Here’s my list of ten-minute scripts. Most are suitable for high schools or community theatres.
All are available directly from me.
THE BEAUTIFUL OGRE AND OTHER FAIRY TALES
A father reads his daughter a fairy tale as a bedtime story — which the characters begin to act out. The girl doesn’t like how the story is going — no strong female role models, for instance — so she changes it all around. This is the result. Cast: Five — three males, two females. Running time: Eight minutes.
* Produced by the Paw Paw Village Players, Paw Paw, Michigan, Feb. 15-16, 22-23, 2008.
* Produced by Youth Education on Stage Summer Shorts, Williston, North Dakota, June 24-26, 2008.
* Produced by Subversive Theatre, Buffalo, N.Y., various nights between May 2-17, 2009.
* Produced by Play’n’Well Players, Plainview, Michigan, last weekend of May 2009.
* Produced by Jeonju Players, Jeonju, South Korea, December 2014
* Produced as script-in-hand reading as radio play before a live audience, Hoosier Hometown Live, Mitchell, Indiana, Feb. 5, 2016.
* Produced by Garfield Center, Chestertown, Maryland, June-July 2016.
* Produced by Open Space Arts, Reisterstown, Maryland, Aug. 5-7, 12-14, 2016.
* Produced by Play With Your Food, Mankato, Minnesota, May 24, 2017.
* Staged reading by Chincoteague Island Theatre Company, Chincoteague, Virginia, August 17, 2017.
* Produced by Radcliffe Creek School, Chestertown, Maryland, May 17, 2018.
* Scheduled to be produced by Youth Education on Stage Summer Shorts, Williston, North Dakota, June 20-21, 2018.
* Produced by Forge Theatre, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, July 19-22, 2018.
A young woman describes how she went to college in West Texas so she wouldn’t be distracted by big cities. Instead, she found herself hunting armadillos on a Saturday night to come up with enough money to buy beer. Her roommate is a tough-talking Texan whose vocabulary seems to consist almost entirely of curse words. Cast: Four — 2 male, 2 female. Running time: Eight minutes (There’s also a shorter version about five minutes long.)
BLACK MARKET BOMBS or, Seven Weak Links in the Chain
Seven men trace how one of the Soviet Union’s “suitcase bombs” was peddled on the black market and wound up in the hands of an al-Qaeda terrorist. A chilling look at the potential for nuclear terrorism. Cast: Seven men. Running time: Ten minutes.
BLACK MARKET BOMBS or, Six Weak Links in the Chain
Six men trace how one of the Soviet Union’s “suitcase bombs” was peddled on the black market and wound up in the hands of an al-Qaeda terrorist. A chilling look at the potential for nuclear terrorism. Cast: Six men. Running time: Ten minutes.
BLACK MARKET BOMBS, or Eight Weak Links in the Chain
A series of men trace how one of the Soviet Union’s “suitcase bombs” was peddled on the black market and wound up in the hands of an al-Qaeda terrorist who smuggles it into New York City. A chilling look at the potential for nuclear terrorism. This is the continuation of “Seven Weak Links in the Chain.” Cast: Eight men with speaking parts, unlimited number of others with no lines. Running time: Ten minutes.
* Produced by G.D. Birla Memorial School, Ranikhet, Amora, Uttarkhand, India, June 2017.
CHEF PIERRE DOES NOT DO SIMPLE
A television producer explains to a TV chef that he need to simplify some of his language because many younger viewers do not understand them. He reacts badly and winds up creating a mess with broken eggs and flour. Cast: Four — One male, three non-gender. Running time: Ten minutes.
* Produced by Newburgh Free Academy, Newburgh, N.Y., May 2009.
* Produced by Jeonju Players, Jeonju, South Korea, December 2014
* Produced by Dover Little Theatre, Dover, New Jersey, April 2016.
* Produced by Smith Mountain Lake Arts Council, Scruggs, Virginia, April 2017.
* Produced by Radcliffe Creek School, Chestertown, Maryland, May 2017.
A man takes a fantasy tour through Chicago – meeting the billy goat of the famous baseball curse and Mrs. O’Malley’s cow – only to find out he’s dreaming, after getting hit by a foul ball at Wrigley Field. Cast: Seven or ten, depending on doubling. With seven – five male, two female. With 10, five male, two female, three non-gender.
