Plays & Musicals A-N
Edited by Gerald Lee Ratliff and Patrick Rainville Dorn
This compelling collection of 70 monologues for young men approximately 15 to 30 years old includes a complete chapter that details how to choose a monologue, develop the character, and audition with confidence. With a variety of contemporary sources including both published plays and original works, this book provides selections that will help capture the minds and hearts of directors. Each monologue is prefaced by a description of the character and his emotional context, as well as hints on how to effectively portray the mood of the piece. The characters are diverse in age, background, ethnicity, and social status. The book is organized into unique categories based on the mood of the monologues: A Lighter Touch, Guilt and Regret, Tragedy and Trauma, Hope and Gratitude, Outsiders, Birds of a Feather, and Literary and Period. With excerpts of various lengths that are ideal for auditions, contests, workshops, and acting classes, this anthology belongs in every school and theatre library.
Exhausted by “holiday season” commercialism? Looking for a more heartfelt and rewarding alternative to staging yet another Christmas pageant?
BABUSHKA’S BASKET is an uplifting one-act drama inspired by the cherished Russian folk tale about a peasant woman whose grief-inspired compulsiveness prevents her from joining the Wise Men on their journey to meet the Christ Child.
This emotionally honest and ultimately heart-healing play offers a challenging yet rewarding role for a middle-aged actress, with an inter-generational supporting cast. The simple set and minimal production requirements make BABUSHKA’S BASKET ideal for performance on a budget, in a variety of settings.
With a hint of humor and large helpings of hope, audiences will be moved and inspired by BABUSHKA’S BASKET, a beloved yet non-traditional Christmas redemption story.
In this delightful collection of popular folk tales, magical wish-givers and their apprentices replay instances of wishes gone hilariously awry, and how the recipients ended up preferring things they were before.
A nearsighted gardener learns that some things are best not seen too clearly. A hard-headed stonecutter aspires to become the most powerful thing in the world and learns about power in the process. A house-hungry fisherman’s wife allows her greed to push upward mobility a bit too far, and a sausage-savoring woodcutter’s wife nearly cuts off her husband’s nose to spite his face.
Action-packed, classic tales from Russia, Japan, France, and Germany come to lighthearted life in this economical, easy-to-stage, tour-friendly, 45-minute ensemble comedy. With an extremely flexible cast of up to seventeen, everyone has plenty to do, and the laughs are non-stop in this upbeat, hassle-free show.
Be Careful What You Wish for is a dream come true for directors of elementary and middle-school students.
— The townsfolk of Gubbio are howling mad when a lone wolf stalks their medieval village.
Based on the popular 13th-century legend of St. Francis and the wolf of Gubbio, this easy-to-stage, single-set, 45-minute comedy with a flexible cast of sixteen, is loaded with outrageous puns, slapstick humor, and quirky characters.
When all else fails, Mayor Gasbaggio fetches Francesco, a renowned holy beggar from the neighboring village of Assisi, who is reputed to have a wondrous way with animals.
Audiences will sit, stay, and roll over with laughter as they witness the hilarious and heart-warming antics of The Beggar and the Wolf.
(Hint: It’s NOT Chernobyl’s radioactive cloud.)
It’s the stories! The Blabbermouth, the Puff Monster, and the Wolf is a fast-paced collection of hilarious Ukrainian folk tales, brought to life on a bare stage by a troupe of 6-24 traveling players.
In “The Blabbermouth,” a clever woodsman devises an ingenious ruse to keep a buried treasure secret, despite his gossipy wife. The next story is about a goofy, cellar-dwelling “Puff Monster,” who bites off more than it can chew. The trio is complete with the classic “Sirko and the Wolf,” in which canine cousins outwit a cranky, noodle-wielding Babushka and make their wildest dreams come true.
