One-Act Plays

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  The Survivor and Other Urban Legends

Horror by Bryan Starchman

34 pages

Widely flexible cast, minimum of 7 actors


This is a whirlwind tour of many of the famous and infamous urban legends we’ve grown up hearing and fearing. It then delves deeper, dramatizing in chilling detail, “The Survivor.” The sole survivor of a plane crash, a man has lost his only love, but while the other bodies have been retrieved, hers will never be found. After leaving the show you will definitely feel the need to check the back seat of your car and look under your bed before going to sleep; but beware of your dreams because these spooky tales will stick with you for quite some time. (This one-a...

  Raven's Tale

Folklore by Will Huddleston

35 pages

5-15 actors.


Four spellbinding stories from Native American lore. In the first, the Raven, great trickster bird of all the Northwest Native American tribes, creates the world and the creatures in it. When Man complains about the darkness Raven fills the sky with the sun, the moon and the stars. Soon the new inventions are stolen by the greedy Ganuk. Raven turns himself into Ganuk's infant grandson to return the lights to the sky. In the second story, Raven disintegrates a giant, blood-thirsty cannibal into all the mosquitoes of the world. In the third story Raven's tragic...

  The Rise of the House of Usher

Comedy Horror by Sean Abley

40 pages

4 - 5 m, 4 w


Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” gets turned upside down in this sequel ... of sorts! Far from the Gothic mood of the original story, this is a broad comedy-mystery with a little bit of the macabre thrown in for fun. Some characters from the original story, as well as a few new ones, are now trapped in a different mansion. They’ve been called together on this dark and stormy night by a mysterious host for a reading by Poe. The guests are unknown to each other, yet there must be a connection because one by one they disapp...

  Roman Fever

Classic by Renee Rebman

23 pages

2 m, 7 w, doubling possible


Adapted Renee Rebman from the story by Edith Wharton. A period piece set in the 1920s, this play provides an opportunity for two old friends, Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade, to sit in an outdoor cafe in Rome and reminisce about the past. Now both widowed, the women begin to examine their strangely intertwined lives. A dramatic and emotional confrontation reveals a startling secret that is explored through well-staged flashbacks. A twist of fate long buried in the past leads to a surprising ending that will leave their friendship marked and the women changed forev...

  A Rose in Its Time: The Jennie Wade Story

Drama by Jeffrey Watts

32 pages

3 m, 3 w, extras, doubling possible


Jennie Wade was the only civilian killed during the Battle at Gettysburg. A stray bullet came though the door of her sister's home and struck Jennie while she was kneading dough to feed the Union soldiers. "A Rose in Its Time" is a moving portrait of this spirited young woman who loved life, cared for others with a rare generosity of spirit, and delighted in her family and her fiance with all her heart. Jennie's sister, Georgia, tells the story in the play just as she did in real life, keeping the memory of Jennie Wade alive for the rest of her own years and ...

  Shakespeare!

Classic Humor With Humor by Squire Fridell

46 pages

12 to 20+ flexible characters


Here's an enjoyable, approachable introduction to William Shakespeare. In Scenes 1 through 4, we discover his world and his realities, his life and his times. In Scenes 5, 6 and 7, we are treated to one abridged scene from "Romeo and Juliet" and two abridged scenes from "A Midsummer Night's Dream." All together, the man and his work come alive for both the actor and for the audience. Performance time about an hour. (A longer version of this play, "The Bard!", also includes abridged scenes from "The Twelfth Night," "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and "Macbeth." S...

  Emperors' New Clothes - The Bare Facts

Fairy Tale by Vern Adix

52 pages

7 m, 7 w.


This play is a new twist on the old-fashioned fairy tale. Two emperors from tiny, neighboring kingdoms are good friends but compete in wearing the latest fashions. Because they each continually want new, sumptuous wardrobes, their kingdoms are broke! Even their wives have to resort to doing dirty castle chores because there’s no money to pay any staff. Finally an elaborate ruse is planned where both emperors are taught a lesson about vanity and trying to impress others by clothes. If there were flashlights and spotlights in this historic time when men wore be...

