Archive for category Scripts

Most of my scripts are royalty-free

Yes, you read that right: Most of my scripts are royalty-free.

Why is that?, you might wonder.

Glad you asked!

Here’s why: First, being a playwright isn’t a paying gig. Fortunately, I do have a day job (which sometimes is a night job, too, but that’s another story.) So I’m not trying to make a living at this.

My psychic payment comes from seeing my work performed (or at least knowing it’s performed, in the case of distant venues.) And I know most theatres don’t have piles of cash sitting around.

But also . . . My ultimate goal is to see my scripts published (which means they’ll get performed more often, and publishers do want to be paid, which means I get royalties there.) But most publishers won’t consider work unless it’s been produced (sometimes more than once.)

So it’s in my interest to get scripts produced — royalty-free — so I can more quickly get them in front of publishers.

If you’re a high school or community theatre looking for scripts but dreading royalty payments, this is your lucky day!

I invite you, of course, to patronize my publishers. I’ll even include a list of my published scripts. But all the rest — and believe me, I have many more — are available royalty-free. So browse through the “scripts” category to see if there’s something that strikes your fancy. If so, let me know, and we’ll see if we can do business, without any money changing hands.

* Big Dog Plays: The one-acts “Red, Ripe and Round” and “Santa Claustrophobia.”
* Brooklyn Publishers: The one-acts “The Fruitcake,” “The Kissing Consultant,” “Mac and Beth” and “The Weird Sisters Go On Holiday.”
* Eldridge Plays and Musicals: The full-length “Fairweather Friends,” the one-acts “Code 40 Verona,” “Hit the Books,” “Macbeth Goes Hollywood,” “My Girlfriend’s Stupid Talking Parrot,” and the collections “24/7” and “Animal Instinct,” the latter of which includes the one-act “Spiders.”
* Heuer Publishing: The one-act “The Fruitcake” (in conjunction with Brooklyn Publishing, a corporate cousin.
* Playscripts:The one-acts “Hamlet on Spring Break” and “Jenna and Her Prize-winning Pig Change the Course of History.”

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Ten-minute scripts

Here’s my list of ten-minute scripts. Most are suitable for high schools or community theatres.

All are available directly from me.

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Five minute scripts (or shorter)

I have many, many, many five-minute scripts available, almost all of them royalty-free.

In fact, I have so many I’m not even going to attempt to list them here, or I’d spend too much time updating the site.

I take part each week in No Shame Theatre, an open mic-style venue for original performance in Roanoke, Virginia. One of the three rules there is everything must be five minutes are less. (The others are, must be original, and can’t break anything, including the law.)

As a No Shame regular since 2003, I’ve now gotten into the habit of writing a piece each week, sometimes two.

I liken it to an athlete practicing or warming up. It’s my batting practice, if you will. Some of these short pieces have since grown into longer ones — one-acts or even full-length scripts (such as “57 Hours in the House of Culture.”) Most are just happy to stay five minutes long. Some are shorter still. There’s a whole sub-category of one-minute plays (or one-page plays, as some prefer to style them.)

Many are suitable for high schools (no bad words or inappropriate themes). Others are more, um, adult in nature, shall we say. I’ve had some of each produced around the country, and around the world. Some at schools. Some at theatre camps. Some at festivals that like very short pieces.

If you’re looking for royalty-free five-minute scripts, let me know your requirements at and I can send you some that might work.

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One-acts, the complete list

Here’s my complete list of one-acts. Most are suitable for high schools and community theatres; a few would not be.  To weed those out, see the post “one-acts for high schools.”

Almost all run about 25-30 minutes; designed to fit within the time limits of most one-act contests.

A few run longer, a few run shorter, as noted.

All can be produced with minimal staging.

All are available directly from me, except those that have been published, which are noted — and are available from their respective publishers.


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One-acts for high schools

Here’s a list of my one-acts that I’d deem suitable for high schools and community theatres. Almost all run about 25-30 minutes; designed to fit within the time limits of most one-act contests.

A few run longer, a few run shorter, as noted.

All can be produced with minimal staging.

All are available directly from me, except those that have been published, which are noted — and are available from their respective publishers.


Read the rest of this entry »

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Full-length scripts

Here’s a complete list of my full-length scripts.

All can be produced with minimal staging.

All are available directly from me, except for
* “Fairweather Friends,” which is available through Eldridge Plays and Musicals
* “The Hurleyburg Twirling Society,” which is available through Rebel Belle Publishing.
* “The Armadillo Queen,” “The Cactus Rustlers,” “Exchange of Gifts” and “Rhonda’s High-Class Roadkill Chili,” which are available through Norman Maine / Big Dog Plays.

