The Boarding House

by David H. Klein
  • 40 Minutes
  • 1 Male, 3 Females

Colleges, Community, Fundraiser, High School


A one-act play, The Boarding House is a dramatic satire, by David.H. Klein, of the story by James Joyce. Mrs. Mooney, the owner of a boarding house of questionable reputation, exploits the wiles of her daughter Polly and the power of the Church to snare one of her more respectable boarders as her potential son-in-law.


Enter Quantity Below

  • Review Script 7.95 Watermarked PDF Download
  • Hardcopy 9.95 Delivery 1- 3 Weeks
  • Multi-Copy PDF 45.00 Printable PDF for Cast/Crew
  • Class/Group Study 50.00 Printable PDF for Multiple Copies

Performance Fee $40.00 A Production License Fee Per Performance (mandatory for all performances)

Apply for Performance Rights

Play Details


Mrs. Mooney, the proprietor of the boarding-house and the mother of Polly, wields her cleaver with panache.  She has set her sites on one of her boarders as a potential husband for her daughter. Polly, a reluctant (?) temptress.

Polly finds a way to implicate him in a possibly compromising situation. With the power of the Church behind her, Mrs. Mooney sets out to close the trap on Bob and “save” her daughter’s reputation.

This is a play about powerlessness, social opinion, paralysis, the Church, and marriage. Mrs. Mooney waits until Polly builds a relationship with someone (Bob) that Mrs. Mooney considers of a good social class or a person with opportunities and potential–someone who would take Polly off her hands and marry her.

Although Polly has interacted with other gentlemen in the boarding house, it is Bob who is baited for the trap. But who is baiting the trap? Mrs. Mooney or Polly?

The importance of social opinion to Bob and Mrs. Mooney is demonstrated when Polly is called to talk to her mother and Bob. What Bob says to Polly isn’t revealed, but it is likely that he carried out Mrs. Mooney’s instructions.

Bob knows that it is easier to marry Polly than have people talking about him, particularly his employer, the Church and the other lodgers in Mrs. Mooney’s boarding house. Bob is marrying Polly simply out of fear of what others will say about him if he fails to marry her.

This play is included in the volume An Evening with Joyce’s Women along with another two adaptations from Dubliners

All three James Joyce adaptations in one volume – An Evening With Joyce’s Women

Other one-act play adaptations from Dubliners:

The Dead


From the Play

Free Read 80% Sample of the Script PDF – Click this link



You may also like…

  • An Evening With Joyce’s Women

    by David H. Klein
    • 100 minutes
    • 3 Males 4 Females Max 12 Min 4

    Community, Flexible Casting, Fundraiser, High School, Middle School

    A trilogy of one-act plays, The Boarding House,  Eveline, and The Dead

    Based on Dubliners by James Joyce; adapted for the stage to allow us to enter the lives of three Dublin women. Dublin society of the first decade of the 20th Century comes to life through the frustrations, fantasies, and follies of Irish women who are also victims and victimizers of their mates.

    Read More
Added Cart Notif
Need a Purchase Order ? Click Here
Continue Shopping