One-Acts

Sort by
Display per page

  Conform!

Farce by Reid Conrad

26 pages

4 m, 5 w


"Conform!" is an absurdist farce which takes place in a park where three men in boxes comment on humanity and the passersby who frequent their territory. They urge one and all to conform to the constraints of society, but in the end it is they who must practice what they preach. Through the use of stereotype, cliché and controversial comments, the characters humorously expose their flaws and allow the audience to laugh at some of their own shortcomings. One of three plays highlighted at the Florida State Thespian Conference in 2007 where one judge described i...

  The Romancers

Comedy by Jenny Newell Cook Lorraine Thompson

42 pages

5 m, 4 w, 4 flexible, extras


Dreamy young lovers Lelio and Silvia must keep their love a secret from their fathers, who are fierce rivals. Will a scheme featuring the loveable Arlecchino (whose main occupation is taking money from others) and a quartet of bumbling bandits save the day? Middle and high school actors will revel in this fast-paced, uproarious one act complete with screwball antics and a cast of madcap characters including two saucy servants, a lovable miser, and a host of zanies. It is this type of slapstick humor that makes the performance style of commedia dell'arte a per...

  Murder Box

Mystery by Reid Conrad

37 pages

4 m, 8 w


At the end of the 1940s an old theatre building is about to be torn down. As the theatre's acting troupe is packing up the props, costumes and set pieces, an old magician's trunk is wheeled onstage. Suddenly, members of the company are turning up dead. Margaret, the director's assistant, is the only witness to these crimes, seeing with her own eyes how Eve was strangled, Madigan bludgeoned, and Stan shot. Yet no one will believe her, especially when there is no trace of any of the bodies! This edgy, film noir-style mystery earned straight superiors from the j...

  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 Da Vinci Cold

Comedy by Bradley Hayward

39 pages

4 m, 5 w


Laura has carefully plotted a day off school in order to find out the meaning of life. Playing hooky, along with her ditzy best friend, she has concocted a foolproof plan to get to the bottom of things. Chaos ensues when her attempts to leave the house are foiled by a lazy cable guy, a rapper who's come to install high-speed internet, a disapproving Mary Kay consultant, a devious Girl Scout selling cookies, and an insecure FedEx driver. It seems all is lost until Laura's older brother arrives with a man claiming to be Leonardo Da Vinci. He, too, knows the sec...

  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...

  Shuffling

Comedy by Ken Preuss

29 pages

1 m, 1 w, 1-14 flexible


Lacey, a teenage girl, has finished work at the mall and is waiting – and waiting – for her boyfriend to pick her up. Left stranded yet again, she reevaluates her love life while shuffling through the songs on her iPod. Actors portraying each of the songs appear with comedic monologues that stir her emotions, offer advice, and affect her decisions. Ethan, a good-humored co-worker, offers her a ride home and the possibility of future romance. The play may be performed with anywhere from 3 to 16 actors. Actors playing Songs portray the spirit and style of the g...

  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...

  Loonies and Snatchers

Farce by Emilio Regina

35 pages

3 m, 3 w, 5 flexible parts


An undercover policeman is sitting on a park bench impersonating an old woman in the hopes of catching a purse snatcher red-handed. To his surprise, there is more than one purse snatcher, or so he thinks. Passersby, including a jogger escaping a vicious dog, a harried business woman, a male model and others, become victims of wacky experiences leading to more than one suspect being handcuffed to the park bench. On top of that, three mental patients have gone missing from the hospital located close to the park, and the old lady the undercover cop was impersona...

  The Devil and Danielle Webster

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

30 pages

5 m, 5 w, 9 or more flexible


From the short story "The Devil and Daniel Webster" by Stephen Vincent Benet. Poor Jake Stone is a total loser. When he finally loses the worst job he's ever had, he makes the claim that he would do anything to be a winner. Soon he meets Lucy, a seemingly attractive, professional woman who can make a special deal with him: she gives Jake wisdom, and he signs away his soul. Rather than waste his opportunity, Jake becomes a kind and intelligent person who gives much to the world. As the time to relinquish his soul draws near, he seeks out the counsel of Daniell...

  It's All an Act

Comedy by Carl L. Williams

32 pages

Flexible casting


Here's a delicious trio of short plays about the theatre.

 

In "Must the Show Go On?" (3 m, 1 w) everything goes wrong on opening night. The four actors persevere despite a drunk in the tech booth, a "costume failure," a prop gun that doesn't fire and a sneezing corpse!

 

In "Can't You See We're Acting?" (2 m, 3 w) three older people create havoc from their front-row seats as they unwrap pieces of hard candy, snor...

  Doctor Frank'n Styne

Comedy by Larry Hillhouse

39 pages

Flexible cast, approx. 4 m, 4 w, 3 flexible


Franklin Kenneth Styne, or F.K. as he’s called, inherits an old castle from a distant relative. Upon arriving, he finds that he also inherited the Styne Castle staff, consisting of Egor, a hunchback experimenter who converses with a portrait, and Hilda, the no-nonsense housekeeper. An inept local constable and his beautiful niece stop by to welcome the young Styne, and to check him out. F.K., who has a penchant for poetry, soon finds himself entwined in the centuries-old mysteries of Styne Castle! This show is perfect for Halloween or any time you want to pro...

  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...

  Kitchen Catastrophes!

Comedy by Katie B. Oberlander

39 pages

5 m, 5 w, 5 flex, plus extras


Mayhem is on the menu when celebrity Chef Guy Stagsly and his outrageous reality show Kitchen Catastrophes! visit French restaurant Chez Jacques. While Guy and his crew bring in cockroaches and rats, conduct building renovations, and stage a rigged cooking competition, the employees strive to carry on. There’s Julie, the level-headed restaurant manager; Jacques, the temperamental chef; and Mickey, the loyal and ambitious dishwasher. Not to be forgotten, there’s also Olive, a shy trainee who needs a lot of supervision. They’re not only struggling to impress ro...

  The Prisoner's Hands

Drama by E. Jack Williams

33 pages

8 w, 6 flex, extras, doubling possible


This is the story of a killer, her relationship to the family of the victim and her relationship to her own conscience. The play opens in a courtroom with the murder victim’s blind sister, Whitney, giving a family impact statement. Her personal sentence seals the fate of Cheek, the defendant, far worse than any court punishment of “life in prison” could ever do. “I sentence you...to see the image of my sister's face in your hands. I want your hands to be the constant reminder of the horror you saw in her face as you squeezed the life out of her...I want this ...