Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online



 

 
 








Playbills by Themes

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This section addresses the need to form a coherent program of one-act plays. Anyone staging such a bill might consider these twenty-six suggested theme programs. Analyses and sources for individual plays in twenty-five of the suggested theme programs are available in the print volume 1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays (described at the bottom of this page) or from the Webmaster.

A common theme through the several plays of a bill melds the components into an organic whole. The suggested programs list scripts in playable sequence. If the bill prove too long, one of the plays might be dropped.

Intermissions, a highly-subjective element, may occur as needed, but the fewer and shorter the better. Breaks of a minute or two between plays and a single intermission of seven minutes work well.
 
 

Actors

"Old Jew, The," a drama by Murray Schisgal, 1m, (published with and can pair with "Memorial Day," "The Basement," or "Fragments") in Five One Act Plays, DPS 3975, NSHS pb6057

"Purple Door Knob, The," a comedy by Walter Prichard Eaton, 3f, SF 863, NSHS pb7959

"Senior Prom," a comedy by Robert Mearns, 1m1f, in Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, Tenth Series, SF 21652, NSHS 27488

"Impromptu," a drama by Tad Mosel, 2m2f, DPS 2495, HDS, NSHS pb2572

Ambition

"Comanche Café," new revised version of a drama by William Hauptman, 2f, ISBN 0-573-62131-4, in Domino Courts/Comanche Café, SF 5686, NSHS pb91

"Queens of France," a satiric comedy by Thornton Wilder, 1m3f, SF 886, NSHS pb7963

"Lip Service," a drama by Howard Korder, 2m, in "The Middle Kingdom" and "Lip Service": Two Short Plays, SF 14166, NSHS 27513

"Twelve Pound Look, The," a comedy by J. M. Barrie, 2m2f, BP, SF 1095, NSHS 19878, NSHS 19883

Anglo Lite

"Dock Brief, The," a comedy by John Mortimer, 2m, (billed with "What Shall We Tell Caroline?") SF 6649, NSHS facsimile

"Box and Cox," an English farce by John Maddison Morton, 2m1f, BP (no royalty with purchase of three copies), SF 4672 (no royalty), HDS, GCB, NSHS 5345

"How He Lied to Her Husband," a farce by George Bernard Shaw, 2m1f, in Selected Short Plays, SF 10670, NSHS pb7424, NSHS pb2819


 

Art and Artists

"Breakfast at Whistler's," a 25-minute comedy in English set in London, 1879, by Kathryn Smith (American playwright and theater manager, 1956- ), 3m
"A Fool Is Always Right," a 35-minute comedy in English set in Whitehall Palace, London, 1540, by Kathryn Smith (American playwright and theater manager, 1956- ), 2m
"Gertrude at the Wax Museum," a 35-minute comedy in English set in New York, 1967, by Kathryn Smith (American playwright and theater manager, 1956- ), 1m2f
"Rossetti's Wife," a 45-minute comedy-drama in English set in London, 1870, by Kathryn Smith (American playwright and theater manager, 1956- ), 1m1f

Dance

"Longing for Worldly Pleasures," a traditional K'unshan play by Ssu Fan, 1f, UWP

"Dance and the Railroad, The," a drama by David Henry Hwang, 2m, in The Dance and the Railroad and Family Devotions, DPS 1523, NSHS pb7918

"archy and mehitabel," a musical comedy by Joe Darion and Mel Brooks, with music by George Kleinsinger and lyrics by Joe Darion, 3m1f (+singers/dancers), MTI

Death

"Death of the Hired Man, The," a drama by Jay Reid Gould from Robert Frost, 2m2f, DPC D13, HDS, NSHS 6071

"Man with the Flower in His Mouth, The," a drama by Luigi Pirandello translated from the original Italian by William Murray, 2m1f, in Pirandello's One-Act Plays, SF 15602

"Other Player, The," a drama by Owen G. Arno, 3m or 3f, DPS 3550, NSHS pb7344

"Phoenix Too Frequent, A," a comedy by Christopher Fry, 1m2f, DPS, HDS

Dominance

"Stronger, The," a drama by August Strindberg, translated by Michael Meyer, 2f (+extra), (can pair with "Miss Julie") in Plays by August Strindberg, DPS 252, NSHS 29262

"Sing to Me Through Open Windows," a drama by Arthur Kopit, 3m, (published with and can pair with "The Questioning of Nick," "The Hero," or "The Conquest of Everest") in The Day the Whores Came out to Play Tennis and Other Plays, SF 21705, NSHS pb7930, ISBN 0-374-52233-2

"Something Unspoken," a drama by Tennessee Williams, 2f, in 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, DPS 485

"Hello, Ma!" a comedy by Trude Stone, 2f, in Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, Vol. 5, SF 10630, NSHS

