Classics

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  The Secret Garden

Classic by Frumi Cohen

41 pages

3 m, 3 w, 1 g, 2 b, 13 flex, extras


After losing her parents to a cholera epidemic in India, young Mary Lennox is sent to the English Misselthwaite Manor to stay with her uncle, Archibald Craven. Archibald, who has never recovered from the death of his wife, has had most of the mansion locked up, including his wife's beloved garden, and even his son, Colin, a sickly boy, to obliterate her memory. Mary, an unhappy girl herself, finds Colin, unlocks the secret garden and brings it to life. In her process of healing and self-discovery, she brings life back to Colin and Archibald Craven. This encha...

  Frankenstein Unplugged

Drama by Jonathan Yukich

40 pages

6 m, 3 w, 4 flexible (or with doubling 2 m, 1 w)


Here is a faithful stage retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic Gothic novel. We meet Victor Frankenstein, who is obsessed with finding the secret to recreating life. Of course, he famously succeeds, but fearing he has overstepped the bounds of science, quickly abandons his creation and the promise to make it a mate. The creature, betrayed and forsaken, vows to ruthlessly destroy all that his creator loves and cherishes. The unrelenting pursuit goes to the very edges of the earth. Clever theatricality, such as using actors as lightning and thunder, and as profes...

  All Hallows' Eve

Suspense Terror by Burton Bumgarner

52 pages

Flexible casting


Adapted from tales by Catherine Wells, Guy de Maupassant, and W.W. Jacobs. Three terrifying tales are set on or around Halloween in a New York brownstone. In "The Actor," (2 m, 3 w, 1 flexible), a young girl, who lives with her eccentric parents in a house rumored to be haunted, asks a famous actor to frighten her by portraying the house ghost at a Halloween party. She gets a lot more than she bargained for when she is truly frightened out of her wits. In "The Hand," (3 m, 3 w, 4 non-speaking), an arrogant hunter has his prized trophy mounted on the wall of h...

  Greek to Me!

Classic Humor With Humor by Squire Fridell

65 pages

Widely flexible cast from 12 to 50


Here's an energetic, engaging look at how theatre developed, from the first actor to speak aloud to the idea of using scenery. The play then segues into a variety of scenes from the great plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. The easy-to-present scenes show how ancient Greek plays, both tragic and comedic, became classics because they were insightful and entertaining. Features a special music and sound effects CD (#8128T) to immerse your audience into the theatre of 2,000 years ago, available when you order your cast set. "The script is w...

  Thumbelina

Classic Comedy by Wade Bradford

41 pages

5 m, 8 w, 4 flexible, extras (including a few children from the audience)


In this adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's beloved tale, all of the town's children gather round a traveling storyteller to hear the story of a wayward little fairy girl. When an old woman wishes on a magic flower, her heart's desire for a child of her own literally blossoms before her eyes. Her magical little girl, only a few inches high, is named Thumbelina, and although the friendly child is very helpful around the house, and very kind to the nearby forest creatures, she just doesn't feel as if she fits in. A gossipy Frog Lady convinces Thumbelina tha...

  Scrooged Up!

Comedy by Dan Roberts

26 pages

4 m, 6 w, 1 flexible, 1 child


The Hillsdale Community Theater wants to produce "A Christmas Carol," but they don't have enough actors to play the extraordinarily large number of parts. So their undaunted director, being resourceful (if not totally realistic), has triple and quadruple-cast the roles. And since everyone in sight has been recruited, the cast also fills in as costumers, stagehands and technicians. The impossibility of this situation brings tensions to a comical head as the final rehearsal invites one calamity after another. "Scrooged Up!" provides a Dickens of a time for ever...

  The Canterbury Tales

Classic by Craig Sodaro

70 pages

17 m, 22 w, 8 either, doubling possible


Geoffrey Chaucer introduces us to a group of 14th century pilgrims preparing for their journey to Canterbury the next day. He proposes that each tell a story going to and from the shrine, but the group is so anxious they begin immediately. The Physician begins with the tale of a wicked judge who desires his scribe's sweetheart for himself. Can the young scribe save her from the unwanted marriage? The Pardoner tells the next tale of three thieves who plan to find Death and kill him, but their greed leads them directly to him. The Nun tells the story of Chantic...

