One-Act Plays

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  Mary Jane of Whitechapel

Drama by Julian Felice

19 pages

Approx. 8 m, 5 w, numerous flexible roles and chorus


"Mary Jane of Whitechapel" is set during the Autumn of Terror of 1888 when London was haunted by the spectre of a killer which, even now, we know only by the name of Jack the Ripper. Alternating between the investigation into the killings and the life of Mary Jane Kelly, the Ripper’s final victim, the play re-creates the dark atmosphere of a city horrified by blood and violence. Most of the play is based on real people and incidents: the frantic officers on the case, the scores of suspects, the vigilantes who attack foreigners, and ordinary people, scared of ...

  Saturday Matinee

Comedy by Dan Roberts

29 pages

3 m, 7 w, 4 flexible


Movie audiences can often be as entertaining as the film itself. This imaginative one-act comedy takes place during the waiting period before a movie begins, offering a rare look at the personalities and idiosyncrasies of typical teen audience members. Alice only wants to enjoy the movie alone but someone's always invading her space. Kent doesn't know how much he wants to flirt with his date Maria, and she is shocked at her reactions. Mindy is a social outcast and just ripe for snotty Laura's tricks. Meanwhile, Ben continues to chow down, while two latecomers...

  The Actor's Nightmare

Comedy by Alan Heckner

31 pages

Flexible from 5 m, 6 w, to as many as 8 m and 14 w, not including extras.


The title says it all, and every actor and actress who has ever graced the stage knows it all too well. Bobby, Danni, and Christina are three high school students who share the same bad dreams of forgetting their lines, blanking on their monologues for a big audition, looking foolish in a death scene, or being in a really bad play where you don't even know what it is or any of the cast members in it! They stumble through the ridiculous scenarios by any means necessary, improvising and freaking out at the same time. Chaos and calamity reign supreme as they dea...

  Libby Pearce Drinks

Drama by Tim Mogford

20 pages

4 w


A teenage girl has been arrested after a car accident and charged with DUI. Four of her peers who were with her earlier that night arrive at the small-town police station. Julie, restlessly belligerent, is frustrated with Lindsay, who sits silent and brooding. Soon, Erin, who is impulsive, and Jen, a natural follower, join them. The girls wait anxiously, speculating about what the police already know...and what they will find out. A series of admissions and revelations force the girls to re-evaluate themselves and their role in the events, as an already tense...

  Adventure of the Dancing Men

Classic by Al Rodin

35 pages

7 m, 2 w


Hilton Cubitt, a squire, has come to Sherlock Holmes for help. Cubitt has found several messages of coded letters drawn in the form of dancing men, undecipherable to him but extremely disturbing to his American wife, Elsie. With his typical brilliance Sherlock Holmes quickly realizes the danger the messages convey, and he and Watson travel to the Cubitt estate. But it is too late. Cubitt is dead and it is believed that Elsie shot him, although it cannot be proved because she herself is unconscious, near death’s door. Holmes sets a trap for an American man ren...

  Mr Patterson's $5000 Dog Is Dead

Comedy by J. Michael Shirley

20 pages

5 flexible parts


Three students have been hired to take care of Mr. Patterson's purebred dog for the weekend at his estate while he is out of town. The kids, a bumbling lot at best, stick the dog in the yard so they can watch a game on TV and have the stuffy butler serve them lots of snacks. But when they hear about a dog run over down the street and can't see Mr. Patterson's dog in the yard anywhere, they start to worry. At that moment, Mr. Patterson calls to say he's coming home early. The pandemonium that follows makes this a play of non-stop laughter.

  Antigone, 1865

Drama by Michael Willis

36 pages

5 m, 5 w, extras


The classic Greek tragedy by Sophocles is moved to the fictional Fort Thebes at the end of the U.S. Civil War. The new fort commander, Col. Creon, proclaims that one of Antigone's brothers, loyal to the Union, will be buried a hero. Her other brother, loyal to the South, will be left unburied. Anyone defying these orders will be shot by a firing squad. Fierce, yet calmly determined, Antigone tries to provide a decent burial for her "traitorous" brother. When she is caught, Creon sentences her to death. But other soldiers, an old fortune-teller, and even his o...

  Sidelines

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

32 pages

5 m, 7 w


Dr. Jennings has always dreamed of life as a country doctor, but life in a town without an espresso machine horrifies his family. These tensions peak when the family attends the local 4th of July parade, a staple of small town life. Viewing the "parade" from curbside as it passes, the family lists the many sins and failings of the unsophisticated townsfolk, some of which seem deserved. But the natives aren't too pleased with the way the big city folk are treating them, either. In the end, the Jennings find comfort in the hospitality a small town offers and th...

  The Night of the Livid Dad

Comedy by Marc Holland Michael J Davis

22 pages

2 m, 3 w


As his teenaged daughter readies for her first date, George Masters must decide whether to act like a father with great wisdom...or allow his imagination to run completely amok. Is his daughter's boyfriend a wild surfer dude, a tough biker hood or even a nose-in-the-air intellectual? Each fantasy sequence between George and the boyfriend is funnier and more disastrous than the last. Even the level-headed mom and cute younger sister get added to the mayhem. Great fun and great roles, especially for the one actor playing all three boyfriends.

  I Want to Give You My Heart, and Eat Your Brains

one-act by Brent Holland

40 pages

2 m, 6 w, 3 flexible, and extras


Ethan is a typical high school junior, well ... typical with the exception of the fact that an attack three years ago left him as one of the undead.  Previously discriminated against, zombies (such an ugly word) have been now given the chance to attend public school, with Ethan being chosen as the first openly undead student in his state to do so.  As he chronicles his journey on YouTube, Ethan learns the ins and outs of fitting in when you're obviously different. This humorous story has an inclusive theme and tackles the difficulty of not feeling normal duri...

  Mastermime (Or Don’t Mime if I Do)

Comedy by Katie B. Oberlander

24 pages

3 m, 3 w, 6 flexible


Tomorrow is opening night at The Grand Old Theatre and Mastermime, a notorious criminal who distracts audiences with entrancing mime routines and then disappears with their valuables, has defaced the theatre marquee and is terrorizing the stagehands. Will hard-boiled detective Stanton Ovation and his earnest sidekick Deputy Hammet Upp capture this mute but expressive villain before he steals self-absorbed celebrity actress Ima Starr’s diamonds? Or is there more to this case than it seems? Ima’s talkative assistant Roberta, who was a forensic scientist before ...

  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...

  The Pirate Princess

Comedy by James Armstrong

32 pages

2 m, 2 w, 2 flexible


You might think it's fun to be a princess like Alwida, and to live in a castle. But her castle is so lame! It doesn't even have a moat. Tired of parents who never listen and are always telling her what to do, Alwida runs away from home in search of adventure. Instead she finds Alf, the prince from a nearby country. The two hit it off at first, until Alwida's parents ground her in her tower. She escapes, but is captured by bloodthirsty pirates. Finally! An adventure! The pirates think they've taken a frail, simple girl as their prisoner, but they are about to ...

  Tobermory

Classic by Burton Bumgarner

37 pages

4 m, 6 w, 1 flexible


Adapted from the short story by H.H. Munro (Saki). When an old friend invites Jake, a science writer for a newspaper, to spend a weekend at a gathering of prize-winning scientists, he sees a way to write an impressive article and move on to being a sports writer, his real goal. At the gathering we meet a botanist, who has invented a rapidly growing vine that the Defense Department can use as a weapon of mass destruction; a systems engineer, who has invented a new software language only engineers can learn; a physicist, who has written a textbook that is a com...

  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...