The list: Read the rest of this entry »

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Royalty-free Christmas plays

I have six full-length Christmas plays, all available royalty-free.

I also have several Christmas one-acts, including “The Fruitcake” (published by Brooklyn Publishers) and “Santa Claustrophobia” (published by Big Dog Plays) plus five unpublished one-acts that are available royalty-free: “The Angel Tree,” “The Girl Who Made Emus Believe They Could Fly on Christmas,” “Joy to Other Worlds,” “Let There Be Lights!” and “A Zombie Christmas.” I also have some Christmas-related scripts in the five minute or less range.

Here are the full-lengths:

A Christmas story that involves a talking cat, a talking mouse, an angel and a newly-single mom and her son/daughter. Christmas is approaching and there’s not much joy for Riley (who can be anywhere from roughly 8-15). His/her parents have broken up and his/her mother says there’s not enough money for even a Christmas tree. Riley decides to fashion his/her own — out of beer cans salvaged from the trash, with sticks to serve as limbs. The mom is touched by this gesture, and, against her better judgement, agrees to hang ornaments on it — including a very old angel ornament that once belonged to her grandmother. The cat — who can talk to the audience, but no one else — tries to warn that this isn’t a good idea, but the humans don’t listen. The ornament falls and breaks, angering the mom, who orders Riley to bed while she tries to drink away her sorrows. It’s then that the broken ornament turns into a real angel, who tries to deliver an important message. Cast: Five. Two females, and three non-gender (including the child).

Two orphan girls in Victorian London desperately want a proper Christmas dinner. At first, they conspire to sneak into a private club and pass themselves off as men. Their plans are frustrated by a retired military man, and two fellow orphans. That’s when they devise another plan that involves the mean old rich woman at the end of the street. Cast: Six – three male, three female.

A sweet Christmas story with a message. Three foreign students studying at colleges in the United States find themselves snowbound at an airport for Christmas. One is from Australia, one is from Canada, one is from Russia. Adventure ensues — involving broken chairs, computer hacking, and a health scare. By the time it’s over, each one has learned something about themselves that changes the direction of their lives. Cast: Three women of college age.
* Staged reading, Attic Productions, Fincastle, Virginia, Nov. 18, 2017.
* Produced by 57 Hours Productions, touring show in Virginia, December 2019.
* Published by Big Dog Plays, 2020.

A different kind of Christmas story. A 12-year-old girl in the United States, disappointed that her mother couldn’t afford to celebrate Christmas, runs away from home in search of Santa Claus. Along the way she meets a series of characters eventually join the search for her as she makes her way north, eventually winding up in Churchill, Manitoba. While this appears to take a “fractured fairy tale” approach – the girl meets three people named Goldie, Frank and Murray, there’s a shepherd out tending his flock, and so forth – the ending conveys the message that Christmas isn’t about Santa Claus at all. There’s also a talking moose, three talking sheep who steal a farm truck and a police car, and a talking polar bear. Cast: 14-16, depending on doubling: 4 female, 4 male, and 6-8 non-gender. One of those female is 12 years old; one of the non-gender roles must be able to play a horn.

JOSE AND MARIA: An old story for new times
The birth of Jesus, in a modern setting. On the one hand, this is based on the New Testament accounts. On the other, it’s thoroughly updated: Joseph and Mary are Jose and Maria, two Mexican immigrants on the road to the courthouse to get their paperwork straightened out. The three wise men are three astronomy professors arguing over the nature of the star. The angel of the Lord is a pizza delivery girl named, well, Angel. And there’s a radio talk show host who talks a succession of calls from callers named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Humorous, but with a point. Cast: 20 — 18 adults and 2 children. Gender breakdown: For the 18 adults, 7 male, 8 female, 3 non-gender; the two children may be of either gender.
• One of 18 semi-finalists in the 2003 Barter Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights, Barter Theatre, Abingdon, Va.
• Produced by Attic Productions, Fincastle, Va., November 2004.
* Produced by Victorian Players, Youngstown, Ohio, December 2016.

KLAUS: How it all began
The origins of Santa Claus. The story begins in the 1700s. Involves science fiction, treason against the king, a love story, and some cooking. Cast: Seven – six male, one female.
* Staged reading as part of the Hollins University Playwright’s Lab Discovery Reading Series, Roanoke, Va., December 16, 2012.
* Staged reading by Gi60 Festival Extended Reading Series, New York, N.Y., December 2, 2014.