THE CHICAGO WIND
A man visiting Chicago has several strange encounters with iconic aspects of the Windy City – with a gangster, a goat, a cow, a bluesman, and several dead voters, among others. Cast: Six to ten, depending on doubling. If six: 4 male, 1 female, 1 non-gender. If ten: 4 male, 1 female, 5 non-gender.
THE CHICKEN AND THE ROAD
A script that’s either quite silly or deep existential, in which we explore the many reasons why the chicken might have crossed the road and what it means. Somehow this works in the clash of religion and science, Shakespeare, Einstein, country music and a police interrogation. Cast: Six to nineteen. The basic cast is 6 — 3 male, 1 female, 2 non-gender — but can be expanded to as large as 19, which would take 13 male, 2 female, 4 non-gender. Or, you can choose some number and gender configuration in between minimum and maximum. Running time: Twelve minutes.
Produced in 8 in 48 Festival, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, January 20, 2007.
THE CHRISTMAS GOAT
A naughty Christmas story about a goat. Sort of. Cast: Seven — one male, one female, five non-gender adults to play children. See also five-minute version below. Running time: Seven minutes. Not suitable for high schools.
• Staged reading at Guerrilla Playhouse, Studio Roanoke, Roanoke, Va., Dec. 11, 2011.
THE CHRISTMAS GOAT
A goat wants to be part of Christmas. Dark comedy ensues. Cast of five: One female, four non-gender.
(Yes, two different plays with the same name.)
* Staged reading Arts Resources for the Tri-State, Huntington, West Virginia, December 2015.
THE COLD WAR DIARY OF ANDREI IVANOV (The incident in Iceland) (Monologue)
A former KGB officer laments the collapse of the Soviet Union and
recounts an incident during the Cold War in which he lured a defector to
his death. Cast: One male. Running time: 5-10 minutes.
THE COLD WAR DIARY OF IRINA IVANOVA
A former KGB officer describes how she seduced guards at the American embassy. Cast: One female.
THE CONTACT LENS
The place: A busy sidewalk. Somebody loses a contact lens and asks others to help look for it. Dark comedy ensues. Cast: Six – 2 female, 1 male, 3 non-gender.
* Produced in Asphalt Jungle Shorts, Kitchener, Ontario, June 14-16, June 21-23, 2018.
THE DEBATE AT BOSWORTH FIELD
Imagine if Richard III and Henry Tudor had met in a campaign-style debate instead. This time, Richard wins. Cast: 8 – 5 male, 2 female, 1 non-gender.
THE DENMARK COUNTY BARBERSHOP QUARTET PRESENTS . . .
A rag-tag barbershop quartet presents “Hamlet,” to the tune of “In The Good Old Summertime.” Cast: Six – one male, one female, four non-gender.
Produced as part of Overnight Sensations, 24-hour play festival by Mill Mountain Theatre and Hollins University, July 7, 2018.
DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN
A parable about fake news. In this play, after the infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline, the newspaper kept insisting Dewey really did win, publishing story after story about the Dewey administration. Now it’s eight years later . . . Cast: Four: Three male, one female.
* Produced Oct-Nov. 2018, Broom Street Theater, Madison, Wisconsin.
THE FACE ON MARS
The supposed face on Mars? It was commissioned by a politician who knew the truth — that Mars was running out of water. But he told the public something else entirely. Cast: Two, non-gender.
* Produced by Suffield Players, Suffield, Connecticut, August 2014.
* Produced by Horatio Theatre, London, UK, May 2018.
THE FAIRIES FROM NO MAN’S LAND
Two English soldiers in the trenches in World War I are approached by three
Fairies who offer them a way out of the war — by accompanying them to
fairyland, never to return. Cast: Five — two male, three female. Running time:
THE FATE OF POLYXENA
Based on a story from the Trojan War. After Troy fell, one of the Trojan princesses — Polyxena — was sacrificed by the Greeks on the tomb of their hero Achilles, to be his bride beyond the grave. Cast: Twelve — 2 female, 8 male, 2 non-gender. Running time: Eight minutes.
