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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  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 ...

  Princess and the Pauper

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

73 pages

14 m, 7 w, 9 flexible, doubling possible


Based on the story by Mark Twain. A young girl visits the White House on a school tour and is mistaken by the Secret Service for the mischievous daughter of the President. She is escorted to the family quarters, where she inadvertently meets the real First Daughter who resents the loss of her freedom notoriety has imposed. On a lark, the girls decide to change places for twenty-four hours: the President's daughter goes to a housing project, and the student remains to spend a night in the world's most famous residence. Unfortunately, the President's daughter i...

  Three Strangers

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

27 pages

8 m, 4 w


The clever short story, "The Three Strangers," by English Victorian writer Thomas Hardy, has been skillfully adapted to a rural Appalachian setting. On a snowy winter's afternoon, a farmer and his wife are celebrating the christening of their infant daughter with friends and family. The party is interrupted by the arrival of a stranger, a poorly-dressed man seeking shelter from the cold. Soon a second stranger appears. This man is finely dressed but pompous and offensive. The guests are impressed by the humility of the first man, and angered by the arrogance ...

  Time to Heal

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

57 pages

Multi-racial cast of 7 m, 7 w, 6 flexible


Jim and Lillian Fowler are having a dinner party to welcome their daughter home from college and meet her fiance. Lillian's brother, Walt, a physician, is also there, even though he and Jim get under each other's skins, especially when Walt needles Jim about losing a recent election to become prosecutor because of his conservative racial views. When Janice and her fiance David arrive, the strain increases as the idealistic young law student from "up North" treats the Wycrofts, the family who works for the Fowlers, as equals. The Wycrofts are already uneasy, f...

  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...

  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...

  Annoying Angels

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

39 pages

Approx. 10 m, 10 w, much doubling possible


Frankie meets his end in an act of wanton cowardice. This offense isn't bad enough to send him to the basement, but he isn't good enough for the attic. He is assigned to Angie the Angel in the "Situation Re-Modification Department." He is given three chances to try to correct something in history that didn't go the way it was supposed to go. He messes up all three chances, but is offered a fourth chance by Herman, Angie's boss. With this one, the toughest of them all, he succeeds.

  Frump Tales

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

37 pages

1 m, 3 w, 13 flexible


Mega-millionaire Ronald Frump (known as "The Ronald"), a tough businessman, has purchased a company called All the Fairy Tales in the World, Inc., and it isn't making a profit. With the assistance of his loyal (and wimpy) secretary, Miss Filposh, he brings in a group of recent college graduates to try and spice up the story of "Little Red Riding Hood." The graduates use "Macbeth" as the basis of their version and arrive at "Macwolf." Unfortunately Little Red, now a tough Jersey girl, isn't afraid of anything, and the tale falls flat. Next, Frump brings in a g...

  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 ...

  West Wing Follies

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

72 pages

Flexible cast of 12


Here is a hysterical, non-partisan look at our fearless (and not so fearless) U.S. Presidents, their achievements, their failures, and their idiosyncrasies. This play offers a flexible, kazoo-playing cast the opportunity to portray history as never before! From newscasts, game shows, reality TV, talk shows, beach movies, the Grand Ol' Opry, and Shakespeare soliloquies, a cast of 12 actors presents all of the United States Presidents in twenty brief scenes. Former Presidents interview for jobs, advertise used cars, head to Fort Lauderdale for spring break, and...