The Neverending Story adapted by David S. Craig

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The Neverending Story adapted by David S. Craig

Hiding in the attic of his school, he begins to read and, unseen to him, the story is enacted below. Fantastica, a land of stories, is in danger; The Nothing engulfs everything in its path. The Childlike Empress chooses an unlikely hero, Atreyu, a boy of Bastian’s age, to go on a quest to save their world. Atreyu’s adventure takes him through the Swamps of Sadness, to Morla the Turtle, Ygramul, the Many, and the maze of the Southern Oracle. He loses his horse, Artax, but gains the friendship of Falkor, the Luck Dragon, until he faces the werewolf Gmork who is bent on the destruction, not only of Fantastica, but of imagination itself. But in the end, it is not Atreyu who is the hero. At the climax of the story, it is Bastian’s belief in a story, which takes the audience to the surprising and emotional conclusion.


The Neverending Story has captivated the imagination of many since the original publication over 30 years ago of Michael Ende’s fantasy novel. The book remains on the Top 10 in Sales for Dutton Children’s Books, with 14 editions subsequently published since 1983 by Dutton. The three feature length film adaptations garnered the attendance of nearly 10 million people in North America alone. This story continues to generate the subject material for film, merchandise, game and fan websites worldwide. Whether being captured in the world of Fantastica through the pages of a book, screen of a movie theatre, or see it come alive on stage, The Neverending Story continues to enthrall it audience.

Produced by The Stratford Festival, Stratford ON, 2019

Remounted at the National Arts Centre, January 2020

Keywords:  Fantasy, imagination, adaptation, epic, children, heroic, hero, quest
Genre: Drama, Adaptation
Acts: 2
Run time: 80 minutes
*Casting note: the play has been produced with a cast of 18 actors, but there are 51 characters*
Male roles: 25
Female roles: 26
Maximum number of roles: 51
Minimum number of roles: 45
Suitable for students 10+