27534

Ethnic

"Los Dos Caras del Patroncito/The Two Faces of the Boss," an agitprop by Luis Valdez, 3m, APP, NSHS facsimile

"Dance and the Railroad, The," a drama by David Henry Hwang, 2m, in The Dance and the Railroad and Family Devotions, DPS 1523, NSHS pb7918

"Open Admissions," new revised edition of a one-act version of a full-length drama by Shirley Lauro, 1m1f, ISBN 0-573-60044-9, in Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, Fourth Series, SF 17640, NSHS 27533

"Soul Gone Home," a comedy by Langston Hughes, 3m1f, HOA, NSHS 16174

Family

"American Ancestor Worship," a pick-and-choose bill of satirical skits by Cornelia Otis Skinner, 1f, in One Woman Show: Monologues as Originally Written and Performed by Cornelia Otis Skinner, DPC, NSHS pb147

"Fumed Oak," a comedy by Noel Coward, one of the Tonight At 8:30 series, 1m3f, BP, SF 450, HDS, NSHS 19878, NSHS 19883

"Harmfulness of Tobacco, The," a farce monologue by Anton Chekhov, 1m, SF

"Riders to the Sea," a drama by John Millington Synge, 1m3f, BP, HDS, SF 920, NSHS 19878, NSHS 19883, NSHS 7095, NSHS 2212, NSHS 16020, NSHS 21405, NSHS 26428, NSHS 16370, NSHS 16374, NSHS 29310

Far Out

"Ping," an abstraction by Samuel Beckett, 1m or 1f, DPS, NSHS facsimile

"Sing to Me Through Open Windows," a drama by Arthur Kopit, 3m, (published with and can pair with "The Questioning of Nick," "The Hero," or "The Conquest of Everest") in The Day the Whores Came out to Play Tennis and Other Plays, SF 21705, NSHS pb7930, ISBN 0-374-52233-2

"Tongues," a monodrama, a piece for voice and percussion by Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin, 1m, in Sam Shepard: Seven Plays SF 22733, NSHS 28227

"Shrew You, or Who Hath Need of Men? As Goode Accounte As Anye Knowne Describing How Sweet Shagsper Shuffles Off His Mortal Coil," a comedy by Lewis W. Heniford, 2m2f, WO, NSHS

Feminism

"That's All," a revue sketch by Harold Pinter, 2f, (published with and can pair with "Trouble in the Works," "The Black and White," "Last to Go," "Applicant," "Interview," or "That's Your Trouble") in Revue Sketches, DPS 1765, NSHS 27487

"American Ancestor Worship," a pick-and-choose bill of satirical skits by Cornelia Otis Skinner, 1f, DPC, NSHS

"Amelia Lives," a drama by Laura Annawyn Shamas, 1f, DPC, NSHS pb141

"Twelve Pound Look, The," a comedy by J. M. Barrie, 2m2f, BP, SF 1095, NSHS 19878, NSHS 19883

Friendships

"Save Me a Place at Forest Lawn," a comedy-drama by Lorees Yerby, 2f, HDS, DPS 3955, NSHS pb7914

"Spittin' Image," a drama by Stephen Metcalfe, 2m, (published with and can play with "Sorrows and Sons") in Sorrows and Sons, SF 21742, NSHS pb7896

"Dance and the Railroad, The," a drama by David Henry Hwang, 2m, in The Dance and the Railroad and Family Devotions, DPS 1523, NSHS pb7918

"12:21 P.M.," a comedy by F. J. Hartland, 2m1f, in Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, Tenth Series, SF 22772, NSHS 27488

The Great Mistake

"Man with the Flower in His Mouth, The," a drama by Luigi Pirandello translated from the original Italian by William Murray, 2m1f, in Pirandello's One-Act Plays, SF 15602

"Vanities [Act I]," the first act of a comedy by Jack Heifner, 3f, in Vanities, SF 120, NSHS PB92

"Necklace, The," a drama by Jules Tasca from Guy de Maupassant, 1m2f, (published with and can pair with "Father and Son," "The Devil," or "Forbidden Fruit") in The Necklace and Other Stories, SF 15990, DPC N10, NSHS 27500, NSHS pb7919

"Box and Cox," a English farce by John Maddison Morton, 2m1f, BP (no royalty with purchase of three copies), SF 4672 (no royalty), HDS, GCB, NSHS 5345

Greed

"Olives, The" ["Las Aceitunas"], a paso by Lope de Rueda, 2m2f, CML.

