One-Act Plays

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  Desperate Housewives of Shakespeare

Comedy by Jim and Jane Jeffries

32 pages

2-3 m, 6 w


Okay, these housewives may not be real, but they are desperate. Shakespeare has been manipulating and twisting their lives for six plays now, and they desperately want to escape his evil machinations. But are they desperate enough to commit murder? Shakespeare has been found dead: stabbed, poisoned, starved, choked, bitten by an asp, and even turned into a baardvark. Lady Macbeth, Juliet, Kate, Rosalind, Cleopatra, and Titania all had the means and the motive to kill Shakespeare, but who really did it? This comic tragedy (or is that tragic comedy?) has all of...

  The Cry of the Peacock

Drama by Billy W. Boone

42 pages

3 m, 4 w, 10 flexible


Young Mary Blanton has suffered some kind of trauma as evidenced by her monster-filled dreams and the horrific scratches on her neck and back. Who did this to an innocent 9-year-old girl, a child who finds comfort through an imaginary pet peacock? Dr. Janice Todd is called before a review board to defend her investigation of the child abuse case. She recounts her discoveries and interviews with the Blanton family, and scenes of Mary’s recent past are brought painfully to life. Three judges, staged as omniscient, skeptical shadows, and several surreal nightmar...

  How to Kill a Mockingbird

Comedy by Bradley Walton

30 pages

Flexible cast of 8


Five less-than-stellar students meet to work on their group English project. Their assigned reading: Harper Lee’s "To Kill a Mockingbird." Unfortunately, not one of the five has actually read the book. In fact, nobody even brought a copy of the book along. Worst of all, they’re not exactly sure what the title of the book even is! Thus begins a hilarious series of guesses and assumptions which culminate in a massive conspiracy theory about the book and the true threat of mockingbirds!

  Frumpled Fairy Tales

Comedy by William Springer

26 pages

Flexible cast 5 - 18


Puns and pratfalls abound in this fun, frumpled 35-minute version of three Grimm fairy tales. And with the help of a narrator, the audience can cheer the heroes and boo the villains. In "Rumpelstiltskin," a greedy king, a miller's daughter and a comical chap named Rumpelstiltskin all mix together in the story of gold spinning and name guessing. In "Rapunzel," a witch puts lovely Rapunzel in a tower where a handsome prince rescues her. But the standard happy ending is reached in anything but a standard way. In "Red Riding Hood," Little Red finally escapes the ...

  Attention Detention

Comedy by Bradley Hayward

36 pages

Entirely gender flexible cast of 6 to 21


Four honor roll students have been summoned to detention. To avoid punishment, they each come up with a preposterous excuse for their tardiness, and their wacky tales are acted out by an ensemble of performers. As one wild lie piles on top of the next, the principal gets further away from the truth. Will he be able to figure out that these creative overachievers are coming together to avoid being bullied? He'll have to think fast for he’s up against a swift and desperate bunch of kids, each with a knack for making the most ridiculous stories sound entirely po...

  The Losers' Club

Drama by Jonathan Turner Smith

36 pages

8 m, 6 w


A group of outcast high school students in a small Texas town have formed “The Losers’ Club.” On homecoming evening, these 12 students kidnap the star football player, Joe Taylor, and homecoming queen nominee, Tawny Harris, who have ignored, bullied, and ridiculed members of the club for years. Lead by Trenton, a 17-year-old Goth, the club members put the condescending Joe and Tawny on trial for “crimes committed against their fellow students.” Each member of the “jury” details how he or she has been harassed by Joe, Tawny, and their friends, and how their li...

  Desdemona in the Afterlife

Drama by Nelly E Cuellar-Garcia

26 pages

6 female speaking roles, unlimited female ensemble


Set in the realm of Purgatory, the all-female cast of Desdemona, Emilia, Juliet, Lady Macbeth, and Ophelia explore the roles women choose in their pursuit of love and self-identity. Taking its inspiration from Dante’s Inferno, this visceral play allows powerful actors to reach heightened levels of awareness as they grapple with the ideas of an individual’s purpose in their mortal life and the ramifications it carries over into the immortal world. About 40-50 minutes.

