All’s Fair in Love and Pie is an old-fashioned western melodrama which finishes the story of the three Pie Sisters and their town’s annual pie contest, the Pie Palooza. Besta Pie and Lotta Pie seem more than a little worried about the outcome of the contest this year, but their sister Honey Pie is staying cool and collected with a surprise plan up her flowered sleeve.
Usually a successful mischief-maker, Mincemeat is at a loss without his two sidekicks, Crusty and Creamy. The Pie Angels (Strawberry-Rhubarb, Peach, Blueberry, Cherry, and Apple) hold another one of their society meetings and meet their newest and most hostile member: Banana. Sheriff Rolland Dough still seems very intent on getting hitched to Honey Pie but must face the disapproval of the newest villain in town: his Aunt May. Prompted along by the Narrator, the play makes its way to a satisfyingly sweet conclusion in which it’s clear the good pie always wins.
An ordinary small town in the wild, wild west
13 performers, but flexible (see Production Notes)
9 Females, 2 Males, and 2 Female or Male
Approximately 30 minutes without an intermission
Production Notes (included with the playscript)
All’s Fair in Love and Pie is flexible to any cast, just like the other two plays in the Pie Palooza trilogy. The roles can be performed by kids, adults, or some mixture of ages, and there are a number of opportunities to add or drop characters according to your particular group. It will be enthusiasm in getting laughs that will guarantee the success of the play. Cast two confident cast members in the roles of Besta Pie and Lotta Pie because they are at their best when pouring on the attitude. Honey Pie can be played by a more mild-mannered personality considering her sweet and calm nature. And then encourage these three to ham it up as senior citizen sisters.
The Narrator has the longest lines and speaks to the audience directly. This will take confidence and a solid stage voice that can reach the back of the room, even when talking in a “whisper” manner.
Sheriff Rolland Dough is the sappy, lovesick character of the play, and is funniest when played with conviction. Any dreamy-eyed expressions and loving gestures towards Honey Pie will go a long way in getting laughs from the audience.
As the villains, Mincemeat and Aunt May have some hilarious scenes together. Aunt May needs to be played in the most snippy and obnoxious manner possible. Mincemeat just needs to respond to her as if he were a lost sheep being led by an incredibly bossy shepherd.
The Pie Angels, including Banana, are a fun group. No one has a great many lines, but there’s a lot that can be done non-verbally with these roles while on stage. Encourage your Pie Angels to respond in character as much as possible. Banana has a short fuse and should act like it.
The script is written for a cast of 13, but if you need to add a character or two, the easiest way to accomplish that would be with the Pie Angel Society Group. I always thought Lemon, Pumpkin, or Pecan would be great additions! But really, the possibilities are endless. There are no limits to the number of members in the Pie Angel Society—so long as they can all fit on stage! Add some lines for each member, and you’ve suddenly squeezed in several more characters. And on the flip side, if you have fewer cast members than what the play calls for, you can always take out a Pie Angel and have Strawberry-Rhubarb make an excuse as to why they’re absent from their meeting.
If you’ve performed either of the other two plays in the Pie Palooza trilogy, then you can recycle any stage pieces you used for those. There are no changes. A Wild West town backdrop (jail, saloon, general store, library, etc.) and a long wooden bench center stage are all you need. You can have curtains, or not. You can also go with a curtain backdrop decorated in any manner you choose. The play is short, and the focus is the characters, so I encourage you to keep the stage set straightforward and simple.
