Plays of Social Significance

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  The Little Theatre

Drama by Con Chapman

22 pages

2 m, 2 w, 1 flexible


Four speech and drama students and their coach are preparing for a tournament. Charles is the team's supremely confident extemporaneous speaker. Patty is the group's entry into the category of original oratory. Cathy is both a debater and, at least in her own mind, a talented actress. And then there's Chris Higgins, a former football player whose mother is forcing him to participate in public speaking as a way of overcoming his stuttering problem. Unable to join in the athletics that used to bring him glory, he's reluctantly joined this group, a group which h...

  Time to Heal

Drama by Burton Bumgarner

57 pages

Multi-racial cast of 7 m, 7 w, 6 flexible


Jim and Lillian Fowler are having a dinner party to welcome their daughter home from college and meet her fiance. Lillian's brother, Walt, a physician, is also there, even though he and Jim get under each other's skins, especially when Walt needles Jim about losing a recent election to become prosecutor because of his conservative racial views. When Janice and her fiance David arrive, the strain increases as the idealistic young law student from "up North" treats the Wycrofts, the family who works for the Fowlers, as equals. The Wycrofts are already uneasy, f...

  Too Free For Me

Drama by R Rex Stephenson

59 pages

6 m, 7 w


The drama is based on an actual trial that occurred in Franklin County, Virginia in 1851. Indiana Choice, a black woman, claims that she and her three children are free. She sues Gresham Choice, her alleged owner, for not only her freedom but that of her three children. Gresham, a prominent citizen with political aspirations, denies Indiana is a free black. The events of the trial are recalled by Margaret Oxley who attended this trial as a child. Oxley is especially fond of Jubal Early, the lawyer for Indiana. As the trial progresses, a variety of witnesses a...

  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 Invisible J. Michael Hess

Drama by James D. Waedekin

35 pages

3 m, 4 w


Here's a poignant but necessary look at the problems of teenage bullying and suicide. J. Michael is a high school student and aspiring writer. Already dead, he narrates the events that lead up to his suicide. Along the way, we meet Melissa, his unrequited love, and Ms. Dodge, the hopeful English teacher. There's also Artie, a tough, rival student, and Mr. Butler, the ineffectual high school principal. Two other characters, J. Michael's overwhelmed mother and a tough district attorney, round out the cast. Together these multidimensional characters paint a comp...

  Kangaroo Court

Drama by Nicholas Checker

32 pages

2 m, 3 w, 3 flexible, extras


Hunting, animal testing, tender veal? In this surreal satire, two ordinary people are forced to represent "humanity" before a hooded judge and animal court. In a tongue-in-cheek manner, the Animal Kingdom expresses its displeasure with the callous attitudes displayed too often by many humans towards animals. The humans find their defense to be a futile one, as the stock rationale they offer is frequently twisted and turned back around on them by the animals. The play offers laughter with a sting as it gives viewers a deeper, more compassionate outlook toward ...

  Service for Jeremy Wong

Drama by Daniel S Kehde

69 pages

9 m, 9 w


When Jeremy Wong, a 15-year-old gay student, is savagely beaten and killed by two fellow students, the whole school reels from the blows. Reporters from all over the country descend on the town. Deep divisions among the students emerge as the student council debates whether or not to hold a memorial service. The brutal murder forces each student to search his or her own conscience and beliefs. Some react with denial, some make excuses, some are outraged, and some are frightened. Others respond with courage and caring, while a few start to question and change ...

  Martin and Malcolm: How Long Must We Wait?

Drama by Tom Quinn

30 pages

2 m 2 f (can be expanded)


Martin Luther King and Malcolm X are forever linked in the history of the Civil Rights movement. This play featuring four actors playing different roles from history and present day examines the legacy of these two men and attempts to judge where we are today in terms of realizing their dreams. Utilizing the spoken words of both Dr. King and Malcolm X, "How Long Must We Wait" looks both backward and forward in coming to grips with race in America. This is the last in a series of plays that includes "Freedom Riders" and "No Easy Road to Freedom" and is intende...

  Siege of Room 304

Drama by Daniel S Kehde

45 pages

3 m, 11 w


What happens when a high schooler brings a pistol to biology class? In this tense drama, Wesley, a 17-year-old boy with a handgun, holds 13 of his fellow students as voluntary hostages as he tries to come to grips with the events that brought him there. In the 24 hours that follow, the tension of the stand-off outside mixes with the casual attitude of the students inside. By the end, we see these rich characters relate their own experiences with violence, parental authority, peer pressure, high school and the pains of outgrowing childhood. Finally, too, we le...

  Running Upstream

Drama by Bryan McCampbell

32 pages

3 m, 3 w


"All you have to do is look in his eyes and you can see the wheels turning a million miles a minute. Problem is, not too many people take the time to look for his eyes, past his arms and legs. Sometimes, even me." These are Danny Osgood's thoughts concerning his brother, David,who is entering mainstream high school despite his physical handicaps. When Danny is mistakenly given the credit for David's poetry, friends and family are forced to realize that they, too, need to look past the handicap to the young man within. A poignant, powerful award-winning play.

  Another Chance

Drama by Martin Follose

26 pages

5 m, 3 w


"Along with success comes a reputation of wisdom." But all the wisdom that Sally has learned from her school successes don't prepare her when her life seems to fall apart. After she gets an F on a paper, is harassed by the school's popular jock, and learns her parents are getting a divorce, she contemplates suicide. Her thoughts about dying are revealed in familiar quotations she repeats - quotations other students think she is writing for an English paper. But then the most unlikely person helps Sally find that "Everything is possible, including the impossib...

  Defining Moments

Drama by Bryan McCampbell

52 pages

Flexible cast, approx. 11 m, 14 w, extras, doubling possible


This play forces us to examine the points in our lives when we make decisions - right or wrong, good or bad - that will define our own future as well as the lives of others. Built upon a series of monologues and scenes, the play depicts young adults dealing with the reality of HIV and AIDS. For some it's simply a threat -something not to be let out of its cave. For others, the monster has become an unwanted part of their daily existence. This uncompromising drama uses vivid and timely dialogue. A perfect competition piece, it features minimal staging, a choru...

  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 ...

  Making the Grade

Drama by James Brady

28 pages

1 m, 2 w


Katherine Bourgeois, a senior at college, has flunked algebra, a course she needs to graduate. She complains to Dr. Hoffmann, the chairwoman of the math department, who tells Mr. O'Leary, Katherine's instructor, to go over the final exam and give her another test. Mr. O'Leary tries to do this, but Katherine evades the work - she apparently has something else in mind. What is she really offering him for a grade? When Dr. Hoffmann returns, a sobbing Katherine accuses Mr. O'Leary of sexual harassment. Dr. Hoffmann offers Katherine an incomplete, but she’s not in...

  Silent War

Reader Theatre by Clete Melick

20 pages

4 m, 2 w


Here is a perfect play to introduce children to the Underground Railroad. Designed as a Reader’s Theatre, "The Silent War" is a story of three slaves – and eight little mice – who escape to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Uncle Amos, Belle, and Buck Henry, all slaves on a Kentucky plantation, didn’t plan to escape until they met Zakary, a Bible salesman and abolitionist. He shows them the way to cross the river into Ohio and from there travel north to other stations. Along the way, the three slaves are helped by other dedicated abolitionists including...