Boy Who Could Not Tell a Lie
Very, Alice (American playwright, 19__-____), “Boy Who Could Not Tell a Lie,”
a __-minute verse drama in English in two scenes, set near Fredericksburg, Virginia, around 1742,
(1 male is boy + extras)
© 1969 by Alice Very; • in Plays: The Drama Magazine for Young People: Little Plays for Little Players, edited by Sylvia E. Kamerman ( Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.: Plays, inc., 1969, LCCN 75097943, 335 pp., fifty simple-to-produce plays for the primary grades with a flexible number of characters. Topics include legends, fantasy, major holidays, safety, good health, and many others.;
• script/rights available from source listed in Kamerman anthology.
• Cited in Play Index, 1949-1952: An Index to 2616 Plays in 1138 Volumes, compiled by Dorothy Herbert West (1901-____) and Dorothy Margaret Peake (New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1953), ISSN 0554-3037, LCCN 53-8990, LCCN 64001054, 239 pp.
Augustine Washington (m), George’s father; George Washington (m), 10, _____; Mary Ball Washington (f), George’s mother; _____ (f), _____.
“George Washington and the cherry tree done in rhyme.”—West and Peake, 187.
Research could include Alice Very’s Round-the-Year Plays for Children; Thirty-five Royalty-free Plays for All Occasions (Boston, Plays, Inc., 1957), LCCN 57006255, 279 pp.
• Parson Weems invented the story of George and the cherry tree out of whole cloth as a moral lesson. “George Washington's reputation as a man of moral fortitude reveals more about America's view of morality than it does about the man himself. Washington was an exceedingly bland heroic leader, embodying an eighteenth-century ideal of republican virtue that emphasized duty, sacrifice and honorable disinterest. Flamboyance and daring were emphatically not required. Washington's virtue was admirable, but not overly interesting. Perhaps this is why the most famous example of his fortitude of character is, in fact, just fiction. The story of Washington and the Cherry Tree, a tale which still lingers through probably every grammar school in the U.S., was invented by a parson named Mason Locke Weems in a biography of Washington published directly after his death. Saturated with tales of Washington's selflessness and honesty, A History of the Life and Death, Virtues and Exploits, of General George Washington (1800) and The Life of George Washington, with Curious Anecdotes Laudable to Himself and Exemplary to his Countrymen (1806) supplied the American people with flattering (and often rhyming) renditions of the events that shaped their hero.”—The Moral Washington, http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/gw/gwmoral.html, accessed May 28, 2003.
1742, cherry tree, legend, history, Washington (George Washington, U. S. military general, statesman, first President of the United States of America [1789-1797], 1732-1799).