This 60-minute, action-packed comedy is extremely tour-friendly and can be staged almost anywhere, with minimal props and an expandable cast. Ideal for elementary, middle and high school students with varying degrees of experience and training, this show also encourages students and audiences alike to learn more about Ukrainian culture.
Once Upon a Leprechaun (musical version)
— Three hilarious and action-packed Irish folk and fairy tales collide in raucous laughter when a trio of wild and crazy leprechauns try to help tongue-tied shepherd Fin O’Grady learn to tell a story and win the hand of his one true love. Included are fast and funny storyteller theatre adaptations of “The Hunchback of Knockgrafton,” “The Griffin’s Feather,” and “The Bird, the Mouse and the Cricket.”
This uplifting, easy-to-produce ensemble comedy with a flexible cast combines clever dialogue with slapstick humor and features numerous ’showcase’ roles so that everyone, even the least experienced, has a chance to shine.
The full-length musical version features lovely Celtic melodies and dance numbers along with clever lyrics by Bill Francoeur.
CLICK HERE to purchase your reading copy of Blather, Blarney, and Balderdash (non-musical version) or HERE to purchase a reading copy of Once Upon a Leprechaun (musical version) today. Published by Pioneer Drama Service.
A Parable Play
In this short sketch, a club for bullied students takes a sudden turn.
Some of my Parable Plays are biblical or contemporary adaptations of Bible stories. Some are religious. Some are “secular” like this one, but about virtues, morals, or character growth. Most are comedies and can be produced with minimal resources. These scripts are suitable for churches, schools, or any group looking for plays compatible with a Christian worldview.
CLICK HERE to purchase a reading copy for just 99 cents. Published on Amazon-Kindle.
Totally awesome teen surfer Brody Morgan is mysteriously transported from a California beach in the 1960s to 41 BC Ancient Egypt and Cleopatra’s court. After proving himself worthy by surfing a tsunami up the Nile River, Brody introduces hilarious 20th-century inventions like flip flops, Egyptian cotton sheets, and mummy-style sleeping bags to Cleopatra and her Roman boyfriend, Mark Antony. When Cleopatra’s wicked adviser Pothinus and ambitious sister Arsinoe attempt a venomous coup, Brody saves Cleo and the Romans, then returns home in time to compete in a totally gnarly surfing competition and be crowned Boss Kahuna.
Inspired by Mark Twain’s classic time-travel tale, this action-packed, hilarious 90-minute comedy boasts a flexible cast, silly but simple costumes and props, uproarious gags and jokes, and loads of slapstick humor. The play is a mash-up of the goofy “beach party” movies of the Sixties and a comical take on the Antony and Cleopatra story from ancient history.
King Tut is rolling over in his sarcophagus—with laughter—and all because there’s… “A California Surfer in Cleopatra’s Court”!
In this short, two-person sketch, a hoarder misplaces the paperwork for renewing her rental agreement and must find it before the new landlord arrives.
Some of my Parable Plays are biblical or contemporary adaptations of Bible stories. Some are religious. Some are “secular”, but about virtues, morals, or character growth. Most are comedies and can be produced with minimal resources. These scripts are suitable for churches, schools, or any group looking for plays compatible with a Christian worldview.
CLICK HERE to purchase a reading copy for just 99 cents. Published on Amazon-Kindle.
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Five precocious “tween” boys camp out in a backyard, scaring themselves silly by telling and acting out goofy and gory, creepy and spooky poems, jokes, stories and urban legends. Some of the fast and frightfully funny stories include “The Choking Doberman,” “Two Dead Boys,” “Great Green Globs,” “Rap, Rap, Rap,” “The Red Spot,” and more, using whatever props they have on hand. This comedy is ideally suited for Webelos seeking a Showman activity pin or a drama camp activity with a minimum of rehearsal and resources.
This modern and comedic adaptation of the classic allegory concerns a man who learns he must meet his Maker, and then does! As his doom approaches, Everyman discovers that family, friends, and fortune cannot accompany him and that even strength, beauty, intellect, and emotion are no match for the Grim Reaper; yet faith, hope, and charity prevail.
