One-Acts

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  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...

  Code 40: Verona

Drama by Dwayne Lee Yancey

44 pages

6 m, 2 w, 14 flexible


This play begins at the ending of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" but envisions a modern twist - it's a police drama, in which incompetence and political pressure rule the day. Balthasar and Friar Lawrence still flee the bloody scene in the Capulet family tomb and are apprehended by church security guards. But this time, security calls the police, who proceed to investigate the crime. The police release the friar because they can't imagine how he would be involved and instead try to pin the crime on Balthasar. The mayor, Escalus, is under political pressure ...

  Break

Drama by Monique Brown

29 pages

4 m, 2 w


Kyle, William, Natalie, and Richard are not likely friends. With such different backgrounds, they never would have met outside of the subway station. But when their train becomes stalled unexpectedly, they have no choice but to turn to one another. Personalities clash and tensions rise. In the midst of crisis, with nothing but time, these four strangers reflect on their problems and insecurities, defining who they are now. Slowly, they begin to realize how much they really share. Despite initial difficulties, they bond and come out stronger on the other side ...

  The Actor's Nightmare

Comedy by Alan Heckner

31 pages

Flexible from 5 m, 6 w, to as many as 8 m and 14 w, not including extras.


The title says it all, and every actor and actress who has ever graced the stage knows it all too well. Bobby, Danni, and Christina are three high school students who share the same bad dreams of forgetting their lines, blanking on their monologues for a big audition, looking foolish in a death scene, or being in a really bad play where you don't even know what it is or any of the cast members in it! They stumble through the ridiculous scenarios by any means necessary, improvising and freaking out at the same time. Chaos and calamity reign supreme as they dea...

  Frankenstein Unplugged

Drama by Jonathan Yukich

40 pages

6 m, 3 w, 4 flexible (or with doubling 2 m, 1 w)


Here is a faithful stage retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic Gothic novel. We meet Victor Frankenstein, who is obsessed with finding the secret to recreating life. Of course, he famously succeeds, but fearing he has overstepped the bounds of science, quickly abandons his creation and the promise to make it a mate. The creature, betrayed and forsaken, vows to ruthlessly destroy all that his creator loves and cherishes. The unrelenting pursuit goes to the very edges of the earth. Clever theatricality, such as using actors as lightning and thunder, and as profes...

  The Funsucker

Comedy by Christopher Landrigan

32 pages

7 m, 9 w, 4 flexible


Fed up with the unruliness of his school, hard-nosed Principal Wolfenstein hires Janitor Patton and his top-notch cleaning crew to fix the problem. But it’s not enough against Bobby Franko, leader of the pranksters for all of his six years of high school, and his mafia-like group of friends. When the war reaches new heights, Wolfenstein calls for the return of someone so horribly cruel and void of any joy that she was previously banned from ever setting foot in the school again --The Funsucker! She literally sucks the fun out of every student she encounters, ...

  A Very Bad Day for Brandon Butterworth

Comedy by Scott Haan

35 pages

3 m, 3 w


Brandon Butterworth has apparently been playing the field. On one fateful night, his multiple girlfriends (grouchy Lucy, ditzy Rebecca, and shy Constance) accidentally discover each other. The three ladies realize their boyfriends, all named Brandon, are actually the same guy. Instead of fighting and bickering amongst themselves, they hatch a plan for revenge, teaming up to teach the three-timer a lesson. Brandon is about to have a very bad day, indeed ... unless his own plan works! A sarcastic bartender and a biker-type customer round out the cast.

  The Last Train

Drama Historic by R. James Scott

31 pages

6 m, 5 w, extra flexible roles


World War II lingers on. The unspeakable operations in the death camps are slated for closure, but there is still time for one last train to deliver prisoners before the Americans arrive. Two young German soldiers, Hans and Eric, are sick at heart and know their country is in ruin. They are assigned to assist the loading of the last car. Eric is shocked when he hears Anna, a childhood friend, call out to him for help. But Anna doesn’t have her papers, and no matter what Eric says to his superiors, he cannot convince them it is wrong for her to be there. Hans ...

  Adventure of the Dancing Men

Classic by Al Rodin

35 pages

7 m, 2 w


Hilton Cubitt, a squire, has come to Sherlock Holmes for help. Cubitt has found several messages of coded letters drawn in the form of dancing men, undecipherable to him but extremely disturbing to his American wife, Elsie. With his typical brilliance Sherlock Holmes quickly realizes the danger the messages convey, and he and Watson travel to the Cubitt estate. But it is too late. Cubitt is dead and it is believed that Elsie shot him, although it cannot be proved because she herself is unconscious, near death’s door. Holmes sets a trap for an American man ren...

  The Necklace

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

33 pages

4 m, 4 w, 6 flexible, doubling possible


Charleston, South Carolina, sometime after the Civil War. A poor woman borrows a diamond necklace from a wealthy friend to wear at a party. She hopes that this outing will change the circumstances of her life and fortune, and that the other guests will see that she and her husband really belong within the ranks of the upper classes. But things go awry, and she loses the necklace. Pride will not allow her to tell her friend of the loss. Instead, she has another necklace made to match the one that was lost, and she and her husband spend the next 12 years paying...

  Finis

Drama by Gay Janis

25 pages

2 m, 3 w


An award-winning play about a relevant problem, teen suicide. Without even any skid marks to show he tried to brake his speeding car, the invincible Dave is dead. Although the school play has been cancelled, the other kids try out a few dramatic scenes to see if they can't pull something together. Dave is "with" them, making his usual wisecracks. As the kids start to work through their grief and shock, they unite, realizing how precious life is. And Dave is left alone, wishing for another chance.

  Next!

Comedy by Rand Higbee

20 pages

3 m, 4 w, 1 flexible part


"Next!" is about a series of college freshmen who are auditioning for a play ... the oddest group of wannabe actors you'll ever meet. From the girl who has the ultimate case of stage fright to the basketball star who's just doing it on a dare, this witty comedy is destined to be a success on any stage! No setting needed other than your own stage. The part of the director can be played from a first row seat.

  Fine Dining

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

42 pages

4 m, 4 w


This delicious comedy is made up of three scenes set in a restaurant during the time customers arrive, place their orders, and await their meals. The scenes include "The Irritated Man," "Anxiety Dreams," and "Stephen King Goes to Lunch." The eight actors change roles with each scene, playing a spoiled toddler, a flustered waitress, pretentious customers, a celebrity-seeking opportunist, and a man who just might be a famous writer. Waiters, managers and customers all combine to make for a truly tasty drama experience.

  Antigone, 1865

Drama by Michael Willis

36 pages

5 m, 5 w, extras


The classic Greek tragedy by Sophocles is moved to the fictional Fort Thebes at the end of the U.S. Civil War. The new fort commander, Col. Creon, proclaims that one of Antigone's brothers, loyal to the Union, will be buried a hero. Her other brother, loyal to the South, will be left unburied. Anyone defying these orders will be shot by a firing squad. Fierce, yet calmly determined, Antigone tries to provide a decent burial for her "traitorous" brother. When she is caught, Creon sentences her to death. But other soldiers, an old fortune-teller, and even his o...

  The Monkey's Paw

Horror Mystery by L. Don Swartz

22 pages

2 m, 3 w


A mysterious storyteller leaves a grisly talisman with a Midwestern farm family, assuring them that it will grant them three wishes, but warning them to pitch the monkey's paw on the fire, as it will bring them nothing but death. The father makes the first wish, but even good is twisted into evil as the family's lives spiral hopelessly out of control. (Excerpted from the author's full-length play, "Fright Night.")