6 m, 6 w
Here's a fast-moving, fun-filled play that mixes melodramatics with show business. Sonny Nuggett, a young, handsome theatre student (the hero, of course!) tries to assemble a dance act to save his parents' failing restaurant in the Gold Country of Old Californy. Col. Questus Quantrell, a shady showman with hypnotic powers, appears with three clumsy dancing girls. He schemes to take over the café by plotting murder and cheating two old prospectors, Pa and his old partner, Fred, out of their newly re-found "lost" goldmine. Fred is the father of Cora, a beautifu...
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...
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.
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...
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.
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...
5 m, 4 w, 3 extras
1920s Hollywood is the setting of this melodrama. Sneakypete Underhand, a villainous doctor, and his henchwoman, nurse Heide Bedpann, are hired to work at a silent movie studio, where Sneakypete quickly hatches a plot to kidnap a top star, Verily Speakwell. Little do they know that when talking pictures arrive, the actress has such a horrible voice her career will be doomed! Sneakypete ends up disguised as a harem dancer to fool the director, Alfred Hitchkick, and the co-stars, including Manly Jawline, a dim movie hero, and Peerless Sneer, the ham actor who p...
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.
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...
Minimum cast of 13 with doubling: 6 m, 6 w, 1 flex
Dusty Junction is in big trouble! The roaming outlaw Ugly Monroe is terrorizing the citizens. First he shoots stable owner Joe and steals his boots; next he shoots the sheriff and steals his badge; and then he shoots the doc and steals his stethoscope. As the loyal community struggles to hold itself together, timid Deputy Shawn needs to step up and prove he is not Deputy Nancy-boy! He is bolstered by Marlene, the kindly saloon owner; Mindy Sue, his fiery sweetheart; and even Bobby Joe, the cute little boy…er, girl…well, child. The final straw breaks when Ugly...
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...
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.
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...
4 m, 4 w
Duke Deadheader, the most rotten rascal on the railroad, plots to relieve the simple but honest stationmaster, Ralph Roundhouse, of the company's construction funds. Aided by his beautiful, but nasty, accomplice, Flora Flagstop, he burns down the lumber mill of our hero, Stanley Studmill, cons Ralph into signing a worthless contract for ties (Ralph thought they were railroad ties), and kidnaps our heroine Rebecca Roundhouse. All appears lost, but Duke has not reckoned with the mysterious Chinese foreman, Gan Dee, nor the ever-reliable Boxcar Betsy and her cou...
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...