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
1 m, 5 w
When two big-time bunglers like John and Darlene attempt to burglarize an apartment, they get a coat hanger stuck in the door lock and then manage to accidentally ring the doorbell. When they do finally break in, Darlene's nervous bladder forces her to make an emergency bathroom visit. All this ruckus wakes up the bunny-slipper wearing homeowner, Erica, who discovers she is being burgled by her own husband. And if this wasn't weird enough, Darlene claims she is really a "cat burner" instead of a "cat burglar." All this, and the show has just begun! Is John re...
2 m, 2 w, 5 flexible
Leaping llamas! "The Fourth Wall," a play within a play, begins as a murder mystery, but the murder victim won't keel over. The playwright forgot to give the characters names, and a rude audience member keeps interrupting the show. Even the ending of the play stinks! Everyone is supposed to die and then the character Death is supposed to do an interpretive dance. Thankfully, the audience's agony is cut short halfway through when the actors break character because Death accidentally kills the Host and then leaves the set to move his car. Without Death, how can...
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 ...
6 m, 5 w
Everybody knows that whatever you need, you can find it at Hurley Squonk's general store, the Hitchin' Post. Run by Hurley himself, who is always behind the counter, this sort of "everything store" serves as a meeting place for the locals. There's Pinch Burdett, who spends all his time hawking his wife's jams and making up stories; Mrs. Bastrop, a feisty lady who got thrown out of the town's softball tournament; and Gloria, or "Glow Worm," a romantic teen who camps out at Hurley's magazine stand. But the normal, laid-back pace changes when a young couple from...
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...
7 m, 7 w
In this rest home-clinic setting on Christmas Eve, a group of people are waiting to see the doctor. Among them are Detroit Louie, the hard-hearted pickpocket; Harry, his dumb, but loyal right-hand man; John and Cara, who have just brought their father to be committed permanently and the Old Man, who refuses to believe his son would do such a thing. Also present are Mrs. Aiken, the hypochondriac, and the Blind Girl, who believes strongly in helping others; and Angel No. 2, who is on probation. She must make this mission count in order to get her wings back. Sh...
4 m, 2 w
It's Christmas time. An old man sits in his sitting room eating his porridge. Just then Marley bursts in and begins to rattle his chains, scaring the man half to death. You all know the story or do you? "I have come to save you from a horrible fate, Ebenezer Scrooge!" Marley shrieks. "I'm not Scrooge!" the man points out. "He moved!" Sure enough, Marley is at the wrong house. Not only the wrong house but on the wrong night. "This is Christmas eve EVE," the old man tells him. "I'm sorry, I've been dead!" Marley alibis. Then the other three ghosts show up. "Wil...
3 m, 5 w
When Uncle George invites his whole family up for a weekend of fun at his rustic cabin, he actually wants them together so he can read his will. But between the bequeathing and his rambling stories, George drops the bomb that somewhere on the property is a suitcase holding four hundred and eighty thousand dollars! What follows is a hilarious farce of pettiness, slander, and greed. The relatives end up wrestling each other, falling down the stairs, and getting stuck in the furniture. "Yep, we're gonna have lots of fun!" says George as he's seen carrying a shov...
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...
6 m, 9 w, and 6 flexible
James Holden, TV star, is a busy man. He has just returned from his honeymoon with his 4th wife, or so he thinks. Turns out his first wife, Velvet, didn’t die in that avalanche five years ago after all. And his second wife, Phoebe, didn’t file the divorce papers correctly. And his third wife, Rita, didn’t sign the annulment. Rita’s current fiancé, Max, happens to be a mob boss and has decided to take the annulment into his own hands. Everyone has their own agenda as they make their way to James’s apartment. Max and his goons arrive and begin to take hostages ...
3 m, 4 w
Carl, Lloyd and Parker, three older gentlemen who share a large home, need to rent out their fourth bedroom to help with the rent. Their problem seems answered when Will shows up...except Will turns out to be a lady. While Lloyd and Parker like her and want to vote her in, Carl barks back, "We're not voting on prom queen!" Carl's reaction is all part of a plan with Will, his sister, to let her live with them for a while. Before the brother and sister can reveal their plotting, however, the "fun" begins. It's all over the area that Carl and Will are sweetheart...
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...
4 m, 6 w, 1 flexible, 1 child
The Hillsdale Community Theater wants to produce "A Christmas Carol," but they don't have enough actors to play the extraordinarily large number of parts. So their undaunted director, being resourceful (if not totally realistic), has triple and quadruple-cast the roles. And since everyone in sight has been recruited, the cast also fills in as costumers, stagehands and technicians. The impossibility of this situation brings tensions to a comical head as the final rehearsal invites one calamity after another. "Scrooged Up!" provides a Dickens of a time for ever...
4 m, 5 w, 11 youth (approx. 5 boys, 6 girls)
Laurie McKinnon is determined that everyone should have a normal Christmas, especially while the eldest son is away serving in the military. She rushes about making sure everything is ready for the impending arrival of the extended family, although her husband, Jim, and teenage daughter, Kelsey, are unconvinced of the need to impress everyone. Meanwhile, youngest daughter Emma arrives downstairs in full camouflage makeup. Her mother is less than enthused. Visitors soon trickle in. Laurie’s very pregnant sister with her husband, who gets lost easily; Jim’s bro...