~ The White Sail ~

This is one of three navigator stories within the series “Children Play Theatre”. It is set in the Indian Ocean around 1500 A.D. The main character is the navigator Ibn Majid, a historically authentic character, who navigated ships from Africa to India and even to China. The Portuguese owe to navigators like him the discovery of the sea route from Africa to India. At that time the Arabs’ knowledge of navigation was superior to the Europeans’. In this play Ibn Majid shows young navigators how to overcome fear in threatening situations, which often occur in seafaring.

Cover of "The White Sail"


The White Sail


The stage set is split into three parts. The left part shows the sea with dolphins. The right part shows a Dhow. On the central part (from the perspective of a roof-terrace) one can see the Port of Mombassa with several ships. All the houses are white and have flat roofs. In front of the central stage set there is a low table with four cushions placed around it. Two children come on stage (step in front of the curtain).

Child 1:     Dear audience, today we would like to tell you a story from long ago.

Child 2:    It is about brave sailors and their ships.

Child 1:    It is set on the Indian Ocean, its islands and coasts.

Child 2:    It is very exciting.

Child 1:    And perhaps it might render you a little thoughtful as well.

Child 2:    Right, let us begin. Come, let’s sit down there.

End of the Prologue

Scene 1

The Navigator

Five narrators come on stage and sit down (stand) in front of the right stage set. Arabian music plays.

Narrator 1:    Many years ago – at a time when sometimes Portuguese caravels could still be seen in the Indian Seas – in the city of Mombassa in Africa, at the shores of the Indian Sea, lived the navigator Achmed Ibn Majid.

Ibn Majid comes on stage and sits down in front of the low table and writes. He wears a large turban.

Narrator 2:    Ibn Majid lead ships from the coasts of Africa to Arabia, Persia, India, to the Sundic Islands, and even to faraway China.

Narrator 3:    Among the sailors and merchants who were travelling these seas to do trade over there, Ibn Majid was much respected.


Characters, scene by scene
  Major role Medium role Small role
Prologue     Child 1
Child 2
Scene 1
The Navigator
Ibn Majid Narrator 1
Narrator 2
Narrator 3
Narrator 4
Narrator 5
Navigator Ali
Navigator Mustafa
Navigator Hassan
Scene 2
The Storm
Ibn Majid Mother
Merchant Omar
Navigator Ali
Navigator Mustafa
Navigator Hassan
Dancer 1
Dancer 2
three Sailors
Scene 3
The Injury
Ibn Majid
Navigator Mustafa
Navigator Ali
Navigator Hassan
two Sailors
some coloured
Scene 4
At Last
Servant   Navigator Mustafa
Navigator Hassan
Navigator Ali
Epilogue     Child 1
Child 2

List of props required

-    a low table
-    four cushions

Scene 1
-    five books fort he narrators
-    an old thick book
-    tablet, a pot, cups
-    notes of the navigators

Scene 2
-    cases
-    sacks
-    a low table
-    two cushions
-    coins
-    a pot, cups
-    old thick book

Proposals for scenerieis:

A Dhow (right side)

Photos of a production:


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