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...
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.
6 m, 2 w, 1 flexible, extras
It's 1983. Peter Miller from Chicago, a recent college graduate, is determined to write an account of the pain and suffering caused by the new AIDS epidemic, so he persuades the directors of a clinic to allow him to masquerade as a patient. All goes well until the other patients on the floor discover his pretense. In an intensely emotional scene they hold him down and inject him with what he believes is the virus. In the end, Zeb, the last of the five patients to survive, has the honor of telling Peter of the subterfuge, that he was not injected the “bug” at ...
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...
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...
4 m, 4 w, 2 flexible
Eleven-year-old Robert, with help from his little sister Sally, has built a flying machine in their backyard. On launch day, he is hassled by his older brother Bryan, as well as the local neighbor kids. When the machine fails to operate as Robert expects, he is laughed at and ridiculed by those who have come to watch. Little Sally comes to his rescue, and together they fly. About 35 minutes.
4 m, 6 w, 1 flexible
Adapted from the short story by H.H. Munro (Saki). When an old friend invites Jake, a science writer for a newspaper, to spend a weekend at a gathering of prize-winning scientists, he sees a way to write an impressive article and move on to being a sports writer, his real goal. At the gathering we meet a botanist, who has invented a rapidly growing vine that the Defense Department can use as a weapon of mass destruction; a systems engineer, who has invented a new software language only engineers can learn; a physicist, who has written a textbook that is a com...
2 m, 13 w
It’s Princess Daylight’s christening, and the blessings of the good fairies are interrupted by a wicked Swamp Fairy. The Swamp Fairy vexes the princess with two evil curses: she will never see daylight, and her vitality will wax and wane with the phases of the moon. The good fairies mitigate the curses as much as they can. Thanks to their help, the princess will be awake at night, and the curse will be broken when she is kissed unknowingly by a prince. As the years go on, Princess Daylight’s curse seems to worsen. Her only joy is dancing in the moonlight. F...
3 m, 5 w, 5 flexible, ensemble, doubling possible
It’s the final stages of a television talent competition. The show’s immoral and unscrupulous presenter and executive producer Jools wants a particular contestant to win, and he goes to great lengths to influence the public into thinking his way. However, things do not go according to plan. With the pressure mounting under the harshest of spotlights, an unexpected twist shows that in the cutthroat television business, few can be trusted. The play explores how the media can manipulate public opinion, an important theme in today’s unpredictable world. The show ...
3 m, 6 w, 4 flexible, plus extras
The posh and well-to-do Robinson family is on a ship excursion (without their nanny) when they shipwreck on a deserted island. The mother is at her wit’s end about having to do actual parenting (without their nanny) and feels sorry for herself when she realizes her acting career might take a nosedive in her absence. The father of the clan is also at a loss (without their nanny) and spends all his time speaking with a British accent and playing golf down on the beach. So, the kids find themselves on their own (without their nanny) and begin to devise a surviva...
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.
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!
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...
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 ...
(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....