Plays of Social Significance

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  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...

  Her Story

Drama by Michael Norman Mann

32 pages

5 m, 9 w, extras, doubling possible


High school students Mike and Shelly are breaking up. Later, Shelly sees Mike at a party with his new girlfriend and between her depression and a few too many drinks, allows herself to be coaxed outside by an unscrupulous guy. Things go too far in the bushes and Shelly is date-raped. When she returns to school on Monday, she has a reputation and school officials want to get to the bottom of the rumors they have heard. With characters immediate and believable, this play is powerful, timely and significant.

  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 ...

  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...

  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.

  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...

  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 ...

  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...

  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...

  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...

  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...