One-Acts

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  The Election

Comedy one-act by Jonathan Turner Smith

40 pages

6 m, 9 w, and ensemble of 10, doubling possible


Eight diverse candidates who are running for student body president have two minutes to present their platform and to convince fellow Roosevelt High students to vote for them. From the narcissistic varsity cheerleader, to the disdainful brainiac, and from the star quarterback to the tongue-tied farm boy, every candidate is unique. Their speeches veer from the serious to the hilarious and, with several mimed action scenes, even reach the absurd! During the question-and-answer segment of the forum, however, one student asks the candidates to do something about ...

  Burglars, Bunglers, and Neighborhood Thieves

Farce by Daniel Munson

23 pages

1 m, 5 w


When two big-time bunglers like John and Darlene attempt to burglarize an apartment, they get a coat hanger stuck in the door lock and then manage to accidentally ring the doorbell. When they do finally break in, Darlene's nervous bladder forces her to make an emergency bathroom visit. All this ruckus wakes up the bunny-slipper wearing homeowner, Erica, who discovers she is being burgled by her own husband. And if this wasn't weird enough, Darlene claims she is really a "cat burner" instead of a "cat burglar." All this, and the show has just begun! Is John re...

  The Losers' Club

Drama by Jonathan Turner Smith

36 pages

8 m, 6 w


A group of outcast high school students in a small Texas town have formed “The Losers’ Club.” On homecoming evening, these 12 students kidnap the star football player, Joe Taylor, and homecoming queen nominee, Tawny Harris, who have ignored, bullied, and ridiculed members of the club for years. Lead by Trenton, a 17-year-old Goth, the club members put the condescending Joe and Tawny on trial for “crimes committed against their fellow students.” Each member of the “jury” details how he or she has been harassed by Joe, Tawny, and their friends, and how their li...

  Poe-Dunked

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

43 pages

6 or more flexible characters


Twelve short scenes depict events in the life of Edgar Allan Poe -- or how his life might have been in today's world! Some of the more popular tales are represented: "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a police investigation; "The Cask of Amontillado" is a Jerry Springer-type TV show; and "The Masque of the Red Death" has a group of Hollywood types hiding out in a castle. In "The Fall of the House of Usher" Poe himself pitches the story to a producer for a horror film. Other scenes depict Poe as he might have been in elementary school; seeing a psychiatrist; trying to w...

  Avoiding the Pitfalls of High School Dating

Comedy by Bobby Keniston

28 pages

5 m, 5 w, some doubling possible


Welcome to "Avoiding the Pitfalls of High School Dating," a seminar for high school students who have trouble going on dates. Your hosts for the evening are Lucky Daye and Starry Knight, two people who have invested their entire life savings into creating this simple system of five "never-fail" rules for dating success. Lenny and Matilda, two outcasts, have been brought in to demonstrate the system by going on a series of speed-dates to bring the five simple rules to life. Through a series of humorous and humiliating scenes and hilarious one-liners, we will s...

  Happy Birthday, Dear Grandpa

Comedy by Michal Jacot

46 pages

4 m, 3 w, 2 flexible


A cantankerous grandfather, ill-tempered and paranoid, is determined to think that his grandkids, three young adult siblings, are trying to kill him for their inheritance ($642 and a postcard collection). Grandpa doesn't mind shouting it down the halls of his apartment building to alert whatever neighbors he can. So when Grandpa suddenly slumps forward, face down in the birthday cake at his surprise party, the grandkids realize it looks like murder and they're the suspects. What follows is a fast-paced series of charades, plot twists, off-beat humor and one-l...

  Director's Nightmare

Comedy by Wade Bradford

28 pages

4 m, 5 w, 1 flexible, possible extras


It’s five days before the premiere of the non-musical version of Les Misérables, and high school drama director, Chris, has actors who are still on script, cast members absent from rehearsal, a sick stage manager, an unbuilt set and only twelve dollars left in the budget. Oh, and the principal is bringing the superintendent on opening night to see if funding for the drama program for the district should be cut. It’s a director’s nightmare, but Chris tells the cast and crew about a pocket watch from her great-grandfather that is known to help turn everything a...

  Queen of the Silent Scream

Mystery by Craig Sodaro

22 pages

5 m, 5 w


Norma Starr, one of the last great silent screen stars, made her share of enemies during her career and she's gathered all of them for her birthday celebration - her director, a rising starlet, her shifty agent, a handsome matinee idol, her costume designer, her maid, and her oldest friend, who carries a dangerous secret. As they all watch, Norma relishes a chocolate- covered cherry from a box given anonymously. At that moment, she dies. Det. Larry Stark, L.A.P.D., and his tactless assistant, Roscoe, invite all the suspects to a "reunion" party during which s...

