One-Act Plays

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  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...

  The Tell-Tale Heart (Brome)

Classic by Robert Brome

18 pages

3 m, 3 w


A psychotic murders an old man and then copes successfully with the village constable, only to be trapped and betrayed by conscience and a twisted mind. Increasing the story's playability is the addition of two nieces of the old man who suspect murder, and an innocent bride of the murderer. A smashing climax with thunderous "heartbeats" of the dead man. (Please state adaptor's name when ordering.)

  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.

  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.

  Pirates of Atlantis

Comedy by Patti Veconi

48 pages

18-19 roles (2 m, 1 w, 15-16 flexible)


When a pirate ship inadvertently sails over the lost city of Atlantis, an adventure-seeking girl – who happens to be the granddaughter of Poseidon himself – makes friends with a charmingly naïve sailor, causing their two worlds to collide. As the pirates continue to arrr-gue and the Atlanteans ask an endless series of questions with no answers, new friends Duffle and Pana explore strange new worlds they have never seen before. With the help of a Narrator giving advice and a friendly dog who just wants to play, and with Poseidon’s undersea magic adding to the ...

  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...

  Sorry, Shakespeare!

Comedy by Michael Willis

20 pages

2 m, 2 w


Four high school students report to the school auditorium for play rehearsal only to find out the director is not coming. To add to the confusion, one of the cast members has dropped three rehearsal scripts, of which all the pages are unbound and unnumbered. The pages fly everywhere. No problem! - unless the scripts are "Macbeth," "The Taming of the Shrew," and "A Midsummer Night's Dream." As one of the students quips, "We don't know anything about Shakespeare, but it all sounds the same anyway, so grab some pages." The mayhem that results will have you wonde...

  The Amazing Angel-Man

Drama by Julian Felice

36 pages

Cast of 12 plus ensemble. Most roles are gender flexible except for those noted. Doubling possible.


James, a young boy, suffers from Angelman Syndrome. This neurodevelopmental disorder causes problems with speech and mobility forcing him to spend his life in a wheelchair. The story shifts from James’ imagination where he dreams of being a superhero called “The Amazing Angel-Man” to the real world, where the realities of his condition have a serious impact on his family, particularly his father. As the play progresses, these two separate worlds start to overlap, leading to an uplifting resolution that upholds the values of hope and imagination. The play was ...

  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 ...

  The School Spirit

Comedy by Scott Haan

35 pages

Flexible cast. Approx. 2 m, 7 w, 2 flexible.


Faith and Ivy are best friends for life…and beyond. On the surface, they don’t have much in common. One is respectful, the other sarcastic. One is studious, the other a troublemaker. One is a friendly actress, the other a reclusive poet. And, oh yeah, one is alive, the other, not so much. Ivy has been dead for weeks, and only Faith can still see or hear her. How can a ghost help Faith achieve her goal of landing the lead in the school play? And for that matter, why is Ivy still hanging around, anyway?

  A Jury of Her Peers

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

28 pages

4 m, 4 w


Adapted from the short story by Susan Glaspell. A farmer has been found dead and his wife, Minnie, is the prime suspect. The sheriff, a deputy and other men meet at the lonely farmhouse to go over the evidence while two wives gather some clothes and necessities for Minnie, who is in jail. Two neighbor ladies, the Gains sisters, arrive to see what they can learn about the disturbing events of the previous day. As the men go about the business of investigation, the women make a remarkable discovery: the motive for the crime. Set in 1917, three years before wome...

  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...

  The Funsucker

Comedy by Christopher Landrigan

32 pages

Approximately 7 m, 9 w, 4 flexible


Fed up with the unruliness of his school, hard-nosed Principal Wolfenstein hires Janitor Patton and his top-notch cleaning crew to fix the problem. But it’s not enough against Bobby Franko, leader of the pranksters for all of his six years of high school, and his mafia-like group of friends. When the war reaches new heights, Wolfenstein calls for the return of someone so horribly cruel and void of any joy that she was previously banned from ever setting foot in the school again --The Funsucker! She literally sucks the fun out of every student she encounters, ...

  What Part Will I Play?

Drama by Mary Hall Surface

43 pages

13 females (also two offstage voices, 1 m, 1 f)


This play gives a voice to young women's hopes and dreams, fears and failures, fantasies and hard-knocks. The girls arrive at a theatre to audition for a promising new play. Each girl has come with her own ambitions, even secrets. But upon arrival, the girls learn that the director will be late. The stage manager takes them through a series of improvisations. But the girls, confused and anxious, are soon left to "wait." Each one must decide how she will respond to the situation and to each another. As the play progresses barriers are broken down, friendships ...

  Carl

Drama by E. Jack Williams

24 pages

5 m, 4 w, extras if desired.


Inspired by a true story, "Carl" tells of a young man's experience with being teased and bullied throughout school. The play opens with a 10-year reunion, then flashes back to his high school days, episodes in the lunchroom and classroom. We even see a brief bit of Carl's home life. Through the moving portrayal of Carl's life and ultimate suicide, members of the audience are compelled to examine their reactions to people who may be different. "Carl" is the winner of Minnesota's "Arc of Excellence Community Media Award."