This timeless tale is especially intended for groups ready to move beyond religious skits and homily dramas to do something more challenging, less preachy, and more theatrical. And did we mention funny? This boldly theatrical show takes on a serious subject in a playful environment.
With a flexible cast of 7-17 and minimal set requirements, this 80-minute show is ideal for those with a limited budget or who wish to tour.
Buy and stage this script! You’re eventually going to die anyway, but maybe this show will help you crack a smile along the way.
Freak accidents abound in Nurseryland. Mother Goose opens an “urgent care” clinic, and a host of unlucky nursery rhyme characters line up to prove that laughter really is the best medicine. Among the patients is a cow with a sore calf from moon-jumping, a crooked man needing a chiropractic adjustment, a daredevil who burns his seat jumping over candles, and a blonde juvenile delinquent who breaks into bears’ houses.
Doctor Goose and Nurse Gosling also run a nutritional support group and fitness class for a man who eats no fat and his opposite wife, a tea-guzzling girl named Polly, and a Queen who craves tarts. But will Dr. Zhivago from Fairy Tale Land close down the clinic? There are three blind, tail-less mice who sure hope not!
There are fun, flexible roles for six to fifteen elementary or middle school-age actors, with doubling possible. A simple interior doctor’s office set and bargain basement costumes make this an easy show to stage anywhere, from classroom to auditorium, on a bare bones budget. It can even make “house calls” to other schools or venues. Young actors will love comparing the original nursery rhyme characters to the contemporary versions, and have loads of fun being silly and showing off while learning the basics of performing slapstick humor, gags, jokes, and puns.
Your audiences—and the cast—will be in stitches when they get a dose of the cut-up, side-splitting 45-minute comedy “Doc…Doc…Goose!”
(The Cosplay Con Quest)
Geek out with this exciting contemporary adventure, very loosely adapted from Cervantes’ Don Quixote. There’s nothing quite like this show for your drama students — it’s loaded with pop culture and comic book and gamer fandom. La Mancha Mall is overrun by costumed teenagers at the annual Cosplay Con. But when a clumsy gamer bumps her head and assumes the character of Donna Quixote, the event takes on a whole new, hilarious twist. Donna’s farcical, mixed-up adventures include obtaining “armor” from a sporting goods store, tilting a windmill at Harry Putter’s Magical Mini-Golf, enraging the wizard Gandaldore, having mock battles with pool noodles, and mistaking the food court busboy Alonzo for a magnificent nobleman. Meanwhile, all-too-normal Simon Carrasco makes a bet with the Goth girl, Darkness, that he can restore Donna to mundane reality. Loaded with laughs, the play also promotes heartfelt messages about idealism and acceptance of others. Students and audiences alike will cheer the misguided, madcap adventures of Donna Quixote!
CLICK HERE to purchase a reading copy GIRL OF LA MANCHA. Published by Pioneer Drama Service.
Friendly and fearsome fairy folk from the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland gather in a moonlit meadow for a raucous, rambunctious re-enactment of classic stories of the Summer (Seelie) and Winter (Unseelie) Courts. Pixies, brownies, and sprites tussle with a banshee, wraith, boggles and trows, while two teenage human captives plan their escape.
Costumes for this hour-long, twenty-two role ensemble comedy may be simple or elaborate, with minimal set and prop requirements. All resources are devoted to fast action, silly characters, and constant comedy, punctuated by references to Scottish food, folklore, geography, and culture. Suitable for both student and inter-generational casts.
No accents or kilts are required when you enter the frivolous fray of FAERY FREE FOR ALL!
Three teenagers are lured into malevolent Professor Carny Barker’s Once-in-a-Lifetime Traveling Career Fair. There they are tempted with futures of glamor, riches, and power by warped and wicked counterfeit pretenders from the military, medical, legal, and business professions. The teens, with the oddball assistance of a janitor, weigh what they’re willing to trade off to achieve “success.”