A Christmas story, in two parts. Part one is written like a sit-com: It’s just before Christmas and the shopping mall Santa has sent word he won’t be showing up. Just then, security brings in a homeless man found rooting around in the trash outside. The manager makes him the Santa. Part two turns more serious. Things have gone very well, almost too well. Then comes the last kid in line, who turns out to be the homeless man’s son. Cast: Six — 2 male adults, 1 female adult, 1 male child, 2 non-gender adults. Running time: Eight to ten minutes.
* Staged reading at No Shame Theatre, Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke, Va., Dec. 15 and 22, 2006.
* Staged reading at Southern Nash High School, Bailey, North Carolina, December 2015.
* Produced at Tokomairiro High School, Milton, New Zealand, December 2016.
* Scheduled to be produced by Richmond Beach Congregational United Church of Christ, Shoreline, Washington, December 1-3, 2017.
THE FERRYMAN’S APPRENTICE
A boy accidentally kills his father on a hunting trip. He goes to the River Styx, fishes treasures out of the waters, and then makes a deal with the ferryman to let him cross over and retrieve his father. The ferryman agrees, but on one condition. Cast: Ideally six, but could be done with as few as four — one juvenile male, two adult males, one to three non-gender. Running time: Ten minutes.
* Producted by G.D. Birla Memorial School, Ranikhet, India, June 2017.
THE FERRYMAN AND THE THIEF
A boy accidentally kills his father on a hunting trip. He goes to the River Styx, sneaks aboard the ferry to the far shore. Once aboard, he picks the pockets of the dead, stealing the coins they have been given by loved ones for the final passage. He uses these to try to bribe the ferryman to let him cross to find his father and return him to the land of the living. The ferryman agrees, but on one condition, which goes badly for the boy. Cast: Six: One juvenile male, two adult males, three non-gender. Running time: Ten to twelve minutes.
FOR THIS NEXT PIECE, I NEED SOME VOLUNTEERS
A sex comedy; not suitable for high schools. A director attempts to cast a scene with volunteers from the audience for a romantic scene involving a man and a woman but each person who volunteers has objections with the other, forcing the director to seek yet more volunteers; the cast of “volunteers” rotates through a variety of gender configurations, until the director finally quits. Two alternate endings available. Cast: Eight – four male, four female. Running time: Ten minutes.
THE FUTURE AIN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE
A hard-living young woman gets a strange visit from a woman old enough to be her grandmother — but who is, in fact, a version of herself in the future. The older woman tries to reform the younger woman before it’s too late. Cast: Three females, one in her 20s, one a senior citizen, the third somewhere in between. Running time: Ten to twelve minutes.
* Produced by Play’n’Well Players, Plainview, Michigan, April 18-20, 2008.
GOD AND THE DEVIL MEET FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH
God and the devil meet in an out-of-the-way lunch spot to discuss a
business proposition: The devil thinks the Almighty should reimburse him for
punishing the wicked. Comes in two versions, one 5 minutes, one 10
minutes. Cast: Three — 2 males, 1 female. Running time: Five
minutes or ten minutes.
• Five-minute version performed at No Shame Theatre, Roanoke, Va., August 2004 and October 2004 as part of The Best of No Shame.
•Produced by Homespun Productions, broadcast on Channel 18, Sacramento, California, October 2005.
* Classroom presentation, Averett College, Danville, Va., Dec. 3, 2007.
* Staged reading by Lake Players, Smith Mountain Lake, Va., April 2014.
* Radio play by Viking Radio Theatre, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, February 2014
* Produced by Jeonju Players, Jeonju, South Korea, December 2014
HONEYMOON IN LA PAZ
A female astronomer honeymoons in Bolivia, home of clear Southern
hemisphere skies. She wants to look at the stars; her husband thinks she’s
talking about sex. Not suitable for high schools. Cast: 1 male, 2 female. Running time: Ten minutes.
THE KEY PARTY
A couple — she’s nervous, he’s overeager — attend their first “key party” where couples drop their keys into a bowl, then draw to see who spends the night with whom. Not suitable for high schools. Cast: Eight — 4 male, 4 female. Running time: 10 minutes.
THE KEYS TO THE UNIVERSE NEXT DOOR
A science fiction horror story, with Lovecraftian overtones. Years ago, a scientist discovered that a particular sequence of musical notes, sung just so, could open the door to a parallel universe. Unfortunately, his wife became trapped there and he’s searched ever since for a prodigy who could hit those notes again and free her.. Cast: Seven – three male, three adult female, one teen-age female. Running time: 10 minutes.