"Queens of France," a satiric comedy by Thornton Wilder, 1m3f, SF 886, NSHS pb7963

"Frog Prince, The," a comic fantasy by David Mamet, 2m2f, ISBN 0-573-65220-1, SF 472, NSHS 27529

"Box and Cox," an English farce by John Maddison Morton, 2m1f, BP (no royalty with purchase of three copies), SF 4672 (no royalty), HDS, GCB, NSHS 5345

Guilt

"Answers," a drama by Tom Topor, 3m, DPS 811, NSHS 29209

"Nightingale, A," a drama by Horton Foote, 3m1f, DPS 3845, NSHS

"Last Days of Mankind," an excerpt (Act V, Scene 54) by Karl Kraus, translated by Max Spalter from the original German, 1m, KV, NSHS 29408

"Purgatory," a melodrama by William Butler Yeats, 3m1f, in Eleven Plays by W. B. Yeats and in The Modern Theatre, Vol. 2, SF 18674, NSHS 16369

Homosexuality

"Box Office," a comedy by Elinor Jones, 1m, (can pair with "What Would Jeanne Moreau Do") published with "What Would Jeanne Moreau Do," SF 4670, NSHS pb7960

"Rosary," a comedy by Jean-Claude Van Itallie, 1f, (published with and can pair with "Eat Cake," "Harold," "Photographs: Mary and Howard," "Thoughts on the Instant of Greeting a Friend on the Street," or "Girl and the Soldier") in Seven Short and Very Short Plays, DPS 4726, NSHS pb65

"Something Unspoken," a drama by Tennessee Williams, 2f, in 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, DPS 485

"Trap Is a Small Place, A," a drama by Marjean Perry, 1m3f, MMP, NSHS 2401

Identity

"Phoenix Too Frequent, A," a comedy by Christopher Fry, 1m2f, DPS, HDS

"After the Fact," a comedy-drama by Jeffrey Sweet, 1m1f, ISBN 0-573-62028-8, SF 3608, NSHS 27521

"Bespoke Overcoat, The," a tragedy by Wolf Mankowitz, 4m, SF 4627, NSHS 19991

"Suppressed Desires," a comedy by Susan Glaspell, 1m2f, BP, HDS, NSHS pb5483, NSHS 19878, NSHS 19883

Jewishness

"Jewish Wife, The," a drama by Bertolt Brecht translated into English by Eric Bentley, 1m1f, BP, in The Jewish Wife and Other Short Plays, SF 604, NSHS 29533

"Suburban Tragedy," a drama by Jerome Kass, 1m1f, (published with and can pair with "Make Like a Dog" or "Young Marrieds at Play") DPS 2662, NSHS

"Bespoke Overcoat, The," a tragedy by Wolf Mankowitz, 4m, SF 4627, NSHS 19991

"Hello, Ma!" a comedy by Trude Stone, 2f, in Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, Vol. 5, SF 10630, NSHS 27534

Loneliness

Villane, Ron, "An Empty Space," a drama, 1m1f (published with and can pair with "Open Admissions" or "Nothing Immediate") in Double Image Theatre's Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, Fourth Series (New York: Samuel French, Inc., 1983), Samuel French, Inc., 1983), SF 7613, NSHS 27533, ISBN 0-573-60044-9

"Suburban Tragedy," a drama by Jerome Kass, 1m1f, (published with and can pair with "Make Like a Dog" or "Young Marrieds at Play") DPS 2662, NSHS

"Not Enough Rope," a farce by Elaine May, 1m2f, BP, SF 85, NSHS pb5466, NSHS pb7751

Marriage

"Birthday Present, The," a drama by Peter Brook, 1m2f, DPC B21, NSHS pb6070

"Volver a decir el mar," a drama by Sergio Peregrina, 1m, OEN, NSHS

"Here We Are," a comedy by Dorothy Parker, 1m1f, NSHS pb4019, NSHS 7094, NSHS 13286, NSHS 14824, NSHS 20483, NSHS 21389, NSHS 21514, NSHS 21776, NSHS 28435

"Laughs, Etc.," a comedy by James Leo Herlihy, 1f, (published with and can pair with "Terrible Jim Fitch" or "Bad Bad Jo-Jo") in Stop, You're Killing Me, DPS 4290, NSHS pb7924

"Bespoke Overcoat, The," a tragedy by Wolf Mankowitz, 4m, SF 4627, NSHS 19991

Mom

"Movie Mother," a comedy by Colin Clements and Florence Ryerson, 1f, SF, NSHS 6066

"Animal," a bare-stage comedy by Oliver Hailey, 1f, (published with and can pair with "Picture" or "Crisscross") in Picture/Animal/Crisscross: Three Short Plays, DPS 3655, NSHS pb7922

"Scent of Honeysuckle, A," a bare-stage comedy-drama by Jean Lenox Toddie, 3f, ISBN 0-573-60059-7, (published with and can pair with "A Little Something for the Ducks") SF 21041, NSHS 27492

"Hello, Ma!" a comedy by Trude Stone, 2f, in Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, Vol. 5, SF 10630, NSHS 27534

Once Upon a Time

"Frog Prince, The," a comic fantasy by David Mamet, 2m2f, ISBN 0-573-65220-1, SF 472, NSHS 27529

