Plays of Social Significance

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  Shelby's Song

Drama by Renee Rebman

16 pages

3 m, 3 w


Shelby has been feeling depressed and seeing her grandmother in constant pain has upset her even more. Finally, she decides to steal two bottles of her grandmother's pain pills and commit suicide. But Grandma finds the pills and confronts Shelby - admitting that her age and illness have caused her to consider overdosing on the pills herself. Horrified, Shelby realizes she has her whole life ahead of her and both recommit to life.

  You Don't Know Us...and Other Monologues for Teen Voices

Resource by Daniel S Kehde

67 pages

Monologue Collection


Monologues are traditionally used for auditions and classroom work, but they are an overlooked form of performance art, epsecially for teenagers. This collection brings this usually standard genre into the performance spotlight. Like other collections by Dan Kehde, this one was developed and performed in what has now become an annual, and ever more popular, event at the playwright's theatre. Funny, hard-hitting, and poignant, these are honest portraits of young Americans searching for freedom, love and self-worth in the labyrinth of adolescence. Titles includ...

  Dances With the Minotaur

Drama by Daniel S Kehde

44 pages

4 m, 4 w, extras


Sam and Billy are two wheelchair-bound kids who have been mainstreamed into a regular high school. Billy is a poet who, under under the pseudonym of "Minotaur" for half man, half beast, exchanges romantic e-mails with Miranda, one of his classmates. Sam is a rebel with devastating wit, who fights against the double standards that excludes them from some activities. When Billy reveals who he is to Miranda, she is stunned at first, but they become friends, and he asks her to the prom. Sam attends with a teacher. But when Sam goes to the chem lab to smoke a ciga...

  Dyin' Free

Drama by Troy Shearer

62 pages

Interracial cast of 4 m, 3 w, 2 flexible, 1 child


Cole, a slave, struggles with the prospect of escaping--the personal struggles and danger it would mean for his family. Escape would also mean forgoing all the trust and faith his “owner,” Mr. Jones, had invested in Cole. After much thought, and arguing with his wife, Cole agrees that an opportunity for freedom is worth sacrificing his fairly contented life as a slave. Their plan of escape, however, is found out. Cole must come face to face with Mr. Jones and suffer the consequences. The cost is great. The slave gives his life for individual freedom. The slav...

  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...

  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...

  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 ...

  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...

  Carl

Drama by E. Jack Williams

24 pages

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."

  Commencement

Drama by Tim Mogford

29 pages

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...

  Family Outing

Drama by Dolores Klinsky Walker

39 pages

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...

  Gone Tomorrow

Drama by Daniel S Kehde

26 pages

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...