The Canterbury Tales adapted by Lindsay Price from Ch... - Theatrefolk

The Canterbury Tales

Recommended for High Schools and Middle Schools

The Canterbury Tales

adapted by Lindsay Price from Chaucer

Chaucer's classic collection of tales comes to life in a lively adaptation. Great characters, lots of humour, strong ensemble work. Text uses modern English.

 About 70 minutes
Act 1: 40 minutes, Act 2: 30 minutes

Times given are approximate and do not include intermissions/scene changes/breaks


 8
4M | 4W, Easily Expandable


Simple Set


 69 pages

Comedy Classical Adaptation

Average Producer Rating:

Reviews from Past Producers

"What if the story is so long that time drags on and on and on and I have to leave the group and cry by the side of the road and I never get to Canterbury?!"

Chaucer's classic collection of tales comes to life in a brilliant full-length adaptation.

A group of travelers set out for Canterbury on a pilgrimage. To pass the time they entertain each other with a storytelling contest. Best story wins a prize.

Each and every performer gets a chance to shine in this spirited, charming script.

Great characters, lots of humour, and strong ensemble work. Text uses modern English.

Click here to read production tips for this play.

8 Characters
4M, 4W, Easily Expandable

Characters in this play are currently identified as male or female. Directors are welcome to assign any gender (binary or non-binary) to any character and modify pronouns accordingly.


Woman One
The Hostess [W] 47 lines
The owner of the Tabard Inn, where the pilgrims stay. She travels with them to Canterbury. With doubling also plays:
Fox (Prioress' Tale) [W] 27 lines
Queen (Wife of Bath's Tale) [W] 16 lines
Eveline (Franklin's Tale) [W] 3 lines
Agnes (Pardoner's Tale) [W] 30 lines

Woman Two
The Wife of Bath [W] 64 lines
She has been married five times and is searching for number six. She is from Bath. With doubling also plays:
Hilde (Reeve's Tale) [W] 0 lines
Bertha (Wife of Bath's Tale) [W] 30 lines
Avaline (Franklin's Tale) [W] 2 lines
Waitress (Pardoner's Tale) [W] 14 lines

Woman Three
The Cook [W] 43 lines
The cook at the Tabard Inn. With doubling also plays:
Pertelote (Prioress' Tale) [W] 40 lines
Maude (Reeve's Tale) [W] 18 lines
Eve (Wife of Bath's Tale) [W] 68 lines
Joanne (Franklin's Tale) [W] 4 lines

Woman Four
The Prioress [W] 49 lines
The prioress is in charge of a priory (a monastery). With doubling also plays:
Allison (Miller's Tale), [W] 15 lines
Mary (Wife of Bath's Tale), [W] 11 lines
Dorigen (Franklin's Tale) [W] 26 lines
Old Woman (Pardoner's Tale) [W] 10 lines

Man One
The Reeve [M] 57 lines
The manager of a manor in the later medieval period. With doubling also plays:
John (Miller's Tale) [M] 33 lines
Arviragus (Franklin's Tale) [M] 8 lines
Jacob (Pardoner's Tale) [M] 46 lines

Man Two
The Pardoner [M] 55 lines
The Pardoner sells religious forgiveness and relics for a fee. With doubling also plays:
Nicholas (Miller's Tale) [M] 40 lines
Simekin (Reeve's Tale) [M] 30 lines
Aurelius (Franklin's Tale) [M] 17 lines

Man Three
The Miller [M] 73 lines
The miller operates a mill, which grinds grain (corn or wheat) into flour. With doubling also plays:
Knight (Wife of Bath's Tale) [M]
Astrologer (Franklin's Tale) [M]

Man Four
The Franklin [M] 58 lines
A Franklin is a property-owner, but not of noble birth. With doubling also plays:
Chanticleer (Prioress' Tale) [M]
Allain (Reeve's Tale) [M]
King (Wife of Bath's Tale) [M]
Harold (Pardoner's Tale) [M]

Other
The Voice of Chaucer [M] 7 lines
This should be taped by one of the other men in the cast.

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Customer Comments

I recently saw your shout out to BCHS on your blog, as well as the podcast where you spoke to some of my classmates and fellow castmembers of Stroke Static. I played Ruthie in Stroke Static and The Prioress in The Canterbury Tales. I would like to take the time to let you know just how much that performance meant to me.

Participating in Stroke Static was by far one of the best, most rewarding, and life-changing experiences of my life so far. But even past that, the fact that we touched so many people in our performance really affected me. I sincerely wish that you could have been there to see it. It was truly magical.

I would like to thank you from the very bottom of my heart for the work you put into this play. I hope we made you proud!

Caitlin Herst, Student Performer, Boulder Creek High School

I have thoroughly enjoyed directing my last three shows - The Canterbury Tales, Will and Whimsy, and Circus Olympus. They are excellent adaptations, creatively conceived and written and classically based, all characteristics I look for in a high school show.

I am retiring this year after directing 63 high school shows over 38 years, but I will encourage my successor to check out your cataglogue of plays.

Nicholas DeLucia, Hancock Central School

The cast for Canterbury Tales is composed of 4 native English speakers and 4 English Language Learners (all have high proficiency in English).We are very excited to deal with such a 21st century theatre company! The ability to preview and purchase digitally is an amazing thing for us here in Ecuador! The ability to purchase video production rights is also a very big deal for us. It is not common with most of our shows and a disappointment to all of the international family members that can't see our performances live.

Ellen Evans
Coordinator of Curriculum and Professional Development
The Alliance Academy International
Quito, Ecuador

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Royalty fees apply to all performances whether or not admission is charged. Any performance in front of an audience (e.g. an invited dress rehearsal) is considered a performance for royalty purposes.

Exemption details for scenes and monologues for competition.


We accept orders worldwide using the following payment methods:
Purchase Orders accepted from US and Canadian Schools.
Info for your purchasing department.

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