• Produced at Overnight Sensations, a 24-hour play festival, at Hollins University, Roanoke, Va., July 2012. (See video here.)
THE KID WITH THE HARMONICA
A young woman finds herself down on her luck — and working as a stripper to make ends meet — when she receives a visit from a young boy playing a harmonica. Is it an angel offering her a way to a different life? Two alternate endings to choose from. Cast: Five — 2 male, 2 female, 1 male child. Running time: 10 minutes.
KNOW SHIT, or Alien Anthropologists Determine the Secret To the Third Planet.
A look at all the different meanings and uses of the “s” word. Cast: Five males. Not suitable for high schools. Running time. Ten minutes. (Shorter version available, with three males.)
THE LAST MAN ON THE MOON BLUES (ten-minute version.)
A play about miscommunication. Joe takes his date, Melanie, a science
nerd, to the local lover’s lane. She wants to talk about the moon, but he
misunderstands all her references and thinks she’s talking about sex. No
bad words, but rated PG-13 for sexual themes. Cast: Four or five. Two
males, and two or three females. This is essentially a two person play —
one male, one female — with some extras. The second male has only two
lines and the optional third female has no lines.
• Produced January 2004 as part of the Acme Theater New Works Winter Festival, Maynard, Mass.
•Produced May 2004 by Curry College, Milton, Mass.
LETTERS FROM THE MONA LISA
The woman in the famous painting comes to life and speaks to a security guard at the Louvre museum. He persuades her to write a letter to one of her fans. Cast: Two to four, depending on which ending you choose. The basic cast is 1 male, 1 female, with the male envisioned as older and the female capable of portraying the Mona Lisa. Some of the optional endings add 1 female and 1boy. Running time: 10 minutes.
* Produced by Jewel Box Theatre, Poulsbo, Washington, May 2016.
* Produced by Donna Scott Productions, Charlotte, North Carolina, August 2018.
* Scheduled to be produced by Adams State University, Alamosa, Colorado, December 2018.
THE MATH LESSON
A math teacher at a Martian school for girls teaches a forbidden subject – how to compute the rate of evaporation of the planet’s last, dying ocean. Cast: Five – one adult female, two non-gender adults, two teen-age girls.
* Produced by Otherworld Theatre, Chicago, November 2017.
THE MERMAID’S TATTOO
A woman spends a summer dressed up as a mermaid at a seafood restaurant — and doesn’t like it. Similar to “My Summer as a Mermaid,” but with a different story and a different ending. Cast: four to ten. With extreme doubling, a cast of four — 2 female, 2 male. With every part cast separately, a cast of 10 — 5 male, 5 female (including one child.) Running time: Eight minutes.
* Produced at Garfield Center for the Performing Arts, Chestertown, Maryland, June 2012. (See video and photos here.)
A short time from now in the future, monarch butterflies have gone extinct. So why is a young girl, who has never spoken before, now repeating the word “milkweed,” the sole plant that monarch caterpillars fed on? We find out on an icy Christmas morning. Cast: Three – 1 adult female, 1 non-gender child, 1 non-gender adult.
MY KID COULD PAINT THAT
A parent gets inspired at a museum exhibit and starts selling his/her child’s artwork as modern art. The plan works great until . . . . Cast: Five, plus a crowd scene — all non-gender. The five includes four adults and one child. Running time: Six minutes.
* Film version shown at Grandin Theatre, Roanoke, Va., spring 2009. (See video here.)
MY SUMMER AS A MERMAID
A female college student takes a summer job at a restaurant at the beach, but finds her job entails dressing up as a mermaid and swimming around in a giant fish tank to amuse the customers. When a drunken man heckles her one time too many, she pulls him into the tank and nearly drowns him. No need to show the tank or her mermaid costume — the script unfolds as the student recounts the story, and what happens next. Cast: Six — two female, four male. Set requirements: Nothing special, but you’ll need a pirate’s costume. Mermaid costume optional Running time: Ten minutes
• Produced by Acme New Works Winter Festival, Maynard, Mass., January 2006.
• Produced by Appetite Theatre, Chicago, Ill., Sept. 15-17, 22-4, 29-Oct. 1, 2006.
* Staged reading, Studio Roanoke, Roanoke, Va., Aug. 22, 2010.
