The Little Match Girl
Adapted by Jack Neary

This one was actually commissioned by Baker’s Plays and when I read the Hans Christian Andersen story, I was taken aback by its brevity. I decided immediately to go to town with the basic premise, and contemporize it. The result is really a family story, one with lots of darkness to it, even as the leading character finds her way to the light. This script requires excellent young teen actors, and a creative company to execute the technical aspects of the story. Here’s how the script is described in Baker’s catalogue:

The Hans Christian Andersen holiday classic is given an up-tempo, contemporary spin by the author of Baker’s Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp and First Night. Dodge is a twelve year old girl, an orphaned street kid, cleverly living on her own. On New Year’s Eve, she meets James, a fourteen year old runaway whose sour outlook on life Dodge finds challenging. Dodge decides to show James "the good stuff" of his life by revealing to him the power of the magic matchsticks given to her by her Grandmother. Both her life and his will never again be the same. Highly suspenseful, with flashes of great action, humor and warmth, this magical story will captivate and delight audiences during the holidays, and all year round.


Dodge (a 12-year-old girl
James (a 14-year-old boy)
Hildy (a homeless lady)
Arlene (James’ Mom)
Barry (Arlene’s creepy date)
Caroline (James’ little sister)
Ted (James’ estranged father)
Mike, Pete & Francie (tough street kids)
Genevieve (a publisher)
Katherine (a literary agent)
Grandmother (Dodge’s grandmother)
Street Man (another homeless person)

Note: With doubling, the cast can consist of 5 women, and 3 men.


There’s one general urban street set, with various other easily managed representational settings.

Available by contacting:

Samuel French, Inc.