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...
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 ...
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...
9 m, 15 w, and numerous extras, doubling possible
Set in an all-female boarding school in Victorian London, young Sara Crewe loses all her money and place in society when her father dies. Forced by the merciless headmistress to work in slave-like conditions in the school she once attended, Sara dreams of a better life. She uses her vivid imagination to deal with her adversity and even bring happiness to those around her. She encounters all sorts of characters, from the school bully and her cronies, to the nervous servant girl, to the mysterious old gentleman who moves in next door... The songs have been writ...
With doubling 3 m, 7 w
Adapted by Burton Bumgarner From the short story by H.H. Munro (Saki). Here is a delicious tale of conventional manners and expectations turned topsy-turvy. When an upper-class family goes to meet their new English governess, they mistakenly bring home Lady Carlotta. Her eccentricities at first delight the parents, whose four children have been the cause of past governesses' psychological breakdowns. The mother likes the idea of education being interesting and relevant to children; the father prefers discipline. Carlotta claims to teach by the "Schartz-Metter...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
7 m, 4 w (or with doubling, 4 m, 3 w)
Adapted from the original play by Moliere. Monsieur Argan is an imaginary invalid. Indeed, he is a hypochondriac suffering pains in every part of his body. He wants his daughter, Angelique, to marry the stupid son of a doctor, and not Cleante, the man she truly loves. Argan's second wife, Beline, would like to put Angelique in a convent. But through the tricks and hijinks of Toinette, the maid, and Beralde, Argan's brother, all of the schemers are exposed and in the process the cast and the audience have had a rollicking good time.
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...
Widely flexible cast (14 or more)
Kipling's dramatic and entertaining stories about how the Camel got his hump, how the Elephant got his nose, how the Whale got his spout, and other richly woven tales come to life in this engaging full-length play. Mr. and Mrs. Kipling and their two bubbly yet unpretentious daughters serve as narrators. The story weaves from several animal tales to the final human one, how Man-or in this case an enterprising young girl!--wrote the first letter. Especially engaging is the two-person whale which is a great theatrical device. Easy to produce, this whimsical play...
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...