One-Acts

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  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!

  You Don't Know Us...and Other Monologues for Teen Voices

Resource by Daniel S Kehde

67 pages

Monologue Collection


Monologues are traditionally used for auditions and classroom work, but they are an overlooked form of performance art, epsecially for teenagers. This collection brings this usually standard genre into the performance spotlight. Like other collections by Dan Kehde, this one was developed and performed in what has now become an annual, and ever more popular, event at the playwright's theatre. Funny, hard-hitting, and poignant, these are honest portraits of young Americans searching for freedom, love and self-worth in the labyrinth of adolescence. Titles includ...

  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...

  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...

  Rappin'stiltskin

Comedy by Donna Wilson

24 pages

4 main characters, additional cast of 13 or more.


In this new version of the fairy tale, all the characters are likable - the greedy king is now a kind ruler looking for money to save endangered species and the passive young woman who must spin straw into gold is resourceful and self-reliant. Even the funny little character, whose name reflects his rap-style speech, is likable, just lonely. Luckily, the Hunters-of-the Perfect-Wave help the play have a happy ending.

  Red-Headed League

Reader Theatre by Al Rodin

32 pages

7 m


Jabez Wilson is a pawnbroker whose store is located on Coburg Square next to a bank. He consults Sherlock Holmes about the "League of Red-Headed Men." He had been told by his employee, Vincent Spaulding, that it is a group established by a red-headed American millionaire, now dead, who had left a large amount of money for men with such hair color. Spaulding introduced Wilson to Duncan Ross who is also red-headed and the manager of the operation. All Wilson needed to do to earn the money was to spend four hours a day at an office, copying out the Encyclopedia ...

  Right to Remain Silent

Drama by Mark Fauser Brent Briscoe

48 pages

18 flexible parts, doubling possible


The play takes place during a graveyard shift in a big city police booking room where alleged criminals' mug shots are taken by two cops, a hardened veteran and a rookie on her first night. Some of the "criminals" include an African-American graduate student who infiltrated a meeting of the Klan; a drunken driver who caused a fatal accident; a pistol-packing pizza delivery woman; a husband who helped his dying wife commit suicide; a raving husband obsessed with the talk-show host who has influenced his newly liberated wife; and others. Pathetically, tragicall...

  Rivers of Ink

Drama by Henson and Menefee

24 pages

5 m, 3 w, and ensemble


Hassan works as a scholar in the House of Wisdom specializing in translating legends. She spends her days alongside her father and twin. Together they are all living a dangerous secret. It is 13th century Bagdad at the height of Islamic civilization and women are forbidden in the House of Wisdom, so Hassan and her sister are posing as men. The daughters are living a protected and peaceful life, yet Hassan dreams of travelling the world. The arrival of a new scholar expands Hassan’s horizons, but will he jeopardize her secret identity as well as her future? Wh...

  Scars & Stripes

Drama by Thomas Cadwaleder Jones

47 pages

1 m, 1 w


Two teenagers, an African-American urban girl and a white rural boy, confront their racial prejudices when they meet at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Looking for clues into their fathers' pasts, they discover more about themselves and each other and are changed forever. About 60 mins. Winner of the 1994 AATE Distinguished Play Award. Ideal for Black History month observances.

  Shakespeares

Comedy by Colleen Shaddox

29 pages

5 m, 3 w, 1 flexible


William Shakespeare retired at about age 48. Why did this prolific genius stop writing? How did he get along with his long-neglected wife, Anne, once he gave up the stage? “The Shakespeares” imagines what The Bard’s last years were like in Stratford-upon-Avon. The play is full of inside jokes for Shakespeare fans. But even for those unfamiliar with his plays, there are laughs (and a few tears) as we watch this profoundly mismatched couple try to make a go of it. Shakespeare’s confidante, daughter Susanna, realizes that her father’s creative spirit is being cr...

  Shelby's Song

Drama by Renee Rebman

16 pages

3 m, 3 w


Shelby has been feeling depressed and seeing her grandmother in constant pain has upset her even more. Finally, she decides to steal two bottles of her grandmother's pain pills and commit suicide. But Grandma finds the pills and confronts Shelby - admitting that her age and illness have caused her to consider overdosing on the pills herself. Horrified, Shelby realizes she has her whole life ahead of her and both recommit to life.

  Storm-Breeder

Drama by Brian Billings

29 pages

2 m, 2 w, 3 flexible


Adapted from the story "Peter Rugg, the Missing Man" by William Austin. This play tells the story of the phantom coachman Peter Rugg, a man doomed forever to race along the roads to Boston but never to arrive there. Overtaken by a fit of rage while traveling during a stormy night, Bostonite Peter Rugg made a dangerous promise: "Let the storm increase! I will see home tonight in spite of the tempest, or may I never see home again!" He never arrived in Boston. Now his ghost rides the roads leading to and from that city, and he always brings behind him the feroc...

  Suburbia, B.C.

Comedy by Lois E. Hobart

38 pages

4 m, 3 w


Philip, the Stone Age lord of an elegant cave suite, is something of a Neanderthal when it comes to change. Rumors of a new secret weapon worry him. So does the alarmingly barbaric tribe that has settled across the river who live in boxes made of wooden logs with a panel that opens and closes! Then there's his son, Thomas, who has dropped out of hunting-fishing-agriculture school and does nothing but play with inventions. His daughter, Sharon, befriends animals instead of attracting a nice caveman who will carry her off to a decent cavern in a good neighborho...

  Dyin' Free

Drama by Troy Shearer

62 pages

Interracial cast of 4 m, 3 w, 2 flexible, 1 child


Cole, a slave, struggles with the prospect of escaping--the personal struggles and danger it would mean for his family. Escape would also mean forgoing all the trust and faith his “owner,” Mr. Jones, had invested in Cole. After much thought, and arguing with his wife, Cole agrees that an opportunity for freedom is worth sacrificing his fairly contented life as a slave. Their plan of escape, however, is found out. Cole must come face to face with Mr. Jones and suffer the consequences. The cost is great. The slave gives his life for individual freedom. The slav...