cure him of this incestant . . .

CALMON. Uh, what was that?

PANTALONE. Inces . . . incessant . . . I don’t suppose you have any more bright ideas?

CALMON. Only one. Hey! Lover boy!

(proceeds as written)

Act 2, Scene 8

CALMON. Okay, fine, you’re not beyond hope. But come on, Renzo’s awful. He doesn’t have a single redeeming quality. And even you know that’s mostly Franceschina’s fault for spoiling him. Clown boy over there’s not much better. Do you know how many brothel (Change to: “dirty”) jokes I left out of this story? There were dozens. Come on. They’re all jerks.

(proceeds as written)

Cuts for length

Need to cut some time off the show or minimize the ensemble’s role? In addition to the parts above, you also have my permission to cut the Hunger Games and menagerie / Angry Birds comedy bits as follows as neither impacts the plot in anyway. (If you need an even shorter version or you’re looking to do the show in competition, I recommend the one-act version which only runs about 35-45 minutes but still has all the best bits.)

Act 1, Scene 7

CALMON. Meanwhile, in the Kingdom of Hearts, unconcerned about the suffering of her starving kingdom, Smeraldina lounged amid purloined plenty having officially worn out her welcome.

(Omit all stage directions and dialog until Smeraldina’s line below)

SMERALDINA. Brighella, there you are at last! It was so boring here with only these simpletons to distract me. You there, clean up this mess and then leave us!

(proceed with the scene as written)

Act 2, Scene 1-2 (this one buys you a HUGE chunk of time)

(Begin with Calmon’s line as written at the top of the act and then jump down to this line)

CALMON. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the nouveau biche, Truffaldino and Franceschina had also arrived at the palace and were determined to infiltrate the staff to spy on their former charges.

(then omit the entire rest of the scene and part of Scene 2 until you get to Barbarina’s line)

BARBARINA. That servant looks so familiar. Does she remind you of someone, Renzo?

(proceed with scene as written)

Some other FAQ:

  • You’ve got my permission to change the word “crap” to “poop” or a similar euphemism as needed.
  • I do not have a problem with Smeraldina and Brighella being lesbians if you want a female performer in both roles. They’ve been lesbians lots of times in productions of Three Oranges already.
  • The body type of the actress playing Franceschina doesn’t matter and shouldn’t be a factor in casting. Her 18 years of wasting away is a matter of over-padding her in Act 1, Scene III and then removing the padding for the next scene to show the passage of time.
  • There is an alternative to the sewer prison and poop for Ninetta listed in the production notes at the beginning of the script.

Anything else? Drop me an email! I’m happy to help!

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