✩ NEW! 2018 Release ✩
Sally is a kid con-artist who explodes onto a quiet beach town with a get-rich-quick seashell-selling-scheme. For a small fee, she trains the kids on how to sell seashells before the annual summer festival, but plans to skip town with all their money before the big event! Sally becomes torn after meeting a local, Tam, who joins the program eager to help her family. The kids in this little beach town will never be the same as they learn the importance of friendship, honesty, and finding a healthy balance between working hard and having fun.
Run-Time: 55–60 minutes
Age: Upper Elementary/Middle School
Cast Size: 21+
Themes: Honesty, Friendship
SALLY SELLS SEASHELLS
(And You Can, Too!)
Music & Lyrics by Denver Casado
Book & Lyrics by Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm
In a small beach town, it is the first day of summer! Slater and his surfer friends have been waiting all year for this, while a group of bored beach kids struggle to find something fun to do to help pass the time (SAND, SURF AND SUNSHINE).
Tam, Slater’s younger sister, shares some bad news and good news with him. Bad news is that mom doesn’t have enough money for them to attend the same school next year. Good news is that Tam already has developed a business plan to fix that. Tam believes her friends will be willing customers especially if they knew why they needed the money. But Slater is against discussing any of their family problems. He has been looking forward to this summer break and figures things will naturally work out.
So Tam moves forward with her “Dog-Washing, Carpet-Cleaning, and a Little Light Book-Keeping Service” without Slater’s help (NOT ME, PART 1). She ask her best friends the Beach Kids to sign up for her services but unfortunately there isn’t a demand for it. Tam can’t convince anyone to sign up and all hope seems lost (NOT ME ,PARTS 2 & 3).
Then out of nowhere, a squad of cheerleaders appear in a grand entrance for the world’s greatest 11-year old saleswoman—Sally (SALLY SELLS SEASHELLS). Sally has arrived to their humble little beach town to teach kids how to be financially successful and not depend on parents to have fun. She promises that if they sign up for her seminar “Sally Sells Seashells (And You Can Too!)”, by the time it’s the Summer Festival which takes place in four days, they will be selling millions of seashells.
Tam figures that Sally’s seminar is just the thing she needs to help solve all her money problems. The only catch is that Sally’s classes will cost Tam her entire savings. Sally guarantees that it will be worth it so Sally signs up.
The Beach Kids also sign up for Sally’s seminar. They believe that after they make a ton of money they will finally be able to do all the fun things adults do! (ADULTS SOMEDAY)
As Sally attempts to make a phone call, she is stopped by the Cheerleaders. They are eager to know how well they did in their performance, because Sally told them her dad is a judge for the Cheerleading Nationals. She assures them that with her guidance they will have what it takes when her dad sees them at the Summer Festival. She then gives them instructions on their next performance.
After the Cheerleaders exit, Sally is finally alone and reveals she plans to leave town before Summer Festival (SALLY SELLS SEASHELLS REPRISE).
The next day is the first lesson. With the help of the Cheerleaders dressed as hipster seashells, Sally teaches Tam and the Beach Kids the art of branding. By taking an ordinary seashell and giving it a hip cool name they can have a truly unique product to sell (ALL IN THE NAME).
Everyone is impressed by Sally’s charisma and know-how. But Tam is confused and tries to ask Sally to help her clarify it all so that she can truly gain the skills to be successful. Sally diverts the questions and instead builds up Tam’s confidence.
After class is dismissed, Sally is alone and on the phone with her dad. As usual he’s running late to pick her up. Sally does not notice the Surfer Kids that enter. They overhear her phone conversation with her dad about how she will leave town by the time the Summer Festival takes place.
While Sally waits for her ride to come pick her up, she strikes up a conversation with the Surfer Kids as they stare out into the ocean. They share with Sally their unconventional philosophy on how to embrace patience (LOVE THE WAIT).
