Open Forum


  • 1.  One-acts

    Posted 09-12-2019 05:15
    I'm new to teaching theatre.  How do you all find meaningful one-acts?  I'm looking for one for a competition.  I do not have a lot of boys and it cant be more than 35 minutes.  Everything I'm reading is frankly silly and not going to help us place well.  Thanks!

    H. Ellsworth
    Social Studies teacher
    Class of 2020 cosponsor
    One-act competition coach

  • 2.  RE: One-acts

    Posted 09-12-2019 10:55
    I do a lot of pieces like this. Some of it is just going to be you reading pieces and deciding what you like. Playscripts is a great option for this since you can peruse the piece before buying it.

    How many boys do you have? It will be a bit more difficult with the 35 minute time limit but, if you can give me a little more specificity, I can probably steer you to some. I've done Holocaust, military, date rape, school violence, bullying, self esteem issues and following society expectations without thought based pieces over the dozen years I've been at my current school.

    Shira Schwartz
    Chandler Unified School District
    Chandler AZ

  • 3.  RE: One-acts

    Posted 09-12-2019 12:44

    If all the plays you are reading are silly, it's probably your source. Many publishing houses are geared toward G-Rated, middle school plays. Try Playscripts, Dramatic Publishing, or Dramatists Play Service. They have a few silly plays, but they have many, many high quality ones as well.

    Michael Corliss
    Livonia MI

  • 4.  RE: One-acts

    Posted 09-13-2019 08:34
    Edited by Kristin Hall 09-13-2019 08:35
    I second the ones Michael mentioned.  I've just set my festival group homework of searching for possible plays - I like to pass off some of the reading work ;-)

    We've found shows from a whole range of publishers.  You definitely have to wade through a lot of the silly, but the more complex and thoughtful stuff is in there, too.  I tend to either look at the "Drama" (rather than comedy) section, or to look for comedies that say "dramedy" in the description.

    We've used (in no particular order):
    Playscripts, Theatrefolk, Dramatic Publishing, Pioneer, Dramatists Play Service, hitplays (Heuer), Youth Plays, Your Stage Parters, and Plays for Young Audiences (.org not com).
    We've looked at, but never used, Sam French and Lazy Bee Scripts.

    My all time personal favorite competition/festival play, if you want a serious and challenging ensemble piece that is still appropriate for young people (my cast was mostly 7th graders, but it would definitely still challenge high schoolers, or anyone), remains Baghdad Zoo by Kevin Dyer, from Plays for Young Audiences.  (NOT the same play as Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.)

    With Plays for Young Audiences, it is important to know that they seem to have a default running time of 60 minutes for their one acts, but many are actually shorter.  Check the page count and estimate.  Our production of Baghdad Zoo ran about 30 minutes.

    Kristin Hall
    Drama Director
    Lincoln Public Schools
    Lincoln MA