This 45-minute modern morality play is loaded with slapstick comedy, wry satire, and a flexible ensemble cast of over-the-top comical characters.
Every child’s favorite talking cookie leaps off the picture book pages and onto the stage in The Gingerbread Man, an action-packed, fun-filled, easily staged comedy for kids.
In a surprising and delightful variation on the beloved tale, city girl Sally is unhappy staying on her aunt and uncle’s farm while her parents are on vacation. To cheer her up, Sally’s aunt makes a gingerbread cookie, which promptly leaps out of the oven and takes Sally on a merry adventure to see traveling players perform Aesop’s “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.”
Along the way, the intrepid runaways encounter a karate-kicking donkey with a scrambled vocabulary, a fashionable skunk with a nose for rare fragrances, and a sly fox who tries to put a bite on the Gingerbread Man. There’s even a gentle message about finding your place in the world.
The Gingerbread Man is loaded with funny puns, comical characters, and slapstick humor, boasts a flexible cast, minimal costume and set requirements, is easily toured, and suitable for all ages.
The cookie never crumbles in this silly and sweet version of The Gingerbread Man.
The race for non-stop laughter begins at Baker Street School, home of the Spatula Flippers, when the irresistible Gingerbread Man hot foots it out of the kitchen and into the cafeteria. Pursued by a host of faculty, staff, nerds, and cheerleaders (each named after a delicious baked treat), the elusive, slick-sneakered spice cookie gives them the slip until the students combine brains and beauty to trip him up.
This silly and smart, fast-paced 30-minute comedy is filled with jokes, gags, slapstick humor, chases, and a riotous climax that will have audiences cheering with delight. Along the way, they’ll catch lessons in cooperation, accepting people with different interests, and even an easily digested helping of math and science vocabulary!
With a simple interior set, easy props and a baker’s dozen of well-balanced and totally fun roles, THE GINGERBREAD MAN GETS SCHOOL is ideal for elementary, middle and high school, touring and home school performances.
Heaven Sent (Tobit)
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— The Book of Tobit is the most free-wheeling, fun-loving, supernatural fantasy adventure and romantic comedy in the entire Apocrypha!
As an answer to prayer, the angel Raphael helps a hopelessly naive lad fight a demon, marry a damsel in distress, and heal a father’s blindness. Found in many Bibles, Tobit is one of the greatest literary hits from the period between the Old and New Testaments. Surprisingly true to the original, Heaven Sent is filled with contemporary sensibilities, clever dialogue, sight gags, and slapstick humor.
Heaven Sent is an easy-to-stage full-length comedy that has a simple set, easy costumes, and delightful roles for four men and three women, plus an active comic ensemble. If your church or drama ministry is ready to step up to the next level, Heaven Sent will get you there, and provide an entertaining, edifying, theatrical experience for your audiences.
The unforgettable characters from the beloved novel come to thrilling, laugh-happy life in this funny and frill-free “festival” adaptation of Victor Hugo’s popular literary classic.
A troupe of youthful players recreates the riotous adventures of the misshapen, but tender-hearted bell-ringer Quasimodo, the beguiling gypsy dancer Esmeralda and her clever goat Djali, dashing Captain Phoebus, despicably devious Dom Frollo, romantically starving poet Pierre, and more. Many scenes from the original masterpiece are presented, but with a comic twist!
With simple props and an essentially bare stage, this full-length comedy is easy and economical to produce, providing a large cast of variously-skilled actors an opportunity to participate in a literary classic with imagination, ingenuity, surprise, and delight.
Peals of laughter will roll through your audiences when The Hunchback of Notre Dame swings onto your stage.
