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...
5 m, 4 w, extras if desired.
Inspired by a true story, "Carl" tells of a young man's experience with being teased and bullied throughout school. The play opens with a 10-year reunion, then flashes back to his high school days, episodes in the lunchroom and classroom. We even see a brief bit of Carl's home life. Through the moving portrayal of Carl's life and ultimate suicide, members of the audience are compelled to examine their reactions to people who may be different. "Carl" is the winner of Minnesota's "Arc of Excellence Community Media Award."
4 m, 4 w (all teen roles)
It’s Steph’s high school graduation party. Her friends are all around, her family will be back shortly, and she is supposed to be adding the final touches to the house. But this “commencement” is anything but easy or simple. She and her boyfriend Brandon have news that will devastate her father, has already caused an upheaval with her mother and sister, and will no doubt upset her best friend Gina’s careful plans. Everyone has an opinion about what Steph should do, but naturally everyone tells her it’s “her decision.” As the news filters through her network o...
3 m, 4 w
Ashley, one of the hottest girls in school, is shocked when, on their first date, Peter doesn't respond to her overtures. Peter, a pastor's son, knows the reason why: he thinks he is gay. He’s still hoping it’s not true, that no one will ever have to know he even suspected it. But what about Ashley? After storming out of his house, will she tell the whole school? Then there’s Craig, the youth leader at church, who saw Ashley rush out. He thinks Peter tried to go too far. How could he possibly understand Peter’s fears? But bit by bit Peter’s secret is revealed...
1 m, 5 w, 1 flexible, extras and audience members
Rick, an intelligent ninth grade student athlete, has his first sexual encounter with Amanda, a senior. He has four more relationships before he graduates. By the spring of his senior year, when he tests HIV positive, he has inadvertently exposed more than fifty of his classmates to AIDS. That number has little impact on most audiences until the end of the play when fifty audience members are called to the stage from the names on cards they are handed. When the name on the card is read by the actor playing the doctor, the audience member holding the card shou...
Sarah, a student at a girls' prep school, isn't going home for Christmas. Her boyfriend has dumped her, her grades have bombed, and being at home with her alcoholic stepfather is unendurable. Sarah's friends try to talk her into leaving with them, but Sarah has a different trip in mind, a permanent one where she won't feel sad anymore. Then Miranda, a hippie vision from the '60s, drops in. Her message is infused with humor but unmistakable: There's no makeup exam for suicide. Finally, she tells Sarah, "I know this for sure: You've got a great future ahead of ...
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...
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.
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...
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...
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...
3 m, 3 w, 1 flexible
The biographer of the story of Berendina (Diet) Eman is interrupted by Diet herself as he begins a lecture about the Second World War and Nazi resistance in occupied Europe. Diet explains that her efforts to hide Jewish people were not unique, but were undertaken by many ordinary people. To explain, she begins to tell the exciting stories of her Resistance work. As she does, her younger self appears and narrates stories in ways which occasionally vary from the descriptions offered by her older self. In addition, her fiancé, Hein Sietsma, appears, and all thre...
1 m, 4 w
Mandy James is harboring a dark secret that is affecting her relationships with her best friend, her boyfriend, and her soon-to-be-remarried mother. Her frustration and fear are pushing her close to a breakdown. Finally, a conflict between Mandy and her mother's fiance Richard causes Mandy to confess she was molested by a neighbor. Richard helps Mandy start the healing process, giving her hope and courage for the future. The play handles this sensitive issue well.
3 m, 5 w
Frisbee Thorne, a young teenager, has a crush on his neighbor, Jill, and hates to see where party-girl Courtney is leading her. As Jill is drawn into Courtney's web of deceit, she starts lying to her parents and friends, turning into the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing. Along the way she loses her best friend, hurts another and ends up being caught by her parents. She is grounded and faces the results of her parents' lost trust. In the end Frisbee has good advice for all. About an hour.
6 m, 5 w
A group of high school drama students known as the Rainbow Project is tasked with developing a show to promote the acceptance of diversity. Throughout their rehearsals, important issues like grades, jobs, family commitments, and prejudices are all explored. But art mirrors life a little too closely, and rising tensions threaten the production. In the end, they realize that with all human enterprises, “it’s about us.” This
insight allows the show to go on. This drama speaks to its target audience of adolescents and young adults in their own language, wi...