One-Act Plays

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  What Part Will I Play?

Drama by Mary Hall Surface

43 pages

13 females (also two offstage voices, 1 m, 1 f)


This play gives a voice to young women's hopes and dreams, fears and failures, fantasies and hard-knocks. The girls arrive at a theatre to audition for a promising new play. Each girl has come with her own ambitions, even secrets. But upon arrival, the girls learn that the director will be late. The stage manager takes them through a series of improvisations. But the girls, confused and anxious, are soon left to "wait." Each one must decide how she will respond to the situation and to each another. As the play progresses barriers are broken down, friendships ...

  Adagio and the Death of Love

Drama by Reid Conrad

28 pages

5-6 m, 4 w, optional extras


The Imarovas were once the royal family and held sway over the social and political arenas of the country. But a new regime gained power and the Imarova children became captives in their own home. They live under a repressive guard, yet each sibling remembers or knows a different kind of love: romantic love, paid love, love of a child and pet, and most of all, Anabella’s childlike, colorful love of life itself. It is only their family wealth and figurehead status that keep them from joining the work colonies. Today is Anabella’s fourteenth birthday and as the...

  Adventure of the Speckled Band

Reader Theatre by Al Rodin

34 pages

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...

  The Nightmare of Frankenstein

Drama by Walsh And Noll

34 pages

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 ...

  Office Zone

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

33 pages

5 m, 5 w


The employees of Sly-Tech Corporation are bored, uninspired, and unhappy with their jobs, which consist of generating reports no one will ever see. They don't know from one day to the next who will even own the company or if they'll have jobs. When a perky young woman fresh out of college is hired to be their manager, they are exasperated. They are even more incensed when she insists on starting off the day with team-building exercises to enhance their P.M.A. (positive mental attitude) and making them hold a teddy bear when they wish to speak at meetings. Whe...

  Raven's Tale

Folklore by Will Huddleston

35 pages

5-15 actors.


Four spellbinding stories from Native American lore. In the first, the Raven, great trickster bird of all the Northwest Native American tribes, creates the world and the creatures in it. When Man complains about the darkness Raven fills the sky with the sun, the moon and the stars. Soon the new inventions are stolen by the greedy Ganuk. Raven turns himself into Ganuk's infant grandson to return the lights to the sky. In the second story, Raven disintegrates a giant, blood-thirsty cannibal into all the mosquitoes of the world. In the third story Raven's tragic...

  The Rise of the House of Usher

Comedy Horror by Sean Abley

40 pages

4 - 5 m, 4 w


Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” gets turned upside down in this sequel ... of sorts! Far from the Gothic mood of the original story, this is a broad comedy-mystery with a little bit of the macabre thrown in for fun. Some characters from the original story, as well as a few new ones, are now trapped in a different mansion. They’ve been called together on this dark and stormy night by a mysterious host for a reading by Poe. The guests are unknown to each other, yet there must be a connection because one by one they disapp...

  Roman Fever

Classic by Renee Rebman

23 pages

2 m, 7 w, doubling possible


Adapted Renee Rebman from the story by Edith Wharton. A period piece set in the 1920s, this play provides an opportunity for two old friends, Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade, to sit in an outdoor cafe in Rome and reminisce about the past. Now both widowed, the women begin to examine their strangely intertwined lives. A dramatic and emotional confrontation reveals a startling secret that is explored through well-staged flashbacks. A twist of fate long buried in the past leads to a surprising ending that will leave their friendship marked and the women changed forev...

  Her Story

Drama by Michael Norman Mann

32 pages

5 m, 9 w, extras, doubling possible


High school students Mike and Shelly are breaking up. Later, Shelly sees Mike at a party with his new girlfriend and between her depression and a few too many drinks, allows herself to be coaxed outside by an unscrupulous guy. Things go too far in the bushes and Shelly is date-raped. When she returns to school on Monday, she has a reputation and school officials want to get to the bottom of the rumors they have heard. With characters immediate and believable, this play is powerful, timely and significant.

  The Invisible J. Michael Hess

Drama by James D. Waedekin

35 pages

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...

  Jack-In-The-Box

Drama by Sara L. Reily

30 pages

3 m, 2 w


Jarod, a young med student, takes a journey into his own mind after an accident leaves him comatose. He meets a man who will change his life forever - his subconscious. The limited set becomes a universal playing ground where Jarod's subconscious introduces him to various places and people that encourage him to take on life's obstacles. In this 45-minute piece, the human will is not only explored but put to a test. Jarod becomes a recognizable character who discovers more about himself than he ever knew existed.

  Kangaroo Court

Drama by Nicholas Checker

32 pages

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 ...

  The Keys

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

23 pages

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 ...

  Man Under Her Bed

Comedy by Agnes Wolf

17 pages

2 m, 4 w


Clayton Hill is an escaped convict who cherishes his independence. Mabel Pulver is a strong-willed, elderly lady who above all cherishes her independence. And no down-on-his-luck, on-the-run convict is going to make her call for help, which is the first step to a nursing home. Thrown together, this odd couple creates a laugh riot, especially when Clayton must dress up like a lady to pose as a long-lost cousin at Mabel's birthday party AND baby-sit the state trooper's children.

  Model Millionaire

Classic by Burton Bumgarner

25 pages

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...