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.")

  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.

  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...

  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...

  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 ...

  Challenger: To Touch the Face of God

Drama by Julian Felice

36 pages

10 m, 4 w, 1 flex, 1 boy, some doubling possible


Challenger: To Touch the Face of God tells the powerful story of the Challenger disaster of 1986. It dramatizes the stories of the seven individuals who tragically lost their lives in this event, while also drawing attention to the controversial circumstances which led to one of NASA’s blackest days. Although some of the scenes depicted are fictional dramatizations, many of the sentences are the actual words used by the astronauts themselves. Scenes and settings flow seamlessly together with only lighting to distinguish them. The result is a hard-hitting and ...

  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 ...

  Blind Spot

Classic by Burton Bumgarner

34 pages

6 m, 5 w, 1 flexible, doubling possible


Based on the story by H.H. Munro (Saki). Wealthy Uncle Lulworth eagerly awaits the next meal from his uncommonly skilled, but foul-tempered cook, Mrs. Sebastian. His niece, Ellen, visits him shortly before dinner after their aunt's funeral. As executor of the estate, Ellen has run across a series of letters to the aunt from another relative, Uncle Peter, who died years earlier under mysterious circumstances. Through re-enactments based on the letters, we learn Uncle Peter was a despicable human being and was probably killed by a "common" criminal, perhaps som...

  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...

  A Very Bad Day for Brandon Butterworth

Comedy by Scott Haan

35 pages

3 m, 3 w


Brandon Butterworth has apparently been playing the field. On one fateful night, his multiple girlfriends (grouchy Lucy, ditzy Rebecca, and shy Constance) accidentally discover each other. The three ladies realize their boyfriends, all named Brandon, are actually the same guy. Instead of fighting and bickering amongst themselves, they hatch a plan for revenge, teaming up to teach the three-timer a lesson. Brandon is about to have a very bad day, indeed ... unless his own plan works! A sarcastic bartender and a biker-type customer round out the cast.

  Echoes of Ireland

Drama by Brian C Petti

24 pages

2m, 2w


Echoes of Ireland is a series of four interrelated monologues that follow the saga of a single Irish family from County Cork in 1860 to present day New York City. Beginning five years after the end of the potato famine in Ireland, Echoes sees the Cunygham clan on their journey across the ocean to the ports of Manhattan, through the lowly existence of immigrant life in the States, to the assimilation and rebirth of their family as American citizens who never forget from whence they came. The journey is part tragedy, part comedy, part history lesson and all und...

  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 ...

  Office Zone

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

33 pages

5 m, 5 w


The employees of Sly-Tech Corporation are bored, uninspired, and unhappy with their jobs, which consist of generating reports no one will ever see. They don't know from one day to the next who will even own the company or if they'll have jobs. When a perky young woman fresh out of college is hired to be their manager, they are exasperated. They are even more incensed when she insists on starting off the day with team-building exercises to enhance their P.M.A. (positive mental attitude) and making them hold a teddy bear when they wish to speak at meetings. Whe...