6 m, 5 w, 1 girl
It is 1917, and three years into the worst war anyone has ever seen. Kate, a young American woman, is approached by an elderly dowager, Mrs. Lillian Merriweather, as they board a transcontinental train from Venice, Italy to Zurich, Switzerland. Mrs. Merriweather insists she knows of a sinister plot—with vast international repercussions— involving the other passengers. She tasks Kate with ensuring the authorities receive a secret message if she is unable to deliver it herself. When she promptly disappears, Kate teams up with Ida, a young war orphan. Together...
3 m, 2 w
In this award-winning farce, famed philosopher (and very self-important!) Voltaire has fled from the court of Frederick II, King of Prussia, with a stolen and highly sensitive manuscript of the King's poems. Determined to embarrass the monarch before the world, Voltaire finds his journey to France halted in the city of Frankfurt by Baron von Freytag, representative of the Prussian King. Before too long, the Baron’s over-eagerness to obey his master’s wishes and the enormity of Voltaire’s ego combine to create utter chaos, which becomes...
8 m, 14 w
When Max Holsten sets out for work leaving behind his briefcase and an unfinished breakfast, his quaint 1950s family is besieged by a series of misunderstandings that fester into conspiracy theories and suspicions. The extended family Max and his newlywed wife, April, have been living with are no comfort. April’s sister June has an obsession with pulp-fiction intrigue and leads April to assume the worst about Max. Making matters murkier, Grandma May, the aged and easily confused matriarch of the family, misstates all the facts. Max’s seemingly simple oversigh...
5 m, 6 w (2 m, 2 w, with doubling)
These three short plays all involve crime and they feature people so rotten, you don't care if they come to a bad end.
In “What It Looks Like” (2 m, 2 w), a trio of thieves sets out to rob a place where one of them is house-sitting. They hope to get away with the theft by arranging the scene to make it tell the story they want it to tell—that somebody from outside broke in. But none of the three is trustworthy, and, it turns out, neither is the owner who hired the house-sitter. Nothing is really what it looks lik...
6 m, 6 w, some flexibility
What could go wrong when a group of patients at the Sunnyvale Insane Asylum decide to put on an evening of Edgar Allan Poe works for the public? A lot. With tongue-in-cheek comedy, and a host of kooky characters, this wild romp provides a uniquely theatrical take on such Poe classics as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Raven,” and many more. Beware, though, there are surprises within, and things may not always be what they seem. Muhahaha! Running time: 60 minutes
4 m, 5 to 6 w, 2 extras
London. On a rainy evening in 1913, linguist Henry Higgins has a fateful encounter with an impertinent Cockney flower seller. When the girl shows up at his laboratory the following day, the haughty and impulsive Higgins makes a bold wager with a colleague: employing his mastery of language he will transform Eliza Doolittle from a rough street urchin into an aristocratic lady in just six months’ time. And so begins Eliza's halting metamorphosis … but what will become of the poor girl once this “experiment” is over?
George Bernard Shaw's classic h...
3 Actors or 3-8 Actors
The play tells the story of Davey Herold, a co-conspirator in the Lincoln assassination who accompanied John Wilkes Booth during the ensuing manhunt. It asks if Davey Herold had a choice in taking part in the assassination and whether or not he actually committed a crime. It moves fluidly from his jail cell where he speaks to his lawyer, to a series of locations during the planning of the assassination, to the history-changing execution, to Davey and Booth fleeing authorities. Approximately 70 minutes.
4 m, 6 w
"I've had trouble breaking into a house before but this is the first time I've had problems breaking OUT again!" So moans Merle to his partner, Howie. These two minor-league burglars have really met their match this time, it seems. They decided on a house only to find, after managing to get into the place, that it's up for sale and before they can leave, Conrad and Glenda, prospective buyers, show up. Merle figures they have two choices - either pretend to be real estate agents or beat it, making the buyers suspect them and call in the police. Merle begins to...
4 m, 5 w
This zany comedy, in the spirit of Kaufman and Hart, centers on Doc, an eccentric old man whose house caters to all sorts of characters. Now a retired judge, he spends his days “enjoying life.” When he’s not flying around the countryside in his balloon or fishing in a nearby dry riverbed, he works on his books of nonsense. This prompts his daughter, Charlotte, to decide he’s lost his marbles. So, conspiring with a sly lawyer, she plans to not only become his guardian but also sell his house and property. Throw in a psychologist on her first case, love sick te...
3 m, 6 w
You think it's easy to write a murder? Just ask the Marquis Crossing Ladies Society for the Arts. They decide to do just that, especially when they find out they have to pay royalties to do someone else's play. "Anybody can write a murder," Emma tells the others, and Opaline immediately begins to try to strangle the other members "just to figure out how to do it." The ladies soon find themselves writing an "operatic murder mystery dinner theater with possible audience participation," providing no one sells fruit to the audience. Then two actual convicts on th...
6 m, 8 w, and ensemble cast of 7 w or more
It’s January 1942, in the throes of World War II. Eddie, the owner of Eddie’s Auto Parts Factory in Cook County, Illinois, is struggling now that there is a freeze on the manufacturing of car parts. His secretary, Rosie, wonders if the factory can secure a government contract and be converted to make airplane parts instead— if only they can find the manpower. At a time when the radio and the mail were the main sources of information, and ration books were in every household, Rosie is willing to shed tradition, roll up her sleeves and do her part. She is chose...
6 m, 10 w, much doubling possible
“So you want to commit a murder.” This is the first line in a book purchased by Myron Bernhart. And here’s a guy who knows his books since he’s collected some rare ones and proud of it. That is until his nagging wife, Marge, decides to sell them. He tries to reason with her but is argued down, not only by her but the Civic Arts League, her cronies who, of course, meet constantly at their house. When all else fails, Myron realizes it’s time to take drastic action and plans it all out. Of course, his imagination tends to wander a bit--from German psychiatrists ...
4 m, 6 w, 4 flex
“How’d you like to be on television?” This question, posed by future daughter-in-law Anne, takes Loff DuVall by surprise. After all, he and May June had been running the Hampton Court trailer park for more years than either would care to admit. The last thing he’d want now is to be in some reality TV show. In fact, he was hoping he and May June could get away for a while, take a long vacation from the place. He wouldn’t have to listen to Goose Halford’s long stories, such as how his grandpa has a metal plate in his head. “The kids used to catch him asleep and...
4 m, 5 w, 1 boy
Lillie Scones is a sweet retired nanny who runs a boarding house with one resident and "a cat the size of the Louisiana Purchase." Her two friends, Jocelyn and Carmella, help to pass the time by listening to music and gossiping. Then Stuart, an old charge of hers, rents a room. Lillie is tickled to have him around again, not knowing he is planning on robbing the bank on the corner. Stuart's mind may not be totally on the bank job, however, when he meets Betty. However, when Stuart finds out that Betty is about to graduate from an academy on the very night the...
5 to 6 m, 7 w
Wouldn't it be great fun to direct William Shakespeare's "Hamlet"? That was what Margo Daley always thought...until she is hired to do just that by the Peaceful Glen Memorial Players in their theater, a renovated funeral home. They DO have a couple of conditions, however. Margo has to make the play a melodrama, so the audience will know when to throw the popcorn. And they can't be too loud because the lady who lives under the theater bangs her cane on the stage. Oh, and Margo has to insert the sponsors' names into the play and, by the way, has to take place i...