Community Theatre One-Act

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  Mastermime (Or Don’t Mime if I Do)

Comedy by Katie B. Oberlander

24 pages

3 m, 3 w, 6 flexible


Tomorrow is opening night at The Grand Old Theatre and Mastermime, a notorious criminal who distracts audiences with entrancing mime routines and then disappears with their valuables, has defaced the theatre marquee and is terrorizing the stagehands. Will hard-boiled detective Stanton Ovation and his earnest sidekick Deputy Hammet Upp capture this mute but expressive villain before he steals self-absorbed celebrity actress Ima Starr’s diamonds? Or is there more to this case than it seems? Ima’s talkative assistant Roberta, who was a forensic scientist before ...

  Rise and Shine, Summer Grove!

Comedy by Dan D’Amario

24 pages

3 m, 3 w


Pat White and Pat Gray have come to the local television set of Rise and Shine, a morning news/entertainment show, to tape a public service announcement for their groups' national convention of crocheters, called the Happy Hookers. When an accident knocks the young, ambitious and somewhat egotistical news anchors out of commission just after the show begins, the two elderly Pats are called on as emergency replacements. Laughs abound as they struggle to read the news, discuss their passion for hooking, and deal with the two anchors whose inhibitions have been ...

  The Most Dangerous Game

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

33 pages

3 m, 3 w


Inspired by the short story by Richard Connell. In this updated version of a classic thriller, corporate headhunters give new meaning to the term "hunting." Throughout the Zaroff Corporation's long history, success is based on finding the right employees. Four professionals are invited for an interview at Zaroff's headquarters. After a gourmet meal and cordial introductions, the potential employees realize that this would be the perfect job with the perfect salary. The human resource manager of Zaroff then tells the potential employees that they are all compe...

  It's All an Act

Comedy by Carl L. Williams

32 pages

Flexible casting


Here's a delicious trio of short plays about the theatre.

 

In "Must the Show Go On?" (3 m, 1 w) everything goes wrong on opening night. The four actors persevere despite a drunk in the tech booth, a "costume failure," a prop gun that doesn't fire and a sneezing corpse!

 

In "Can't You See We're Acting?" (2 m, 3 w) three older people create havoc from their front-row seats as they unwrap pieces of hard candy, snor...

  The Last Train

Drama Historic by R. James Scott

31 pages

6 m, 5 w, extra flexible roles


World War II lingers on. The unspeakable operations in the death camps are slated for closure, but there is still time for one last train to deliver prisoners before the Americans arrive. Two young German soldiers, Hans and Eric, are sick at heart and know their country is in ruin. They are assigned to assist the loading of the last car. Eric is shocked when he hears Anna, a childhood friend, call out to him for help. But Anna doesn’t have her papers, and no matter what Eric says to his superiors, he cannot convince them it is wrong for her to be there. Hans ...

  110th Street Station

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

28 pages

3 m, 6 w


During the wait for the next subway train, the assembled characters think only of their own plights. There's Estelle, an eccentric woman who sits in the station doing cross-stitch and talking with Grover, a street person; Julia, a wealthy woman whose expensive car has just broken down and who is in a hurry to meet her husband; Calvin, a spoiled brat who is supposed to be meeting business associates of his father's at the airport; Marta, a recent immigrant on her way to a new job in a sweatshop; a novice nun with doubts about her vocation; Jan and Jill, musici...

  Roman Fever

Classic by Renee Rebman

23 pages

2 m, 7 w, doubling possible


Adapted Renee Rebman from the story by Edith Wharton. A period piece set in the 1920s, this play provides an opportunity for two old friends, Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade, to sit in an outdoor cafe in Rome and reminisce about the past. Now both widowed, the women begin to examine their strangely intertwined lives. A dramatic and emotional confrontation reveals a startling secret that is explored through well-staged flashbacks. A twist of fate long buried in the past leads to a surprising ending that will leave their friendship marked and the women changed forev...

  Thousand Dollars

Drama by Robert Blaskey

18 pages

3 m, 3 w, extras


According to his uncle's will, Bob, a carefree young man, must spend $1,000 within 24 hours and give an account of how it was spent to the lawyer. First he almost buys a necklace for his greedy girlfriend, then he almost gives it to a con man. Finally he gives it to his uncle's ward, Linda, and the orphans she cares for. Bob then learns if he spent his $1,000 wisely he would receive another $50,000; if not, it would go to Linda. In true O. Henry style where coincidence affects character, Bob tells the attorney he lost the money at the race track.

