Classics

Sort by
Display per page

  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...

  The Last Leaf

Classic by

21 pages

3 m, 3 w


Two girls pursue art careers in New York, sharing a dingy, one-room flat. One grows sick when her paintings fail to sell. Only a vigorous desire to live can enable her to survive. She counts dead ivy leaves on a vine outside the window, convinced when the last leaf falls she will die. The morning after a fierce wind storm, when surely all the leaves will be gone, she sees a single leaf remaining. (Enjoy more O. Henry in "The New York Stories.")

  Beauty and the Beast: A Faerie Tale

Classic by Kristi Cunningham

67 pages

4 m, 9 w, 6 flexible, extras, much doubling possible


Faerie Tale, keeper of the stories of the wood, begins this classic tale, retold with a bit of an Irish twist. It’s the beloved story of a kind-hearted prince, cursed to live as a beast, and the girl who comes to love him. Due to the scheming by the family business manager, a devoted father believes he and his three daughters are destitute and move to a rundown cottage. They are unaware that the land is under an enchantment until Father encounters the Beast nearby. For having picked a rose from the Beast’s garden, Father is forced to make a promise to return....

  Applause for Plautus

Comedy by Katie B. Oberlander

42 pages

Flexible cast 20 - 60


Here are three comic plays based on the work of the Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus. The first play is "The Pot of Gold," in which Euclio, a miser, goes to great lengths to hide a secret fortune from his family and neighbors. In "The Brothers Menaechmus," identical twins who were separated at birth cause confusion when one of them coincidentally arrives in their hometown on the day of his brother's wedding. The collection concludes with "The Haunted House" as a clever servant concocts a tale of the supernatural to aid his master in marrying a slave who...

  The Monkey's Paw

Horror Mystery by L. Don Swartz

22 pages

2 m, 3 w


A mysterious storyteller leaves a grisly talisman with a Midwestern farm family, assuring them that it will grant them three wishes, but warning them to pitch the monkey's paw on the fire, as it will bring them nothing but death. The father makes the first wish, but even good is twisted into evil as the family's lives spiral hopelessly out of control. (Excerpted from the author's full-length play, "Fright Night.")

  Defining Moments

Drama by Bryan McCampbell

52 pages

Flexible cast, approx. 11 m, 14 w, extras, doubling possible


This play forces us to examine the points in our lives when we make decisions - right or wrong, good or bad - that will define our own future as well as the lives of others. Built upon a series of monologues and scenes, the play depicts young adults dealing with the reality of HIV and AIDS. For some it's simply a threat -something not to be let out of its cave. For others, the monster has become an unwanted part of their daily existence. This uncompromising drama uses vivid and timely dialogue. A perfect competition piece, it features minimal staging, a choru...

  The Prince and the Pauper

Classic by Dan Neidermyer

46 pages

10 m, 7 w, extras as desired


Here's an exciting tale about two English youths, one the royal Prince Edward, and the other a pauper by the name of Tom Canty. Because they look so much alike, they laughingly decide to try on each other's clothes. For a few moments they find themselves daydreaming about "being the other." Suddenly, the unthinkable happens! The true prince, now dressed as the pauper, is unceremoniously thrown out of the palace by zealous guards while Tom, now dressed in royal clothing, is looked upon as heir to the throne. On the streets of London, the prince fights to prove...

  New York Stories

Adaptation by Nikki Harmon

62 pages

Flexible cast minimum 4 (3 m, 1 w) maximum 37 (28 m, 9 w)


Here are ten short views of turn-of-the-century New York through the eyes of O. Henry, the master of the twist ending and chronicler of everyday people from young shop girls with enormous dreams to the ne'er-do-wells with plans for the easy life. Among the people you'll come to know and almost love are: three of the dingiest and laziest musketeers you've ever seen, plotting to relieve a hard-working wife of a whole dollar she earned scrubbing clothes; a young gentleman with a sudden insurmountable problem in giving away a "mere one-thousand-dollar" inheritanc...

  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...

  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...

  God-Given Talent

Comedy by Alysia Kozbial

22 pages

5 m, 3 w, extras


Marcus lives in an exciting time for theatre: the very beginning in Ancient Greece. He wants to become a great actor and impress everyone at the Festival of Dionysus, especially the lovely maiden Chara. Unfortunately, he can't act, but the gods Dionysus and Apollo see this and decide to help him out. With his new, god-given talent of acting, Marcus is able to win the tragedy competition and the heart of Chara, but not without upsetting two goddesses on Mt. Olympus. Hera and Aphrodite are outraged and have plans to stir up the situation even more. This magical...

  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...

  The Lady or the Tiger?

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

32 pages

2 m, 2 w, 9 or more flexible


Adapted from the short story by Frank Stockton. A king, known for his cruel nature, finds out that his daughter, the princess, is in love with a common courtier. After much thought he devises a sinister punishment for the young man, as well as for his own daughter. The young man is to be brought to a public arena and forced to choose between two doors. Behind one door is life and marriage to a lady who is a sworn enemy of the princess. Behind the other door is certain death from a ferocious tiger. The princess finds out what is behind each door and plans on s...

  The Ransom of Red Chief

Classic by Burton Bumgarner

33 pages

2 m, 4 w, 2 flexible, extras, doubling possible


Here is a hip, contemporary adaptation of O'Henry's famous short story. Bonnie, Bridget and Billy Driscoll are living in a dumpy apartment, their credit cards charged to the max, trying to make it on their own in New York. When Bridget brings home Dolly, a seemingly sweet lost little girl, (perhaps a bit "high strung"), the siblings soon realize that she is the daughter of an extremely wealthy New Yorker. While Billy plays cowboys and "indigenous people" with Dolly, the sisters jokingly write a ransom note on the computer for the modest amount of $25,000, eno...