The Devil and Daniel Webster
3 F, 17 M + ensemble (doubling is possible)
From the Story by Stephen Vincent Benet, Adapted by Robert Schenkkan
Every ghost story must find its own time and place, and have its prey - someone who doesn't quite understand the mysteries all around him. For our needs, you couldn't ask for a more opportune setting than New Hampshire around 1829, or a nicer, harder-working man than Jabez Stone. All he wants in this world is to save his farm, marry Abigail Stevens, and live a decent life. Sadly, Jabez is plagued with horrible luck, and Abigail's father will have nothing to do with him. It's enough to make a man want to sell his soul to the devil for a new beginning. Careful what you wish for, Jabez. After seven years of prosperity, it's time to pay the devil his due. He pleads with the prestigious orator and lawyer, Senator Daniel Webster, to lend a hand. Webster isn't one to shrink from a challenge - he dares the Devil to take this case to a court of law. But there are trials and then there are trials. With the proceedings weighted against him, and the jury stacked with notorious American villains like Lizzie Borden, John Wilkes Boothe, and Al Capone, things look bleak for Webster's case - but never underestimate the power of persuasion, and pragmatism, of a New Hampshire man.
Audience Recommendation: 11 years old and older