Melodramas & 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...

  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...

  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...

  The Bad, the Worse and the Broccoli

Melodrama by J. Eminhizer and M. Hynes

20 pages

5 m, 5 w


Sally Sweet (Buffalo Bill Chip's girl) controls the water for the whole valley where Baron von Broccoli owns most of the land. Now the Baron has a dream to change the eating habits of America - from sugar-frosted broccoli flakes to brocale, an alcoholic drink. He needs more land and LOTS of water. Therein lies the plot. Enter Caesar Salad, a hired killer; Tom O'Hawk, an Irish-Indian; and the BLOBS (Broccoli Lovers Of Broken Stump).

  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 ...

  Cheerio, Y'all

Melodrama by Whitney Ryan Garrity

55 pages

4 m, 6 w


Ivory Keyes, the sharp-tongued, shoot-from-the-hip piano player from the "Calamity Gulch" trilogy, is back in her own brand-new adventure. When Ivory learns that her uncle, Lord Ebony Keyes, has died, she and Sheriff Prettyfoot travel to England to claim the inheritance. The family solicitor, Basil Q. Wainscoting, Esquire, plots to keep the estate to himself by proving Ivory to be "unvirtuous." His plans are foiled when his handsome nephew, Heathcliff, a poet, falls instead for pretty secretary, Paisley Fairfax. Before too long, a storm is raging outside and ...

  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 ...

  Belle of the Ball

Melodrama by Craig Sodaro

36 pages

3 m, 7 w


The fairy tales of Cinderella and Snow White are lassoed together in this high-kicking western melodrama! Goldie Miner had to give up her infant daughter, Ashabelle, 18 years ago to eke out a living panning for gold, but she thought she left her with a good family. Now she's returned with plenty of gold for her daughter but finds Ashabelle wears patched clothes and does all the stepfamily's chores. When Ashabelle isn't allowed to go to the ball, her mother fixes her right up, including a pair of new boots. The next morning Earnest Lee Feelgoode finds the bell...

  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 ...

  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...

  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...