Double Trouble

Full length play with music. For the whole family.

Script and lyrics by David S. Craig with music by Marc Schubring.

Double Trouble is the first English language dramatization of the classic children’s novel Lottie and Lisa by the world famous German novelist Erich Kästner. Millions of people will recognize the story from the two iconic Walt Disney movies called The Parent Trap.

“Double Trouble is a charming world premiere that works on every level. It is funny, well-acted and delivers an endearing story and wonderful music.”
—DC Theatre Scene  FULL REVIEW


Sarah Lasko, Emily Kester, Justine Moral, and Lauren Williams in Imagination Stages’s production of “Double Trouble”



Lauren Williams as Lottie in Imagination Stage’s “Double Trouble.”

An adventure for all ages, Double Trouble is the story of identical twin sisters who, while still babies, are separated by their divorced parents and never told of the others existence. By coincidence, they are sent to the same summer camp where they discover they are sisters and swear never to be parted again. But how can they convince their parents? Using their identical looks, they switch places, go undercover, have adventures and ultimately create a new family that is almost perfect.

Characters: 6F, 1M



Recorded and performed by a talented crew , check out four songs from Double Trouble!



 It’s Perfect

Completely Different


My Mother’s Going To Hate Me



The reunited family of “Double Trouble” in Imagination Stage’s production. Amaree Cluff, Sarah Lasko, Lauren Williams, Jamie Smithson.




I fell in love with Haley Mills when I was twelve. She was my first Hollywood crush. I saw “The Parents Trap” of course but it was a movie called “Tobey Tyler” where she stole my heart. It was a circus movie and she had a love interest that wasn’t me. I was very jealous!

Children are not as experienced as adults but they feel emotions just as intensely if not more so. I want to express those strong feelings onstage and so Erich Kästner’ s novel “Lottie and Lisa” (on which the Disney two movies are based) appealed to me. Here were two girls who, at age eleven, who discover they are sisters. Not ‘long lost sisters’ but, more astonishingly, sisters who didn’t know the other existed.   That is a huge dramatic event worthy of the Greeks or Ibsen. But these girls go on to meet a parent they never met before. And then those parents meet the daughter they thought they would never see again. Kästner deals with these huge emotional situations with a wonderful light touch which I have tried to capture in the dramatic text using humour and song.


Lauren Williams, Emily Kester, Sarah Lasko, Justine Moral in Imagination Stage’s “Double Trouble”

The big change to the narrative I insisted on, and which the Kästner estate and the commissioning theatre agreed to, was that I didn’t want the parents getting together at the end. Kästner wrote his novel in the early 1960’s when divorce was still rare. In 2015, things have changed. Parents who separated angrily and have been estranged for ten years don’t magically remarry. It’s an outcome we all felt might be hurtful to the many children who are living in divorced families.

One of the great joys of the process was meeting and working with the talented German composer Marc Schubring. Marc wrote the music first and I always found his melodies catchy, filled with feeling and good taste. I was challenged to do my best work writing the lyrics guided by the dictates of our common hero, Stephen Sondheim.

On the first day of rehearsal for the premiere production at Imagination Stage, I told the actors that “Double Trouble” was a play about finding home and the safety and comfort that resides in our homes. Lottie and Lisa are heroes in that journey. They want what every child deserves, they fight for it and while they don’t get everything they want (who does?), what they get is ‘perfect’.


Double Trouble was commissioned, developed and produced by Imagination Stage, Bethesda, Maryland – Janet Stanford Artistic Director.  The play is under license from Verlag Fur Kindertheater Uwe Weitendorf GmbH, Hamburg, Germany.