Plays of Social Significance

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  Freedom Train

Drama by Kate Emery Pogue

56 pages

With doubling: 4m, 4w, plus ensemble to play various small roles


When Mandy Kate, a young slave girl, overhears a threat to sell her brother-in-law Robert, she rushes to warn her sister Sarah. The family plans to escape together, but Mandy Kate is inadvertently left behind when trying to help another slave, Old Job. Together the old man and young girl must set off on their own. They disguise themselvesOld Job as a woman (Josephine) and Mandy Kate as a boy (Abe)and are initially helped by a clever country boy and his eccentric elderly aunt. Mandy Kate and Old Job are later guided through several stops on the Underground Rai...

  No Easy Road to Freedom: Lessons in American Diversity

Drama by Tom Quinn

27 pages

2 m, 2 w


The road to freedom for people of diversity has not been easy in American History. Students will learn of the struggles for acceptance of a wide range of minority groups through poetry, drama, and song. Hear the stories that made America and that continue to shape our nation today. From immigration to oppression to acceptance listen to the stories of bravery and determination from the likes of heroines like Rosa Parks and brave individuals who represent Asian, Italian, Latino, Jewish and Native Americans. It has been no easy road, but students can see that hi...

  Hangman

Drama by A. W. Richardson

69 pages

3 m, 7 w, 1 flexible, optional doubling


Mary Beth Langmeyer is charged with first-degree murder after she shoots her husband while he sleeps. She claims he had been physically and emotionally abusive during their marriage, and that she feared for her life if she reported it. The case becomes a battle of personalities between the district attorney and the defense attorney as they stretch the limits of civility and flirt with contempt charges. The jury of five women and one man deliberate, ultimately finding themselves deadlocked. In the end, the audience votes as to whether the lone male juror will ...

  DUI=DOA

Drama by Dan Roberts

24 pages

Flexible casting


The effects of drunk driving are brought home in these two very short one-acts combined under one title. In "Only Seventeen" (3 m, 4 w, 2 flexible), Corey Martin is dead from drinking and driving. At his funeral he desperately calls out to his family and friends,"I can't be dead. I'm only 17!" but no one hears him. A fellow student delivers a eulogy full of irony as Corey's friends and family think aloud about the senselessness of his death. In "The Waiting Room" (3 m, 6 w, 4 flexible), young people find themselves in a dark room, unsure of where they are or ...

  Girl Who Fell in Love With a Squirrel

Drama by Gwen Hansen

17 pages

3 - 4 m, 2 w


Braz, a soft gray squirrel, easily captures the heart of Ann, a nurturing teenager who wants only to please. “I love you, Ann,” Braz proclaims, “but I need you to do a few things for me. Do you think you could bring me some nuts—cashews are my fav, Ann.” But he really isn’t appreciative of her best efforts: “Peanuts! I thought I said cashews!” he complains. In this allegory Ann makes Braz very happy, seeing to his every demand, but what is this love-professing squirrel doing for Ann? Ann has to think about this when she sits with a boy named James while an en...

  Libby Pearce Drinks

Drama by Tim Mogford

20 pages

4 w


A teenage girl has been arrested after a car accident and charged with DUI. Four of her peers who were with her earlier that night arrive at the small-town police station. Julie, restlessly belligerent, is frustrated with Lindsay, who sits silent and brooding. Soon, Erin, who is impulsive, and Jen, a natural follower, join them. The girls wait anxiously, speculating about what the police already know...and what they will find out. A series of admissions and revelations force the girls to re-evaluate themselves and their role in the events, as an already tense...

  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.

  Love Is Not an Angry Thing

Drama by Daniel S Kehde

35 pages

2 w


Tina has fallen hard for Greg, an upperclassman, but her best friend, Margie, is worried about the relationship with its subtle and not so subtle bullying. Greg meets Tina after every class, gets her to quit the soccer team because it takes too much time away from him, and basically manipulates her to do exactly what he wants to do. Soon his controlling personality leads to violence, and Tina's family gets a restraining order against him. But he's determined to see Tina one more time. With Margie as our narrator, we see how a girl's youthful dream of love can...

