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Free One Act Plays

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Attention drama teachers, directors and theater students! Looking for royalty-free One Act plays, scenes, comedies, and dramas? This annotated list will steer you towards that perfect play for your cast and/or classroom.

1. Scenes from Classic Plays

About.com's growing library of monologues, scenes, and short plays, including public domain / classic works by Shaw, Ibsen, Shakespeare, and Chekhov.

2. Twelve Angry Pigs

This ten-minute parody of "12 Angry Men" not only offers a humorous opportunity for actors of all levels, it also provides a glimpse into the jury / justice system. Both educational and hilarious, "12 Angry Pigs" has been performed all over the world, including Argentina, Australia, Japan, and the Netherlands. Best of all, it's royalty free!

3. Back to the Summer

When three friends take a time machine back to the 1980s, they set a chain of events in motion that stir up historical figures from the age of Pirates, the Old West, Ancient Egypt and Thomas Edison. A fun romp with lots of sections which can be enhanced by music.

4. A History of Messy Rooms

This short play for children is based upon Wade Bradford's picture book "Why Do I Have to Make My Bed? Or, a History of Messy Rooms." What begins as a simple question turns into a fun-filled history lesson that examines the lives (and chores) of children throughout the ages.

5. Gymnasium of Doom

Two friends sit at the bus stop, lamenting their boring life in a new middle school, wishing for the days when they could play at recess and make up pretend adventures. That's when Montana Jones, part time explorer and full time fool, swoops in, taking the kids on a journey to discover their school in a whole new way. Full title, "Montana Jones and the Gymnasium of Doom," written by Wade Bradford.

6. Cinema Limbo

A two person scene which takes place at a movie theater box office. Employees Vicky and Joshua are having a friendly conversation that suddenly turns romantic. (Despite the fact that she already has a boyfriend!)

7. Terri and the Turkey

This holiday play tells the story of an unfortunate turkey who realizes that today is Thanksgiving, and guess who has a date with the chopping block? Lucky for him, a kind-hearted girl named Terri wants to give the Turkey a second chance at life.

8. Radio Drama Scripts

The "Generic Radio Drama" website has created a wonderful list of classic radio dramas. Although radio drama and live theater are two very different art forms, these scripts can still be excellent learning resources. There’s a lot of great material too!

  • Abbot and Costello
  • Flash Gordon
  • Little Orphan Annie
  • The Lone Ranger

These scripts are suitable for performances within the classroom environment. However, if you are thinking of performing a professional production, check out the website’s discussion on copyright material. You’ll find that some of the radio scripts now belong to the public domain, while others require permission.

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