  Superhero Sanitarium

Comedy by Scott Haan

41 pages

3 m, 3 w


Lois Lancaster is a big-city journalist writing about the current state of mental health facilities. Her research takes her to a hospital populated with a unique group of quirky inmates who imagine they are crime-fighting superheroes. Speed Freak thinks he can run at incredible speeds, while enthusiastic Dim Bulb thinks he has the ability to turn off lights with his brain. Mental thinks she can read minds, despite being prone to sudden outbursts of bizarre non-sequiturs. Kevin, much less quirky and flamboyant than the other inmates, doesn’t embarrass himself ...

  The Pitch

Comedy by Bryan Starchman

28 pages

Widely flexible from 4-20 actors


A young, hungry writer in Hollywood finally has his chance to pitch his original ideas for movies, television shows, and commercials to a major producer. The writer’s ideas come to life on stage as he tries to sell one -- just one -- of his many wacky ideas. Consider (and laugh) as the writer presents previews of a big-budget movie entitled “Thumb Wars”; a reality show about mailmen called “Going Postal”; a game show with the revolting title “Guess What I Just Ate for Dinner”; and even a commercial for a new sports drink called “H2MayO: The First Drinkable Ma...

  Divided We Fall: A Series of Teenage Monologues

Drama by Bryan Starchman

44 pages

Widely flexible from 11 to 20


Everyone has some burden, but shared pain is always easier to bear. This monologue-based play is sure to strike the hearts of teens, showing them that any frustration, embarrassment, loneliness, and grief they are experiencing is not limited to them alone. Some major issues within the dozen monologues include a girl’s concern about her body image, a boy who feels smothered by his girlfriend, a girl who runs to escape her home life, and a boy who feels guilty after failing to defend someone who needed help. Each actor, while wearing a hooded sweatshirt that sy...

  Epic Fail

Comedy by Bradley Hayward

25 pages

Entirely gender flexible cast of 5-30+


Teenagers are faced with failure every day. Some mornings it feels like they have the letter F stamped on their foreheads in bright red ink. In a series of hilarious vignettes, students take on a multitude of challenges, each from a different perspective. From learning to driving a car, seemingly with mind of its own, to having an argument with a bag of chips in a vending machine, these teenagers discover that the only way to succeed is to stare failure in the face. And if they're going to take that risk, they might as well make it epic! Endless opportunities...

  Sillyheart

Drama by Billy W. Boone

37 pages

5 m, 8 w, 12 flexible


In this one-act play, tragedy meets fantasy, myth meets reality. A fairy-tale world winds itself around the real drama of one little girl’s battle with cancer and her family’s anguish. As they struggle to cope with her prognosis and desperate treatment, the fairy tale characters from the little girl’s book play out their own drama. Will an evil sorceress and her dark creatures succeed in pulling Princess Caroline away from her beloved family and prince? Will little Cora’s experimental cancer treatment save her? In our imaginations, the villain is always slain...

  Director's Nightmare

Comedy by Wade Bradford

28 pages

4 m, 5 w, 1 flexible, possible extras


It’s five days before the premiere of the non-musical version of Les Misérables, and high school drama director, Chris, has actors who are still on script, cast members absent from rehearsal, a sick stage manager, an unbuilt set and only twelve dollars left in the budget. Oh, and the principal is bringing the superintendent on opening night to see if funding for the drama program for the district should be cut. It’s a director’s nightmare, but Chris tells the cast and crew about a pocket watch from her great-grandfather that is known to help turn everything a...

  Attack Clown Dentist Zombies

Comedy by Scott Haan

36 pages

13 - 22 plus extras


Susan and Xander patiently sit through their dad’s meeting, a gathering of local dentists, where it is decided that the best way to keep patients from being scared of regular checkups is for the dentists to dress as clowns while working. Refreshments are offered, but deciding to not eat Bernice Hoffenbridle’s cookies might be the best decision the kids have ever made, especially when they hear that her new bakery is conveniently located right between the nuclear waste treatment plant and the experimental chemistry lab. But the adult dentists do indulge in the...

  Voices from the Titanic

Drama by Pat Cook

34 pages

Flexible cast from 18 (with doubling)


The stage comes alive with passengers and crew of the Titanic, speaking to us directly about the disaster. We see the magnificent vessel through the eyes of both the first class passengers and the third class. When Frederick Fleet spots the iceberg, all the officers are called upon to carry out the most dreaded command Capt. Smith ever had to issue: "Get the lifeboats ready!" The ending is an emotional powerhouse as the cast recites name after name of those who survived à and those who did not. Representational sets. (Excerpted from the full-length play, "Tit...