Melodramas and Westerns

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  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...

  True Blue and Trusted

Melodrama by R. A. Anderson and R.L. Sweeney

28 pages

4 m, 4 w


In order to save his darling Lily Lackamoney from the clutches of the rapscallion J. Tamarack Gargle, the hero, Balderdash Trustworthy, goes to the city to find the necessary money. Gargle, determined to have the fair damsel, employs the dirty work of Maxine Mascara to throw Balderdash into the river. However, just as the preacher is pronouncing Lily and Gargle man and wife, Balderdash enters in a blaze of glory! One act.

  Dirty Dan Strikes Again!

Melodrama by Bill Van Horn

25 pages

5 m, 6 w, 3 flexible, extras


How can one man, even if he is Dirty Dan, capture the whole Mountie Choral Society? Easy, when you know all the men snap to attention at the words, "Northwest Mounted Police!" Trouble is as deep as the snow for Louella Lovelace's wedding to Sgt. Richard Dobetter. In addition to Dirty Dan, who's disguised himself as the Abominable Snowman, wedding guests are falling into bear traps and the townspeople fall for rumor of a silver rush. The play ends with Dirty Dan serving as the flower girl in a tutu. About 30 minutes.

  Fool's Gold

Melodrama by Melody A Jacobson

42 pages

7 m, 6 w, and 3 men from audience


The Fool family has found gold on their homestead and now the whole county has been drawing gold diggers - including two outlaws, the evil Wiley Slithers and Dr. What, a hopeless kleptomaniac. Slithers devises a plan to get rid of Ma and Pa Fool and son Ura so he can marry the lovely daughter, Ima. However, she is stronger than a horse and refuses to marry any man until he can beat her in arm wrestling. Not only that, but Slithers and Dr. What must also outsmart the guy Ima has her heart set on, the handsome milkman, Sam Lactose. Local loonies complicate the ...

  Lost in Space and the Mortgage Due

Melodrama by Tim Kelly

80 pages

8 m, 12 w, extras


Zounds! It's the 25th century and that dastardly villain, Snivelling Snidely Backlash, is stealing a farm from some old people because he knows that under the soil there's some of the richest rocket fuel ever discovered. With it he can control the galaxy! Space Cadet Bob hopes to pay off the farm's mortgage with his latest invention, a rocket that goes sideways. Enter the lovely heroine, Rosa Budd, fresh from the Metropolis City Poor House and Collection Depot For Used Space Suits. Pity poor Rosa as she's tied to the rocket and almost launched to another plan...

  Southern Surrender

Melodrama by Joan Sween

48 pages

3 m, 6 w


Aurelia Archibald, a Southern widow, and her four daughters are all that remain on Archibald Plantation when it is taken over by Union forces. Expecting Northerners to be heartless brutes, they are confounded when the Yankees treat them courteously. The villain of the piece – actually a villainess – is the beautiful but treacherous Gardenia Galsworthy. She is determined to save her plantation from destruction by revealing to the Yankees where the Archibalds have hidden their jewels. Little does she realize they are also hiding Beauregard Burnside, a Confedera...

  Trouble Across the Pond

Melodrama by Will Jefferies

64 pages

8 m, 6 w


What happens when two villains in a melodrama meet? The action begins when an English Vicar returns home from doing missionary work in America. Unbeknownst to him, he has brought back a map to a thriving gold mine in California. The Vicar is followed across the pond by the villainous Bart Lovelace and his accomplices who are trying to find the map. Meanwhile, an English villain, Agamore Primrose, has been courting one of the Vicar’s lovely daughters in hopes of gaining a small but handsome inheritance should the Vicar succumb to an untimely accident. During t...

  Blame It on the Pony Express

Melodrama by Whitney Ryan Garrity

51 pages

5 m, 5 w


Gideon Culpepper opens the Last Chance Inn and the guests pour in immediately! Dashing Horace Prickley agrees to help poor flower-peddler Flossie McDurdle become a lady, so she can win her heart’s true love, the spineless but wealthy Theodore Vanderthistle. Teddy’s scheming mother, Vedalia, has other plans though. She sends for Posey Lee Perriwinkle, a beautiful Southern belle who arrives via Pony Express as a mail-order bride. Unfortunately, Posey falls for Gideon instead. Meanwhile Horace finds that he is falling for Flossie and facing the dilemma of helpin...

  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...

  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.

  Betsy Green the Mushroom Queen

Melodrama by Greg Palmer

44 pages

6 m, 2 w


Sweet and spunky Betsy Green takes care of her sister Gertrude as they eke out a living hunting mushrooms in the forests of the Northwest. It isn’t easy, especially since Gertrude lost her vision in the terrible fireworks explosion which killed their parents in Hong Kong years earlier. Since that time, a mad scientist, apparently under the spell of a mysterious Oriental cult, has been trying to kidnap Gertrude. When Betsy is momentarily distracted talking with Maurice, a handsome fruit vendor, Gertrude disappears! The lost Gertrude rings a bell to indicate he...

  Clotheslined at Gumption Gulch

Melodrama by Brian Sylvia

50 pages

6 m, 3 w


Hard times have come on Gumption Gulch and Grandma Gertie Parker is forced to open a clothes-washing service to earn extra money. Even Sheriff Gideon Gumption is “moonlighting” (though the term has him totally baffled) at the stagecoach office and a local lunch spot. Grandma Gertie’s old nemesis has sent her two boys, Luther and Ulysses Bragg, to town to put Gertie’s laundry service out of business as payback for an old feud. Add in a possum-farming brother and sister couple (Elrod has a serious case of “the anxieties”), a blacksmith who dreams of being a com...

  Don't Darken My Door

Melodrama by Harry Githens

12 pages

3 m, 2 w, 1 extra


Farmer Amos Hollister and his wife, Judith, order their daughter Matilda to leave their sight forever after she weds Roger Cameron. But when Roger is on the brink of ruin, he seeks Amos in desperation. Big mistake! In fact, mistakes make the performance of this melodrama even funnier. Prompting the actors is necessary, and even suggested in several places in the script. About 20 minutes.

  For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls

Melodrama by Jack Nuzum

80 pages

17 roles (approx. 8 m, 9 w)


A "melodrama plus," this play cleverly intertwines a classic "losing the homestead" plot with a realistic subplot in which high school drama students are putting on (what else?!) a melodrama. The Colonel and his daughter Belle are trying to keep the family restaurant (and Belle's heart) from the clutches of the villain I.C. Blizzard, a fast food franchiser. The hero, Beau, suffers from a perpetual crisis of confidence that he deals with by cooking and obsessive psychoanalysis. The student characters trade insults that imperfectly hide a budding romance. Holdi...