  Fair Game

Comedy by Patrick Rainville Dorn

40 pages

2 m, 6 w, 4 flexible, plus extras


Three teenagers are lured into malevolent Professor Carny Barker’s Once-in-a-Lifetime Traveling Career Fair. There they are tempted with futures of glamour, riches and power by warped and wicked counterfeit pretenders from the military, medical, legal, and business professions. The teens, with the oddball assistance of a janitor, think about what they’re willing to trade off to achieve career “success.” This modern morality play is loaded with slapstick comedy, wry satire and a flexible cast of bizarre characters.

  Crosses to Bear

Drama by Bryan McCampbell

29 pages

5 m, 5 w, 6 flexible, extras, doubling possible


How students cope with the death of classmates due to drinking and driving is poignantly brought home in this one-act. On one side, Lisa is consumed with guilt because she didn't take away her brother's car keys, even though she knew he drank. On the other, Kurt is racked with pain because if he hadn't been drinking, he wouldn't have needed his sister to pick him up and she wouldn't have been in Lisa's brother's car. Then the football team wants to erect a roadside cross in memory of Lisa's brother right next to a cross the girls are planning in memory of Kur...

  Muddin' In Chumuckla

Drama by James Armstrong

36 pages

3 m, 3 w


Six teenage friends hop into a car on a Friday night, determined to have a blast, and perhaps rekindle their fading relationships. But with high school over and the future beckoning, nothing can remain quite the same. Lynn and Bert discover their attraction for each other may not be enough to keep them together. Jay finds that the hometown he loves will never offer enough for him. Kate discovers that her friends may care more for her than she knows. Carl tries desperately to relive days that never were. And Monique, always the center of everything, discovers ...

  My Girlfriend's Stupid Talking

Comedy by Dwayne Lee Yancey

31 pages

3 m, 1 w, 3 flexible, extras


Erin buys a talking parrot which turns out to be under a voodoo curse. The troublesome parrot soon causes a rift between the Erin and her boyfriend, Jeremy, because she blames him for all the evil pranks the bird is pulling. The parrot is really Captain Jack, a pirate who, centuries ago, buried treasure on a Caribbean island, then cheated his shipmates out of the loot. Once in human form, Captain Jack persuades Erin and Jeremy to help him retrieve the treasure, but Jeremy winds up walking the plank instead!

  Neon Nude

Comedy by Kay Rhoads

32 pages

4 m, 4 w


Friendships are tried, prejudice revealed, and self-interest is (dare it be said) exposed, in this fast-moving comedy. A small Iowa town must deal with the weighty issue of whether a stone statue violates the morals ordinance. Chorlis Deets, longtime resident of Lamb’s Corner, has a new lawn ornament in honor of his departed wife...a stone statue of Aphrodite...painted pink and “situated” on a swing in his front yard. An emergency meeting of the city council is called to debate the issue and decide whether or not to forcibly remove the statue. As the meeting ...

  Two Gentlemen of Verona

Shakespeare by Tom Smith

42 pages

4 m, 3 w, 7 flexible parts, some doubling possible


Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy follows the adventures of best friends Valentine and Proteus and the intrigues that ensue when Proteus, engaged to Julia, falls in love with Valentine's beloved, Julia. Reduced from the original 2 ½ hours to 45 minutes, this competition-length adaptation is for teachers who would like to present Shakespeare but feel intimidated to find ways to make it accessible to their students. This adaptation is fast, funny, easy to stage and easy to understand, even for middle school students.

  We Need A Bigger Stage

Comedy by Emilio Regina

18 pages

5 m, 2 w, 6 teen boys (Some male roles can be played by females)


Imagine this: A high school P.E. teacher who does not have a gym facility for his students, and a high school drama teacher who has it all and wants more! Mr. John Brief's proposal to the school administrators for the construction of a gym, and Mr. Lawrence Hacker's proposal for additional seating for his very extravagant theater takes an interesting turn!

  Fire-Breathing Kitten

Comedy by Bradley Walton

32 pages

Widely flexible cast of 9 - 24


When a stray kitten turns up at her sister’s wedding reception, Avery decides to give it a temporary home in her family’s laundry room. When she checks in on the kitten later that night, Avery discovers that a portal to outer space has opened in the wall, a T-Rex is trying to eat the washer and dryer, and the kitten can breathe fire. Then a unicorn shows up. And some aliens. And a few mythological deities. Avery is convinced it has to be a dream—but it’s not. Her life is about to get a whole lot more interesting, and she may never be able to complete another ...