• Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens JR.


Book by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne

Lyrics by Randy Courts and Will Osborne

Music by Randy Courts

Based on Magic Tree House #44: A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time by Mary Pope Osborne

Overview / Synopsis

What would you do if a tree house in your neighborhood could transport you anywhere you wanted to go?

The magic tree house whisks Jack and Annie back in time to the foggy streets of Victorian London, where they must help Charles Dickens. But the famous author has everything he could possibly want. How are they supposed to help him? It’s not until Mr. Dickens rescues them from being thrown in jail that they discover his secret past and the sad memories that haunt him. Jack and Annie will need all their magic—and help from three ghosts - to save the great writer.

Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens is an adaptation of book #44 of Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning fantasy adventure books from the Magic Tree House book series. The books are number one New York Times bestsellers - more than 100 million copies have been sold in North America alone. The series has been translated into many languages and is available in more than 100 countries around the world.

Cast of Characters
Jack is a young boy. He is bookish, careful and thoughtful, but he is NOT a nerd! Jack has tremendous curiosity about the world around him and loves to take notes about his observations. Jack tends to be very cautious in new situations, and his adventures in the Magic Tree House help him develop his confidence. He has a good (and protective) relationship with his younger sister, Annie, though her more impetuous nature often gets on his nerves. This is a big role and requires a strong singer and actor. When auditioning, you might mix and match your Jack and Annie hopefuls to see which ones have the best brother-sister chemistry.
Vocal Range: A3 - D5
Annie is Jack’s younger sister and, in many ways, his opposite in terms of personality. She is a risk taker who often follows her heart instead of her head. She sometimes teases Jack about his careful attitude toward life and often encourages him to be more adventurous. She loves animals of any kind and has a very loving heart. Like Jack, this role requires strong singing and acting. When auditioning, you might mix and match your Jack and Annie hopefuls to see which ones have the best brother-sister chemistry.
Vocal Range: A3 - D5
Mr. Dickens is a man in his prime and has a flair for the dramatic, both in writing and speech. His public persona is that of a charismatic celebrity, but privately he is deeply depressed by the suffering he sees all around him in Victorian England, particularly the suffering of children. This leading part requires your most mature male performer with strong singing and acting skills (and a changed voice).
Vocal Range: Bb3 - E5
Merlin is a wise old magician who joyfully introduces the play to the audience and sends Jack and Annie on their mission to help Mr. Dickens. Look for a lively actor with a commanding speaking voice. Merlin has the option of singing (or not) on the choral parts of the opening and closing songs, so this would be a good role for a strong actor who may not be an experienced singer. With clever costuming, this role could be played by a girl if necessary
Morgan Le Fay is an ageless librarian enchantress. Merlin and Morgan are dear old friends and are playful with one another. Like Merlin, Morgan also has the option of singing (or not) on the choral parts of the opening and closing songs, so this would be another good role for a strong actor who many not be an experienced singer.
Vocal Range: Speaking Role
The Carolers, including Caroler #1Caroler #2Caroler #3 and Young Caroler, can be as small as a handful of performers or as large as your stage and theater can accommodate. If your cast is large enough that you are not double-casting your carolers as other named characters, consider assigning Dickensian-sounding names to your Carolers, or even have them invent backstories so that they feel more connected to their roles.
Vocal Range: Caroler 1: C4 - C5
Caroler 2: F4 - C5
Young Caroler: F4 - C5
Carriage Driver is a cheerful, friendly character who is especially impressed by his well-to-do patrons. Costuming would allow for this role to be played by a girl if necessary. Look for an actor who is outgoing, has a strong voice and can move well, as driving a pretend horse-drawn carriage will require some miming and choreographed blocking.
Vocal Range: B3 - Eb5
People At InnTheatre Folk and High Society are non-speaking roles with only a small bit of singing (unless they are double cast), so these are good roles for beginning actors who can sing. Cast as few or as many actors in these roles as your production allows.
Emma and Olive are orphans who must resort to petty thievery to survive on the streets of London. Olive targets Jack and Annie when she notices their expensive-looking bag, and Emma follows her lead in a plot to steal it. These characters do not need to sing much, so these are good roles for younger actors who might want to build confidence before taking on larger singing roles.
Vocal Range: Emma: B3 - D5
Olive: D4 - C5
Harry and Colin are young chimney sweeps who agree to trade places with Jack and Annie for a day. These comedic characters sing a duet and need to be able to change a few items of clothing (jackets and hats) during their song, so look for actors capable of moving and singing at the same time. Costuming (faces smudged with ashes, etc.) would allow for these roles to played by girls if necessary. Cast two strong actors who get along well onstage and off.
Vocal Range: Harry: F3 - C5
Colin: Gb3 - Eb5
Mrs. Tibbs is the peculiar and proud housekeeper of the Dickens estate. Look for a strong actor who understands comedy. She does not need to sing if she is not double cast in a singing role, so this is a good part for an actor who may not possess the strongest singing voice.
Vocal Range:F4 - A4
PickwickOliver TwistNicklebyand other Dickens Characters are the "faces in the mirror" Dickens sees when he is in his office trying to write. These characters have little dialogue, so you can use these roles to cast kids who are more experienced singers than actors. Since the "other Dickens characters" only sing choral parts, you can cast as large a number of kids as you like/ need. For fun, you could assign all of the kids in the chorus names from a variety of books by Dickens – or let them research and pick out their own. If you have a smaller cast, all of these actors could also be double cast as Carolers, High Society, Street Vendors, and Restaurant Workers.
