Moral of the Story
Author: Valetta Anderson

About the Play: 

Why does Harry Hare, television spokes-hare for the National Hare Council on Carrots, race his longtime friend, Tommy Tortoise? And why can’t Harry’s niece, Harriet Hare spell carrot? This modernized children’s play contains an ancient Ibo (northern Nigeria) legend and reveals what inquiring minds have always wanted to know… the inside scoop behind Aesop's most famous Fable and why tortoises have cracked, lumpy shells. 

Cast List:
Mommy Hare: Harriet Hare’s mother and Harry Hare’s sister.
Harriet Hare: Vivacious, Rudy-of-Cosby-Show like, floppy eared rabbit, niece of Harry Hare.
Harry Hare: Loser of Tortoise and Hare Race, Harriet Hare’s uncle, Mommy Hare’s brother.
Tommy Tortoise: Winner of Tortoise and Hare Race.
Reporter Tortoise: Television reporter.
Starter’s Voice (Offstage): Starter of Tortoise and Hare Race.
Ibo Tortoise: Tortoise with shiny, smooth shell.
Skybird: Emissary from Skyland to Ibo Tortoise’s forest.

Time & Place: Present day Hare Town and ancient Iboland.

From the Play: 

The Scene: Harriet Hare’s home living room on a quiet street in Hare Town.  The set contains a television.  It is after school, before dinner. Mommy Hare is helping Harriet Hare study her spelling words.

Scene 1
Mommy Hare: Apple.
Harriet Hare: Apple. A P P L E. Apple.
Mommy Hare: Very good.
Harriet Hare: Can I turn the TV on, now?
Mommy Hare: One more. Button.
Harriet Hare: Button. B U T O N. Button.
Mommy Hare: No, Harriet. Button is spelled with two Ts. Now spell it, again.
Harriet Hare: But Mommy! We’re going to miss Uncle Harry’s commercial!
Mommy Hare: Then you’d better hurry.
Harriet Hare: (very fast) Button. B U T T O N. Button. Now Mommy? Please?!
Mommy Hare: Just one more. Carrot.
Harriet Hare: Oh, Mommy, EVERYBODY knows how to spell carrot! Please, can I turn the TV on?! Please, Mommy, please?!
Mommy Hare: Alright. Turn it on.

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About the playwright: Valetta Anderson

Teaching Artist with Atlanta’s Alliance, Fox and Horizon Theatres and former Adjunct Drama Professor at Spelman College. Full productions include “Hallelujah Street Blues” by Horizon Theatre, “Leaving Limbo,” by Essential Theatre, “She’ll Find Her Way Home” and “Today” by Jomandi Productions, “Dr. Love And The Fabulous Diamond Jubilee” by Clark-Atlanta University Players, and “Sisters And Other Christmas Turkeys,” by 7Stages Theatre (all in Atlanta). “She’ll Find…” was also produced by Nashville’s Fisk University Little Theatre and by Pittsburgh’s Kuntu Repertory Theatre.

Her awards include AT&T:Onstage; Cultural Olympiad of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games; Essential Theatre’s Power Plays; Hermann Kesten Stipend in Nürnberg, Germany; Rockefeller Foundation’s New Play Development Grant; Rouse Company National Humanities Award; and Serenbe Institute’s Artist-in-Residence Award. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Georgia Writers Registry, and Working Title Playwrights, serves on the Advisory Boards of Essential Theatre and Good Moves Dance Company and is former Board Member of the Decatur Arts Alliance and Working Title Playwrights.
african folk tale tortoise and the hare
african folk tale tortoise and the hare
(Harriet turns the TV on and Harry Hare pops up within the television.)

Harry Hare: Carrots! Can’t beat them! Carrots! Know why I eat them? They’re just bursting  with beta-carotene that’s so good for my skin! Carrot Salad! Carrot Soup. Carrot-Raisin Cookies! And my all time favorite, Carrot Cake! Carrot sauce over rice is so very nice! Any way you fix them, carrots taste as good as they are good for you! Eat carrots raw for a snack that can’t be beat! Eat them steamed. Eat them boiled. Eat them baked. Eat your carrots for goodness sake! Brought to you by the National Hare Council on Carrots.

(As the commercial ends, Mommy Hare turns off the TV and Harry Hare falls out of sight inside.)

Harriet Hare: Wasn’t Uncle Harry great?!…

Moral of the Story: The Tortoise and the Hare and an African Ibo Legend

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