Scene 1:

House / Garden / Outdoors. The backdrop is painted to show the wall of a wooden house, very much like a mountain cabin. From the audience’s point of view, the backdrop shows a cupboard with empty jars and pots. To its right is an open fireplace for cooking. To its left is a window, though which one can see a thick forest. At centre stage is a table with at least two chairs. The table is laid with a plain tablecloth and a vase of flowers. Downstage (in front of the curtains) is the garden and the general outdoors. The pebbles Hansel will be collecting are scattered in this area.

Scene 2 – Part 1:

Outdoors / House. The entire downstage area, in front of the curtains, is the forest path. Downstage left is a ‘rock’, which can be made with grey crinkled paper wrapped around a stool. The area behind the curtains, as in Scene 1, is the inside house arrangement.

Scene 2 – Part 2:

Outdoors / Witch’s house. The entire downstage area, in front of the curtains, is again the forest path. The area behind the curtains is forest and the exterior of the Witch’s house. The backdrop shows the forest at night with the
Witch’s house painted stage left. (For ideas regarding the appearance of the house, please refer to pp. 30-31 of the Teacher’s Edition.) Optionally, you can add free-standing trees and bushes: either live potted plants, or coat stands wrapped in brown crepe paper for the trunk and covered at the top with green paper leaves attached to wire. However, this option will not be necessary if the play is being produced in an actual theatre setting, as the forest area stage will be dark. The only visible light will then be the spotlight on the Witch’s house.

Scene 3:

Witch’s house interior / Outdoors. The area behind the curtains is the interior of the Witch’s house. The backdrop is the same as the previous one (Scene 2, Part 2). Upstage centre is the Witch’s oven, which can be made using a table completely covered by a grey tablecloth. The S playing the Witch hides underneath it when Gretel kicks her. On top of the ‘oven’ there is at least one pot and a big plate of food. Downstage right is a cage large enough for Hansel to fit into it. This can be made using a large cardboard box with strips cut out of it to resemble bars. However, one side should be cut out completely, but should remain hidden from the audience’s view, so that the S playing Hansel can easily get in and out. Between the ‘oven’ and the ‘cage’ is a treasure chest full of fake gold coins. You may fill it up with newspaper or other filler so that only a thin layer of coins on top is necessary. A table and two chairs are placed stage left. The area in front of the curtains is the outdoors.