Provocative plays for theaters with an edge
Showing 1–16 of 18 results
- 100 minutes
- 2 Males, 1 Female
Who owns the role – playwright or actor?
Adrienne Earle Pender’s N dramatizes the struggle between playwright Eugene O’Neill and actor Charles Sidney Gilpin in 1920, as they mount O’Neill’s first box office hit, The Emperor Jones. From rehearsal to Broadway run and, eventually, to the London tour — they fight over the inclusion of the “N” word in O’Neill’s script. To Eugene O’Neill, a word is just a word. Using the N-word heightens the character and strengthens the impact of the play. For Charles Gilpin, who becomes the first black man to be honored by the Drama League of New York for his portrayal of the lead in The Emperor Jones, those six letters have the power to unravel everything that he has ever worked. At stake for O’Neill? His artistic vision. For Gilpin? His entire career and family.
Downloadable PDF available. Diverse casting.Read More
Refraction of Light
- 100 minutes
- 2 Males, 2 Females, Min/Max 4
On the day World War II ends, another war begins. Joe Taylor, an African-American veteran decides he wants to marry Nettie French, a childhood sweetheart, and buy the house belonging to Rose Beauchamp, a white teacher who has befriended both Nettie, daughter of Rose’s deceased best friend, and Joe and encouraged their friendship and academic aspirations. Rose’s prejudice rears its head and her reluctance to sell her house to Joe sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to destroy all their futures. Harry Rosen, a Jewish immigrant from Nazi Germany, enters their lives and helps them find their way home.Read More
- 110 Minutes
- 2 Males, 5 Females; 1 African dancer (optional) (small roles are doubled).
A hidden society fearful of the outside. A curious stranger accidentally pulled into their world. A romance that threatens their survival. Humans Remain is a celebration of love, familial responsibility, and honor.
A full-length drama script for a play by Robin Rice, Humans Remain challenges our views on cultural bias, assimilation, values, and assumptions. A well-meaning “foreigner” attempts to rescue the White Cliff Kinfolk – a mixed-race society isolated from civilization in the hills of New Jersey for over 200 years. Love. Death. History. Magic. Nature. Belief. All of these are played out on the stage. All but one character are mixed race, mainly African-American. One character is specified as African-American. The others are as diverse as desired.
Highly theatrical staging possible.
- 70 minutes
- 5 Male, 3 Female, Doubling Possible Cast: 7 - 14
In this strangely magical play with songs, a woman wakes up in a train station someplace between Maybe and Nowhere. Everyone she meets is waiting for something or going somewhere, but she’s just looking for a way out. Inspired by Buddhist teachings on the nature of Mind, the play explores how we get stuck and how we get unstuck – and what can happen in those crucial moments when how we respond makes all the difference . . .
Great for site-specific theaters or professional theaters, as well as college and university venues.Read More
- 90 Minutes
- 8 Males; 2 Females; Doubling Possible
Banned in Boston! Before a successful run off-off-Broadway, scheduled productions of Sniper were canceled by high schools after the Oklahoma City and Columbine shooting, fearful that this play would incite violence. Set in 1974, Sniper invites us into the fictional world of real-life sniper Anthony Barbaro, who on December 30, 1974, took a gun up to the third floor of his high school and became one of the nation’s first headlined teenage rampage killers.
Great for high school, college, and community theater and discussion groups.Read More
She’ll Find Her Way Home
- 100 minutes
- 2 Males, 3 Females, Min/Max 5
A full-length, African-American, post-Civil War drama by Valetta Anderson. The only child of a wealthy though deceased Mississippi slaveholder. Martha Robb views her coming of age with the adolescent longings and unending horizons promised by the victorious Union Army and her quadroon complexion. She and her friend, Thomas, could forge new lives for themselves, lives without barriers… if they could only get past her mother.
