THE SELFISH GIANT is a puppet production adapted from a short story by Oscar Wilde.  It is about a giant who has been away from his castle and garden for 7 long years and during that time the children have come to enjoy his garden and its trees and flowers.  As the story opens two children talk about the possibility of his returning and one child says, “I’ve wanted to climb that tree for a long time, but I guess I’m just too small." As they are talking they hear a loud noise and fearing the giant they run away.

When the giant returns he “kicks" the children out of his garden and hangs up a sign that says, NO TRESSPASSING. When he does this the sunshine goes away and the “things" of winter come to his garden. FROST, WIND, HAIL AND SNOWFLAKES are personified through rod puppets and marionettes which are manipulated by children from the audience. They take over the garden and refuse to leave until the giant confronts them and asks them why they won’t leave his garden. The children who are playing the “things of winter" become immersed in the story and they react to the giant and tell him that he is MEAN and SELFISH. The Giant, played by puppeteer Judith O’Hare, asks they why they think he is MEAN etc. The children react from their hearts because they have seen him hang up his sign and banish the children and they have seen the flowers and birds leave the garden. The reaction of the children is powerful and genuine.

When the giant agrees to change and open his garden to the children, the sunshine comes back and in a gesture of good faith he offers to help the little boy climb the tree. The giant and the little boy create a bond of friendship and trust and the story ends with the children playing in the Giant’s garden and welcoming everyone to join in their song.

Hail, Wind, and Frost
The Selfish Giant
Snowflake Marionettes
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The Selfish Giant

(Grades K-3)

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