A wild, action-packed Christmas farce. A young woman suddenly finds herself receiving the gifts from the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” apparently from an unknown suitor. The play begins on the thirteenth day as she copes with the chaos outside her apartment, as neighbors demand she do something about the noisy birds and pipers and drummers. The woman hatches a plan to shoot the birds and organize the people into an impromptu Christmas parade. Chaos ensues. Cast: 13 — 7f, 3m, 3 non-gender.
* Produced at Santiam High School, Mill City, Oregon, December 2013.
* Produced at First Avenue Playhouse, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, December 2015.
* Produced by Fountain Community Theater, Fountain, Colorado, December 2018.

Here are the unpublished one-acts:

An angel appears to a single mother at Christmas and helps her find a common bond with her surly teenage daughter. Cast: Three females. Running time: 20 minutes.
* Produced by Showtimers, Roanoke, Virginia, December 5-7, 2014, with additional performance at Attic Productions annual meeting, Fincastle, December 14, 2014.
* Produced by Richmond Beach Congregational United Church of Christ, Shoreline, Washington, December 1-3, 2017.
* Produced by Actors Workout Studio, Hollywood, California, December 2017.
* Produced by A Danniella DiClaudio and Friends Production, Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, December 2018.

A poor family in Ukraine has a tree but can’t afford decorations. Meanwhile, a spiders living in the house decides the only place safe from the cleaning is the tree. Santa turns her web into tinsel, delighting everyone. Cast: five – two female, one male, two non-gender. Running time: 15 minutes. (Not to be confused with “The Christmas Spiders,” which is longer and has more characters.)
* Produced by Holy Trinity Catholic High School, Simcoe, Ontario, December 14, 2017.

A poor family in Ukraine has a tree but can’t afford decorations. Meanwhile, three spiders living in the house decide the only place safe from the cleaning is the tree. Santa turns their webs into tinsel, delighting everyone. Cast: Six or seven. If six – four female, one male, one non-gender. If seven – four female, two male, one non-gender. Running time: 20-25 minutes.
* Produced by Liberty High School, Liberty, Texas, December 1, 2017.
* Staged reading by Attic Productions, Fincastle, Virginia, Nov. 17, 2018.
* Produced by Varnum High School, Seminole, Oklahoma, winter 2018.

A lonely woman tries to kill herself at Christmas by eating a poinsettia, convinced the plant is poisonous. It’s not, though. A male co-worker shows up and a touching scene ensues. Cast: Two – one male, one female.Running time: 20 minutes.
* Produced by Studio C Artists, Hollywood, California, December 2015.
* Produced by Artists Exchange, Cranston, Rhode Island, August 2016.

* Produced by Silver Spring Stage, Silver Spring, Maryland, August 2017.
* Produced by Actors Workout Studio, Hollywood, California, December 2017.
* Staged reading by Mill Mountain Theatre / Hollins University, December 2017.
* Produced by Tri-County Players, Cincinnati, Ohio, December 2018.
* Produced by Unified Theatre Company, Lynchburg, Virginia, December 2019.
* Scheduled for video production by The Quannapowitt Players Suburban Holidays festival in Reading, Mass., Nov. 2020-January 2021.


An Australian Christmas story. Sort of. A young girl decides that Santa should celebrate an Australian Christmas by having emus full his sleigh. One problem: They’re flightless birds. So she takes it upon herself to teach them to fly. Cast: Eight – four female, two male, two non-gender. Running time: 20 minutes.
* Edited version produced by private tutor teaching English as a Second Language in Hong Kong, December 2018.
* Scheduled for production by Quannapowitt Players Suburban Holidays festival, Reading, Mass., Nov 29-30, Dec. 1, 5-7, 2019.

A man’s display of Christmas lights flashing to the tune of “Joy to The World” attracts the attention of an alien race, which struggles to interpret the transmission. Cast: Nine — Four male, three female, two non-gender or one male, six females, two non-gender.
* Version A produced by Back Yard Theatre Company, Steinbach, Manitoba, December 2014.
* Version B produced by Millard County Schools, Utah, December 2016.
* Version B produced by Otherworld Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, November 2017.
* Version B produced by Cotton Hill Methodist Church, Springfield, Illinois, December 2017.
* Produced by Liberty High School, Frisco, Texas, December 2018.

