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  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...

  Mouse and the Storyteller

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

36 pages

5 m, 7 w, 3 flexible, extras, doubling


From short stories by H.H. Munro (Saki). "The Mouse and The Storyteller" are two hilarious tales which take place aboard a train traveling from Philadelphia to Boston. In Philadelphia two architects board the train and sit next to a frail, elderly sleeping lady. They have checked out a dilapidated building so full of mice, that they inadvertently bring one onboard the train. Their quest to catch the mouse, which they both fear, without waking the sleeping passenger is outrageous. After they detrain in New York, a woman and her four horrible children share the...

  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...

  Dickens' A Christmas Carol

Drama by Joel A. Osborne

32 pages

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 ...

  Red-Headed League

Reader Theatre by Al Rodin

32 pages

7 m


Jabez Wilson is a pawnbroker whose store is located on Coburg Square next to a bank. He consults Sherlock Holmes about the "League of Red-Headed Men." He had been told by his employee, Vincent Spaulding, that it is a group established by a red-headed American millionaire, now dead, who had left a large amount of money for men with such hair color. Spaulding introduced Wilson to Duncan Ross who is also red-headed and the manager of the operation. All Wilson needed to do to earn the money was to spend four hours a day at an office, copying out the Encyclopedia ...

  Marriage Proposal

Classic by Paul Caywood

20 pages

2 m, 1 w


Part of The Half-hour Classics Series. This adaptation of "The Marriage Proposal" shows how hilarious and ridiculous a situation can become when the excitable and "ailing" Lomov comes to propose to the attractive, but equally excitable, Natalia. They soon enter into rowdy quarrels about land boundaries and hunting dogs. Will they marry? Will they fight their way through life? This adaptation has been created especially for high school students.

  The Commedia Pied Piper of Hamlin

Commedia by Lane Riosley

36 pages

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...

  The Commedia Aladdin

Commedia by Lane Riosley

45 pages

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...

  Bourgeois Gentleman

Classic by Robert Cohen

68 pages

Flexible cast: Approx. 10 m, 4 w, extras. Much doubling possible.


One of the world's great comedies. The wealthy Monsieur Jourdain hires teachers to train him in the Arts, and succeeds only in making himself appear foolish to everybody but himself. Then he tries to court an elegant Countess, making himself even more foolish. The play also contains a rambunctious mixture of Molière’s dramatic modes: Roman–style farce, commedia dell’arte gags, romantic high comedy, two mini–operas, and great quantities of topical satire. In its time it was a social satire today we can appreciate the satire but enjoy the hilarity. The play end...

  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.")

  Life on the Mississippi

Classic by R Rex Stephenson

64 pages

Company of between 18 - 35 actors


Here is a combination of three of Mark Twain's books blended into one story that continues Huck and Tom's great adventures. Huck and Tom are called to Arkansas because something mysterious is happening to Uncle Silas. As only Huck and Tom can, they set about solving the mystery that involves twin brothers, the maniacal Widow Dunlap and her nere-do-well son. This story is as poignant and humorous as Huck Finn, but without any of the racial overtones that in some areas has made Twain a controversial author. About 90 minutes.

  "Macbeth" at the Midnight Carnival

Classic Horror Shakespeare by Steven Fogell

55 pages

29 or more characters, much doubling possible.


Incorporating the work by William Shakespeare. An eerie traveling carnival, run by the frightening Madame LeBeau, arrives outside of a small American town in the early 1900s. Several children sneak into the carnival and quickly discover a wicked world of darkness and mystery. Trance-like, the townspeople are soon pulled to the tent and end up as characters in the tale of "Macbeth." The Mayor and his wife become Macbeth and Lady Macbeth; Mrs. Cambridge, the local widow, becomes Hecate; and other citizens become Macduff, Banquo, Ross, the Apparition, and others...

  The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

Classic by Dave Brandl

59 pages

6 m, 9 w, extras


Based on the story by Mark Twain.  The small town of Hadleyburg is world famous for its honesty, but it is a reputation that has never faced real temptation...until the day a stranger arrives. He leaves a large sack containing gold coins and a note with the last words spoken by an unknown local citizen who had once helped the stranger. Now he wants to find and repay his benefactor. The citizens of Hadleyburg had long boasted that they were incorruptible; however, greed, suspicion, and lying quickly surface. In Twain's true Americana style, the social and mora...

  Not an After-School Special

Comedy Dark by Jeffrey Smart

21 pages

1 m, 5 w


Are you overdosed on teen problems, dramas about eating disorders, drunk-driving, suicide, etc.? Then this darkly humorous one-act is the antidote. Violet is in the nurse's office after having fainted that morning. One by one her friends visit her and one by one she takes advantage of them by confessing to all the ills teens are supposed to have. With a story of illiteracy, she gets the bright but mousy Moxie to do her homework. A tale of bulimia gets tomboyish Caryn to give up her car keys. A fable of drunk driving gets the uptight Kelly to bring Violet her ...

  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...