  The Magic Flute

Classic by Steven Fogell

58 pages

6 m, 6 w, 16 flexible, extras if desired


Follow Prince Tamino in this hilarious tale as he travels to the castle of the evil Sarastro to save the princess Pamina. Along his magical journey he meets a wild cast of characters including Papageno, the three muses, the Greenbird, the spirits, and the fabled Queen of the Night. Armed with a magic flute given by the queen, Tamino is ready to take on Sarastro. Once inside the castle our prince and his friends face monsters, magic, and a test to free his beloved Pamina. Fast-paced dialogue and hysterical characters enchant this large cast-play based on the o...

  The Invisible Man

Classic by Craig Sodaro

55 pages

6 m, 6 w


A mysterious stranger, swathed from head to toe in clothes and dark glasses, seeks a room at a peaceful English inn. He claims to be a scientist. When the curious innkeeper's wife spies upon him, she is terrified to find he has no face. The stranger then reveals he is indeed invisible and proceeds to menace the countryside. A young, handsome doctor must finally stop him. Special effects are no problem. When the Invisible Man speaks but is not seen, he is behind a screen. The fight scenes "between" the Invisible Man and the other lodgers is action your actors ...

  Much Ado About Nothing

Adaptation Shakespeare by Patricia B. Melehan

51 pages

8 m, 5 w, 9 flexible, extras


This adaptation, appropriate for middle school and high school students alike, contains much of Shakespeare's original poetry and language but with an additional female role, that of Nerissa, a gentlewoman of the court. The play, a satiric comedy about "romantic" love, features two contrasting couples. There is Benedick, a cad, who has sworn to forever remain a bachelor. But as it turns out, he meets his match when he encounters Beatrice, a strong, intelligent, witty woman. Beatrice doesn't need a man, and she doesn't want one either. Then there is Claudio, t...

  Antigone, 1865

Drama by Michael Willis

36 pages

5 m, 5 w, extras


The classic Greek tragedy by Sophocles is moved to the fictional Fort Thebes at the end of the U.S. Civil War. The new fort commander, Col. Creon, proclaims that one of Antigone's brothers, loyal to the Union, will be buried a hero. Her other brother, loyal to the South, will be left unburied. Anyone defying these orders will be shot by a firing squad. Fierce, yet calmly determined, Antigone tries to provide a decent burial for her "traitorous" brother. When she is caught, Creon sentences her to death. But other soldiers, an old fortune-teller, and even his o...

  Tell-Tale

Drama by Rebecca Gorman O'neill

84 pages

13 m, 21 w. (With doubling 5 m, 8 w. )


TELL-TALE is loosely based on the life and death of Edgar Allan Poe. It is, in essence, Poe’s last confession. It takes place in the Baltimore hospital where he lies in a delirium before his death. Poe is forced to look at his life, his mistakes, his outrageous behaviors, and, in the end, he must try to find peace. This peace in death comes by way of the only peace he had in life -- telling a story. Poe starts his story by casting himself as the dashing, tragic hero, but as the play progresses, his own memories slip from his control, turning on him and forcin...

  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...

  Christmas Every Day

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

31 pages

8 m, 8 w


As Christmas day approaches, a young girl asks her father for a story. He spins a delightful tale about a little girl named Betsy who makes a wish to have Christmas every day of the year. Her wish comes true. At first it is all very exciting, with Santa's visit, the opening of packages, the singing of carols, and the arrival of the cousins for dinner. But soon the daily repetition wears thin. Santa is too exhausted to deliver presents and goes to sleep in Betsy's living room. The carolers have no energy to sing, all of the forests are cleared of Christmas tre...

  Aesop's Hop

Comedy by Wade Bradford

53 pages

Large, Flexible cast


Welcome to the mythical Forest of Fables, home of the Tortoise and the Hare, the Ants and the Grasshopper, the Lion and the Mice, and many other colorful creatures. This realm is also the home of Aesop, the friendly storyteller from Ancient Greece. The animals and two immortal Muses prepare for Aesop's surprise 98th birthday party, until they realize that they have no music for their upcoming celebration. The problem is solved when a nervous Donkey, a vain Cat, a hopeful Rooster, and a dim-witted Dog join forces and ensure that old Aesop gets the party of a c...