Live Bravely

Medieval-Renaissance Pastiche

Author: Robby Van Arsdale
Major Theme: You are worthwhile, so live bravely
Source: (Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go) Joshua 1:9
Cast: 9 Female, 8 Male, 2 Animals, and Poppy
Sample: First and final plays of Live Bravely

Fortemburg is just a small village, but they’ve just found out that they’re going to be visited by the king himself. Each play follows two small stories that intertwine with each other and reinforce the same lesson.
In the first play, Elanor has to face her fear of the family cow, and the young knight Sir Herbert has to face his fear of a scary visiting knight. Both characters have to learn that their parents have left them with the tools to handle scary situations without help.
In the second play, Catharine and Bette Joiner are having a fight. Bette wants her daughter, Catherine, to fit in. In fact, she’s afraid of anybody standing out, especially that shifty-looking foreigner who showed up and is now staying in their house. Catherine, on the other hand, wants to be a painter, not a carpenter, and is afraid of standing out too much. When Bette understands the story of the Good Samaritan and learns to love her neighbor—and when Catharine learns the story of the city on a hill and learns to let her light shine, both mother and daughter can be brave and learn to love differences.
In the third play, Brother Duncan, who runs the village church and has lots of back taxes to pay, has to learn to ask for help from the villagers he normally helps, and Harriet and Gerald, who work at the manor house for Sir Herbert’s mother, have to learn to forgive each other, despite their antagonism over whether plants or animals are better. Everybody has to learn to be brave and swallow their pride in order to learn how to make room for others’ charity.
In the fourth play, Perrin the blacksmith is trying to fix Duncan’s cup so Duncan can pay his taxes. Also, Harriet has lost a goat, Sir Herbert has lost a medallion, and Poppy has lost a sandwich! Through no fault of their own, Poppy is blamed for all the losses and problems, and everybody loses their trust in Poppy. And what’s more, Duncan’s blacksmith shop burns down and he flattens Duncan’s cup. Perrin has lost trust in his abilities, and Poppy has lost the trust of the town. Through the story of Saul trusting David to fight Goliath, everyone finds the bravery to trust even when their trust has been broken. But here, the play takes a turn. There’s still money missing, and maybe a thief on the loose. Dame Mathilda (Sir Herbert’s mom) isn’t taking any chances with the town being a mess when the king arrives, and she locks up nearly everyone she suspects of wrongdoing in the basement of the manor house!
In the fifth play, Rosalyn, the king’s emissary, struggles to convince Dame Mathilda that what the king really wants is to meet the whole town. Mathilda has tried to make things ready by locking away everyone who isn’t perfect, and as she finally invites everyone back to the feast, Rosalyn reveals the true message of the play by handing the crown she’s been hiding to the king—who has been visiting the whole time in disguise. Royce, the foreigner staying in the Joiners’ house.

Royce: “He loves everyone in Fortemburg. Why do you think he traveled all this way, why he chose to have every single one of you at the feast? So, don’t worry about whether you belong, or whether you’re worthy of seeing the king. He loves you and he wants you there.”

This play is somewhat silly; it’s not afraid to have some heartfelt moments.