  All Chime In

Comedy by James A. Gustafson

24 pages

10 m, 10 w, 1 flexible


Things have been going so well in Rob and Jen’s relationship that after a few months of dating, Rob is ready to propose. His plan seemed simple enough. He’d take Jen to dinner, propose marriage, she’d say yes, and they’d live happily ever after. What he didn’t count on was everyone in the restaurant chiming in! Between the old ladies at the table next to him and the divorced man on the other side both offering varying opinions on married life, Jen can hardly answer. Throw in a sassy waitress, more eavesdropping diners, Rob’s ex-girlfriend, a lawyer, a wedding...

  Penny for Your Thoughts

Comedy by Scott Haan

52 pages

3 m, 7 w (With optional extended ending: 7 m, 8 w)


Penny Ramsey is a young woman who, like all of us, has different sides to her personality. They are personified in the story by comically stereotypical characters, collectively known as the Egos. The five Egos make up her decision-making process, which gets a lot more complicated when Penny overhears only one side of her boyfriend Matt’s phone conversation and believes he has betrayed her. It’s a stressful time for Penny, made even more confusing by the introduction of a potential new suitor named Rick and the nosy involvement of Penny’s mother (and Matt’s bo...

  Speed Dating Nightmare

Comedy by Scott Haan

31 pages

From 5 - 13 actors.


Speed dating is a great way for singles to meet other people. Each "date" only lasts a few minutes, and if it doesn't work out, you can hope the next one will be better. For Cindy, those minutes feel like an eternity as she is subjected to a seemingly endless parade of jerks and losers. First there’s Marcus, whose questions seem more like an interrogation; then Trevor, whose career motivation extends only to getting the next new video game. Third is Scissor, an artistic man with an inflated sense of ego, followed by Ernest, a socially awkward guy who thinks s...

  Echoes From the Titanic

Drama by Pat Cook

35 pages

15 m, 7 w, extras, much doubling possible


The survivors of the Titanic disaster tell you in their own words about their escape to lifeboats in this adaptation of the 1912 Senate hearings, which began just one day after they arrived from their fateful trip. "We have nothing to conceal," proclaims White Star Lines President Bruce Ismay, but then has to explain why he was able to get in a lifeboat. Hear Fifth Officer Lowe's report why some lifeboats were not completely filled when they departed and why he fired a pistol to control the crowds. As parts of their testimony are re-enacted, we begin to see t...

  The Monkey's Paw

Horror Mystery by L. Don Swartz

22 pages

2 m, 3 w


A mysterious storyteller leaves a grisly talisman with a Midwestern farm family, assuring them that it will grant them three wishes, but warning them to pitch the monkey's paw on the fire, as it will bring them nothing but death. The father makes the first wish, but even good is twisted into evil as the family's lives spiral hopelessly out of control. (Excerpted from the author's full-length play, "Fright Night.")

  Jack-In-The-Box

Drama by Sara L. Reily

30 pages

3 m, 2 w


Jarod, a young med student, takes a journey into his own mind after an accident leaves him comatose. He meets a man who will change his life forever - his subconscious. The limited set becomes a universal playing ground where Jarod's subconscious introduces him to various places and people that encourage him to take on life's obstacles. In this 45-minute piece, the human will is not only explored but put to a test. Jarod becomes a recognizable character who discovers more about himself than he ever knew existed.

  Happy Birthday, Dear Grandpa

Comedy by Michal Jacot

46 pages

4 m, 3 w, 2 flexible


A cantankerous grandfather, ill-tempered and paranoid, is determined to think that his grandkids, three young adult siblings, are trying to kill him for their inheritance ($642 and a postcard collection). Grandpa doesn't mind shouting it down the halls of his apartment building to alert whatever neighbors he can. So when Grandpa suddenly slumps forward, face down in the birthday cake at his surprise party, the grandkids realize it looks like murder and they're the suspects. What follows is a fast-paced series of charades, plot twists, off-beat humor and one-l...