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.")
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...
11 m, 14 w, 28 flexible, much doubling possible
Here is a lovely version of the adventures of Dr. Dolittle, the gentle Englishman who can talk to animals. All his furry and feathered friends are along for the ride including Jip, the dog; Dab-Dab, the duck; Chee-Chee, the monkey; Gub-Gub the pig; and, of course, Polynesia, the parrot; as well as a slew of seagulls, dolphins and sharks, and the unique two-headed creature, Pushmi-Pullyu. Follow Dr. Dolittle to Africa to cure a tribe of sick monkeys. Watch him thwart a fierce band of greedy pirates. Join him on a mission to rescue Professor Long Arrow, a famou...
6 m, 8-9 w, 2 flexible
Based on the famous Oscar Wilde story, this adaptation is touching and funny. Sir Simon Canterville, the 500-year-old ghost of Canterville Manor, is suddenly faced with an English ghost’s worst nightmare -- Americans! The Otis family moves in, and Sir Simon wants them out. When 16-year-old Virginia, who wants to be anywhere but England, and Sir Simon meet, they have an instant dislike for one another. Soon, though, they find they have a very special link. Insert two rambunctious twins, a stuffy English butler, and a handsome young English duke, and this becom...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
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...
Approx. 15 m, 15 w, much doubling possible
Here's a delightful and easy-to-do version of Dickens' Christmas story, faithfully adapted for young people and their families. Originally written as a touring show, it is adaptable to any theatre or stage facility. All the beloved characters and scenes are included: Scrooge and Cratchit in the counting house; the Ghost of Christmas Past; Scrooge’s sweetheart Belle at the Fezziwig ball; the Ghost of Ghost of Christmas Present and the Cratchit home with Tiny Tim; and even the sensitive scenes at the pawn shop and graveyard. Of course, there’s the happy ending ...
14 m, 3 w, and courtiers, attendants and servants.
One of Shakespeare's greatest "Breeches Parts" plays. Viola finds herself shipwrecked on a strange coast where she must disguise herself as a young man to get along in society. An intricate plot that retains its intricacy but not its confusion. This tale of love and courtship, mistaken identity, pride, and practical jokes is edited to 90 minutes. The actions flows quickly and the archaic terms are eliminated. This is a fine version for actors from junior high school through college to perform.
2 m, 2 w
Four commedia dell’arte actors perform all roles in this fast-paced, hilarious play. The rats of Hamlin (dressed with black ball caps) are hungry and demand the Mayor “set things rat, rat now!” And so you can see how poor pronunciation of a simple word created a terrible disagreement between the rats and the citizens of the clean little hamlet. The Mayor, portrayed by Punchin, the dell’ arte character with the big, proud nose, asks the Queen of the Cats, the Duke of the Dogs, the Earl of the Eagles, the High Prince of the Possums, and even the Countess of Cat...
2 m, 2 w
The zany antics of the commedia style, with lots of bumbling, scheming, incorrigible improvisations and very physical comedy, allows just four traveling actors to create this fast-paced story of Aladdin. Arelquin, Punchin, Columbine and Rosetta portray all the many roles in the story of a lazy young boy who needs to work to help support his mother, especially since his father froze up and is standing in a forest where birds nest in his hair! Aladdin almost falls for the machinations of an evil magician, but instead he saves himself and gains access to the Gen...