"Playe Called the Foure PP, The: A Newe and a Very Mery Enterlude of a Palmer, a Pardoner, a Potycary, and a Pedler," a medieval comedy by John Heywood, 4m, ATB, HMC, NSHS 29216

"archy and mehitabel," a musical comedy by Joe Darion and Mel Brooks, with music by George Kleinsinger and lyrics by Joe Darion, 3m1f (+singers/dancers), MTI

Politics

"To Burn a Witch," a drama by James L. Bray, 4f, DPC T32, HDS, NSHS pb160

"Rising of the Moon, The," a comedy by Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory, 4m, SF 20040 (no royalty in U.S.A., royalty in Canada), NSHS 19878, NSHS 19883, NSHS 16020, NSHS 21405, NSHS 26581, NSHS 20718

"Conversation at Night with a Despised Character: A Curriculum for Our Times," a drama by Friedrich Drrenmatt translated by Robert David Macdonald from the original German, 2m, DPC C32, NSHS pb177


 

Seniors

"Great Sentimental Value, Big Reward," a 25-minute comedy in English, set at corner table at Luigi's Bar and Grill, a summer evening, 1995, 1m1f, Terryl Paiste (American playwright, 1943- ), telephone 703-273-1047

 

Sexual Control

"Estoy enamorado de tu hermana," a farsa by Jes£s Assaf, 1m2f, OEN, NSHS

"Stronger, The," a drama by August Strindberg, translated by Michael Meyer, 2f (+ extra), (can pair with "Miss Julie") in Plays by August Strindberg, DPS 252, NSHS 29262

"Birthday Present, The," a drama by Peter Brook, 1m2f, DPC B21, NSHS pb6070

"Rapes," a play by Mario Fratti, 2m1f, in Races, SF

Suicide

"Before Breakfast," a drama by Eugene O'Neill, 1f, DPS 405

"Spared," a bare-stage drama by Israel Horovitz, 1m (recorded voices), (published with and can pair with "Stage Directions"; also, can pair with "Hopscotch" or "The 75th") in The Quannapowitt Quartet, DPS 4235, SF 990, NSHS pb6068

"Passport," a drama by James Elward, 1m, (published with and can pair with "Mary Agnes Is Thirty-five") in Friday Night, DPS 2045, NSHS 29204

"Ledge, Ledger, and the Legend," a comedy by Paul Elliott, 3m or 3f, DPC L15, HDS, NSHS pb142, NSHS pb7941

Surreality

"Thursday Is My Day for Cleaning," a comedy by Jordan Crittenden, 1f, SF 22692, NSHS

"Chicks," a comedy by Grace McKeaney, 1f, in Chicks and Other Short Plays, SF 5747, NSHS pb7949

"Overtones," a drama by Alice Gerstenberg, 4f, BP, SF 17912, NSHS 19878, NSHS 19883

"Daughters of Edward D. Boit, The," a dark comedy by Don Nigro, 4f, (published with and can play with "Specter" or "The Woodman and the Goblins") in Green Man and Other Plays, SF, NSHS pb7916, ISBN 0-573-62207-8

Visitors

"Call, The," a drama by William Inge, 2m, DPS manuscript, NSHS pb86

"Me Too, Then!" a comedy by Tom Dudzick and Steven Smith, 2m1f, in Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, Vol. 5, SF 15651, NSHS 27534

"Chekhov," a drama by Keith Miles, 1m1f, ISBN 0-573-60049-X, (published with "Dostoevsky") in Russian Masters, SF 20091, NSHS p2511

War

"Spittin' Image," a drama by Stephen Metcalfe, 2m, (published with and can play with "Sorrows and Sons") in Sorrows and Sons, SF 21742, NSHS pb7896

"Rising of the Moon, The," a comedy by Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory, 4m, SF 20040 (no royalty in U.S.A., royalty in Canada), NSHS 19878, NSHS 19883, NSHS 16020, NSHS 21405, NSHS 26581, NSHS 20718

"Last Days of Mankind," an excerpt (Act V, Scene 54) by Karl Kraus, translated by Max Spalter from the original German, 1m, KV, NSHS 29408

"Jewish Wife, The," a drama by Bertolt Brecht translated into English by Eric Bentley, 1m1f, BP, in The Jewish Wife and Other Short Plays, SF 604, NSHS 29533

This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page updated June 28, 1997, January 13, 2003, by the site Webmaster.



 
 

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online

complements


the more-extensive print volumes

1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays, Vols. 1 and 2

  (Lanham, Maryland, U.S.A.; Folkestone, Kent, U.K.: Scarecrow Press, 1995, 1999),

vol. 1 [1995] ISBN 0-8108-2985-1, vol. 2 [1999] ISBN 0-8108-3600-9


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