Melodramas & Westerns

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  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 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...

  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...

  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...

  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 ...

  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...

  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...