One-Act Plays

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  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...

  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...

  Are We Scared Yet?

Comedy by Bobby Keniston

40 pages

8 m, 10 w, 4 flexible (doubling possible)


Max and Katie are lost at a spooky campsite in the middle of the woods. Fortunately, Counselor Ned, a cheerful, but rather strange, camp counselor is there to help them out until the other campers and counselors find them. To pass the time, Counselor Ned suggests they all take turns telling scary stories, a "campfire tradition as old as time." As they take turns telling their tales, the stories come to life onstage! The story of "Taily-Po," an American folklore classic, reveals an old man living in the woods with his sarcastic dog… "The Backseat Driver" gives...

  Hey Diddle Diddle: The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon

Comedy by Bradley Walton

40 pages

4-23 performers possible


A cat plays the fiddle, the cow jumps over the moon while the little dog laughs, and the dish runs away with the spoon…but then what? A group of storytellers are challenged to continue the story of the dish and the spoon from Hey Diddle Diddle. The tales that they spin find the dish and spoon fleeing from the Abominable Snowman, encountering the witch from Hansel and Gretel, becoming spies, and even fighting bad sushi! With a gender-flexible cast of 4-23, this smart, funny and easy-to-stage show will appeal to kids, teens, and adults. About 40 minutes.

  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...

  Poe-Dunked

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

43 pages

6 or more flexible characters


Twelve short scenes depict events in the life of Edgar Allan Poe -- or how his life might have been in today's world! Some of the more popular tales are represented: "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a police investigation; "The Cask of Amontillado" is a Jerry Springer-type TV show; and "The Masque of the Red Death" has a group of Hollywood types hiding out in a castle. In "The Fall of the House of Usher" Poe himself pitches the story to a producer for a horror film. Other scenes depict Poe as he might have been in elementary school; seeing a psychiatrist; trying to w...

  I Am Angel

Drama by Alaska Reece Vance

36 pages

3 m, 8 w, 16+ flexible or with doubling 3 m, 6 w, 2 flexible


When Angel was a child, she knew she had wings. She knew she could fly. After telling everyone and enduring mockery, she left her wings on the ground in exchange for fitting in. Now she is in high school, and when she sees her friend Hunter being teased for sharing honest feelings, Angel is torn. Standing up for Hunter now means no longer fitting in, giving up her new possible boyfriend Isaac and alienating the few friends she has. But Angel gains one of the most important insights of all — that she is already loved just for being herself. An Angel Chorus use...

  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...

  The Devil and Danielle Webster

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

30 pages

5 m, 5 w, 9 or more flexible


From the short story "The Devil and Daniel Webster" by Stephen Vincent Benet. Poor Jake Stone is a total loser. When he finally loses the worst job he's ever had, he makes the claim that he would do anything to be a winner. Soon he meets Lucy, a seemingly attractive, professional woman who can make a special deal with him: she gives Jake wisdom, and he signs away his soul. Rather than waste his opportunity, Jake becomes a kind and intelligent person who gives much to the world. As the time to relinquish his soul draws near, he seeks out the counsel of Daniell...

  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...

  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 Twilight Cone

Comedy by Wade Bradford

26 pages

8 characters: 1 m, 5 w, 2 flexible


It’s Marcus’ first day on the job at The Twilight Cone, an unusual ice cream shop owned by his Great-Aunt Diane. Marcus has already been trained on the milkshake machine and scooping ice cream when suddenly his eccentric aunt needs to run to the store. She reluctantly decides to let him open the shop but makes him promise not to serve any flavor but vanilla. When five young women come in to the shop, Marcus’ promise is quickly forgotten. Little does he know that each unique milkshake flavor causes an unusual reaction. The Narrator, unnoticed by all, enters an...

  Avoiding the Pitfalls of High School Dating

Comedy by Bobby Keniston

28 pages

5 m, 5 w, some doubling possible


Welcome to "Avoiding the Pitfalls of High School Dating," a seminar for high school students who have trouble going on dates. Your hosts for the evening are Lucky Daye and Starry Knight, two people who have invested their entire life savings into creating this simple system of five "never-fail" rules for dating success. Lenny and Matilda, two outcasts, have been brought in to demonstrate the system by going on a series of speed-dates to bring the five simple rules to life. Through a series of humorous and humiliating scenes and hilarious one-liners, we will s...

  The Romancers

Comedy by Jenny Newell Cook Lorraine Thompson

42 pages

5 m, 4 w, 4 flexible, extras


Dreamy young lovers Lelio and Silvia must keep their love a secret from their fathers, who are fierce rivals. Will a scheme featuring the loveable Arlecchino (whose main occupation is taking money from others) and a quartet of bumbling bandits save the day? Middle and high school actors will revel in this fast-paced, uproarious one act complete with screwball antics and a cast of madcap characters including two saucy servants, a lovable miser, and a host of zanies. It is this type of slapstick humor that makes the performance style of commedia dell'arte a per...

  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...