One-Act Plays

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  Tartuffe in Texas

Classic by Gerald Murphy

36 pages

4 m, 5 w, 3 flexible, doubling possible


Like Moliere's original “Tartuffe,” a supposed holy man enters the life of affluent but naïve family and almost succeeds in cheating them out of their home. Now set in current-day Dallas, the wily opportunist is finally exposed, but not before a series of humorous misunderstandings and some rollicking good fun. Grandma Perkins has nothing but praise their boarder, Tartuffe, because he is a man of such holiness and zeal. Father even wants his daughter Maryanne to break her engagement and marry Tartuffe! The siblings agree they must expose Tartuffe's hypocrisy....

  The Tell-Tale Heart (Swartz)

Classic by L. Don Swartz

21 pages

4 m, 3 w


Poe's familiar story is updated here, set in the modern American judicial system. As part of a competency hearing to determine the suspect's mental ability to stand trial, the caged murderer faces a panel of legal and psychological experts as his confession is videotaped for all to see. As the experts probe deeper into the killer's psyche, the apparently motiveless murder starts to come into focus and we discover the victim's "evil eye" was just the tip of the iceberg. One interior set. (Excerpted from the full-length play, "Fright Night." Please state adapto...

  There's No Business Like Snow Business

Comedy by Claudia Haas

21 pages

14 w


Is it possible to perform a Shakespeare scenefest without male actors, costumes, or scenery? A blizzard has stranded the guys who went to pick up everything for the evening's performance. So now the gals are faced with performing alone on a bare stage. At first nobody thinks they can do it. With such different personalities, from the practical director to the spoiled daddy's girl, to the airhead and valley girl, it seems like too many egos clash. But even so, the drama students pull together to prove that the show must go on! A delightful play with such evenl...

  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.

  The Would-Be Gentleman

Classic by Paul Caywood

28 pages

4 m, 4 w, 3 flexible


In this rowdy farce, the ambitious, but foolish, Monsieur Jourdain wants to socialize with the nobility, even though he knows nothing of proper language or social graces. From his highbrow music, dancing, and philosophy teachers to his obsequious tailor, Jourdain makes a fool of himself with his ludicrous attempts to be important. His behavior even allows him to be exploited by an unscrupulous friend who continues to borrow money. Happily, Jourdain’s weakness is played to full advantage when, after an elaborate masquerade, he finally gives his daughter’s hand...

  Annoying Angels

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

39 pages

Approx. 10 m, 10 w, much doubling possible


Frankie meets his end in an act of wanton cowardice. This offense isn't bad enough to send him to the basement, but he isn't good enough for the attic. He is assigned to Angie the Angel in the "Situation Re-Modification Department." He is given three chances to try to correct something in history that didn't go the way it was supposed to go. He messes up all three chances, but is offered a fourth chance by Herman, Angie's boss. With this one, the toughest of them all, he succeeds.

  Antigone by Sophocles

Adaptation Classic by Paul Caywood

15 pages

2 m, 2 w, 2 flexible, 3 narrators


In ancient Thebes, Antigone determines to give a sacred burial to her brother, Polynices, who had died on the battlefield. But her uncle Creon, the tyrant king, forbids her to do so under pain of death, because, he says, Polynices is a traitor. Antigone gives up her family, her fiancé and even her own life to do what she believes is right.

  Best Foot Forward

Comedy by Daniel T. Roberts

25 pages

4 m, 3 w, 1 flexible


In this audience-pleasing comedy, Aristotle, the dentist's son, and Jennifer, the habitual screwup, are fighting over the last copy of a self-help book that they are sure contains all the answers to their problems. He just knows "Success in Excess" will help him avoid a bleak future of looking into people's mouths, while she is equally desperate, thinking it will help her avoid a future of always putting her foot into her mouth. But other patrons at the bookstore, including the clerk with an attitude, create amusing situations leading up to the moment when Ar...

  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.

  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."

  It's About Us!

one-act by Johnston and Percy

44 pages

6 m, 5 w


A group of high school drama students known as the Rainbow Project is tasked with developing a show to promote the acceptance of diversity. Throughout their rehearsals, important issues like grades, jobs, family commitments, and prejudices are all explored. But art mirrors life a little too closely, and rising tensions threaten the production. In the end, they realize that with all human enterprises, “it’s about us.” This insight allows the show to go on. This drama speaks to its target audience of adolescents and young adults in their own language, wi...

  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...

  Playbill, Play Ball

Comedy by Linda Howard Cooke

28 pages

(13 - 24 total. 2 m; 5 w; 6 - 17 flexible with doubling.)


 

Courtney Hanson, high school junior and avid protester, claims that her high school has turned athletics into a religion, violating the separation of church and state. After numerous meetings with the hapless school principal Courtney and her mother have decided to sue the school district. The characters interact in a series of scenes at the school, at a sports fundraiser, and at a PTO meeting. Some say Courtney has finally gone around the bend, while others say it’s high time someone stood up for academics and the arts....

  Funny Hamlet

Farce by Jon Jory Peter Ekstrom

25 pages

1 m, 10 w, 16 flexible, doubling possible, extras


Tallulah, an over-the-top director extraordinaire at her high school, hasn’t gotten the recognition she believes she deserves. It might be because the school principal doesn’t let the drama students perform. Nevertheless, she and her loyal sidekick and stage manager, Calista, build sets for plays that are never done, and the actors rehearse plays that never open!

 

All is about to change when Tallulah is nominated for High School Drama God of the Year. This all-girls high school has les...

  The Last of the Blue Genies

Comedy by Jon Jory

22 pages

2 w, 5 flexible


Ever heard of the blue genies? Well Zeus sent mortals one hundred genies each with the power to grant ninety-nine wishes. In addition to wishes Zeus also gave the genies immortality, the ability to fly, and a few other powers. Oh, and just for fun he made them blue! 

 

Dorothy, a blue genie, has been holding on to her last wish because it’s become clear to her that mortals waste their wishes.  Also, by declining to grant her last wish and she won’t return to normal allowing her to keep ...