The legend of Pyramus and Thisby is known today primarily because William Shakespeare used it in his comedy "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." As a part of Shakespeare’s play, six workers, sometimes called “mechanicals” or “clowns,” decide to present a play for the festivities that will follow the wedding of the Duke of Athens. In this one-act, we see the mechanicals getting their parts, then rehearsing in the woods the night before the wedding. Of course, these men know nothing about acting or play production, and, as a result, the audience is treated to a rousing...
3 m, 4 w, 8 flexible, some doubling possible
Princess Beauteous is the ultimate grand prize winner and gets to marry Prince Absurdly Handsome on his reality TV show. On the journey to the prince’s kingdom, she and her lazy servant, Falada, get hijacked by Repulsa, a hideous, desperate-to-be-famous peasant girl. Repulsa tricks the princess, switches places with her, and even has Falada’s head cut off. (But don’t worry, he’s okay. He’s just a little decapitated.) The arrival of the hideous new fiancée and her beautiful servant throws the reality show into a hilarious fiasco. But all ends well…at least for...
3 m, 11 w
What happens when a high schooler brings a pistol to biology class? In this tense drama, Wesley, a 17-year-old boy with a handgun, holds 13 of his fellow students as voluntary hostages as he tries to come to grips with the events that brought him there. In the 24 hours that follow, the tension of the stand-off outside mixes with the casual attitude of the students inside. By the end, we see these rich characters relate their own experiences with violence, parental authority, peer pressure, high school and the pains of outgrowing childhood. Finally, too, we le...
4 m, 2 w, 1 flexible; genders flexible
Mark, an eccentric scientist, is attempting to make things right with his cousins, Jason and Nina, after accidently putting their parents into a coma the previous Thanksgiving. During their stay with him, he has taken them on fun adventures such as apple picking, swimming with sharks, and betting on turkey fights. But when he takes them piranha fishing, they decide to head back to Aunt Helen’s house even if she’s still healing from her hip surgery. Mark decides to create a storm to prevent his family from leaving, all while trying to hide a genetically mixed-...
2 m 2 f (can be expanded)
Martin Luther King and Malcolm X are forever linked in the history of the Civil Rights movement. This play featuring four actors playing different roles from history and present day examines the legacy of these two men and attempts to judge where we are today in terms of realizing their dreams. Utilizing the spoken words of both Dr. King and Malcolm X, "How Long Must We Wait" looks both backward and forward in coming to grips with race in America. This is the last in a series of plays that includes "Freedom Riders" and "No Easy Road to Freedom" and is intende...
5 m, 5 w
Dramatized by Dave Brandl From the story by Mark Twain. It's the 1800s and two wealthy British siblings, Annabel and Edward, make a bet between them whether a destitute man can survive a month in London if they give him a million-pound bank note. Because the man cannot account for the note being in his possession, he cannot cash it at the bank, yet he must be able to live on it for thirty days and keep out of jail. If he succeeds, they will offer him a high-paying position. They find the perfect candidate in Henry Adams, an American whose wits not only enable...
2 m, 2 w, 4 flexible
The House of Frankenstein is in turmoil. Victor Frankenstein, engaged to a woman he deeply loves, has fallen into a fit of despair. The cause of Victor’s behavior is, in fact, a Creature he brought to life. Contrary to what Victor intended, however, his Creature is hideous to look upon. So much so, that the Creature has covered his face so he won’t have to see his own reflection. Desperate, the forlorn Creature strikes a bargain with Victor: If the young scientist will create a suitable bride for him, the Creature will retire with her to the cold and distant ...
3 men, 2 women, 4 flexible
Adapted by Burton Bumgarner From the tale by Oscar Wilde. Hugh is in love with Laura and she is in love with him. They want to marry but Laura's father, a gruff and greedy man, won't hear of the marriage of his only daughter to a lowly actor. In order to win the girl he loves, Hugh must come up with the astounding sum of $10,000, or Laura will be forced to marry an attorney, a man her father has selected. Set in New York City during the Great Depression, actors and artists, as well as millionaires and beggars, populate this one-act play. Hugh's best friend, T...
2 m, 3 w, 3 flexible, extras
Hunting, animal testing, tender veal? In this surreal satire, two ordinary people are forced to represent "humanity" before a hooded judge and animal court. In a tongue-in-cheek manner, the Animal Kingdom expresses its displeasure with the callous attitudes displayed too often by many humans towards animals. The humans find their defense to be a futile one, as the stock rationale they offer is frequently twisted and turned back around on them by the animals. The play offers laughter with a sting as it gives viewers a deeper, more compassionate outlook toward ...
4 m, 2 w
Adapted by Burton Bumgarner from the tale by W.W. Jacobs. A wife demands that her husband leave the house unless he can get help for his gambling problem. He murders her with a paring knife and tries to hide her body from the maid. While he's still frantically searching for his wife's car keys to dump her body, a burglar breaks into the house. Thinking fast, the husband tries to cover up the murder by framing the burglar. The husband calls the police and while waiting for them, scuffles in the darkness with the burglar and plants the knife on him. But things ...
3 m, 4 w
Here's a poignant but necessary look at the problems of teenage bullying and suicide. J. Michael is a high school student and aspiring writer. Already dead, he narrates the events that lead up to his suicide. Along the way, we meet Melissa, his unrequited love, and Ms. Dodge, the hopeful English teacher. There's also Artie, a tough, rival student, and Mr. Butler, the ineffectual high school principal. Two other characters, J. Michael's overwhelmed mother and a tough district attorney, round out the cast. Together these multidimensional characters paint a comp...
3 m, 3 w, 1 flexible
Stumbling onto their perfect home is a dream come true for newlyweds Jim and Clara. Keys in hand, they bring a picnic into the house and begin to plan a bright future together… when in come Chris and Allison who also have keys in hand and a picnic basket! Of course the real estate agent is long gone with the money. Just as the two competitive couples think they might have a plan that will allow them all to stay, in come Roger and Lucy with - you guessed it - a picnic basket.
5 m, 3 w
"Along with success comes a reputation of wisdom." But all the wisdom that Sally has learned from her school successes don't prepare her when her life seems to fall apart. After she gets an F on a paper, is harassed by the school's popular jock, and learns her parents are getting a divorce, she contemplates suicide. Her thoughts about dying are revealed in familiar quotations she repeats - quotations other students think she is writing for an English paper. But then the most unlikely person helps Sally find that "Everything is possible, including the impossib...
8 m, 3 w, extras
A complex and moving play as a soldier serving overseas "celebrates" a birthday by militarily taking a hill while his twin sister back home celebrates their birthday with the family and her twin's fiancée. The surreal setting and movement of the action lead to a shocking conclusion. About 30 minutes.
3 m, 2 w
Helen Stone, a frightened and distraught young woman, has come to Sherlock Holmes for help following the recent death of her twin sister Julia. The young women were living with their stepfather, the austere and heartless widower, Dr. Roylott. They had returned from India to Stoke Moran, his family’s dilapidated country mansion, where wild exotic animals and gypsies now wander the grounds. Helen tells Holmes and Dr. Watson that the night Julia died, her sister had run from her bedroom screaming “the band, the speckled band.” Julia was soon to be married and wo...