Shirley Mcnichols

Shirley McNichols, a California native, has been a middle and high school English, drama, speech/debate, and video production teacher for 15 years. She began writing plays for her drama students ten years ago. She currently resides in Sacramento, and is the mother of three grown kids and grandmother of preschooler. Shirley's hobbies include reading (voraciously) vocal music and guitar writing (time permitting) hiking in the Sierras and bike riding. Her overall favorite pastime however, is traveling. Her most embarrassing moment...running into Bob and Elizabeth Dole at the Watergate Hotel and exclaiming to Elizabeth, "It's Barbara Bush!"

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  Radio Daze

Comedy by Shirley Mcnichols

75 pages

12 m, 14 w, 2 flexible parts


It's the 1940s and Americans are doing all they can to help the war effort, especially keeping a sharp eye out for spies! And what better place for a spy to lurk than a radio station. Never mind that everyone at the studio works on a melodramatic soap opera and they probably know even less than their loyal listeners! But with the seed of doubt planted, it seems as if everyone at the station looks highly suspicious, including the janitor who sweeps everywhere, two young male writers who aren't in the Army for lame reasons, three man-hungry actresses, and even ...

  Sunny-Side Up

Comedy by Shirley Mcnichols

56 pages

12 m, 15 w


Sammy Sunnyside, world-renown comedian, wants to retire and give his famous joke chest to the most deserving of his relatives. The chest is almost priceless since it contains all of Sammy's comic material since his career began. Sammy and his shy but trusted attorney, Dagwood, dress themselves as kindly old ladies and show up at Sammy's birthday party attended by lots of other relatives and uninvited guests. In disguise they hope to find out who really wants to carry on his comical tradition or who just wants his gold mine to sell off. But everything gets scr...

  Donovan's Daughters (Musical)

Musical by Shirley Mcnichols Scott Keys

77 pages

12 m, 15 w


In 1865 Seattle, there are ten men to every woman. Surely Shamus Donovan can find his eldest daughter, Kate, a husband ("I'll Never Meet a Man"). An old Irish tradition ("Donovan's Curse") demands that the eldest marry first, but unfortunately, Kate has the disposition of a wildcat ("What I Hate Most"). While his other four lovely daughters are forced to wait ("Waiting Out the Rain"), their amorous suitors are reduced to tutoring them ("Lessons in Survival"). Borrowing from Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew," the men give Federal Marshal Danny O'Brien tips o...

  Backstage

Comedy by Shirley Mcnichols

73 pages

8 m, 8 w, 11 flexible parts


Laura Armbruister is posing as her own substitute teacher because the school administration wants to put an end to all this drama nonsense, but they can't close down the upcoming play until they find Ms. Armbruister to fire her. Meanwhile, a fellow teacher and admirer, Steve Clarkson, is doing what he can to help Laura keep her job. But one of the students gets the wrong idea and thinks the two teachers are eloping at lunchtime! The students decide to come up with their own plan to save the show, which includes having the lead, Dave, dress as Ms. Armbruister....

  Donovan's Daughters

Comedy by Shirley Mcnichols

72 pages

12 m, 15 w


Seattle, Washington, 1895. There are 10 men for every woman in the territory -- excellent odds for Shamus Donovan, an Irish fisherman with five daughters to marry off. Several town council members immediately fall for the younger daughters, but unfortunately, a family tradition says the oldest must marry first. But the oldest daughter is Katherine, a wild cat! In a woman-starved town like Seattle there has to be someone desperate enough to take on Katherine, they reason. Using William Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew" as a guide, the men give Danny O'Brien,...

  Soda Shop Angel

Comedy by Shirley Mcnichols

74 pages

8 m, 8 w, 2 flexible


All the fun and nostalgia of the '50s make this play a winner! Judy Harding's life as a 16-year-old isn't too sweet right now. Her dad can't find the money to fix up the family's soda shop; her older brother is flunking out of school; and her younger brother has retreated into a fantasy world of comic book superheroes since their mom died. To add to the dilemma, Judy has a major crush on a new student who's a mysterious loner. Enter Angela, a bumbling angel-in-training who must earn her halo by helping the Hardings. But when the shop is hit first by a fire an...

  Maxwell, P.I.

Comedy Mystery by Shirley Mcnichols

64 pages

11 m, 15 w, 2 flexible


It's the 1940s and Maggie Maxwell is frustrated her father won't let her join his successful detective agency. To prove herself, Maggie sneaks an invitation addressed to him to attend a publicity party at a remote mansion for a new detective novel, "Die, Swine! Die!" A group of PI's, her ex-boyfriend who's a newspaper reporter, and members of the dangerous Viola crime family also attend. Just as a group of actors are ready to play out a scene from the novel, they are interrupted. Gun-fire, a mysterious caretaker, the high-strung novelist, and a key witness cr...

  Fair Exchange

Comedy by Shirley Mcnichols

75 pages

10 m, 13 w, 3 flexible


Julie Fair is one of the brightest girls in high school but is too plain to be noticed by any guys. Her mother is an attractive woman but isn't smart enough to run her husband's import business since he vanished a year ago on an expedition. Mother and daughter are as different as two people can be, so you can imagine the impact when a strange African artifact causes them to switch bodies! They decide to keep their secret to themselves while trying to figure out how to get things back to normal, but it's not that easy. "Mother" is being blackmailed by a man in...

  Mighty Armadillos

Comedy by Shirley Mcnichols

67 pages

14 m, 14 w, doubling possible


When the wimpy chess club members take on the football in-crowd and the local ruffians, hold on to your hula hoops! In this 1950s malt shop setting, supernerd Julius Caesar Abercrombie, captain of the Mighty Armadillo Chess Club, is accidentally hypnotized, and upon a particular signal, thinks he is the star quarterback of the high school football team. It's a lucky thing, too, because the real quarterback, Bobby Diamond, has promised the local ruffians that he will throw the big game if they will not hurt a young runaway girl. Meanwhile, the president of a v...

  Robin Hood: The Next Generation

Comedy by Shirley Mcnichols

74 pages

10 m, 13 w, 3 flexible parts


Sir Robin Hood and Lady Marian have been married for 20 years and their beautiful daughter, Robin, is now about to come of age. The Queen insists Robin be wed to a man of royal lineage before assuming the throne. Being a woman of the next generation, Robin is naturally resentful about being married off so quickly without some romance. So she devises a contest in which the best archer and swordsman shall win her hand. Robin convinces her maid to stand in for her while she herself dresses as a man to compete to prove her point. Meanwhile, Prince Jarred resents ...

  Handyman Bride

Comedy by Shirley Mcnichols

71 pages

10 m, 10 w, 3 flexible


Foreign Princess Daella is hiding out at Aunt Lillian's Boarding House for Young Performers to avoid a pre-arranged marriage. With the help of the smitten and good-hearted Stan, she manages to disguise herself as a handyman, Mike. Between the frantic royal family trying to find their princess, a Hollywood star planning to shoot a movie at the boardinghouse, and Daella's cousin, Terhessa, flirting with the cute "handyman" everything seems crazy. And it gets even crazier and funnier when Stan is seen hugging "Mike" and speaking to him in the completely made up ...