Melodramas and Westerns

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  Hartburn Hotel

Melodrama by Whitney Ryan Garrity

54 pages

4 m, 6 w


Faced with losing the Last Chance Inn once again, Ma and Pa Culpepper turn to glamorous Sahara Hartburn. Sahara pays off their loan with money from a "well-heeled admirer" and promptly takes over the inn. Transformed into the Hartburn Hotel, the place becomes a residence for young ladies with a "no men allowed upstairs" policy. Sahara schemes to find a scandal that will give her new venture some publicity, and finds it when the new schoolteacher, Polly Sincere, is paid a visit by her dapper and devoted boyfriend, Jasper Jones - in her room! To escape, Jasper ...

  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...

  Ol' Homestead

Melodrama by Sherry Roseberry

42 pages

7 m, 9 w


Unlike most villains, who only have to fight a hero in trying to win the lovely lady, Egar Duntley has to face Miss Lil's whole boardinghouse full of zany characters. There are Miss Lil's mischievous little brothers who dislike him, the deaf lady who keeps staring at him, the men-hungry spinsters who are chasing him, and others. Even more laughs come from Della, Duntley's cleaning lady accomplice. She is chased by an old boarder and served some "fruit juice" which makes her stiff as a board - a part any comedic actress will love to get her teeth into. The her...

  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...

  Curses, Foiled Again!

Melodrama Musical by C. Michael Perry James G. Lambert

42 pages

6 m, 5 w, extras, doubling possible


Papa Praiseworthy has mortgaged the family farm to have money to pay for the long-needed operation to cure Mama and create a trousseau for sweet Polly’s marriage to our hero, Jedediah Justice, of Justice Junction. Little does the family know when they stop to help an ill traveler on the road, the man is the evil brother of the villain, Delvin Dastardly. The Dastardly brothers frame Papa and get him thrown onto a chain gang. Now Polly will have to bring in the harvest with only the aid of her brother Penrose and sister Penny. Too proud to do less, Polly woeful...

  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.

  Fit To Be Tied

Melodrama by Craig Williams

28 pages

4 m, 3 w, 1 flexible


The Poor famly is struggling to keep the ROCK (Railroad of Central Kansas) on track and a large job to ship cattle back East will help. But the evil banker, Vil Lain, holds the mortgage on the railroad and he and his sidekick scheme to foreclose on the ROCK. Lain tries to entice Terri Blee Poor, the heroine and by coincidence, a train whistle virtuoso, to become his wife to save her family's railroad, but Terri Blee loves a brakeman on the ROCK, Earnest Lee. When she refuses Lain's advances, she is tied to the tracks. Will Earnest be able to pick up the cattl...

  Girl in the Tutu

Melodrama by Carl L. Williams Eddie Cope

54 pages

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...

  Grand Adventures of Pip and Mimsy!

Absurdist Comedy by Jack Sale

36 pages

5 m, 4 w, 1 flexible


Follow the adventures of two Victorian street urchins—annoyingly enthusiastic and melodramatic—who still await with joy the return of their missing father after many years. As they gratefully and cheerfully accept their circumstances of foraging and freezing, Pip and Mimsy, accompanied by friend Fimm Bimbles, have a chance encounter with an evil and hypnotic puppet named Begeloits, who draws the unwitting children into his nefarious plan to kill the Queen. Coincidence and fate lead Pip and Mimsy to Court where they are reunited with their miserly Uncle Scroog...

  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...