One-Acts

Sort by
Display per page

  Take a Chance

Drama by Chris Richman

17 pages

1 m, 1 w, 1 flexible


As the play opens Rosie, riding a stick horse, and Oliver, pushing a wheelbarrow, are walking around a square stage. The fact that they are in the game of Monopoly should slowly manifest itself in various funny ways, but what starts as a cute comedy turns into an existential quest for self-meaning. Oliver, the idealistic one, believes that there must be a life beyond his own mundane existence. Rosie, the cautious one, is addicted to "passing go" and is afraid to leave the familiar. Their love is evident, and yet part of the conflict. Through the course of the...

  Not an After-School Special

Comedy Dark by Jeffrey Smart

21 pages

1 m, 5 w


Are you overdosed on teen problems, dramas about eating disorders, drunk-driving, suicide, etc.? Then this darkly humorous one-act is the antidote. Violet is in the nurse's office after having fainted that morning. One by one her friends visit her and one by one she takes advantage of them by confessing to all the ills teens are supposed to have. With a story of illiteracy, she gets the bright but mousy Moxie to do her homework. A tale of bulimia gets tomboyish Caryn to give up her car keys. A fable of drunk driving gets the uptight Kelly to bring Violet her ...

  Paper Umbrellas

Comedy by Kandie St.Germain-Kelley

35 pages

7 m, 9 w


Members of the Dream Big Society are meeting in Hawaii's Paradise Hotel for the fourth annual convention, where they can find motivation to achieve their personal dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem. And wild dreams they are: Yvonne wants to be the Queen of England, CJ wants to be a samurai, Dora wants to train dolphins even though she can't swim, and Cory wants to be a rock star, though he can't sing a note or even play the air guitar. Clare, whose only dream is to have a happy family, discovers and is befriended by the society after being jilted ...

  Problem with Problem Plays

Comedy by Ken Preuss

28 pages

Widely flexible cast of 12


Two writers poke fun of the pitfalls and perils of producing problem plays while The Problem with Problem Plays Players act out the comical conundrums. They explore the challenges of censorship, the madness of metaphors, and the awkwardness of adults who tackle teen dialogue. All is well and witty until unexpected guests and unearthed secrets send things amusingly awry. Realizing they have become trapped in a problem play of their own, the cast and crew must scramble to escape. Will they perish in the predicament or persevere and produce a positive payoff? Th...

  Macbeth - A Tale of Darkness

Drama by Nelly E Cuellar-Garcia

36 pages

7 m, 4 w, plus ensemble


Here is a retelling of Shakespeare's tale of the decline of an honorable man into darkness, a study of how far an individual is willing to go in the pursuit of power. This adaptation includes new scenes between Lord and Lady Macbeth and uses an interactive ensemble to play a variety of roles. Only the director’s imagination will be the limit for this piece. It can be staged as elaborately or as simply as desired. The truth is in the words. It was written to be performed at any venue, any time period, and with a multi-cultural cast. Movement, music, and passio...

  Mother Nature's Revenge

Comedy by Robert Frankel

35 pages

Flexible cast of about 15. Doubling possible, extras if desired.


Mark Polluter is an environmental disaster, and Mother Nature's overseer, a former school teacher, plans a little revenge. With a smile on her face, she turns him into a tree, then a fish, and finally a bird. In each transformation, Mark is visited by a few of the species, like Sally Starfish, an actress, and St. Louee Cardinal, a baseball-playing bird. As one of them, Mark learns firsthand the nasty effects of his human carelessness. Easy, fun costuming and lots of comedy makes this topical play perfect for touring.

  Little Theatre

Drama by Con Chapman

22 pages

2 m, 2 w, 1 flexible


Four speech and drama students and their coach are preparing for a tournament. Charles is the team's supremely confident extemporaneous speaker. Patty is the group's entry into the category of original oratory. Cathy is both a debater and, at least in her own mind, a talented actress. And then there's Chris Higgins, a former football player whose mother is forcing him to participate in public speaking as a way of overcoming his stuttering problem. Unable to join in the athletics that used to bring him glory, he's reluctantly joined this group, a group which h...

