alphabetical author index

Caddie Woodlawn

"As cream rises to the stop, so did Caddie Woodlawn."

Wisconsin News-Leader

  • Full Length Musical
  • Dramatic Comedy
  • 120 minutes

  • Time Period: 19th Century, American Civil War Era
  • Target Audience: Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Children (Age 6 - 10), Appropriate for all audiences
  • Set Requirements: Unit Set/Multiple Settings
  • Cautions: No Special Cautions
  • Orchestra Size: Small/Combo

  • Performance Group:
  • Large Stage, Dinner Theatre, Elementary School / Primary, Community Theatre, Jr High/Primary, High School/Secondary, Professional Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Church / Religious Groups
Carol Ryrie Brink’s Newbery Award-winning novel Caddie Woodlawn is brought to exuberant life as a musical.

Caddie (the iconic, high-spirited Wisconsin pioneer girl beloved by generations of readers) leads her willing siblings in a series of thrilling adventures, not always with the approval of her traditional Bostonian mother. Her father, however, encourages her antics, that she might thrive amidst the new, tougher ways of the West. In a dramatic climax, Caddie single-handedly diffuses a potentially deadly clash between the terrifi ed settlers and the local Dakota tribe through a daring and dangerous act. But her action only deepens her conflict with her mother.

Ultimately, Caddie learns invaluable lessons about reconciling the head-strong child she’s been, and the responsible adult she is soon to be. Through it all, the sacredness of tradition – passed from one generation to the next – is powerfully dramatized. As one wise friend tells Caddie: “Families – they’re our link to forever, lass."


"As cream rises to the top, so did Caddie Woodlawn."

Wisconsin News-Leader

"Young audiences adore Caddie Woodlawn!"

Springfield News-Leader

"A fine family yarn..."

Milwaukee Journal

Premiere Production:

Caddie Woodlawn was first produced by The Missouri Arts Council at the Landers Theatre on March 26, 1992, directed by Mick Denniston.

  • Casting: 6M, 5F, 14M or F
  • Casting Attributes: Reduced casting (Doubling Possible), Ensemble cast, Flexible casting, Room for Extras, Parts for Senior Actors, Features Teens, Features Children, Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle), Color blind casting, Roles for Children
  • Casting Notes:

    Cast can be doubled and tripled as noted in character descriptions.

    Can also be done with a large chorus.

  • Chorus Size: Medium

CADDIE WOODLAWN – a young girl, 13 years old
ROBERT IRETON – a cheery Irishman, taken to singing, dancing, and handing out good advice
JOHN WOODLAWN – Caddie’s father, handsome and gentle, with quiet strength
HARRIET WOODLAWN – Caddie’s mother, refined, wants the same for her children
TOM WOODLAWN – Caddie’s mischievous older brother, full of fun and pranks, about 14 years old
WARREN WOODLAWN – Caddie’s younger brother, about 10, always trying to keep up with the other two, full of energy
CLARA WOODLAWN – Caddie’s older sister, takes after her mother, very lady-like and sweet
HETTY WOODLAWN – about 7, a tattletale and tag-along
MINNIE WOODLAWN – 5 years old, sweet-faced and happy (can double as LITTLE HETTY and littlest child)
ANNABELLE GRAY – cousin to the Woodlawns, a graduate of finishing school, finds Wisconsin “quaint and rustic”
MRS. HYMAN – a snoopy neighbor
REVEREND TANNER – The Circuit Rider, hails from Boston (can double as CHARLIE ADAMS and MR. WOODLAWN’S GRANDFATHER [dancer])
KATIE HYMAN – about Caddie’s age, quiet and very shy
JOHN – Caddie’s friend, a Native American
MELVIN KENT – an ignorant bigot
MISS PARKER – the local schoolteacher (can double as MR. WOODLAWN’S MOTHER [dancer])
OBEDIAH JONES – a large, hulking bully about 14 years old, can double as JOHN’S friend
LITTLE TOM – Tom at age 9 (can double as SILAS BUNN)
LITTLE CADDIE – Caddie at age 8 (can double as LIDA SILBERNAGLE or JANE FLUSHER)
LITTLE WARREN – Warren at age 5 (can double as SMALL CHILD SOLOIST)
LITTLE HETTY – Hetty as a small child (can double as MINNIE)
MARY WOODLAWN – a sickly child (can double as JANE FLUSHER or be a baby doll)
NATE CUSTIS – a friend of Melvin Kent
EZRA MCCANTRY – a friend of Nate Custis (can double as SETTLER 1)
MAGGIE BUNN – Caddie’s best friend (can double as MILDRED ADAMS or GIRL)
LIDA SILBERNAGLE – a know-it-all
ASHUR JONES – Obediah’s oafish brother (can double as BOY, and MR. WOODLAWN AS A BOY)
SILAS BUNN – Maggie’s little brother, a clown
MRS. MCCANTRY – a settler (can double as MRS. ADAMS and SETTLER 2)
JANE FLUSHER – one of Caddie’s friends
CHARLIE ADAMS – a new settler
MILDRED ADAMS – Charlie’s daughter (can double DAKOTA CHILD)
MRS. ADAMS – a new settler