  A School Like Ours

Drama by Joe Cherubino

64 pages

5 m, 5 w, extras


Chris, an all-American student, is healing. Having survived a shooting at his old school, he is starting to get on with his life. He has moved to a new school and meeting new friends: Allison, a girl with a big heart; Trent, the most popular kid in school with problems at home; and Randy, the kid no one seems to like. While dealing with everyday issues like homework and relationships, Chris and the others find themselves in the middle of an ongoing battle between Randy and Trent. What starts as name-calling escalates to a fight and then turns much darker when...

  Crosses to Bear

Drama by Bryan McCampbell

29 pages

5 m, 5 w, 6 flexible, extras, doubling possible


How students cope with the death of classmates due to drinking and driving is poignantly brought home in this one-act. On one side, Lisa is consumed with guilt because she didn't take away her brother's car keys, even though she knew he drank. On the other, Kurt is racked with pain because if he hadn't been drinking, he wouldn't have needed his sister to pick him up and she wouldn't have been in Lisa's brother's car. Then the football team wants to erect a roadside cross in memory of Lisa's brother right next to a cross the girls are planning in memory of Kur...

  The Straight Skinny

Drama Humor With Humor by Frank Cerabino

42 pages

9 m, 9 w


What happens when a sympathetic teacher slips an advance copy of the algebra midterm exam to a struggling student and warns him not to share it with the rest of the class? In two words: cheating scandal! Come sort out the vagaries of honor, friendship and the straight skinny with the 18 members of Mr. Bolton's fourth-period algebra class. Join them as they discover the value of truthfulness, morality and higher math in a way that is at times hilarious, touching, and provocative. The one-act play is chockful of vividly drawn characters, generously explored eth...

  Flyin'

Drama by Cynthia Mercati

64 pages

9 m, 10 w


Brett Spencer yearns to do more, to be more. So she and her best friend, Nora, form this kind of group thing to help them and their friends get through their senior year of high school without losing their minds. No rules, not even a name, it's just a place to meet and be yourself. Their friends join them - Paige, who tries not to overeat because she feels so empty inside; Juice, just out of a treatment center; Danny, who hangs loose, hangs tough and just hangs on; and others who are seemingly always on the outside looking in at the popular kids...until they ...

  Good Trouble

Drama by Dolores Klinsky Walker

25 pages

9 m, 7 w, extras


Get a glimpse of the Civil Rights Movement in 1965 in Selma, Alabama, through the eyes of young Sandra. This play reveals the realities of segregation that prompted ordinary people to risk their security and sometimes their lives in pursuit of justice. Despite her father's disapproval and her mother's reluctance, Sandra skips school to attend Movement rallies, marches with adults to seek voting rights, and participates in "Bloody Sunday," the infamous failed march from Selma to Montgomery. A realistic but upbeat drama that can be a life-changing experience fo...

  Empathize It!

Drama Humor With Humor by Michelle S Uyemura

52 pages

Flexible casting: 2 - 6 m, 8 - 17 w


Alden and Sidney find themselves developing an unlikely friendship having been marked as outcasts by the “in crowd” at school. We see through their eyes what it is like to be ridiculed and picked on, what it feels like to have your “friends” turn on you because of one simple misstep. But just when life seems most bleak, enter a hero: a quirky, awkward, fun-loving, larger-than-life, sure-to-make-you-laugh superhero for the new millennium: Empathy Girl! Though unable to fly, lacking superstrength or speed, and a little hypoglycemic, Empathy Girl isn’t without a...

  Life Refrains

Drama by Renee Rebman

15 pages

2 m, 4 w


Ryan's drinking at the school dance leads to a fatal car accident, leaving his family and friends to deal with the aftermath. His sister, Megan, is flooded with anger and grief, lashing out at everyone. She places blame for Ryan's death on herself and others. Ryan's girlfriend, Pam, suggests counseling, an idea Megan's mom supports as a final bid to keep the family together. The powerful dialogue of this play rings true and sends a message not only about the dangers of drinking and driving, but about dealing with grief. An excellent play for contest use.