Melodramas and Westerns

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  Skulduggery Sails the Atlantic

Melodrama by Nelson Shreve

36 pages

4 m, 6 w


Melodrama meets the high seas when J. P. Morganfeller, mysterious millionaire, carries his priceless painting, the "Mona Lisa Unbuttoned," aboard ship. A villainous art thief and three lady cat burglars (thinly disguised as high society types) steal it and throw all the blame on officer Vance Trueblue, who must solve the case to keep his sterling reputation and his true love, Dimity Darling. About 40 minutes.

  Little Nell

Melodrama by John Nash

41 pages

3 m, 4 w, or all men


Back by popular demand! All the beloved characters are present - the large awkward, wig-wearing heroine, Little Nell; tall, slinky mustachioed villain, Carlton Bainbridge; and the affable, lovable, but-oh-so-slow hero, Hector Skyscraper. Revolving around the heavy plot of "Marry-me-or-I'll-foreclose," you'll want to cry with the heroine, hiss the villain and applaud the hero. This play's a favorite with community groups. One hour (can be lengthened or shortened).

  She Was Only a Garbageman's Daughter

Melodrama Musical by Earl Reimer and Marshall Lawrence

69 pages

4 m, 6 w


Even though lovely young Julia works hard, she and her aunt will not be able to afford to keep their humble home, which sits at the edge of a garbage dump. If they lose their home, they’ll also lose the treasure Julia’s papa buried somewhere on the property that would take care of all their needs. (Hero Dan would ask his parents for money to help Julia, but alas, he too is an orphan.) As they try yet again to figure out the special riddle to the treasure’s location, a German Mennonite detective appears on the case and is soon followed by two old ladies with l...

  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 ...

  Dirty Work Afoot

Melodrama by Sherry Roseberry

43 pages

5 m, 6 w, 3 flexible parts


Villainous Bernard Blackburn is in debt up to his dark moustache, but he plans to wed innocent Polly Goodson to remedy that! She believes she is penniless, but actually her late father's insurance policy is very valuable. Blackburn is somewhat daunted when he meets Polly's eccentric family and disapproving maid, but he easily gets her boyfriend, John Trueheart, out of the picture by convincing him to go off to make his fortune before asking Polly for her hand in marriage. Luckily, Trueheart finds his fortune in a diamond mine and in a final blackout scene, ev...

  Return to Calamity Gulch

Melodrama by Whitney Ryan Garrity

58 pages

3 m, 6 w, 3 flexible parts


The Culpeppers open the doors to the Last Chance Inn once again in this hilarious sequel to "Last Chance Inn, Calamity Gulch." Ma's just as harried, Pa's just as cantankerous, and Horace Prickley is just as villainous! This time he plots to woo and wed the woeful Widder Black and take control of her fortune. It seems, however, that Horace may have to share the money with the Widder's noble nephew, Peter Loveless...if the young man finds a bride before the week is out. Enter two likely prospects - Pansy Perriwinkle (the most annoyingly sweet heroine ever to gr...

  Candy Land

Children Melodrama by Kevin Stone

40 pages

5 m, 6 w, 8 flexible, 6 children


It is business as usual at the Mega-Bite Candy Company. Pop Tart is stirring the chocolate, Stretch is headed for the Taffy Room, Cookie the Clown is preparing to host a tour of young school children, Jan and Dean are experimenting with new flavors of candy, and--most significantly--Graham Cracker is looking for Kandy Kane. As Graham searches for Miss Kane and attempts to propose, Grimsley Krumkake, a dastardly villain posing as a vat inspector, enters with his dopey sidekick, Bink. Thus is set in motion a fiendish plan to take over the world, beginning with ...

  In Search of the Holy Grill

Melodrama by Craig Williams

28 pages

4 m, 5 w, 1 flexible


An evil banker, Char Cole, wants the land the church sits on to build a casino. He sends a bogus mortgage bill demanding the church pay a $10,000 balloon payment to scare the congregation in to selling him the property for a fraction of what it is worth. Church members hurriedly decides to submit a secret barbecue recipe to a contest in hopes of winning the huge cash prize. They even open a barbecue restaurant in the church to raise money. Meanwhile, Miss Phit, the bumbling church secretary, is constantly getting the bulletins and newsletters wrong, sending m...