Great for community theaters, high school theaters, and Readers Theater.Read More
Feathers in the Wind
- 100 minutes
- 5 Males 4 Females Min 8 Max 15+
A whimsical musical by David Rush and Errol Pearlman for community theater and professional venues. Feathers in the Wind weaves together a collection of Jewish folktales about the wise fools of Chelm into a single fable. As Rabbi Itzik searches the world for his scattered congregation, we relive the rise and fall of his little village that proved time and again that “God loves the people of Chelm.” With simple staging and a variable cast, this musical is ideal for community theaters, high school performances, and professional theaters.Read More
- 60 Minutes
- 1 Male, 0 Female, Min/Max 1
This one-person show was inspired by C.S. Lewis’ classic offering, The Screwtape Letters, and features the demon SCAPEGLOAT, as he instructs a mélange of demons in the finer points of how to bring a couple of humans, Christie and Charlie, into his hellish domains. A distinctly Christian point of view.Read More
Nat’s Last Struggle
- 60 Minutes
- 1 Male, Min/Max 1
A one-man play by P. A. Wray. Nat Turner confronts his conscience between his sentencing and his hanging. Nathanial “Nat” Turner (1800-1831) was an American slave who brought about the only direct, continuous slave rebellion (August 1831) in U. S. history. Some regard him as a monster, others as a hero in search of freedom. Which was he?
Great for high school, college, community theater, and readers theater.Read More
- 90 Minutes
- 4 Males 4 Females Max 15+ Min 9
A full-length, poetic drama by Robert P. Arthur resurrects the love, lust, and retribution of the original Greek legend in contemporary surroundings. A stepmother’s insatiable desire for her husband’s son destroys a family. Set in a beach house with the sound of drumming waves and ghostly figures of fishwives in the background, this verse play brings the ancient story back to life. With minimal stage requirements, this drama relies heavily on the rhythm of language. Great for college, community, and professional theaters.Read More
Nat Turner’s Last Struggle: Finding His Way Home
- 50 - 60 minutes
- 1 Male 1 Female Max/Min 2
This one-act, two character play opens during the pre-dawn hours of November 5, 1831. It is the day that Nat Turner, leader of a bloody slave rebellion, will be tried, convicted and sentenced to death. In the predawn hours before the trial a mysterious woman enters to purify the courtroom. Seven days later she is there by the hanging tree when Turner is executed and thrown into the darkness of death – where he fears he has been eternally abandoned. When Nat is finally given light he struggles to make his case – taking us on a journey where we see a bright, enslaved boy grow into a divinely-inspired freedom fighter. And the mysterious woman is there – stealthily guiding Nat and us to our long-forgotten home.Read More
Lost and Found
- 50 Minutes
- 3 Males, 4 Females, Max/Min 7
In this one-act drama, seven teenagers laugh and cry as they tell their personal stories of shifting sexuality. Playing roles in each other’s scenes, they confront growing up gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. They must learn to exist in a world that continues to be perplexed and challenged by sexual differences. Needing only a bare stage, seven actors, and 50 minutes.Read More
Hymn to the Chesapeake
- 95 Minutes
- 5 Males, 5 Females, Max/Min 10
This award-winning, full-length play with music is filled with the poetry of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Robert P. Arthur weaves fragments of conversations and traditional melodies to portray the love and heartbreak of its watermen and women–the love of the sea, a mother for a child, a man for a woman. Easy to stage with a variable cast, this haunting drama can be performed easily by high school, college, community, and professional theaters.
- 60 Minutes
- 4 Males, 1 Female, Max/Min cast 5
In this poetic drama, we see the past through the eyes of a German-American who looks back on his ancestral heritage and tries to come to terms with it. He encounters voices and embodiments of World War II, like echoes from the past and tries to find answers where there are only shadows. Distant Survivors was conceived and adapted for the stage by director June Prager, based on Holocaust poetry by William Heyen.Read More
- 120 Minutes
- 2 Males, Max/Min 2
In this picaresque comedy/drama for 2 actors, Brendan and a companion journey in a small boat to the ‘promised land over the waves.’ Using props and costumes, the actors portray pivotal and conflicting characters from their past friendship. Gradually, they confront and resolve differences that threaten their relationship.Brendan’s Journey is a play about relationships: with friends, with spouses, and with God.