One-Act Plays

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  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...

  Kitchen Catastrophes!

Comedy by Katie B. Oberlander

39 pages

5 m, 5 w, 5 flex, plus extras


Mayhem is on the menu when celebrity Chef Guy Stagsly and his outrageous reality show Kitchen Catastrophes! visit French restaurant Chez Jacques. While Guy and his crew bring in cockroaches and rats, conduct building renovations, and stage a rigged cooking competition, the employees strive to carry on. There’s Julie, the level-headed restaurant manager; Jacques, the temperamental chef; and Mickey, the loyal and ambitious dishwasher. Not to be forgotten, there’s also Olive, a shy trainee who needs a lot of supervision. They’re not only struggling to impress ro...

  The Prisoner's Hands

Drama by E. Jack Williams

33 pages

8 w, 6 flex, extras, doubling possible


This is the story of a killer, her relationship to the family of the victim and her relationship to her own conscience. The play opens in a courtroom with the murder victim’s blind sister, Whitney, giving a family impact statement. Her personal sentence seals the fate of Cheek, the defendant, far worse than any court punishment of “life in prison” could ever do. “I sentence you...to see the image of my sister's face in your hands. I want your hands to be the constant reminder of the horror you saw in her face as you squeezed the life out of her...I want this ...

  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...

  Challenger: To Touch the Face of God

Drama by Julian Felice

36 pages

10 m, 4 w, 1 flex, 1 boy, some doubling possible


Challenger: To Touch the Face of God tells the powerful story of the Challenger disaster of 1986. It dramatizes the stories of the seven individuals who tragically lost their lives in this event, while also drawing attention to the controversial circumstances which led to one of NASA’s blackest days. Although some of the scenes depicted are fictional dramatizations, many of the sentences are the actual words used by the astronauts themselves. Scenes and settings flow seamlessly together with only lighting to distinguish them. The result is a hard-hitting and ...

  Escape to Cancel

Comedy by Tim Mogford

24 pages

8 flexible


Anyone who has tried to cancel their service with any tech company will sympathize immediately with Meghan. On her way to work one morning she decides to quickly drop off the cancellation form she filled out from the company’s website, but of course it turns out to be much more complicated than that. She is drawn into a process involving an increasingly bizarre set of characters who hamper, confuse, intimidate and even threaten her in their efforts to keep her as a customer. When Meghan’s best friend is brought to the office in tears with instructions to illu...

  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...

  65 Mustang

Comedy With Heart by Burton Bumgarner

41 pages

With doubling: 4 m, 4 w


Set in and around a 1965 Ford Mustang, the play is made up of five scenes, each a decade apart. Each scene depicts events in the lives of people who own, drive, or come in contact with the classic car. Actors portray parents, young children, punks, spoiled brats, criminals, policemen, and winners and losers of all varieties. Throughout its existence the Mustang encounters newlyweds, birth, death, a devastating flood, destruction and restoration. From the first scene when Nicholas, a teen much too poor to ever own such a car, to the last where his grandchildre...

  Screenagers

Comedy by Jim and Jane Jeffries

26 pages

10 m, 9 w, 2 flexible


In this fast-paced, technology-saturated world, can teenagers really survive without laptops, i-pads, cell phones and other mobile devices? Has high-speeding texting replaced face-to-face communication? Do apps substitute for thoughtful conversation? From breaking up on Facebook, to in-class research, to real-time dating advice, this play delves into the world of teens to see how they navigate with (or - gasp! - without) technology. "Screenagers" is a humorous look at how technology is shaping the way we socialize, communicate, and—hang on, I’ve got a call co...

  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...

  Through the Looking Glass

Classic by Jim Geisel

36 pages

With doubling: 2 m, 4 w.


Before putting "Through the Looking Glass" down on paper in 1860s, Lewis Carroll told a colleague’s young daughter, Alice Liddell (the real Alice in the books), the story of talking chess pieces. The novel, of course, was a sequel to his earlier one, "Alice in Wonderland." This play is set in the early 1920s as a now elderly Alice Liddell reflects on the telling of the story. Faithful to Carroll’s expression of childhood fears of growing up, this adaptation keeps the Victorian charm and merriment by maintaining Carroll’s scenes intact. The audience is transpo...

  Capricious Pearls

Comedy by Virginia Kidd

31 pages

4 m, 9 w


When Boss and his gang reconvene after being dismissed from parts better left unsaid, they go over the original map Boss had drawn showing where he had hidden a valuable string of pearls in a vacant house. They find it is now a home for aged ladies - and what ladies! Grannie Carlson loves to scoot in her wheelchair, Mrs. Hildebrand has a caustic tongue, Mrs. Katts has eyesight that leaves something to be desired. How the crooks find the pearls and what they do with them make this one of the funniest plays ever.

  Speed Dating Nightmare

Comedy by Scott Haan

31 pages

From 5 - 13 actors.


Speed dating is a great way for singles to meet other people. Each "date" only lasts a few minutes, and if it doesn't work out, you can hope the next one will be better. For Cindy, those minutes feel like an eternity as she is subjected to a seemingly endless parade of jerks and losers. First there’s Marcus, whose questions seem more like an interrogation; then Trevor, whose career motivation extends only to getting the next new video game. Third is Scissor, an artistic man with an inflated sense of ego, followed by Ernest, a socially awkward guy who thinks s...

  The Black Cat

Mystery by Robert Brome

21 pages

3 m, 3 w


Adapted from the story by Edgar Allan Poe. A husband and wife are known for violent quarrelling, especially over their cat. Obsessed, the man tries to kill the animal but accidentally kills his wife. He covers up the murder until the cat's howls are heard from within the cellar wall.

  Where Should We Eat?

Comedy by Scott Haan

38 pages

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.