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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Drama Video Clips

Appleseed John: Ragdoll-Come-to-Life



Set in the 1820s, this excerpt from the Stage One play follows Abby, a young girl growing up on the American frontier. In this scene, Abby and her favorite rag doll meet John Chapman, better known as “Appleseed John,” and his companion, Pakanke. Chapman is grouchy and suspicious at first, but both he and Pakanke respond positively to her “ragdoll-come-to-life.” The fun is soon squelched when Abby talks about clearing the land.

Suggested Uses:

  • Use for scene analysis.
  • Use as a prompt, along with the “Responding to Drama” guide, for writing a critique of a performance.
  • Discuss how drama can help in understanding historical periods (e.g., Appleseed John, Frankenstein, or Words Like Freedom excerpts).

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