  Second Stain

Reader Theatre by Al Rodin

32 pages

4 m, 2 w


Lord Bellinger and the Right Honorable Trelawney Hope, Secretary for European Affairs, visit Sherlock Holmes at 221B Baker street to have him find a missing document, which, if published, could lead to war. It had been kept in a dispatch box at the Secretary's home. Holmes suggests to Watson three possible individuals, any one of whom could have stolen the document to use for bribery. One of them, Lucas, is found murdered at his home, which Holmes visits with Inspector Lestrade. They find that the bloodstain on the carpet is not in the same position as the on...

  Sixteen Shambles

Comedy by Bradley Hayward

30 pages

2 m, 4 w, 7 flexible


Janet is about to celebrate her sweet sixteenth birthday, but little does she know it's going to be the worst day of her life. Things start spiraling downward from the moment she wakes up and gets toothpaste all over her shirt. This sets off a chain reaction of misfortune as she faces a variety of kooky characters insistent on ruining her big day. From her manic-depressive English teacher and a hot-headed driving instructor, to an overly sensitive drama coach and a super-creepy mortician, Janet is up to her ears in craziness. She's determined to put an end to...

  Thousand Dollars

Drama by Robert Blaskey

18 pages

3 m, 3 w, extras


According to his uncle's will, Bob, a carefree young man, must spend $1,000 within 24 hours and give an account of how it was spent to the lawyer. First he almost buys a necklace for his greedy girlfriend, then he almost gives it to a con man. Finally he gives it to his uncle's ward, Linda, and the orphans she cares for. Bob then learns if he spent his $1,000 wisely he would receive another $50,000; if not, it would go to Linda. In true O. Henry style where coincidence affects character, Bob tells the attorney he lost the money at the race track.

  Three Strangers

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

27 pages

8 m, 4 w


The clever short story, "The Three Strangers," by English Victorian writer Thomas Hardy, has been skillfully adapted to a rural Appalachian setting. On a snowy winter's afternoon, a farmer and his wife are celebrating the christening of their infant daughter with friends and family. The party is interrupted by the arrival of a stranger, a poorly-dressed man seeking shelter from the cold. Soon a second stranger appears. This man is finely dressed but pompous and offensive. The guests are impressed by the humility of the first man, and angered by the arrogance ...

  Time to Heal

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

57 pages

Multi-racial cast of 7 m, 7 w, 6 flexible


Jim and Lillian Fowler are having a dinner party to welcome their daughter home from college and meet her fiance. Lillian's brother, Walt, a physician, is also there, even though he and Jim get under each other's skins, especially when Walt needles Jim about losing a recent election to become prosecutor because of his conservative racial views. When Janice and her fiance David arrive, the strain increases as the idealistic young law student from "up North" treats the Wycrofts, the family who works for the Fowlers, as equals. The Wycrofts are already uneasy, f...

  Too Free For Me

Drama by R Rex Stephenson

59 pages

6 m, 7 w


The drama is based on an actual trial that occurred in Franklin County, Virginia in 1851. Indiana Choice, a black woman, claims that she and her three children are free. She sues Gresham Choice, her alleged owner, for not only her freedom but that of her three children. Gresham, a prominent citizen with political aspirations, denies Indiana is a free black. The events of the trial are recalled by Margaret Oxley who attended this trial as a child. Oxley is especially fond of Jubal Early, the lawyer for Indiana. As the trial progresses, a variety of witnesses a...

  Trio of Poe...Readers Theatre

Reader Theatre by Paul Caywood

25 pages

6 m, 4 w


Edgar Allan Poe is called an American literary genius and here are three of his short stories dramatized for Reader's Theatre. “The Masque of the Red Death" is a fantastic tale of how, after half the people of his country have died, Prince Prospero gathers knights and ladies to his castle and locks the doors to avoid the devastating “red death” disease. In "The Cask of Amontillado" we find that if a man seeks revenge, there are many ways to do it. In "Lionizing" Poe mocks authors who get recognition when they write nothing but trivia and nonsense in flowery a...