Again, if you’ve performed either of the other two Pie Palooza plays and saved the costume pieces, you could be set. However, if this is your first time around, then focus on basic western attire for everyone. Plaid shirts, cowboy hats, jeans, gingham dresses will serve all of the main characters, including the narrator. And for fun, draw a curly-cue moustache on Mincemeat. As far as the Pie Angels are concerned, there are many, many possibilities. I’ve seen Pie Angel costumes that were large tent dresses of various fruit-patterned fabrics with hula hoops stitched into the bottom hem at about knee-height. On their heads, they wore hats made out of white batting that tied under their chins with ribbon to resemble a dollop of whip cream. The overall effect was that they looked like their own pie in a pan. A simpler way to go is to have them dress them in bright, solid-colored sweatshirts, t-shirts, or dresses according to the flavor of their pie. Instead of whip cream hats, they could wear pipe cleaner halos. You could pin a paper version of their respective fruit to their clothing or create papier mache fruit hats or create crowns of fake fruit. Banana should wear a large sign-board of a banana or simply dress in bright yellow clothing.
Again, any investment you make as far as costumes will not be wasted if you plan on performing more than one Pie Palooza play. Any costumes you collect or create can be thrown in a plastic tub and pulled out the following year!
I think the answer is clear: pie in some form or another. If you are organizing a pie contest to accompany the play (as suggested in the “Ingredients for Your Own Pie Palooza” section of the Fundraiser Play Ideas page), well then, refreshments are taken care of. After the judging, the leftovers are served up to the crowd! But if you’ve decided to skip the pie contest, then maybe you can coax some volunteers into making some homemade pies for the performance. Or you can peruse the bakery section of your local supermarket, or the frozen foods aisle, for that matter. Or perhaps you can make some sort of bar cookie with apple pie filling and call it good. If it’s pie-inspired, who will complain?
This play is written in the spirit of an old-fashioned Western melodrama which calls for audience participation. If you’ve performed any of the other Pie Palooza plays in the trilogy and kept the signs, then you’re ready to go. If you’re new to the Pie Palooza plays, then just know that the crowd is prompted to cheer, groan, sigh, etc., with the use of large signs held up at key moments throughout the play. The crowd loves it! Make the signs large enough to be read easily from the back row of the audience. The signs you need are as follows:
You have lots of options for sign holders. The Narrator can certainly do it—they just have to stay really focused the entire length of the play to know when to flash the right sign at the right time. You could also have the Pie Angel characters tackle the job, assigning a sign or two to each of them. If they’re onstage and it’s time for a sign prompt, one of them can simply hold up their sign from wherever they are positioned, wait for the audience to respond, and put it behind their back. If they’re not on stage at the time, they can enter into the scene for a moment, hold up their sign, wait for the audience to react, and then exit off. I would also suggest that you note on the Costumes and Props Grid that I’ve provided on the last page who is responsible for which sign. I spent too much time as a director asking, “Who’s got the ‘Groan’ sign?” before I just decided to keep track for myself. However, if this seems too complicated or awkward for your Pie Angel characters, a final option is to ask someone who is not in the play to be the sign holder—some willing soul who wants to be a part of things but doesn’t want to act.
Sign holders should practice entering and exiting the stage on cue, and if they’re having trouble, you could create a cheat sheet for them back stage as to what lines they should be listening for and what sign they need to be ready with. Also, the signs can be two-sided, if you like. APPLAUSE and LAUGH can be paired together, BOO and HISS can be on the flip side of one another, and so on.
It might sound silly, but it’s always fun to have a practice session with the audience just before the Pie Palooza play begins. They love it. I promise. You or your cast members can hold up the signs and ask them to respond appropriately and enthusiastically to the prompt. If they pass the test on all of the signs, then you’re ready for show time!
All three of the Pie Palooza plays are short, sweet, and perfect for adding on other possible elements. A pie contest and/or pie auction can take place in addition to the play for a tremendous fundraiser. I strongly encourage you to check out my advice and suggestions as to how to organize this event outlined in the “Ingredients for Your Own Pie Palooza” section of the Fundraiser Play Ideas page.
Each playscript comes as a downloadable PDF document, and includes an extensive Production Notes section to help with all aspects of the production, as well as an invaluable Organizational Grid with each character’s costume suggestion and any props needed.
With purchase, you are granted the right to copy this script as needed for amateur performances for a period of one year from the date of purchase. More information on the Copyright page.