Maggie's Door 

  Readers' Theater from Chapter 1
PDF Version   
Maggie's Door by Patricia Reilly Giff

Published by Random House, Inc.

Readers' Theater Created by Suzy Red and used by permission of the publisher

The voices in this readers' theater are ghost-like, eerie. Nory's voice has an Irish accent as does Granda's and old Anna's.

Voice 1: Fog.

Voice 2: Exhaustion.

Voice 3: Sand.

Voice 4: A voice.

Voice 1: (screaming) Orcas! Orcas!

Nory: Does my hunger have a voice or is it the wind blowing my thoughts to my ears?

Voice 2: Silence.

Voice 3: Nothing but wind blowing from the vast ocean.

Nory: I must keep walking. Put one foot in front of the other.

Voice 4: Away from home.

Voice 1: Away from the empty house...

Voice 2: The empty house with the door banging in the wind.

Voice 3: Your trip is just beginning, Nory Ryan.

Voice 1: (screaming) Orcas! Orcas!

Nory: The cries. It sounds like Patch. Oh, Patch!

Voice 4: Patch.

Voice 1: Little brother, Patch.

Voice 2: Little brother, Patch, so thin...

Voice 3: Is he still alive?

Nory: Oh, Patch, where are you now? Are you still in the back Sean Mallon's cart? My friend Sean Red Mallon...pulling...pulling. Is his mother in the back of the cart with Patch?

Voice 4: Where is the cart now, Nory Ryan?

Voice 1: How far did they go along that winding road?

Voice 2: ...that winding road to the port of Galway.

Nory: Don't think about Patch, or the Mallons, or the rest of the family...all gone ahead to find a ship. Just keep going....nearly at the crossroads.

Voice 3: (screaming) Orcas! Orcas! (sound of powerful wings)

Nory: I know that is the call of a great seabird.

Voice 1: (screaming louder) Orcas! Orcas!

Nory: (scrabbling sound) Oh! I've fallen! I've seen that white bird before! I was with Granda, walking along the cliff ledge. Granda had thrown it a piece fo dulse from his pocket. What was it he said?

Granda: Travelers must give the white bird food. It will bring luck until the end of the journey.

Nory: But we're only going home. Only a few steps.

Granda: Ah, still.

Nory: Granda, how I miss you! What can I give the bird? I have so little. Just papers Da sent that will get me onto a ship, a coin from our neighbor Anna, herbs for illness, a hard biscuit, a bit of meat, and two pieces of brack.

Voice 1: (screaming) Orcas! Orcas!

Voice 4: Then, Anna's voice.

Anna : (an old feeble woman) There are only these bits of food between you and starvation. Guard them.

Nory: But the bird.....?

Anna: ...between you and starvation....

Granda: ....traveler's luck....

Nory: What should I do? Oh, I do so want to eat it. I am so hungry...but I must do it. (grunts as if throwing)

Voice 1: (screaming) Orcas! Orcas!

Nory: (shouting) It is the whole biscuit! For my whole family! Remember that, White Bird! We're all of us traveling!

Voice 2: ...but you, Nory are alone...

Nory: The bird is skimming over the's almost out of site...oh, no! It has dropped my biscuit into the sea! (Stifles a scream)

Anna: Foolish girl. You needed that food to stay alive.

Nory: (shouting) Don't forget us! All of us! Da! Granda and Celia! Patch! And my friend Sean Red Mallon! Don't forget Sean!.... We are trying for America! We want to stand at Maggie's door in Brooklyn!

All Voices: Will you make it Nory Ryan? Will you find Maggie's Door?


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