One-Act Plays

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  Burglars, Bunglers, and Neighborhood Thieves

Farce by Daniel Munson

23 pages

1 m, 5 w


When two big-time bunglers like John and Darlene attempt to burglarize an apartment, they get a coat hanger stuck in the door lock and then manage to accidentally ring the doorbell. When they do finally break in, Darlene's nervous bladder forces her to make an emergency bathroom visit. All this ruckus wakes up the bunny-slipper wearing homeowner, Erica, who discovers she is being burgled by her own husband. And if this wasn't weird enough, Darlene claims she is really a "cat burner" instead of a "cat burglar." All this, and the show has just begun! Is John re...

  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...

  How to Kill a Mockingbird

Comedy by Bradley Walton

30 pages

Flexible cast of 8


Five less-than-stellar students meet to work on their group English project. Their assigned reading: Harper Lee’s "To Kill a Mockingbird." Unfortunately, not one of the five has actually read the book. In fact, nobody even brought a copy of the book along. Worst of all, they’re not exactly sure what the title of the book even is! Thus begins a hilarious series of guesses and assumptions which culminate in a massive conspiracy theory about the book and the true threat of mockingbirds!

  Las Soldaderas

Drama by Nelly E Cuellar-Garcia

27 pages

9 women and large ensemble of 15+


Set in the Sierra Madre Mountains, this historic drama follows the lives of an intrepid band of female guerilla fighters who choose to pick up rifles to defend the poor and disenfranchised from the clutches of the corrupt Mexican government and their soldiers. The play explores what it means to be a woman, known as a “soldadera” (female soldier), in the face of great adversity, for they battle not only the enemy but also their own memories of loss, love, family, and betrayal. Each character allows a different facet of womanhood to shine -- innocence, first lo...

  Nellie

by Robby Steltz

27 pages

1 m, 9 w


In the late 1800s rumors were circulating about alleged horrors taking place on Blackwell’s Island, home of the Insane Asylum of New York. Women were apparently the victims of abuse and torture, and one woman, a newspaper reporter, decided to risk her own life to investigate. Nellie Bly committed herself to the asylum, documenting her findings and ultimately revealing the horrors to the entire world. This one-act play, adapted from her book, “Ten Days in a Madhouse,” tells the incredible story of how this “girl” reporter forever changed the way the world look...

  Frumpled Fairy Tales

Comedy by William Springer

26 pages

Flexible cast 5 - 18


Puns and pratfalls abound in this fun, frumpled 35-minute version of three Grimm fairy tales. And with the help of a narrator, the audience can cheer the heroes and boo the villains. In "Rumpelstiltskin," a greedy king, a miller's daughter and a comical chap named Rumpelstiltskin all mix together in the story of gold spinning and name guessing. In "Rapunzel," a witch puts lovely Rapunzel in a tower where a handsome prince rescues her. But the standard happy ending is reached in anything but a standard way. In "Red Riding Hood," Little Red finally escapes the ...

  Desdemona in the Afterlife

Drama by Nelly E Cuellar-Garcia

26 pages

6 female speaking roles, unlimited female ensemble


Set in the realm of Purgatory, the all-female cast of Desdemona, Emilia, Juliet, Lady Macbeth, and Ophelia explore the roles women choose in their pursuit of love and self-identity. Taking its inspiration from Dante’s Inferno, this visceral play allows powerful actors to reach heightened levels of awareness as they grapple with the ideas of an individual’s purpose in their mortal life and the ramifications it carries over into the immortal world. About 40-50 minutes.

  Desperate Housewives of Shakespeare

Comedy by Jim and Jane Jeffries

32 pages

2-3 m, 6 w


Okay, these housewives may not be real, but they are desperate. Shakespeare has been manipulating and twisting their lives for six plays now, and they desperately want to escape his evil machinations. But are they desperate enough to commit murder? Shakespeare has been found dead: stabbed, poisoned, starved, choked, bitten by an asp, and even turned into a baardvark. Lady Macbeth, Juliet, Kate, Rosalind, Cleopatra, and Titania all had the means and the motive to kill Shakespeare, but who really did it? This comic tragedy (or is that tragic comedy?) has all of...

  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...

  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...

  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...

  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...

  Help Wanted

Comedy by James Rayfield

23 pages

Widely flexible cast of 10 or more


OK, teens, listen up. If you want to drive a car, go to college/grad night/prom, get a class ring or new clothes, you're going to have to - find a JOB! All the fun, frustrations and foibles of part-time jobs are explored in these scenes and monologues, from making a hamburger (first the lettuce then the onion!), to figuring our what garbled language is being spoken in the drive-thru, to presenting a phone sales pitch before the person hangs up with a thud! There are also some moments of comic fantasy as teens try to picture their dream job, as surfer and comi...

  The Fourth Wall

Comedy by Rebekah M. Ball

31 pages

2 m, 2 w, 5 flexible


Leaping llamas! "The Fourth Wall," a play within a play, begins as a murder mystery, but the murder victim won't keel over. The playwright forgot to give the characters names, and a rude audience member keeps interrupting the show. Even the ending of the play stinks! Everyone is supposed to die and then the character Death is supposed to do an interpretive dance. Thankfully, the audience's agony is cut short halfway through when the actors break character because Death accidentally kills the Host and then leaves the set to move his car. Without Death, how can...

  Crisis, Inc.

Farce by Daniel Munson

28 pages

1 m, 3 w, 5 flexible, extras


Wait—start worrying! No wait—don’t worry. Let Crisis, Inc. worry for you. This farce takes place in the lobby of a business which provides the service of panicking for people. When you have a panic situation and you can’t focus on what to do next, you hire Crisis Inc. to do the panicking so you can move along and get your work done. Two business people come to the company's office – and each of them responsible for the other's crisis situation. Realizing the potential for fireworks should the two meet, the receptionist tries hard to keep them apart. Classic f...