One-Acts

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  Prez's New Clothes

Comedy by Stephen Murray

36 pages

5 m, 10 w, 7 flexible


Here is a hip, contemporary version of "The Emperor's New Clothes," complete with election politics and news media spin. President William Lee is too busy with international politics to worry about whether his striped tie clashes with his plaid pants and argyle socks. His devoted wife is understanding but the media sure take a stab at his wardrobe, as does his election opponent, Horace Grinchley, and Horace's overly-ambitious campaign manager, Myrna Snerd. The two get several people to pose as wardrobe consultants to strip President Lee down to his "bare" ess...

  Jack's Adventures with the King's Girl

by R Rex Stephenson

32 pages

Flexible cast from 10 - 24 actors.


This play opens when a woman who is collecting mountain folktales asks the Gentry family to tell her one. But they do better than that! They act out for her the story of "Jack and the King's Girl." When a Princess has a "witchin'" put on her, Jack decides to save her and collect the reward. It isn't an easy task, especially when he has to sleep over in a haunted house. Along the way he makes some friends who have special skills, however, and ultimately they help him meet every challenge the old witch throws at him. Of course Jack saves the Princess! The widel...

  Machinations

Farce by Reid Conrad

24 pages

Approx. 4 m, 2 w, 20 flexible.


The game of “Machine” is a staple of drama classes, but in this 1950s sci-fi flavored one act the Machine, played by a group of actors, becomes a character itself. Professor Chester Pochesnik has been laboring over his Machine in the lab. He and Team Leader Osten are happy to announce to the Board that the Machine has reached its potential. Board Leader Evens is thrilled and awards Professor Pochesnik the apprentice he has longed for. Apprentice Timothy Albright, however, not only circumvents the Professor’s ideas and authority, he steals the Professor’s girl...

  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...

  Faux Pa

Comedy by Jeffrey Watts

40 pages

6 m, 4 w, 4 flexible, extras,


Mild-mannered suburbanite Rob Clark is shocked when Eugene, an unlikely angel, tells him that he is going to have a baby. Rob and his wife, Cindy, have wanted a child, but they never expected Rob to be the one to get pregnant! Their family physician, Doc Mitchell, an old-fashioned doctor who'd rather be fishing, confirms the pregnancy, but Dr. Stern, a cynical psychologist, says everyone is nuts! Meanwhile, Rob and Cindy, who are trying to come to terms with the situation, are besieged by a parade of curiosity seekers, led by Dr. Stern, while Doc Mitchell com...

  Model Millionaire

Classic by Burton Bumgarner

25 pages

3 men, 2 women, 4 flexible


Adapted by Burton Bumgarner From the tale by Oscar Wilde. Hugh is in love with Laura and she is in love with him. They want to marry but Laura's father, a gruff and greedy man, won't hear of the marriage of his only daughter to a lowly actor. In order to win the girl he loves, Hugh must come up with the astounding sum of $10,000, or Laura will be forced to marry an attorney, a man her father has selected. Set in New York City during the Great Depression, actors and artists, as well as millionaires and beggars, populate this one-act play. Hugh's best friend, T...

  Defining Moments

Drama by Bryan McCampbell

52 pages

Flexible cast, approx. 11 m, 14 w, extras, doubling possible


This play forces us to examine the points in our lives when we make decisions - right or wrong, good or bad - that will define our own future as well as the lives of others. Built upon a series of monologues and scenes, the play depicts young adults dealing with the reality of HIV and AIDS. For some it's simply a threat -something not to be let out of its cave. For others, the monster has become an unwanted part of their daily existence. This uncompromising drama uses vivid and timely dialogue. A perfect competition piece, it features minimal staging, a choru...

  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 ...

  Service for Jeremy Wong

Drama by Daniel S Kehde

69 pages

9 m, 9 w


When Jeremy Wong, a 15-year-old gay student, is savagely beaten and killed by two fellow students, the whole school reels from the blows. Reporters from all over the country descend on the town. Deep divisions among the students emerge as the student council debates whether or not to hold a memorial service. The brutal murder forces each student to search his or her own conscience and beliefs. Some react with denial, some make excuses, some are outraged, and some are frightened. Others respond with courage and caring, while a few start to question and change ...

  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...

  Birthday Party

Drama by R. James Scott

26 pages

8 m, 3 w, extras


A complex and moving play as a soldier serving overseas "celebrates" a birthday by militarily taking a hill while his twin sister back home celebrates their birthday with the family and her twin's fiancée. The surreal setting and movement of the action lead to a shocking conclusion. About 30 minutes.

  Shakespeare on Trial

Drama by Anthony Giordano

42 pages

Approx. 9 m, 6 w, 3 flexible, extras which can be audience members


With graduation fast approaching, two groups of students of Bellefonte High confront each other in an attempt to influence the next year’s curriculum of the school. With recollections of past bullying, revealed secret lives, hinted-at romances, and numerous quotations from Shakespeare’s most famous plays, these teenagers set up a mock trial to decide if Shakespeare should be studied next year. Like current day Montagues and Capulets, the students do plenty of verbal fencing -- with a little Romeo and Juliet romance thrown in -- to ultimately decide if the Bar...

  Her Story

Drama by Michael Norman Mann

32 pages

5 m, 9 w, extras, doubling possible


High school students Mike and Shelly are breaking up. Later, Shelly sees Mike at a party with his new girlfriend and between her depression and a few too many drinks, allows herself to be coaxed outside by an unscrupulous guy. Things go too far in the bushes and Shelly is date-raped. When she returns to school on Monday, she has a reputation and school officials want to get to the bottom of the rumors they have heard. With characters immediate and believable, this play is powerful, timely and significant.