Burton Bumgarner

Burton Bumgarner grew up in North Carolina, where he now lives and works as a musician. He earned an undergraduate degree in music from Greensboro College, and a Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University. He began writing plays in 1994. He is a four-time winner of the Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwriting from the Coldwater (MI) Community Theater, and in 2004 he won the McLaren Memorial Comedy Playwriting Award from the Midland (TX) Community Theater. A member of the Dramatist Guild of America, Burton has over 80 scripts (comedies, dramas, one acts and 10 minute scripts ) in publication.
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  Money Merry-Go-Round

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

38 pages

2 m, 2 w


Based on the short story "Twin Spirits" by W. W. Jacobs. This delicious comedy tells of Gilbert and Addie Cox, whose marriage is based on her money and headed for the rocks. When Gilbert begins to pawn household items to pay for his gambling, Addie confides in her nosy neighbor, Doris. The two women concoct a plan involving Doris' lazy Uncle Joseph. He is to pretend to be an agent from the bank repossessing the house and property. But the two men conspire to turn the tables on the women and get more money out of Addie. Addie and Doris, however, are smarter th...

  Blind Spot

Classic by Burton Bumgarner

34 pages

6 m, 5 w, 1 flexible, doubling possible


Based on the story by H.H. Munro (Saki). Wealthy Uncle Lulworth eagerly awaits the next meal from his uncommonly skilled, but foul-tempered cook, Mrs. Sebastian. His niece, Ellen, visits him shortly before dinner after their aunt's funeral. As executor of the estate, Ellen has run across a series of letters to the aunt from another relative, Uncle Peter, who died years earlier under mysterious circumstances. Through re-enactments based on the letters, we learn Uncle Peter was a despicable human being and was probably killed by a "common" criminal, perhaps som...

  The Keys

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

23 pages

4 m, 2 w


Adapted by Burton Bumgarner from the tale by W.W. Jacobs. A wife demands that her husband leave the house unless he can get help for his gambling problem. He murders her with a paring knife and tries to hide her body from the maid. While he's still frantically searching for his wife's car keys to dump her body, a burglar breaks into the house. Thinking fast, the husband tries to cover up the murder by framing the burglar. The husband calls the police and while waiting for them, scuffles in the darkness with the burglar and plants the knife on him. But things ...

  A Jury of Her Peers

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

28 pages

4 m, 4 w


Adapted from the short story by Susan Glaspell. A farmer has been found dead and his wife, Minnie, is the prime suspect. The sheriff, a deputy and other men meet at the lonely farmhouse to go over the evidence while two wives gather some clothes and necessities for Minnie, who is in jail. Two neighbor ladies, the Gains sisters, arrive to see what they can learn about the disturbing events of the previous day. As the men go about the business of investigation, the women make a remarkable discovery: the motive for the crime. Set in 1917, three years before wome...

  Lunch

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

29 pages

4 m, 5 w


George and Dana each had such high hopes for their high school popularity and love life back when they were in junior high. But the reality is they now have their lunch stolen every day and are subjected to catty comments by the sports jocks and cheerleaders. Laugh and cheer as George and Dana's daydreams for wild success come alive as they imagine themselves as successful business people, Nobel Prize-winning scientists, famous actors and authors, and secret CIA operatives foiling hijacking attempts. Meanwhile, their tormentors' biggest achievement is to memo...

  Mini Loa Luau

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

52 pages

Approx. 5 m, 4 w, 14 flexible, extras.


A village on a tiny Hawaiian island is preparing for its annual luau which draws much needed tourist dollars. The mayor and the local historian find out that the Mini Loa volcano (not to be confused with Mauna Loa volcano), needs a human sacrifice every five years and, much to their disgust, it's their job to find a suitable candidate. Tourists from across the lower 48 states flock to Mini Loa for a vacation of a lifetime, thanks to some advertisements in some unlikely magazines. Joining them are two reporters from a vacation TV network, one of whom is still ...

  Model Millionaire

Classic by Burton Bumgarner

25 pages

3 men, 2 women, 4 flexible


Adapted by Burton Bumgarner From the tale by Oscar Wilde. Hugh is in love with Laura and she is in love with him. They want to marry but Laura's father, a gruff and greedy man, won't hear of the marriage of his only daughter to a lowly actor. In order to win the girl he loves, Hugh must come up with the astounding sum of $10,000, or Laura will be forced to marry an attorney, a man her father has selected. Set in New York City during the Great Depression, actors and artists, as well as millionaires and beggars, populate this one-act play. Hugh's best friend, T...

  I Can't Go Out There!

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

37 pages

7 m, 8 w, 3 flexible (minimum with doubling: 2m, 3 w, 3 flexible)


This one-act comedy in four scenes chronicles the different stages of the stage. In elementary school, a frustrated teacher deals with stage fright while trying to direct young children in a play about jackrabbits and a mean old dog. In middle school, two students who've been cast as Romeo and Juliet realize that the play is a love story, and that kissing may be involved! In high school, a teacher is holding auditions for a production of "Anne of Green Gables." Actors audition with a rather violent monologue from "Titus Andronicus," a rap version of the solil...

  Not So Great Expectations

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

49 pages

4 m, 4 w, 1 flex


Failing the literature test, students Brandon, Abbey, Tyler, Hannah, Steve, Kristen, Nick and Lily decide to impress their teacher by performing "Great Expectations." Will Mrs. Eliot go for it, especially after being told by Tyler that he’d rather be at the dentist? With only eight actors, the students dash from one role to another trying to re-enact major scenes to show off their knowledge of the great work. When the plot gets too complicated for the classroom, the students stop and just explain it in their own hilarious terms. And when the action gets to be...

  The Star Child

Classic by Burton Bumgarner

35 pages

3 m, 2 w, flexible cast of 25, doubling possible


Deep in the forest on a cold winter's night, an owl tells his friends about another winter's night when a shooting star lit up the sky, fell to the ground, and left a human child in a hollow tree. A woodcutter, who sees the shooting star, finds the child, takes him home, and rears him as a member of his family. The Star Child grows up to be a very handsome young man, but he doesn't have compassion or kindness. He mistreats the poor and the sick, he hurts the animals of the forest, and he shows no love for the family that raised him. Eventually he loses his ha...

  Office Zone

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

33 pages

5 m, 5 w


The employees of Sly-Tech Corporation are bored, uninspired, and unhappy with their jobs, which consist of generating reports no one will ever see. They don't know from one day to the next who will even own the company or if they'll have jobs. When a perky young woman fresh out of college is hired to be their manager, they are exasperated. They are even more incensed when she insists on starting off the day with team-building exercises to enhance their P.M.A. (positive mental attitude) and making them hold a teddy bear when they wish to speak at meetings. Whe...

  Swamp Romp

Farce by Burton Bumgarner

59 pages

7 m, 9 w, 6 flexible


Life is anything but dull in the Great Okeeadokia Swamp. At Lester's Bog Mart Convenience Store, locals gather to purchase supplies, check out video rentals (a wide selection of three) or try Lester's delicious "Almost Fresh Catfish" or "Kind of Fried Chicken." The local book club has been working on "War and Peace" for months, and they're up to page 5. Young local resident Everett Mudd is trying to make a low-budget independent horror film which he wants to enter in the Sundown Film Festival. Five biology students become lost in the swamp when their professo...