Community Theatre One-Act

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  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.")

  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...

  The Prisoner's Hands

Drama by E. Jack Williams

33 pages

8 w, 6 flex, extras, doubling possible


This is the story of a killer, her relationship to the family of the victim and her relationship to her own conscience. The play opens in a courtroom with the murder victim’s blind sister, Whitney, giving a family impact statement. Her personal sentence seals the fate of Cheek, the defendant, far worse than any court punishment of “life in prison” could ever do. “I sentence you...to see the image of my sister's face in your hands. I want your hands to be the constant reminder of the horror you saw in her face as you squeezed the life out of her...I want this ...

  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 ...

  Hurry Up and Wait!

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

52 pages

4 m, 4 w


Waiting in line? Waiting your turn? You don’t have time! Here’s a comedy in six scenes for those who are time-challenged. In the first scene a desperate woman has only 20 minutes to get to the airport to catch her flight and no matter what her beleaguered taxi driver says or does, they remain stuck in a traffic jam. In a different scene, things start to get physical at a restaurant when a couple with dinner reservations (and theatre tickets!) see others entering and being seated before them. In another scene, a jumpy hypochondriac is forced to wait in a docto...

  Murder Box

Mystery by Reid Conrad

37 pages

4 m, 8 w


At the end of the 1940s an old theatre building is about to be torn down. As the theatre's acting troupe is packing up the props, costumes and set pieces, an old magician's trunk is wheeled onstage. Suddenly, members of the company are turning up dead. Margaret, the director's assistant, is the only witness to these crimes, seeing with her own eyes how Eve was strangled, Madigan bludgeoned, and Stan shot. Yet no one will believe her, especially when there is no trace of any of the bodies! This edgy, film noir-style mystery earned straight superiors from the j...

  The Nightmare of Frankenstein

Drama by Walsh And Noll

34 pages

2 m, 2 w, 4 flexible


The House of Frankenstein is in turmoil. Victor Frankenstein, engaged to a woman he deeply loves, has fallen into a fit of despair. The cause of Victor’s behavior is, in fact, a Creature he brought to life. Contrary to what Victor intended, however, his Creature is hideous to look upon. So much so, that the Creature has covered his face so he won’t have to see his own reflection. Desperate, the forlorn Creature strikes a bargain with Victor: If the young scientist will create a suitable bride for him, the Creature will retire with her to the cold and distant ...

  The Miser

Comedy by John Deprine

37 pages

4 m, 3 w


Monsieur Harpagon is a miser, through and through. Although he has his beloved treasure buried in the garden to protect it from thieves, he abhors waste such as warmth and food! He tells his children, Elise and Cleante, they may only marry with his consent, and he looks for spouses for both of them with the help of Madame Frosine, a matchmaker. She quickly finds a future spouse for everyone, including Monsieur Harpagon. Little does he know Cleante has fallen for Marianne, who Harpagon himself plans to marry, and Elise has fallen for the penniless Valere. The ...

  Valjean

Drama by Jeffrey Watts

28 pages

6 m, 5 w doubling possible to 4 m, 3 w


This powerful one-act is based on the first pages of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables." The year is 1815 and Jean Valjean has been imprisoned nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. Now, after being released, Valjean finds it impossible to find lodging or food. Society has treated him like an animal and he feels like one. Finally he finds refuge at the Bishop's home. The clergyman welcomes him with kindness and even trust, using his best silver candlesticks at the evening meal, much to the dismay and warnings of the susp...

  Ladies at Lunch

Comedy Senior by Carol M. Woods

14 pages

2m, 6w


Six alert and active senior ladies meet for lunch each week. Between their arranging chairs, sharing OTC medications, discussing mammograms and men, they give a waiter and his manager a really bad day. This is a hilarious play, full of opportunities for clever business. One Interior. About 25 minutes.

 

Also join the ladies in these other comedies: "Ladies at Poker" (#1816) "Ladies on Vacation" (#1649)

  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...

  Code Five

Drama by Marc Holland

24 pages

1 m, 1 w


A male nurse is facing a stalemate after years of sessions with his therapist…until today. Finally, the hole in his mind is filled by the actual memory of moments of terror. His realization? That in keeping a few co-workers and himself alive behind a blocked door, others were killed on the other side of the door while begging to be let in. It is, sadly, a story of a shooting that is all too timely. Here is a play that will open some conversations that we don’t really want to have about an issue we wish would go away. When the evening news no longer leads with...

  Stone Naked Woman

Comedy by Kay Rhoads

32 pages

11 m, 9 w, 1 flexible, doubling possible


Friendships are tried, prejudices are revealed, and self-interest is (dare it be said) exposed in this fast-moving comedy! A small Iowa town deals with the weighty issue of whether a stone statue violates the morals ordinance. Chorlis Deets, longtime resident of Lambs Corner, has a new lawn ornament in honor of his departed wife: a stone statue of Aphrodite, painted pink and "situated" on a swing in his front yard. An emergency meeting of the city council is called to deliberate whether or not to forcibly remove the statue. Many townspeople have their say, fr...

  A Jury of Her Peers

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

28 pages

4 m, 4 w


Adapted from the short story by Susan Glaspell. A farmer has been found dead and his wife, Minnie, is the prime suspect. The sheriff, a deputy and other men meet at the lonely farmhouse to go over the evidence while two wives gather some clothes and necessities for Minnie, who is in jail. Two neighbor ladies, the Gains sisters, arrive to see what they can learn about the disturbing events of the previous day. As the men go about the business of investigation, the women make a remarkable discovery: the motive for the crime. Set in 1917, three years before wome...

  Frankenstein Unplugged

Drama by Jonathan Yukich

40 pages

6 m, 3 w, 4 flexible (or with doubling 2 m, 1 w)


Here is a faithful stage retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic Gothic novel. We meet Victor Frankenstein, who is obsessed with finding the secret to recreating life. Of course, he famously succeeds, but fearing he has overstepped the bounds of science, quickly abandons his creation and the promise to make it a mate. The creature, betrayed and forsaken, vows to ruthlessly destroy all that his creator loves and cherishes. The unrelenting pursuit goes to the very edges of the earth. Clever theatricality, such as using actors as lightning and thunder, and as profes...