This list features plays popular with schools and amateur drama groups. The scripts should be readily available in libraries and for sale through the usual agents. There is a brief description of each play and some of the challenges you may face if tackling the production. Select one of the plays and try the suggested projects.
Full Length Plays
Key: "3m, 2f" indicates three male characters and two female characters.
Billy lives in a fantasy world, contriving a new lie with every breath until his lies eventually find him out. The main acting area is the sitting room, but there is also a kitchen, hall and stairs, and the front garden immediately outside the front door.
A séance is arranged to gather material for a novel. The ghost of the playwrights first wife is summoned and she plagues his new marriage.
Bernard has three girlfriends who are all air hostesses with different airlines, but each believes she is his one true love. He has a sophisticated timetable so they can each spend the night at his apartment. Everything proceeds like clockwork, until the new 'Super Boeing' changes the schedules of the airlines, and Bernard suddenly has a lot of explaining to do.
The Glass Menagerie
This play established his reputation characterised by fluent dialogue and searching analysis of the psychological deficiencies of his characters. The Wingfield family receive a visit from a gentleman caller at their dingy St. Louis apartment.
A plain young girl falls in love with a fortune-hunter, but rejects him when his motives become clear. There is an opportunity for some extravagant period costumes and scenery.
Look Back in Anger
Osborne was one of the antiestablishment writers of the 1950's, this was his debut play. A wife leaves her husband following a violent quarrel, but later they are reunited when she falls ill and they need each other.
Night Must Fall
A psychopathic young man menaces an old lady and her niece.
No Time For Fig Leaves
An atomic accident has resulted in the disappearance of all the men except two who are discovered in an underground shelter. Realising the men are the only hope for the continuation of human life their female hosts make them prisoners, while the men conspire to escape.
A mixed bunch of ladies meet at tap dance classes. All but one of the cast need to be able to tap dance. Ideally one member of the cast can play the piano. One member of the cast must be Afro-Caribbean.
Under Milk Wood
A series of glimpses of life in a small Welsh village. The large number of characters makes doubling (even tripling) necessary.
One Act Plays
The Bald Prima Donna
Theatre of the Absurd is an avant-garde style of drama that originated with a group of dramatists in the 1950's. This script makes no apparent sense, it is based on examples of conversation found in a foreign language phrase book. The characters therefore are all stereotypes.
The Dock Brief
An inept lawyer attempts to defend a murderer, who is acquitted due to his incompetent defence.
The Long Christmas Dinner
A meal spanning ninety years shows the changes that take place in an American family. During the play the members of the family age noticeably, and eventually die.
Riders to the Sea
Maurya has been grieving for her missing son, Michael, who she feels has been drowned. Five of her sons and her husband have been lost to the sea she now fears losing Bartley, her only remaining son. The clothes of Michael are found and the body of Bartley is brought home.
Ritual for Dolls
Four toys in a toy box (a golliwog, toy soldier, doll and a monkey) enact the sometimes violent story of the brother and sister who owned them before they were consigned to the attic.
copyright Leigh Graham 1997-2010.