Pie Palooza Trilogy
The Pie Palooza plays are old-fashioned western melodramas which tell the story of the three Pie Sisters and their town’s annual pie contest, the Pie Palooza. All three of the playscripts are short, sweet, and fun for everyone. They are comedies. They are mysteries. And they are a lot of laughs, to be sure. A lovely aspect of all three of the Pie Palooza plays is that they are flexible to just about any group. The roles can be performed by kids, adults, or any combination thereof. The scripts would be appropriate for a middle school drama group, a small community theatre group, or just a collection of people willing to jump on stage and have some fun.
The main characters of all three plays include a friendly Narrator, three senior citizen Pie Sisters (Besta, Lotta, and Honey), a few mischievous villains (Mincemeat, Crusty, and Creamy), a love sick Sheriff Rolland Dough, and a whole society of Pie Angels who drift in and out of people’s dreams for the sake of sweet, satisfying endings. If you choose to perform all three plays, you’ll notice a few characters come and go, but there’s always a comfortable number that remain and feel like old friends to the audience. The scripts also call for audience participation with the use of signs that are periodically flashed to encourage laughing, groaning, or enthusiastic applause. Believe me, this is an extremely easy and fun way to engage a crowd.
Any one of the Pie Palooza plays can stand alone as a fun show, but they are also begging to be used as the entertainment for your very own pie palooza fundraiser which is part play, part pie contest, and part pie auction. Deep into my time as a teacher and play director, I came across the idea of a pie palooza and convinced my school to give it a go. We were in need of a winter fundraiser, and the idea of an event that was all about pie sounded like an awful lot of fun. Taking on the responsibility for the play portion of the event, I wrote and directed In a Pickle at the Pie Palooza for my middle school class to perform. Along with the pie contest and pie auction, it ended up being a total crowd pleaser. So, the following year we held a second Pie Palooza, and I wrote and directed A Question of Pie. And for the third Pie Palooza, I wrote All’s Fair in Love and Pie, which wrapped up the trilogy.
No one could have predicted at the time how popular this event would become in our tiny town out in the middle of nowhere. In the blink of an eye, it became one of the most popular community events of the year and is still going strong seven years later. The competition in the pie contest has grown frighteningly fierce. Single pies have been known to sell for three hundred dollars in the pie auction. And to support the play, a whole set of hand-sewn Pie Angel costumes have been created. Not too long ago, I heard from members of the local press they couldn’t even squeeze through the door to take pictures because the school was so packed with pie bakers, pie buyers, and pie play audience members. Not to mention that the event, held out in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, brought in over $7,000 in one evening. I urge you to consider it when your group, school, or organization is in need of some serious funds and serious fun! See all my advice on how to host your own pie Palooza event in Ingredients for Your Own Pie Palooza on the Fundraiser Play Ideas page.