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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  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...

  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 ...

  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...

  Mouse and the Storyteller

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

36 pages

5 m, 7 w, 3 flexible, extras, doubling


From short stories by H.H. Munro (Saki). "The Mouse and The Storyteller" are two hilarious tales which take place aboard a train traveling from Philadelphia to Boston. In Philadelphia two architects board the train and sit next to a frail, elderly sleeping lady. They have checked out a dilapidated building so full of mice, that they inadvertently bring one onboard the train. Their quest to catch the mouse, which they both fear, without waking the sleeping passenger is outrageous. After they detrain in New York, a woman and her four horrible children share the...

  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...

  High School Yearbroke

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

23 pages

3 m, 4 w


Join Michelle, Bonnie, and Jake as they bumble through getting the high school yearbook together. As senior editor, Michelle wants "her" book to be perfect. Unfortunately, Bonnie, the copy editor, can't spell, and Jake, the photographer, is a little too laid back for deadlines. A core group of four actors portray every organization from the French club to the pep squad as they come to have their pictures taken. The fast-paced photo sessions and accompanying "captions" earn an A on the laugh scale. See how Bonnie and Jake finally create a "yearbroke" too funny...

  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...

  Hand

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

21 pages

3 m, 3 w, 4 extras


Adapted from the tale by Guy de MaupassantAn arrogant hunter shocks his dinner guests by showing them his prized trophy, a human hand chained to a board and mounted on the wall of his library. The next morning the hunter's mother demands he make amends to the guests and remove the hand. But the police have now heard about it and plan to check it out. The hunter wants to hide the hand but admits to his maid he feels safer keeping it in sight. The hand is the only thing he fears because the person it used to belong wants it back. That night the hunter finds the...

  Khrushchev and Me

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

51 pages

8 m, 6 w, 2 flexible, extras


The year is 1960 and the fear of nuclear war is foremost in the minds of Americans. This is the year that the O'Brien family leaves New York City for a better life in the suburbs. Children Angie and Ted are worried about fitting in at their new school. Amy, the youngest child, worries about the world situation. Unfortunately, the O'Briens move across the street from the Meyersons, who prove to be the worst neighbors in the world. Amy imagines that Khrushchev, who seems to be the cause of so much tension and fear, would probably be a nicer person if she could ...