Vocal Range: Speaking Roles
Newsies, Newsie #1, Baker, Butcher, Bootblacks, Dressmaker, Street Person, Cabbie, Hawkers, Hawker 1 are small acting parts, but these roles are essential for creating the feel of Victorian London. Look for actors who can pull off a cockney accent and who can also handle the kind of choreographed blocking required in "Stop Thief!"
Vocal Range: Baker: G4 - A4
Dressmaker: G4 - A4
The Policeman arrests Jack and Annie, believing they have stolen their own bag. He is chastised by Charles Dickens, and when he realizes his mistake, quickly and humbly apologizes. This is a small role that does not require a lot of subtlety, and singing is optional, so it would be good part for a beginning actor and/or singer.
Vocal Range: E4 - F4
Mr. Pinch is the mean and miserly owner of the Purple Peacock Inn who refuses to give food scraps to a hungry Tiny Tim and his mother. He is the prototype for Dickens’s Scrooge. While the song "Bah! Humbug!" is meant to be comical, the actor playing Pinch doesn’t need to be comedic; instead, he should be confident enough to play a shameless misanthrope without needing to wink at the audience. Look for someone who is both a strong actor and singer, but if there is a tough call, lean toward the stronger actor, as much of his solo can be sung/spoken.
Vocal Range: G3 - D5
Mrs. Pinch is nothing like her ill-tempered husband; she is warm, hardworking and high-spirited. Though she is not onstage for much of the play, this role requires a good actor/singer who has a strong, energetic, mature presence.
Vocal Range: C4 - C5
Francois the Chef is the chef at Pinch’s Purple Peacock Inn. He is proud and passionate and highly sensitive to criticism. This is a small, fun role that does not require any singing, so it would be a good part for an inexperienced singer.
Vocal Range: Speaking Role
Waitstaff, Restaurant Workers, Restaurant Patrons, Waitress, Dishwasher, Women Fans and Men Fans are the employees and patrons of Mr. Pinch’s Purple Peacock Inn. These roles have little or no spoken dialogue, but "Right This Way" has solo lines as well as choral work and some fairly intricate movement/choreography built into the song, so look for strong singers who can also move/dance.
Vocal Range: Waitstaff #1: Bb3 - D5
Waitstaff #2: Bb3 - E5
Waitress: Bb3 - Bb4
Dishwasher: Eb4 - Bb4
Tiny Tim is a poor and sickly child who will not survive without the charity of others. Though his body is weak, his spirit is robust, and though his family is impoverished, he is rich in love and is remarkably cheerful and good-natured. As the name implies, try to cast your smallest child in this role. A girl dressed as a boy would work.
Vocal Range: Speaking Role
Roberta is Tiny Tim’s humble, yet proud, mother. This is a small role and singing is optional, so, unless double or triple casting the actor in this role, this would be a good part for a beginner looking to gain some confidence and experience onstage.
Vocal Range: Speaking Role
Orphan #1 and the Orphans are street urchins who 'haunt' Mr. Dickens after his disheartening encounter with Mr. Pinch. These are non-speaking roles, so this is a great opportunity to cast singers who are interested in exploring what musical theatre id all about without the pressure of having to memorize lines, etc. However, these roles do require kids who are able to "mime" factory workers during a lengthy speech by Mr. Dickens and who must stay focused and "in character" on stage even when they are not singing. Consider double casting as the Mourners who will sing a reprise of "Who Will Hear My Song?" Vocal Range: Orphan 1: A3 - Bb4
White Ghost, Green Ghost, and Black Ghost are conjured by Jack and Annie’s magic violin in order to convince Mr. Dickens to keep writing by showing him meaningful scenes from his past, present and future. All three can be played by girls. Although the Black Ghost doesn’t speak or sing, the actor needs to have a strong stage presence and must be able to stay focused and in character through the lengthy "Come Three Ghosts" segment. The GHOST CHORUS is made up of your entire ensemble – no need to cast a separate group of students.
Vocal Range: White Ghost: C4 - Bb4
Green Ghost: D4 - Bb4
Mrs. Dickens is the mother of Charles Dickens. This is a small acting role and unless the actor is cast in other roles, requires no singing, so if you have a large pool of actors to cast, this would be an ideal role for a beginner.
Vocal Range: Speaking Role
Young Dickens is Charles as a small boy who is conjured by the White Ghost to remind Mr. Dickens of his love of reading, his passion for stories and the importance of The Arabian Nights in igniting his imagination as a boy. This is a small speaking role, with no singing required. Consider casting the same actor who plays Tiny Tim.
Vocal Range: Speaking Role
Miss Twigby, Sara, and the Classare characters conjured by the Green Ghost to show Mr. Dickens how teachers in Victorian classrooms are using his stories to impart important lessons to their young students. These roles require memorizing and delivering in quick succession actual lines written by Charles Dickens, so cast some of your more confident performers.
Vocal Range: Speaking Role
Queen Victoria and her Lady in Waiting are characters conjured by the Green Ghost to show Mr. Dickens that even the Queen is being moved to make social reforms based on his stories. These are small, speaking-only roles, so look to double cast these actors if they want to sing, or use the roles for beginners who want to be part of the process but don’t want a lot of responsibility.
Vocal Range: Speaking Role
Bookseller, Henrietta and Barberare more characters conjured by the Green Ghost to show how much the "common" people of London are enlivened and changed by the stories of Charles Dickens. Consider casting with the same group of actors who play the Street Vendors, etc., especially the actors capable of pulling off a Cockney accent.
Vocal Range: Speaking Role
The Mourners, including Mourner #1, sing a reprise of "Who Will Hear My Song?" gathered around the gravestone of Charles Dickens and create a mournful tableau during Mary’s monologue. Consider using the same actors who played the orphans. If you have a large enough cast that you don’t want to double cast, these are good parts for strong singers.
Vocal Range: Speaking Role

