Plays Regardless of Race

Photo Courtesy of Charlottesville High School Theatre Department

Black Comedy

By Peter Shaffer
Cast: 5M, 3F
Set: Apartment
Time: 90 minutes
Script: $7.50
Royalty: $75/ performance
Buy now from Samuel French Inc.

In one hilarious act, the action supposedly in the dark is illuminated; when the lights are to be on, the stage is the dark. Lovesick and desperate, sculptor Brindsley Miller has embellished his apartment with furniture and objects d'arte "borrowed" from the absent antique collector next door hoping to impress his fiancee's pompous father and a wealthy art dealer, Schuppanzigh. The fussy neighbor, Harold Gorringe returns just as a blown fuse plunges the apartment into darkness and Brindsley is revealed teetering on the verge of very ripe farce. Unexpected guests, aging spinsters, errant phone cords and other snares impede his frantic attempts to return the purloined items before light is restored.


By Nikki Leigh Mondschein
Cast: 3M, 7F, plus 4 others
Set: Simple area set
Time: About 90 minutes
Script: $5.75
Royalty: $50 First performance/$40 Each additional performance
Buy now from Pioneer Drama Services, Inc.

Jessica is a seventeen-year-old girl who feels out of place in her own life. Her brother and sister have a fetish for sword fighting and her best friend, Missy, can't possibly understand her. Then, one day, Jessica makes a startling discovery. She's just a character in a play, trapped on a stage! This incredible realization and her struggles with the insufferable playwright who controls her spark Jessica's embarkment on a comical, endearing and profound journey to discover the reasons why she is special and thus be allowed to control her own destiny. By searching for the real world she belongs in, Jessica learns more about herself and the characters in her life than she ever thought possible.


By Bill Majeski
Cast: Flexible cast of 20 or more (roughly 8M, 12F)
Set: Simple set
Time: About 90 minutes
Script: $5.75
Royalty: $50 First performance/$40 Each additional performance

The Venerable Institute of Higher Education is in trouble. They don't even have enough money to field a football team (Now that's trouble!). So the students decide to put on a play to raise funds. They're sure it will go straight to Broadway. Meanwhile, the Dean has rented the auditorium to a local psychotherapy group. That's just the beginning of the insanity. Characters keep coming and going with humorous bits. A heckler bugs the narrator practically out of his mind. And he's got plenty of company when the psychotherapy group shows up for its first session.

Dear Chuck

By Jonathan Dorf
Cast: Widely flexible from 10 to 30+ actors
Time: About 50 minutes
Script: $4.95
Royalty: $45/performance
Buy now from Eldridge Plays and Musicals

Wanting to swim once again in the kiddie pool at the local swim club. Struggling to keep up with wealthy private school friends. Battling parents for shopping independence or to keep them from redecorating in parental bad taste. Holding it together after a classmate's suicide. Told in scenes and monologues, the lives of the teenage characters in "Dear Chuck" are captured in moments that range from wrenching to ridiculous as they cope with life in the middle: they're not quite adults, but they're definitely no longer children. But what they all have in common is the search for their "Chuck," that elusive moment of knowing just who we are. Have you seen Chuck?

Ditch Day

By Tim Kelly
Cast: Flexible cast of 32 (11M, 21F), optional extras, doubling possible
Set: Open stage
Time: About 90 minutes
Script: $5.75
Royalty: $50 First performance/$40 Each additional performance

It's the day before Senior Prom at Horace Handyblender High, a day traditionally known as Ditch Day. But this year the students have been warned that following tradition could land them in hot water. The principal, Miss Claypool (fondly known as "The Terror"), has vowed to track down any wayward students and make them pay dearly for their day of freedom. This doesn't deter Cliff, Adeline and their friends, however (Tradition must be upheld, you know). They decide to have a treasure hunt, but end up finding more than they bargained for. A trio of jewelry thieves has hidden a stolen diamond necklace in Adeline's bag. Now, unbeknownst to the students, the thieves are watching their every move. True to her word, "The Terror" and her assistant, Miss Sparrow, are also in hot pursuit. The chase is on—through the art museum, a shopping mall and to the beach. Add an artist, a cop, surfer Muzzleguts, a bag-lady Trudy Everpopular and fortune teller Madame Zenobia and you've got a day filled with zany characters and lots of laughs. A snap to produce. The open stage is all you need and many roles are cameo comic gems that only require a few rehearsals.

Employees Must Wash Hands… Before Murder

By Don Zolidis
Comedy/Murder mystery
Short, 30-40 minutes
8 females, 1 male, 10 either (14-19 actors possible: 8-11 females, 6-8 males)
$40.00 per performance; $6.95 per book

Something is rotten at the Burgatorium, a low-end fast food restaurant… and it's not just the burgers. Hit with a surprise health inspection, employees hilariously rush around to clean up their messes, hide the rats and find real meat for the burgers. But luck is not on their side when their manager turns up dead in a freezer. This super-sized murder mystery comes with a side of funny and a healthy dose of ridiculous as the health inspector and his gangsta intern investigate a lineup of crazy characters that includes a singing tapeworm.