Two neighbors plot to see who can put on the biggest display of Christmas lights, with comical, and catastrophic, results. Cast: Eight — two adult males, two adult females, two teen-age males, two teen-age females. Running time: 30 minutes.
* Staged reading at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, December 2015.
* Produced by Liberty High School, Liberty, Texas, December 1, 2017.
* Produced by Otto-Eldred High School, Duke Center, Pennsylvana, December 2018.
* Produced by St. Luke’s Methodist Church, Hickory, North Carolina, December 19, 2018.
* Produced by Pine Island High School, Pine Island, Minnesota, December 21, 2018.
* Scheduled to be produced by Geo Prep Mid-City of Greater Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, December 2018 but apparently never was.
* Produced by Mills Masquers Theatre, Glenwood, Iowa, Dec. 6-18, 13-15, 2019.

An allegorical Christmas story. A stray sheep leads two girls in rural Australia to a hidden stash of stars. Cast consists of a talking sheep, a talking dog and two teenage girls. Cast: Four – two female, two non-gender.

Santa and his sleigh plummet from the sky one Christmas Eve, landing in the waters off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. There an Arctic mermaid and her animal friends – a seal, a polar bear, a beaver and three Canada geese — come to his rescue to get his sleigh repaired so that Santa can return to his deliveries. Cast: Eight – 1 male, 1 female, 6 non-gender.

The traditional Christmas Carol story, more or less, told with each actor speaking a line of just a single word. Cast: Can be done with as few as six, or expanded larger, if you desire. With six, 4 male, 1 female, 1 non-gender. Feel free, of course, to use non-traditional casting.
* Scheduled to be produced by Attic Productions, Fincastle, Virginia, November 2019.

A church Christmas pageant on Christmas Eve has gone awry — the minister and the pageant director are stuck inside a horse costume, which was the best the church could manage to replicate a donkey. Now the “horse” and the Virgin Mary are in the hospital emergency room, trying to figure out how to get unstuck. The situation isn’t resolved until the appearance of a mysterious blue singer, who tries out a series of instruments — trumpet, bugle, trombone, harmonica — to play “The First Noel.” Cast: Five — three adult females, one teenage female, one adult male. Running time: Fifteen minutes. Note: You’ll need a trumpet, bugle, trombone, harmonica. And the blues singer will need to play the harmonica and sing.


A last-minute substitute attempts to preside over a Christmas pageant, which has devolved into chaos – unruly kids, a pushy parent, a church busybody, a kitchen on fire. And then there’s the foreign exchange student, who’s supposed to be the angel, who is in the restroom in tears because it’s her first Christmas away from home. Then something unexpected happens. Cast: 21 – 6 adults (four female, one male, one non-gender), 7 teenagers (five female, two male), 8 early teens or pre-teens (one female, seven non-gender.)
* Produced by Victorian Players, Youngstown, Ohio, December 2016.
* Produced by Lewis County Community Theatre, Weston, West Virginia, December 2017.
* Produced by Red River Revue, Clarksville, Texas, December 2017.

Santa wonders why he hasn’t heard from Virginia, so he goes to check up on her. He surprises her during an authorized party when her parents are away. Complications ensue. Cast: Eight — 1 male, 6 female, 1 non-gender.

A grandfather and grandmother dress up as a zombie and a vampire to try to connect their their teen-age granddaughter. Miscommunication ensues. Cast: Four – one senior male, one senior female, one adult female, one teen female. Running time: Fifteen minutes.
* Staged reading, Princeton Theatre Group, Princeton, Illinois, July 2016.
* Produced by Victorian Players, Youngstown, Ohio, December 2016.
* Scheduled to be produced by Beyond The Proscenium Ensemble, Cincinnati, Ohio, Dec. 13-15, 20-21, 2019.
* Scheduled to be produced by Chesterfield Children’s Theatre, Richmond, Virginia, Dec. 13, 2019.

Ten-minute Christmas plays:

A goat wants to be part of Christmas. Dark comedy ensues. Cast of five: One female, four non-gender. Running time: Ten minutes.
* Staged reading at Arts Resources for the Tri-State, Huntington, West Virginia, December 2015.
* Produced by Actors Workout Studio, Hollywood, California, December 2017.
* Staged reading by The Ambassadors, at New Wimbledon Theatre, London, December 15, 2019.

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.
* * Produced by Richmond Beach Congregational United Church of Christ, Shoreline, Washington, December 1-3, 2017.
* Produced by Snyder Schools Drama Club, Snyder, Oklahoma, Dec. 11 and 18, 2019.

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.

Five-minute Christmas plays:

A parade of stars apply to be the Christmas star. Suitable for a church Christmas pageant with lots of very small parts for kids. Cast: 17, all gender-flexible.