The next day, it’s time for lesson #2 in Sally’s seashell selling seminar; the art of targeting customers (KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE). Everyone pairs up to practice their sales pitch. Sally is Tam’s partner and finds out much more than what she was expecting. Not only does Tam need the money to pay for school, but overall money is tight because of her parents separation. Sally is effected after learning about Tam’s motivation for taking part in her seminar. Tam’s honesty allows Sally to let her facade fade and share with Tam that she’s never experienced true friendship, until now (FRIENDS).
On their way to grab ice cream, Tam introduces Slater to Sally. Tam reassures Slater that when the Summer Festival takes place this new girl is going to help all their money troubles disappear.
After Sally and Tam leave, Slater recalls overhearing Sally’s plans to skip town before the Summer Festival. He’s torn because he feels like something is not right. Slater fights his urge to take a hands off approach and instead commits to saving his sister from potential trouble (LOVE THE WAIT REPRISE).
Before Sally’s next lesson begins, Slater confronts Sally and calls her a fraud. He tells everyone he knows Sally’s plan to skip town before the Summer Festival and they will lose all their money. Tam comes to Sally’s defense and reassures everyone that Sally will be there and promises to pay everyone back if she doesn’t show up at the Summer Festival.
When everyone finally leaves her alone, Sally confesses to Tam that Slater was right and that she has to leave town with her dad by the time of Summer Festival. Sally tries to explain that she never realized that her actions had real world consequences until she befriended Tam. Tam is upset about the lies and the growing problems she now faces. Tam does not want anything to do with Sally and tells her to just leave town and storms off.
On the day of the Summer Festival (SAND, SURF AND SUNSHINE – FESTIVAL VERSION), everyone is curious to see if Sally will show up. Regretfully, Tam admits to everyone that Sally has left town and is sorry for letting it happen.
Unexpectedly, Sally shows up and comes clean for the first time in her life. She reveals that she is always on the road because of her dad’s job and has never had a place to call home or friends. In her attempt to make sure people knew her name, she would create these selling schemes to gain attention to cope with being lonely. (A HUNDRED HOUSES).
Sally returns all the money to the kids so that Tam is no longer on the hook. To prove to Tam that she genuinely values their friendship, Sally gives her a list of “dog-walking, carpet-cleaning, and a little light book-keeping service” appointments which she lined up for her.
Slater takes responsibility to ensure him and Tam stay in the same school. He offers to split the appointments with Tam. This way they both will have balance of work and play this summer.
As Sally heads off to the next town with her dad, Tam and all the other kids reassure Sally that they would have accepted her as a friend even knowing she wouldn’t be around for long. Tam and Sally make plans to stay in touch (FINALE).
A note from composer & co-lyricist Denver Casado:
This show started as a seed of an idea over two years ago.
After spending some time in a small beach town, I became inspired by the chill vibe and unique way of life.
In the afternoon I’d see kids get out of school, grab their surfboards and hit the beach. The beach became their personal backyard – everything happened right there on the sand, day…after day…after day.
I began imagining stories that could take place in an environment like this…when that famous tongue twister struck me…
“Sally Sells Seashells by the Seashore”
Who is this Sally? What’s her story? How could we have some fun with this idea in a modern-day setting?
When thinking about “selling”, I reflected back on the numerous get-rich-quick infomercials of the 1990s.
“I’ll teach you financial success by placing tiny classified ads in newspapers…”
I’d always been fascinated by these “gurus” – and how they sometimes prey on people’s sincere ambitions.
That’s when an idea struck – what if Sally was a kid con-artist, who explodes into a quiet beach town with a get-rich-quick seashell-selling-scheme? And what if this quiet beach town rubs off on her and she realizes her actions have real consequences?
That’s when I reached out to Kerry Kaz (Giants in the Sky), bookwriter and co-lyricist of the show, who helped flesh this idea out into a hilarious and heartfelt story.
We’re always trying to stretch the limits of what we think children’s theatre can be – and we feel this show does exactly that.
While it contains all the qualities you’ve come to love from a Beat by Beat show – large cast, lots of humor, show-stopping numbers – it also reaches a little further to give young actors some deeper emotional content to explore.
We hope this show provides you and your young actors a completely unique and rewarding theatre experience!
Surfer Kids Ensemble
Beach Kids Ensemble
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