THE NIGHT THE BAND GOT PAID IN WAITRESSES
A roadhouse manager fails to pay both the waitresses and the band. To get back at him, the waitresses let the band into the walk-in refrigerator so everyone can help themselves to food. Complications ensue. Cast: 11 — 7 male, 4 female. Running time: Ten minutes
A look at the true story of Olga Romanova, a 26-year-old perfume clerk who came in off the street during the Moscow theatre seige of 2002 and tried to help — but got killed by terrorists instead. Cast: Eight – 3 female, 2 male, 3 non-gender. Running time: 10 minutes.
* Staged reading by Mad and Merry Theatre, New York, N.Y., December 14, 2014.
ONE SEASON AT TONY’S
A kid shows up hawking newspapers outside a seedy big-city bar — newspapers that foretell the future. The owner of the bar sees a way to get rich, by using them to bet on sporting events. Adventure ensues. A dark, mystical piece. Cast: Five — four male, one non-gender child. Running time: 10 minutes.
THE ONE-WORD HAMLET (ten-minute version)
The story of Hamlet, much condensed, in which each actor speaks only one word at a time. Cast: Nine — 7 male, 2 female. There’s potential to double two male roles. Running time: Ten minutes.
• Staged reading in Herring Run Arts Fest, Middleborough, Mass., September 2005.
• A portion of this script was incorporated into a production by Ankara University Development Foundation High School in Ankara, Turkey, December 2005.
• Produced by Lloyd C. Bird High School, Chesterfield, Va., February 2006.
• Published by Eldridge Publishing, spring 2006, as part of the collection “24/7.”
PEAKED IN HIGH SCHOOL
Eleven years to the night after a high school homecoming, three former classmates meet by chance on a local Lover’s Leap. The homecoming queen is depressed and planning to kill herself. Poignant drama ensues. Cast: Three: Two female, one male.
* Scheduled for production, Adams State University, Alamosa, Colorado, December 2018.
THE PICTURE WINDOW
An old woman’s front window is shattered by a baseball. For her, it’s time to go get the instructions her late husband left her. There’s something special waiting for the kid who could hit a baseball that far. A poignant story about old age and regrets – and baseball. Cast: Three – one male two females.
* Produced at North Park Playwright’s Festival, San Diego, California, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2016.
* Staged reading at Readers Repertory Theatre, Los Angeles, California, January 25, 2017.
* Produced at Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Lewisburg, West Virginia, Feb. 2-4, 2017.
* Staged reading at Storefront Theatre, Waxhaw, North Carolina, March 4-5, 2017.
A down-on-his-luck football coach finds his luck changes when a mystery e-mailer starts sending him new plays to use. But where are they coming from? Not where he thinks. Cast: Eight – four male, two female (one adult, one teen or younger), two non-gender.
A dark vision from the last days of Mars. A local official in charge of building canals instead diverts some of the money to build an underground library to store his civilization’s artifacts because he knows Mars is doomed. Cast: Two non-gender. Running time: Seven or eight minutes.
* Produced by Otherworld Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, July 2015.
* Produced by Rockwall Heath High School, Heath, Texas, May 2017.
* Produced by Centreville High School, Clifton, Virginia, June 2018.
* Produced by Playwright’s Playground Festival, Spokane Stage Left Theatre, Spokane, Washington, October 2018.
SECOND ADAM AND THE DEAD EARTH
Two environmental activists break into a zoo and kidnap the last two known specimens of an endangered species of lizard. Their intent is to release the creatures back into the wild — but their motivations differ. He wants them to repopulate; she wants them to die to make a statement. The conflict plays out in a cheap motel room somewhere between the zoo and the release site. See also: “Second Eve and the Dead Earth,” which is same script, but with genders flipped. Cast: Two — one male, one female. Running time: Ten to twelve minutes.
SECOND EVE AND THE DEAD EARTH
Two environmental activists break into a zoo and kidnap the last two known specimens of an endangered species of lizard. Their intent is to release the creatures back into the wild — but their motivations differ. She wants them to repopulate; he wants them to die to make a statement. The conflict plays out in a cheap motel room somewhere between the zoo and the release site. See also: “Second Adam and the Dead Earth,” which is same script, but with genders flipped. Cast: Two — one male, one female. Running time: Ten to twelve minutes.
THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS — THE MONOLOGUES
A series of monologues by each of the seven deadly sins, in the traditional order of increasing importance: lust, gluttony, sloth, greed, wrath, envy, and pride. Cast: Seven — all non-gender but lust is best done as female. Running time: Ten minutes.
THE SEVEN MANAGEMENT LESSONS OF MACBETH
You’ve heard of “The Seven Lessons of Highly Effective People?” Well, this is the Macbeth version. Cast: Nine – four male, four female, one non-gender. Running time: Ten minutes.
* Staged reading by Arts Resources for the Tri-States, Huntington, West Virginia, December 2016.
SHAKESPEARE SELLS OUT
The English playwright appears on a TV talk show and demonstrates how he’s re-written some of his classic plays to “modernize” them — by inserting product placements and corporate endorsements, and spinning off other famous scenes into TV commercials. The skull in Hamlet now sports a corporate logo. The weird sisters of Macbeth pitch a BBQ joint. Richard III’s “winter of discontent” now hawks a weather forecasting service. Cast: Variable, depending on how many doubling opportunities you take advantage of. Smallest cast possible is a cast of 7 — 3 male, 3 female, 1 non-gender. Can be expanded to as large as a cast of 17 — 7 male, 6 female, 4 non-gender. Running time: Eight minutes.
• Published by Eldridge Publishing, spring 2006, as part of the collection “24/7.”
What happens when you combine Shakespeare with a popular science fiction show? Here’s what a convention for fans of the new genre might look like — with favorite scenes from Shakespeare re-enacted in science fiction style. Cast: Seven to 19. Because the scenes change often, much doubling is possible, even desirable. Please note that some of those characters only have one line. The smallest configuration possible is 3 females, 3 males, 1 non-gender, which can be expanded to 7 females, 11 males, 1 non-gender, or any configuration in between. For instance, you could maximize the female participation and minimize the male requirement with a cast of 11 — 7 females, 3 males, 1 non-gender. . Running time: Ten minutes.
SILENCING THE VOICES
A dark, abstract piece about school shootings and suicide. After a school shooting in which the shooter claimed to have heard the voices of other killers in his head, a teenage girl kills herself – in hopes she can find those voices and kill them. Cast: 7 – 2 female, 5 non-gender.
THE SKY IS FALLING
Two squirrels conduct an experiment, dropping things off a powerline. The result: Chicken Little gets hit on the head and thinks the sky is falling. Comedy — and a rap song — ensue. Cast: Five – 1 male, 1 female, 3 non-gender. Running time: Ten minutes.
* Produced by Piano Fight Productions, Marin County, California, September 2014.
* Produced by Picnic in the Park Local Talent Variety Show, Mankato, Minnesota, July 2015 with additional performance in August 2015.
SOMETIMES ELEPHANTS DIE STANDING UP
Two lowly circus workers try to figure out what to do with an elephant dies. An absurdist look at how the economy works. Cast: Two males. Running time: Ten minutes.
* Staged reading by Unproduced Moon, Glasgow/Edinburgh, Scotland, May 2014.
* Produced by Ghost Dog Productions, London, September 2014.
* Produced as radio play by Viking Radio Theatre, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, airs January 25, 2015.
* Produced by Peeskill High School, Peeskill, New York, June 2018.
SOMEWHERE TONIGHT, THE WASHINGTON SENATORS LAST GAME PLAYS ON
The last game the Washington Senators played – in 1971 – ended in a forfeit, when fans ran out onto the field and one of them stole first base. Now, on the night before a new Washington baseball team takes the field in 2005, the man who stole that base is trying to return it, and gets arrested. He tries to explain to the cop why the base is haunted. Cast: Two males, envisioned as one white, one black. Running time: Ten minutes.
* Produced as radio play by Falcon Radio Theatre, KSPU, Seattle Pacific University, February 7, 2013.
* Produced as radio play by Viking Radio Theatre, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, February 2014; rebroadcast in fall 2014
* Staged reading by Chincoteague Theatre Company, Chincoteague, Virginia, July 2016.
* Produced at Short Attention Span Festival, Garfield Center, Chestertown, Maryland, June-July 2017.
STRONG AS A BULL
A short play about baseball and steroids – in the 1800s. A baseball player discovers a way to make himself as strong as a bull, which works just fine – until he starts to turn into one. Cast: Six – three male, three female.
