The Love of Three Oranges by Hillary DePiano, based on a commedia dell’arte scenario by Carlo Gozzi


Forget all your dusty misconceptions about the traditions of Commedia dell’Arte as The Love of Three Oranges, based on a scenario by Carlo Gozzi, provides a wild, raucous slapstick comedy that is completely retooled and revised for today’s audiences. Prince Tartaglia’s life is filled with misery until an evil witch and her equally evil henchmen curse him to search for three giant oranges. But this quest proves more fruitful than anyone could have imagined as a once-lonely prince discovers love, friendship, and laughter when he encounters wizards, monarchs, and a wild narrator who isn’t sure how far removed from the story he really is. (Available as both a full-length and one-act play.)

The Love of Three Oranges is available to perform for theatre groups, schools and other groups both professional and non. The rights and permissions for the show are handled exclusively through Playscripts, Inc.

Set: Changeable backdrop with basic staging to indicate different locations.

Type of Play: Comedy, Based on Commedia Dell’arte Scenario

Production Notes: Highly adjustable casting requirements! Most male roles switch easily to female while actors with smaller parts can easily play more than one role. Ensemble of Ball Guest, Bumpkins, Servants, Guards, etc can be any size desired.

Educational benefits and relevance: History of Italian Theatre, Commedia Dell’arte, Carlo Gozzi and Carlo Goldoni, Improvisation, Stage Combat, Physical Comedy (Pratfalls, slapstick, etc), Masks, History of Comedy, Commedia Today
The Love of Three Oranges (one-act version) front cover

One Act Version

  • Run Time: 35-40 minutes
  • Cast: 8 f, 6 m, 4 either (10-30 actors possible)
  • Number of Acts: 1
  • Intermission: none

Acting editions, director’s binder books and performance rights and permissions for this show are all available exclusively through Playscripts, Inc.

The Love of Three Oranges Playscripts cover

Full Length

  • Run Time: 90 – 120 minutes
  • Cast: 8 f, 8 m, 5 either (13-40 actors possible: 7-20 f, 5-20 m)
  • Number of Acts: 3
  • Intermission: 1 or 2 depending on your needs

Acting editions, director’s binder books and performance rights and permissions for this show are all available exclusively through Playscripts, Inc.

Performance FAQ

Do you have a question about performing this show that isn’t covered below? Email me!

We’re a small/poor theatre group or school. Can you cut us a special deal?

Because the rights are handled through Playscripts, I have no control over the rate charged nor do I have any authority over the price. However, Playscripts has done deals or special rates for non-profits and fundraisers in the past at their discretion so, if you believe your group is eligible, please consider contacting them directly to see what they can offer.

Playscripts’ performance agreement specifically says that we cannot change the gender of characters but we need to do so.

Here’s the thing. The performance agreement is there to protect me and, while I appreciate it, I think this part is a bit overzealous. Many of the roles are written to easily switch between male and female and there have been both all male and all female productions in the past. I have no problem with changing the genders of most characters and you have my permission to do so. If you are concerned about switching a specific character, just drop me an email with your concerns and I’d be happy to help you out.

Our school/theatre board has a problem with a line/part and we need to modify or censor it.

There are alternate versions of several scenes available. Please feel free to contact me with the issue and I’d be happy to help you out.

Both Binder and Acting Editions for The Love of Three Oranges are available exclusively through Playscripts, Inc and can be ordered here.

Scripts FAQ

How can a get a free copy for review or preview?

You can read almost the entire play (all but the last few pages) on the Playscripts website by clicking the Free Sample button on the play page.

We’re a small/poor school or theatre group. Can you cut us a special deal on scripts?

Playscripts has the sole right to distribute copies of this title and I have no control over prices or other sale details. If you feel you have a special case for a discount or other special offer, I would recommend contacting them directly to see what they can work out.

Can I order copies through Amazon or my local bookstore?

Playscripts scripts are unique in that they don’t have ISBNs. While this allows them to constantly be updated by the author and publisher, it limits where they can be sold. Currently, the only place to get copies is directly from the Playscripts website or from participating bookstores (such as The Drama Book Shop). Unless a participating bookstore makes their stock available online or on a site such as Amazon, it is unlikely that you will be able to purchase them there.

Where can I find the original textbook style version?

Looking for copies with any of the following ISBNs? 1411610326, 978-1411610323, 9781411610323, 1411602250, 978-1411602250, 9781411602250

This edition of the book is out of print as Playscripts is now the sole distributor of this title. If you want to read or perform the show, I recommend ordering directly from Playscripts as the edition they have is near identical to the older version aside from a few small changes. If you want the original version for collectible or other reasons, your only option is to purchase whatever is available from used book stores or third party Amazon resellers. (Just be prepared to pay more then you would from Playscripts.)

Is there an eBook edition?

There isn’t an eBook option available for purchase but you can download most of the book as a PDF eBook on the Playscripts website by going to the play page and clicking the Free Sample button.

Can I photocopy the script or print and distribute the eBook preview for any reason?

“No. Unauthorized photocopying of books or scores is strictly prohibited by law.” –Playscripts FAQ



Posted on

July 30, 2014