Classics

Sort by
Display per page

  The Prez's New Clothes

Comedy by Stephen Murray

36 pages

5 m, 10 w, 7 flexible


Here is a hip, contemporary version of "The Emperor's New Clothes," complete with election politics and news media spin. President William Lee is too busy with international politics to worry about whether his striped tie clashes with his plaid pants and argyle socks. His devoted wife is understanding but the media sure take a stab at his wardrobe, as does his election opponent, Horace Grinchley, and Horace's overly-ambitious campaign manager, Myrna Snerd. The two get several people to pose as wardrobe consultants to strip President Lee down to his "bare" ess...

  A Doll's House

Classic Drama by Robert Cole

80 pages

3 m, 4 w, 1 flexible, 2 boys, 1 girl


This version breathes new life into the supreme classic by Henrik Ibsen. Of course no one can improve Ibsen's original story of Nora Helmer, living an unexamined life of domestic comfort but being ruled by her husband, Torvald. The foundation of everything she has believed in is put to the test when she is unable to pay back a loan she made in secret to save her husband’s life. She has to contrive ways to pay back the money, for if a solicitor reveals her secrets, the household will be torn apart. Rather than stiff and stodgy dialogue from other translations ...

  Kipling's Just So Stories

Classic by Stephenson and Tucker

51 pages

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...

  Taming of the Shrew

Shakespeare by Eric L. Magnus

64 pages

10 m, 3 w, 11 flexible, extras


This adaptation of William Shakespeare's zesty classic comedy remains true to the original, but with its tighter construction is more easily accessible to junior and senior high school actors. Set in Padua, Italy, in the late 1500s, the story concerns the shy Bianca and the mean-spirited Katharina, the two daughters of a rich merchant named Baptista. Though Bianca is being courted by a number of young men, Baptista announces that she may not marry until Katharina is wed. None of the men in town are willing to marry Katharina, so Bianca remains unwed, even as ...

  Fish and the Ring

Fairy Tale by Gerald Murphy

27 pages

3 m, 8 w, 5 flexible, doubling possible


Adapted from the English fairy tale. Baroness Agatha, a rich and powerful noblewoman, learns from a hermit that her newborn son, Alex, will marry Marie, a mere peasant's daughter. The Baroness will have none of this! She intends to kill her, but the baby somehow survives being thrown into a river and ends up being raised by a fisherman and his wife. Fifteen years later, Alex accidentally sees Marie and instantly falls in love with her. The Baroness again arranges to have Marie murdered, but a helpful innkeeper intercepts the fateful letter and changes it to r...

  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 Velveteen Rabbit

Classic by John Stephens

32 pages

Flexible cast of 7 to 18


A lonely boy receives a wonderful Christmas gift and a toy rabbit learns some valuable lessons about life and love. In this humorous and touching adaptation of the children's classic, the Velveteen Rabbit encounters the antics of toys and wild rabbits in his faithful quest to be "real." About 40 minutes.

  The Necklace

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

33 pages

4 m, 4 w, 6 flexible, doubling possible


Charleston, South Carolina, sometime after the Civil War. A poor woman borrows a diamond necklace from a wealthy friend to wear at a party. She hopes that this outing will change the circumstances of her life and fortune, and that the other guests will see that she and her husband really belong within the ranks of the upper classes. But things go awry, and she loses the necklace. Pride will not allow her to tell her friend of the loss. Instead, she has another necklace made to match the one that was lost, and she and her husband spend the next 12 years paying...

  Treasure Island

Classic by Charles Dewald

34 pages

8 m, 6 w, extras, doubling possible


This re-creation of Robert Louis Stevenson's well-loved action classic will delight audiences of all ages and can easily be taken on tour. Young Jim Hawkins finds a treasure map and the adventure is on. If crossing the ocean is not adventuresome enough, Long John Silver and his band of pirates plan to take over the ship and steal the treasure for themselves. With the help of a castaway named Ben Gunn and a group of islanders, the pirates are defeated in battle and the treasure is recovered by Jim and his friends. About 40 minutes.

  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.")

  Dickens of a Mystery

Comedy Mystery by Craig Sodaro

63 pages

5 m, 7 w


World-famous author Charles Dickens falls asleep during an interview with London Times reporter Edwina Drood. He dreams a variety of his characters as passengers aboard a ship heading to England, but they are now in a future he doesn't quiet understand. Miss Havisham and her adopted daughter Estella are luring Uriah Heep into a trap. Mr. McCawber is running from Madame Defarge, to whom he owes money. Captain Fagin tries to avoid the crewman Oliver Twist, who has become very adept at pickpocketing. Nancy, the barkeep, and Belle, the barmaid, are hiding secrets...

  "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 ...

  Hand

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

21 pages

3 m, 3 w, 4 extras


Adapted from the tale by Guy de MaupassantAn arrogant hunter shocks his dinner guests by showing them his prized trophy, a human hand chained to a board and mounted on the wall of his library. The next morning the hunter's mother demands he make amends to the guests and remove the hand. But the police have now heard about it and plan to check it out. The hunter wants to hide the hand but admits to his maid he feels safer keeping it in sight. The hand is the only thing he fears because the person it used to belong wants it back. That night the hunter finds the...