  The Revenge of the Snerd

Children Melodrama by James R. Delong

22 pages

Flexible cast of 14


Smedley S. Snerd, a typical nerd hero, is the star student of Miss Fossil's geology class. He's got a big crush on Marybelle Moosenheimer, the heroine, star cheerleader, and member of the Locks, a group which values their beautiful hair. Other peer groups include the Rocks, who are into "heavy metal"; the Jocks, who are athletically inclined; and the Rolls, a gang of hoodlums led by the infamous macho villain, Mr. G. But brain outwits brawn as Smedley uses his marbles to trip up Mr. G and his gang, win Marybelle's hand, and explain to Miss Fossil the real ori...

  Last Gasp at the Last Gulp

Melodrama by Craig Sodaro

59 pages

6 m, 11 w


Doc Robbins, a dentist with a heart of stone, rules the town of Last Gulp with an iron fist. Though folks treat Doc with due respect as their mayor and the only “medical” man in the territory, there’s no shortage of suspects when he dies following a swig of rat-poisoned sarsaparilla. Everybody, it seems, had it in for Doc. Bonnie Vivant wanted to turn her old saloon into a fancy restaurant, but Doc wouldn’t let her. Three old prospectors Crusty, Dusty, and Musty, all resented the fact that Doc had jumped their claims and wondered if he ever struck it rich. Af...

  The Adventures of Cyclone Malone

Melodrama by Lane Riosley

35 pages

14 parts. (with doubling 2 m, 1 w, 3 flexible)


Yazoo! Get ready for one tall tale of adventure as Sheriff Cyclone Malone must protect his town, Yazoo Junction, from evil pirates! The pirate captain, along with two bumbling crewmen, has somehow managed to build a submarine – with torpedoes! – and is sailing on the river outside of town. Cyclone’s gonna need help to deal with this problem. The sweet schoolmarm (and Cyclone’s gal) Cozy Dumond tries to get a message to the neighboring sheriff, but she is tricked by the disreputable Violent Lavender, captured and tied to the submarine’s periscope. Cyclone and ...

  Harold Hardluck's Lucky Strike

Melodrama by Bill Van Horn

22 pages

4 m, 7 w, 1 flexible part


When payrolls are robbed from stagecoach runs miles apart four times in a row by a thief who smells nice, the folks in Gravestone start to wonder if something's amiss! Lovely heroine Lucy Lovelight thinks Rudolph Rumple could be involved. He's paymaster for the companies and owner of the town store/hotel/bar. Lately he's been burning his trash hourly and making a suspicious amount of smoke. Lucy's true love, Harold Hardluck, is back from another failed attempt at mining. To pay back all the money he owes Rudolph, Harold must dress as a dancing girl and work a...

  Last Chance Inn, Calamity Gulch

Melodrama by Whitney Ryan Garrity

60 pages

4 m , 10 w


Ma and Pa Culpepper are in danger of losing their livelihood - the Last Chance Inn - to Horace Prickley, a representative from the loan offices of Gimme, Gimme & Gimme. In need of a son or son-in-law, the Culpeppers scheme to adopt and marry off pretty (but clumsy) orphan-turned-waitress, Patience Sweetwater. The intended groom is the newly-appointed Sheriff Virgil St. Vigil, who makes the rounds with his deputy and trusted side-kick, Princess Prettyfoot. Prickley learns of the Culpeppers' plot and enlists the aid of the beautiful Sahara Hartburn to "dist...

  Mrs. Peck's Christmas Puddin'

Classic by Sylvia Ashby

32 pages

4 m, 4 w, 3 boys, 2 girls


Freely adapted from Eliza Lee Follen's 19th century American play. Poor Widow Peck struggles to raise her youthful brood. Though out of money, food and places to turn for help, she is determined to have a Christmas pudding. As every effort ends in disappointment, she grows increasingly desperate until a mysterious stranger appears. This is a charming play with delightful characters and colorful dialect. The youngsters' ages are flexible.

  Perils of a Frontier Fotographer

Melodrama by Buster Cearley Eddie Cope

33 pages

3 m, 7 w


Here's sparkling mellerdrammer that has more plot twists than a pretzel factory. The setting is a near-bankrupt photo studio in the Territory of Arizona, owned by Mrs. Paula Roid, a widow who divides her time between her sickbed and her lovely daughter, Aster, "the dainty darling of the darkroom." But several other Arizonians have their beady eyes on Miss Roid, including the dastardly Mayor Gobblecrud, who is also their landlord. Just when the situation is about to explode, a stagecoach arrives with several interesting characters, including Jacques-Louis Dagu...