One-Act Plays

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  Shuffling

Comedy by Ken Preuss

29 pages

1 m, 1 w, 1-14 flexible


Lacey, a teenage girl, has finished work at the mall and is waiting – and waiting – for her boyfriend to pick her up. Left stranded yet again, she reevaluates her love life while shuffling through the songs on her iPod. Actors portraying each of the songs appear with comedic monologues that stir her emotions, offer advice, and affect her decisions. Ethan, a good-humored co-worker, offers her a ride home and the possibility of future romance. The play may be performed with anywhere from 3 to 16 actors. Actors playing Songs portray the spirit and style of the g...

  Murder Box

Mystery by Reid Conrad

37 pages

4 m, 8 w


At the end of the 1940s an old theatre building is about to be torn down. As the theatre's acting troupe is packing up the props, costumes and set pieces, an old magician's trunk is wheeled onstage. Suddenly, members of the company are turning up dead. Margaret, the director's assistant, is the only witness to these crimes, seeing with her own eyes how Eve was strangled, Madigan bludgeoned, and Stan shot. Yet no one will believe her, especially when there is no trace of any of the bodies! This edgy, film noir-style mystery earned straight superiors from the j...

  In the Game

Comedy by Brent Holland

36 pages

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 “...

  Macbeth - A Tale of Darkness

Drama by Nelly E Cuellar-Garcia

36 pages

7 m, 4 w, plus ensemble


Here is a retelling of Shakespeare's tale of the decline of an honorable man into darkness, a study of how far an individual is willing to go in the pursuit of power. This adaptation includes new scenes between Lord and Lady Macbeth and uses an interactive ensemble to play a variety of roles. Only the director’s imagination will be the limit for this piece. It can be staged as elaborately or as simply as desired. The truth is in the words. It was written to be performed at any venue, any time period, and with a multi-cultural cast. Movement, music, and passio...

  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 Actor Games

Comedy by Wade Bradford

32 pages

13, plus extras


In this dystopian/Hunger Games parody everyone is starving...for attention! Society's obsession with all things drama has become so distracting, the Capitol has outlawed all auditions and has divided the population into ten districts: Greek Tragedy, Shakespeare Drama, Commedia Dell'Arte, and others. During the annual Actor Games, a tribute from each district competes to become a star. The losers must suffer the fate of the Fallback Wheel. This year, Meryl hopes to become the first ever winner from High School Drama. Unfortunately, the odds are never in her fa...

  The Most Dangerous Game

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

33 pages

3 m, 3 w


Inspired by the short story by Richard Connell. In this updated version of a classic thriller, corporate headhunters give new meaning to the term "hunting." Throughout the Zaroff Corporation's long history, success is based on finding the right employees. Four professionals are invited for an interview at Zaroff's headquarters. After a gourmet meal and cordial introductions, the potential employees realize that this would be the perfect job with the perfect salary. The human resource manager of Zaroff then tells the potential employees that they are all compe...

  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...

  The Hearing

one-act by Brent Holland

30 pages

1 w, 12 flexible


A famous doctor, who is destined to make a world-changing discovery, has been killed in a car accident, and two angelic members of the “Representatives of Order” have 48 hours to assemble a group of possible candidates to reverse time and save the doctor’s life. The price? Three of the candidates must be willing to serve as a substitute, trading their lives for his.  What would you do for the greater good? The eight people must quickly decide during a hearing where the “Forces of Chaos” are working against them, and all are adjudicated by the ominous “Judgeme...

  Escape Room

Comedy by Wade Bradford

30 pages

2 m, 5 w


The high school girls’ softball team has one last shot to make it to playoffs.  However, that doesn’t seem likely since Wacy and Emma can’t seem to stop fighting, and Riley and Kylie are so inseparable that they don’t work with the rest of the team.  So instead of scheduling extra practice hours before the game, Coach forces the girls to participate in team-building activities. That’s perfect for Professor Diabolical, as he has been rehearsing his evil laugh and is ready to have customers in his Escape Room.  Unfortunately, his assistant Brad is more focused ...

  Conform!

Farce by Reid Conrad

26 pages

4 m, 5 w


"Conform!" is an absurdist farce which takes place in a park where three men in boxes comment on humanity and the passersby who frequent their territory. They urge one and all to conform to the constraints of society, but in the end it is they who must practice what they preach. Through the use of stereotype, cliché and controversial comments, the characters humorously expose their flaws and allow the audience to laugh at some of their own shortcomings. One of three plays highlighted at the Florida State Thespian Conference in 2007 where one judge described i...

  Text This

Drama by Tim Mogford

23 pages

4 w


A one-act play about cyber-bullying. For two weeks Amy’s life has been unbearable. An intimate conversation she had online with a boy she likes has been shared so many times that she is now the laughingstock of the school. To make matters worse, she has been receiving threatening text messages, and her family has been plagued by a series of anonymous phone calls which have been intimidating and offensive. The play opens as Amy sits alone in a classroom. She is soon joined unexpectedly by Kara, who is apparently looking for a prom committee meeting. However, w...

  Attack of the Pom-Pom Zombies

Comedy by Stephen Murray

41 pages

7 m, 16 w, 5 flexible, extras


It's the 1960s, a big nuclear blast to the past! School's out for the summer, and the teenagers of Ocean View High are ready to surf, sun and have some fun. Their favorite hangout is Barnacle Betty's Surf Club, which happens to be right next door to the evil Ivana Ratnik's nuclear power plant. But ooops! Cindy Sue, the head cheerleader, accidentally gets some nuclear slime on her hot dog instead of pickle relish, and soon the beach is overrun with pom-pom wielding zombies! Her all-American boyfriend, the beatniks, the nerds and a tough girl gang named the Bar...

  Running Upstream

Drama by Bryan McCampbell

32 pages

3 m, 3 w


"All you have to do is look in his eyes and you can see the wheels turning a million miles a minute. Problem is, not too many people take the time to look for his eyes, past his arms and legs. Sometimes, even me." These are Danny Osgood's thoughts concerning his brother, David,who is entering mainstream high school despite his physical handicaps. When Danny is mistakenly given the credit for David's poetry, friends and family are forced to realize that they, too, need to look past the handicap to the young man within. A poignant, powerful award-winning play.

  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...