By Tim Kelly

Cast: Flexible cast of 27 (roughly 9M, 18F, doubling possible)
Set: One interior set
Time: About 90 minutes
Script: $5.75
Royalty: $50 First performance/$40 Each additional performance

Put in a call for the Ghostchasers! An electrical storm forces Harriet Hollyhock's plane to land in Hangtown. What better time to visit her famous cousin, Dr. Horace Roy, who operates an asylum for extremely nervous patients? At the asylum things are hysterical. An earthquake jolt has freed a poltergeist, and it's creating dangerous mischief. What can Harriet suggest? Call the Ghostchasers! The Ghostchasers are led by Honcho, who is loaded with an arsenal of kooky weapons. If the nasty ghost wasn't trouble enough, the patients have locked up the staff, and no one can tell who's who.

Last One to Survive is a Rotten Egg

By Pat Cook
Cast: 8M, 18F, plus extras
Set: Simple interior set
Time: About 90 minutes
Script: $5.75
Royalty: $50 First performance/$40 Each additional performance

It's survival! No, not on a deserted island nor in the Australian outback, but in that most precarious of all settings… high school! "My students can beat your students in anything!" proclaims high school principal Kay McCoy to rival high school principal Sue Hatfield. "Yeah, then put your money where your mouth is," Sue retorts, "as if there's that much money in the civilized world!" And so the games begin as the schools set out on a series of survival contests-using their worst students! For instance, there's Flake, who can't do a single pushup, and Snake, who shows up with a surfboard at the swim meet. Cynch and Tara have everyone convinced they're listening to music on their headsets, but they're actually eavesdropping on the bugged principal's office! When Superintendent Buster Chops announces that one of the schools will close, the games escalate and it's no longer just for fun. Chaos erupts when the school board shows up to evaluate the two schools. Just how low will principals McCoy and Hatfield go to win? It's anybody's guess who will lose and who will survive!

School for Nerds

By R. Eugene Jackson
Cast: 5M, 13F, optional extras
Set: Simple interior set
Time: About 75 minutes
Script: $5.75
Royalty: $50 First performance/$40 Each additional performance

Brawny Preparatory High School, home of the fighting Hippopotami and national winner of every sports award known to man, is about to be closed because it has failed to graduate a single student in its entire history! So who rides to their academic rescue? Nerds, of course. Five very bright, but unwelcome, nerds, in an attempt to chase them from the campus, the jocks glue the pages of their books closed, put a frog in their mashed potatoes at lunchtime, send the school mascot, Harry the Hippo, after them and hang Wilmer upside-down from the school flagpole. But after the Accreditation Committee condemns the school, the jocks and the nerds learn they must work together for their own welfare. So, the frustrated nerds teach academics to the uninterested jocks, while the frustrated jocks teach athletics to the uncoordinated nerds in a series of hilarious scenes. And who wins? They all do!

Spook House

By Billy St. John
Cast: Flexible cast of 9M, 10F, extras
Set: Simple interior set
Time: About 90 minutes
Script: $5.75
Royalty: $50 First performance/$40 Each additional performance

SPOOK HOUSE is the home of ten nice monsters who, unfortunately, are misunderstood. (Sniff.) Tax assessor Abraham Van Helsing VI tries to wrest the property from its ghoulish, yet loving, protectors. However, Vickie Stein, a descendant of Frankenstein (Yes, THE Frankenstein!), and her boyfriend, Roger, throw a "monster mash" to raise the money for the payment of taxes. Wild unexpected guests include a bank robber and his moll and a pair of comic cops. While disguises lead to mistaken identities, mixed-up bank bags abound. Some of the strangest guests at your party can be members of your audience, leaving everyone in a hilarious, chaotic uproar! Subtly wrapped with the sensitive message that it's all right to be different.

The Decade Club

By Robert Frankel
Cast: 5M, 5F, plus 1 extra, optional additional extras
Set: Several simple sets
Time: About 90 minutes
Script: $5.75
Royalty: $50 First performance/$40 Each additional performance

"To the Decade Club!" And with that toast, a group of graduating teenagers vow to reunite every ten years. Starting at age eighteen, the characters take your audience on a journey that spans four decades of laughter, tears and memories. Like the party with the "mystery" punch that wasn't so mysterious after all. Or Bert and Ernie, the school nitwits, whom everybody is convinced are destined for Sesame Street! And what would growing up be without falling in love? Shy Lizzie has always loved Steve, and Steve may just love her too, if he can find a way to deal with his troubled past. But wait! Miss Popularity, Robin, also has a crush on Steve, and Doug, an easy-going guy, loves Lizzie. Angela Crane, the class president, would rather be in the Senate than in love. Chris is happily married. Or so he says. No one's ever seen his wife! By the time we reach our last reunion, there's a whimsical and heart-warming matching of souls. While your audience enjoys this funny, tender tour of growing up, your actors will be challenged by the opportunity to depict their characters as they mature from the age of 18 to 58.

The Drunkard

Adapted by Raymond Hull
Cast: 3M, 2F
Set: Simple melodrama drops
Time: About 2 hours
Script: $5.75
Royalty: $50 First performance/$40 Each additional performance

Here is a hilarious version of the immortal story of the Drunkard-the most famous melodrama ever written and the foundation for the hundreds of melodramas that have followed. Audiences are captivated by this classic as love battles liquor for the life and soul of the upstanding hero, Edward Middleton. On the side of love are sweet, innocent Mary and her ever-loving, ever-whining mamma, Mrs. Wilson. Plying the liquor with dastardly intent are cruel, scheming Lawyer Cribbs and his cringing crony, Stickler. In the end, of course, the hero wins out over demon rum and true love triumphs over all.

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