  Voices from the Titanic

Drama by Pat Cook

34 pages

Flexible cast from 18 (with doubling)


The stage comes alive with passengers and crew of the Titanic, speaking to us directly about the disaster. We see the magnificent vessel through the eyes of both the first class passengers and the third class. When Frederick Fleet spots the iceberg, all the officers are called upon to carry out the most dreaded command Capt. Smith ever had to issue: "Get the lifeboats ready!" The ending is an emotional powerhouse as the cast recites name after name of those who survived à and those who did not. Representational sets. (Excerpted from the full-length play, "Tit...

  Hey Diddle Diddle: The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon

Comedy by Bradley Walton

40 pages

4-23 performers possible


A cat plays the fiddle, the cow jumps over the moon while the little dog laughs, and the dish runs away with the spoon…but then what? A group of storytellers are challenged to continue the story of the dish and the spoon from Hey Diddle Diddle. The tales that they spin find the dish and spoon fleeing from the Abominable Snowman, encountering the witch from Hansel and Gretel, becoming spies, and even fighting bad sushi! With a gender-flexible cast of 4-23, this smart, funny and easy-to-stage show will appeal to kids, teens, and adults. About 40 minutes.

  Attack of the Pom-Pom Zombies

Comedy by Stephen Murray

41 pages

7 m, 16 w, 5 flexible, extras


It's the 1960s, a big nuclear blast to the past! School's out for the summer, and the teenagers of Ocean View High are ready to surf, sun and have some fun. Their favorite hangout is Barnacle Betty's Surf Club, which happens to be right next door to the evil Ivana Ratnik's nuclear power plant. But ooops! Cindy Sue, the head cheerleader, accidentally gets some nuclear slime on her hot dog instead of pickle relish, and soon the beach is overrun with pom-pom wielding zombies! Her all-American boyfriend, the beatniks, the nerds and a tough girl gang named the Bar...

  The Pitch

Comedy by Bryan Starchman

28 pages

Widely flexible from 4-20 actors


A young, hungry writer in Hollywood finally has his chance to pitch his original ideas for movies, television shows, and commercials to a major producer. The writer’s ideas come to life on stage as he tries to sell one -- just one -- of his many wacky ideas. Consider (and laugh) as the writer presents previews of a big-budget movie entitled “Thumb Wars”; a reality show about mailmen called “Going Postal”; a game show with the revolting title “Guess What I Just Ate for Dinner”; and even a commercial for a new sports drink called “H2MayO: The First Drinkable Ma...

  Don't Say Macbeth!

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

36 pages

Widely flexible cast from 9 to 40


A poor student is struggling to read Shakespeare's great tragedy, "Macbeth," while in a coffee shop next door to a theater. The student gets a study boost from waitress, who was an English major, and four customers, who are actors, as they act out the Scottish tragedy in fast-paced farce. Soon, a pompous actor who has just finished a Shakespeare matinee next door, enters and tells of the "Scottish curse," and all of the unfortunate events that surround the play's past productions. Actors portray characters throughout history including Shakespeare, King James,...

  All Chime In

Comedy by James A. Gustafson

24 pages

10 m, 10 w, 1 flexible


Things have been going so well in Rob and Jen’s relationship that after a few months of dating, Rob is ready to propose. His plan seemed simple enough. He’d take Jen to dinner, propose marriage, she’d say yes, and they’d live happily ever after. What he didn’t count on was everyone in the restaurant chiming in! Between the old ladies at the table next to him and the divorced man on the other side both offering varying opinions on married life, Jen can hardly answer. Throw in a sassy waitress, more eavesdropping diners, Rob’s ex-girlfriend, a lawyer, a wedding...

  Help Wanted

Comedy by James Rayfield

23 pages

Widely flexible cast of 10 or more


OK, teens, listen up. If you want to drive a car, go to college/grad night/prom, get a class ring or new clothes, you're going to have to - find a JOB! All the fun, frustrations and foibles of part-time jobs are explored in these scenes and monologues, from making a hamburger (first the lettuce then the onion!), to figuring our what garbled language is being spoken in the drive-thru, to presenting a phone sales pitch before the person hangs up with a thud! There are also some moments of comic fantasy as teens try to picture their dream job, as surfer and comi...