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In this provocative fifteen-minute comedic play set in the near future, Chip and Cissy make an appointment to genetically engineer their first child at Build a Baby Corp. After selecting traits such as hair and eye color, the couple learns that they must choose an “imperfection,” a flaw in their test tube baby which will create a challenge to overcome and so facilitate character development.
Humor, a sprinkling of real science, flexible casting and no-hassle production requirements create a compelling vehicle for an intriguing ethical dilemma. If you had to select a genetic anomaly for your child, what would YOU choose? Cast of 1M, 1F, 1 either, simple furniture set, contemporary costumes. Published on Amazon-Kindle.
With Jacob Dorn
Fur (and puns) fly when feisty kitten Princess escapes the clutches of the sinister, catnapping Ting Tang and his hysterical henchcats. Princess finds refuge with a mongrel martial arts master and his clumsy canine companions. With the help of the punchy pooches, and after a rousing training montage, Princess faces her fears, finds inner strength, then defeats (and declaws) her adversaries.
Ideally suited for elementary and middle school students, this single “vacant lot” set, 30-minute madcap comedy has great gags, a flexible cast of ten memorable characters, and plenty of opportunities for controlled, choreographed comical stage combat.
— Baba Yaga, Russian folklore’s funny and fearsome wicked witch, takes a terrible tumble when her chicken-legged hut slips on a banana peel!
Characters from Baba Yaga’s most beloved stories gather for a “funtastic funeral,” reenacting their hilarious adventures outwitting the comical witch. With the help of an audience full of “enchanted toads,” spirited young Vasilisa and her nurturing nesting doll, Matryoshka, along with her father, a cat and a dog, perform seemingly impossible tasks—acting like trees, playing leapfrog, and folding laundry!
With an extremely simple, tour-friendly set, six outlandish characters, slapstick humor, clever dialogue, and non-stop action, this 45-minute participation comedy is filled with whimsy and delight.
Young audiences will shed tears of laughter when they become active participants in The Marvelous Misadventures of Baba Yaga.
Six teenagers join forces one dark and stormy night, staking out the bare stage of their school auditorium to discover the identity of the mysterious Locker Stalker. What begins as a half-hearted joke turns into a roller coaster evening of thrills, chills, and side-splitting laughter as each student’s nightmare comes to life onstage!
One confronts a living, growing blob of cafeteria-style mashed potatoes. Another is horrified to discover the real reason why everyone at school is ignoring her, and a third student’s worst fantasies about science lab and what teachers do on weekends is like nothing you’ve ever seen!
Audiences will be screaming — with laughter and suspense— when you produce this no-set, no problems comedy-thriller. Flexible cast of fourteen, plus ensemble/chorus. About 90 minutes.
CLICK HERE to purchase your reading copy of Nightmare High School. Or… CLICK HERE to purchase your reading copy of Tales of Terror from Nightmare High School (musical version) right now! Published by Pioneer Drama Service.
No dancing or choreography is required in this swashbuckling comedy that leaps back to E.T.A. Hoffmann’s original tale and spins comic gold. The short and silly children’s musical adaptation of the classic holiday fantasy combines Tchaikovsky’s famous score with cute and clever lyrics, arranged and simplified for young voices by Bill Francoeur.
On Christmas Eve, the mysterious Drosselmeier presents brave Marie with an unusual Nutcracker. That night she is awakened by a band of renegade mice, led by the evil Mouse King. The Nutcracker, joined by a Ballerina, Feline Legation, and Mistress Clara, battle the rodents. Marie defeats the Mouse King by hitting him with her slipper. The heroes travel to the Land of Toys to rescue Princess Pirlipat from the wicked Mouse Queen and her hilarious helpers. The Nutcracker and the princess are reunited, and the curse is broken. Marie and her toys return home in triumph.
NUTCRACKER is a budget-friendly musical with a cast of 14, plus chorus. There’s even a music CD if your resources don’t include live accompaniment.
Your cast and audiences will dance with unchoreographed delight when they experience the jolly joy of NUTCRACKER, the musical.