Mary Dickens is the grown daughter of Charles Dickens. She has a fairly large monologue at her father’s gravesite, so look for a strong, confident actor with good memorization skills.
Vocal Range: Speaking Role

Musical Numbers

Christmas In the Air
[Carolers, Merlin, Morgan]
How Far Can You See?
[Carolers, Merlin, Morgan]
Scene One 
Two Gentlemen of Means
[Annie, Jack, Carriage Driver, People at Inn, Theatre Folk, High Society, Olive, Emma]
Trading Places (Parts 1 & 2) 
[Colin, Harry, Annie, Jack]
Scene Two
Faces In the Mirror
[Mr. Dickens, Pickwick, Oliver Twist, Nickleby, Dickens’ Characters]
Scene Three
Stop Thief!
[Jack, Annie, Olive, Emma, Crowd]
Scene Four
Right This Way
[Mrs. Pinch, Mr. Pinch, Waitstaff, Jack, Annie, Fans]
Bah! Humbug! (Part 1 & 2)
[Mr. Pinch, Restaurant Workers, Mr. Dickens, Jack, Annie, Tiny Tim]
Scene Five
Who Will Hear My Song? 
[Orphans, Jack, Annie, Mr. Dickens]
Come Three Ghosts
[Jack, Annie, Ghost Chorus]
The White Ghost
[White Ghost, Mr. Dickens, Ghost Chorus, Young Dickens, Mrs. Dickens]
The Green Ghost[Annie, Green Ghost, Ghost Chorus, Miss Twigby, Class]
Enter the Black Ghost
[Annie, Ghost Chorus, Mr. Dickens]
Who Will Hear My Song? (Reprise) 
[Ghost Chorus, Mourners]
Scene Six
You Must Give Your Gifts (Part 1 & 2)
[Mr. Dickens, Jack, Annie, Dressmaker, Baker, Mrs. Tibbs, Harry, Colin, Policeman, Emma, Olive, Miss Twigby, Henrietta, Newsies, Mr. Pinch, Chorus]
[Entire Cast]

Important: Due to the fact that "grandrights" must be obtained for licensing and performance of Junior Shows, certain restrictions do apply:

  • Performances must be done by accredited schools using students in Grade 9 or under only. High schools with students older than ninth grade must contact Music Theater International directly.
  • Sorry, orders cannot be processed for Community Theatres, Children's Theatres or Performing Arts schools which do not have an academic curriculum.
  • Your purchase price includes the materials in the showkit plus unlimited performing rights for one year. Upon placing your order, you will receive a performance rights license from Hal Leonard Corporation. After the completed license is returned to Hal Leonard, they will send out the complete Showkit (non-returnable). Twisted Plays will then send you an invoice for the material.
  • Products may be sold only in the United States and Canada.

Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens JR.

  • Product Code: HL00149047
  • $695.00