8 m, 4 w
The clever short story, "The Three Strangers," by English Victorian writer Thomas Hardy, has been skillfully adapted to a rural Appalachian setting. On a snowy winter's afternoon, a farmer and his wife are celebrating the christening of their infant daughter with friends and family. The party is interrupted by the arrival of a stranger, a poorly-dressed man seeking shelter from the cold. Soon a second stranger appears. This man is finely dressed but pompous and offensive. The guests are impressed by the humility of the first man, and angered by the arrogance ...
6 m, 4 w
Edgar Allan Poe is called an American literary genius and here are three of his short stories dramatized for Reader's Theatre. “The Masque of the Red Death" is a fantastic tale of how, after half the people of his country have died, Prince Prospero gathers knights and ladies to his castle and locks the doors to avoid the devastating “red death” disease. In "The Cask of Amontillado" we find that if a man seeks revenge, there are many ways to do it. In "Lionizing" Poe mocks authors who get recognition when they write nothing but trivia and nonsense in flowery a...
3 m, 4 w
When Chris, a high school student, isn't able to attend the funeral of his best friend, James, he decides to hold a farewell party at the gravesite. Attending the party with Chris are six of James' closest friends: Katherine, an intelligent but "ditzy" girl; Sarah, the new kid at school; Betty and Larry, soon to be married; Lisa, James' ex-girlfriend; and Tillman, the class brain. The group quickly discovers that they don't know each other very well - James was the common bond between them. As the play progresses, each person reveals what he meant to them. To...
6 m, 5 w doubling possible to 4 m, 3 w
This powerful one-act is based on the first pages of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables." The year is 1815 and Jean Valjean has been imprisoned nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. Now, after being released, Valjean finds it impossible to find lodging or food. Society has treated him like an animal and he feels like one. Finally he finds refuge at the Bishop's home. The clergyman welcomes him with kindness and even trust, using his best silver candlesticks at the evening meal, much to the dismay and warnings of the susp...
2 m, 4 w, 2 flex and optional extras
Every day, we make a thousand choices that might not seem important at the time, but who knows which one has the potential to change the course of our entire life? Three high school friends, Summer, Victoria and Ariel, are simply choosing a place to eat that night, but where they end up might set their futures on very different paths. Explore four possible scenarios springing from the same mundane decision in this comedy/drama about friendship, destiny, and the surprises life has to offer.
4 m, 4 w, 3 flexible
In this rowdy farce, the ambitious, but foolish, Monsieur Jourdain wants to socialize with the nobility, even though he knows nothing of proper language or social graces. From his highbrow music, dancing, and philosophy teachers to his obsequious tailor, Jourdain makes a fool of himself with his ludicrous attempts to be important. His behavior even allows him to be exploited by an unscrupulous friend who continues to borrow money. Happily, Jourdain’s weakness is played to full advantage when, after an elaborate masquerade, he finally gives his daughter’s hand...
Approx. 10 m, 10 w, much doubling possible
Frankie meets his end in an act of wanton cowardice. This offense isn't bad enough to send him to the basement, but he isn't good enough for the attic. He is assigned to Angie the Angel in the "Situation Re-Modification Department." He is given three chances to try to correct something in history that didn't go the way it was supposed to go. He messes up all three chances, but is offered a fourth chance by Herman, Angie's boss. With this one, the toughest of them all, he succeeds.
4 m, 3 w, 7 flexible parts, some doubling possible
Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy follows the adventures of best friends Valentine and Proteus and the intrigues that ensue when Proteus, engaged to Julia, falls in love with Valentine's beloved, Julia. Reduced from the original 2 ½ hours to 45 minutes, this competition-length adaptation is for teachers who would like to present Shakespeare but feel intimidated to find ways to make it accessible to their students. This adaptation is fast, funny, easy to stage and easy to understand, even for middle school students.
5 m, 2 w, 6 teen boys (Some male roles can be played by females)
Imagine this: A high school P.E. teacher who does not have a gym facility for his students, and a high school drama teacher who has it all and wants more! Mr. John Brief's proposal to the school administrators for the construction of a gym, and Mr. Lawrence Hacker's proposal for additional seating for his very extravagant theater takes an interesting turn!
Widely flexible cast of 9 - 24
When a stray kitten turns up at her sister’s wedding reception, Avery decides to give it a temporary home in her family’s laundry room. When she checks in on the kitten later that night, Avery discovers that a portal to outer space has opened in the wall, a T-Rex is trying to eat the washer and dryer, and the kitten can breathe fire. Then a unicorn shows up. And some aliens. And a few mythological deities. Avery is convinced it has to be a dream—but it’s not. Her life is about to get a whole lot more interesting, and she may never be able to complete another ...
2 m, 3 - 4 w, 1 flexible
Joel Pulley, a struggling comic book artist, has his narrow world turned upside down when an over-eager stray dog shows up at his door… repeatedly! This excitable canine is unwavering in his pursuit to be Joel’s best friend. And Joel, not exactly an animal lover, is just as unwavering in his attempts at getting rid of the dog, especially after a messy fiasco between the dog and Taylor, Joel’s shallow new girlfriend. It isn’t until the escape-artist canine is almost run over in the street by Monica, a vet, that things change… for everyone. She convinces Joel t...
5 m, 2 w, extras
Jack Sprat is a peeper, a gumshoe, a bloodhound for rent, a freelance flatfoot, a man on the case, a hired nose -- a detective, actually, and the only detective in Fairyland. So when femme fatale Red Riding Hood hires him to find Grandma, he knows something is up (well, actually his secretary Tinkerbell figures it out first). Red has teamed up with Prince Charming in order to trick Jack into learning the password for the fairy godmother's magic wand. In the end, Jack figures it all out with the help of his friends, Mr. X, really Rumpelstiltskin; Humpty Dumpty...
3 m, 6 w, 7-8 flexible, extras
For as long as they can remember, Alex and his friends Matt, Chad, and Chelsea have spent Friday nights fighting the undead, casting spells, and rescuing fair maidens with the roll of the dice, a little luck, and a lot of imagination. This week they have invited a new player, Eddie, to join them. Because it’s his first time playing, he has a lot of questions through which audience members with no gaming experience can understand the action and enjoy the imagined scene that is actually a part of a fantasy role-playing game. The teens’ goal is to return the “...
(13 - 24 total. 2 m; 5 w; 6 - 17 flexible with doubling.)
Courtney Hanson, high school junior and avid protester, claims that her high school has turned athletics into a religion, violating the separation of church and state. After numerous meetings with the hapless school principal Courtney and her mother have decided to sue the school district. The characters interact in a series of scenes at the school, at a sports fundraiser, and at a PTO meeting. Some say Courtney has finally gone around the bend, while others say it’s high time someone stood up for academics and the arts....
2 m, 13 w
It’s Princess Daylight’s christening, and the blessings of the good fairies are interrupted by a wicked Swamp Fairy. The Swamp Fairy vexes the princess with two evil curses: she will never see daylight, and her vitality will wax and wane with the phases of the moon. The good fairies mitigate the curses as much as they can. Thanks to their help, the princess will be awake at night, and the curse will be broken when she is kissed unknowingly by a prince. As the years go on, Princess Daylight’s curse seems to worsen. Her only joy is dancing in the moonlight. F...