•Produced by Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke, Va. as part of the “Overnight Sensations” 24-hour play project, July 2011.
SUNDAY MORNING IN THE COFFEE SHOP
Two friends visit the coffee shop on Sunday morning. But is that Jesus there
reading the newspaper? A subtle look at what’s most important on Sunday
morning. Cast: Four. One male, one female and two non-gender. Running
time: Ten minutes.
• Produced at Morehead High School, Eden, N.C. May 2004.
• Produced by Reflections Repertory Theatre, Richmond, Va., November 2005.
• Produced by Lloyd C. Bird High School, Chesterfield, Va., February 2006.
• Produced by Reflections Repertory Theatre, Richmond, Va., March 2006.
THEY ALWAYS BLAME THE SNAKE
Two bumbling criminals break into the reptile house. They have a plan – to smuggle cocaine into the country in the belly of a snake from South America. Their plans go awry and comedy ensues. Cast: Six – two male, four non-gender.
* Produced as part of Overnight Sensations, 24-hour play festival, Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke, Virginia, July 2017.
THE TRAGEDY OF VATEL
Based on the true story of Francois Vatel, a legendary French chef of the 1600s. His dream was to serve the king of France, but when King Louis XIV came to visit the estate where Vatel served, the dinner went awry. The next morning, not enough fish arrived to serve the king’s party — or so Vatel feared. Believing his honor was ruined, he killed himself by fixing a sword to his door and running into it. Only after his body was discovered was it learned that more fish had arrived. The banquet the next night went forward, but the fish was omitted from the menu as a sign of respect. Besides being a history lesson, this can also serve as a “message play” against suicide. Cast: Ten: Four male, one female, five non-gender, but potential for some additional attendants of the king. Running time: Ten minutes.
THERE’S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR
A science fiction play about baseball, gender and the future. An old woman harbors a secret: When she was a young, she met a baseball player from the future — and it’s a woman. Now the old woman, near death, wants to pass the secret on to her granddaughter, and encourages her to play baseball. Cast of eight — six female (two children, one young adult, two of parenting age, one senior), two males. However, the two males are only voices and can be recorded. And two of the women can be doubled, to give a cast of five – two children, one young adult, one parenting age, one senior.) Running time: Ten to twelve minutes.
UNDER THE ICE
Scientists studying the retreat of the southern ice cap in Antartica find some prehistoric microbes, which kill them and threaten to spread into a global pandemic. Told in the form of flashbacks. Cast: Eight — 4 male, 4 non-gender, although those gender assignments are loose. Ultimately you can choose any gender mix you need. Running time: 10 minutes.
THE UNOPENED VALENTINE (10-minute version)
A grumpy widow with a tendency to worry is packing up her things to move into a smaller place .Her enthusiastic granddaughter is helping her, when the granddaughter opens an old schoolbook to find a valentine her granddaughter had never opened. The granddaughter wants to open it; the grandmother worries about what it might contain, and whether the course of her life would have changed if she’d opened it when she received it. Note: There also are five-minute and one-act versions of the same story. Cast: Two females — one senior, one teen-ager. Running time: Ten minutes.
* Produced by Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Lewisburg, W.Va., January 2010.
A VAMPIRE SOAP OPERA (also known as “The Old and the Restless” A Vampire Soap Opera.”
A soap opera about vampires, complete with laundry detergent commercials. A teen-age vampire runs away to Las Vegas; her governess finds her – but so does a vampire hunter. What will happen next? Tune in next time! Cast: Six – two males, four females. Running time: Ten minutes
* Produced by Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke, Va., July 17, 2010, as part of “Overnight Sensations,” a 24-hour play project.
* * Produced by Radcliffe Creek School, Chestertown, Maryland, May 17, 2018.
WE’VE WON THE WAR!
An abstract allegory about job creation, in which a town wins the rights to the next world war, staged by drone aircraft. Cast: Six: One male, two female, one non-gender child, two non-gendered hooded figures with no lines.
THE ZOOKEEPER’S ARM
A curious disappearance in the zoo. Comic murder. Cast: Six — one female, two male, three non-gender.
* Produced as part of Overnight Sensations, 24-hour play festival, Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke, Virginia, July 2016.