3 Character Plays

BOYS FROM HOUSTON HEIGHTS by Bradley Nies

Cast Size: 2M 1M/F Various male voices
Running Time: 2hrs
Royalty: $60 per performance

While searching for your dreams, be wary of the nightmares. Based on the Houston Mass Murders, a series of homicides that took place in Houston, Texas between 1970 and 1973, this biodrama depicts the fictitious relationship between a male prostitute and a sadistic “lust” killer. As the story unfolds, the play explores the possibility that real-life serial killer Dean Corll may have been raping and murdering teenage boys from a part of Houston known as The Heights from as early as the mid-1960s. In doing so, the play also depicts a young man’s struggle to remove himself from the influence of one of America’s “monsters.”

BROKEN BIRDS by Sean O’Connor

Cast Size: 3M
Running Time: 1 hour
Royalty: $40 per performance

In Sean O’Connor’s hysterical and dark one-act, birds, thousands of them, gather one morning along the Jersey turnpike, all the way up to New York City, unable to move. And Alex Bennet, a huge TV star, local boy made good (whose life is spinning a bit out of control) has returned to his N.J. hometown, to Somerset, for the first time in years. One evening, at his motel near the turnpike, he receives a surprise visit from a guy he grew up with, “McCarts” (Dave McCarthy), an odd, simple working- class guy who never left the area. Little does Alex know that the seemingly naive McCarts, who has been watching Alex obsessively for years on TV, is not here for a sweet, nostalgic stroll down Memory Lane. He’s here to seek retribution for a horrible wrong committed upon him by Alex way, way back when they were kids – a retribution that will alter the course of both of their lives…forever. 

CONFESSIONS OF A HIT MAN by Hank Kimmel

  • Cast Size: 3M
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes 
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Entering the next phase of his life with his teenage son, a paralyzed ex-football player attempts to make peace with the past when his tormentor returns with an offer that will either uplift or destroy them all.

  • FERNANDO by Steven Haworth (Available Feb 1)
  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Fernando is a farce about tragic people set in Madrid. Zachariah Smythe, assistant professor of art, has come to Madrid to study a painting by Fernando De La Cruz. Zach considers the painting a masterpiece and the painter one of the greatest Spanish artists of the last one hundred years. He is entirely alone in this. Still, Zach is willing to bet everything on an article about this enormous painting. Unfortunately, he has run out of professional chances, the memory of his wife’s suicide preys on him, his time in Madrid is limited, and his sobriety is tenuous. Enter Teresa, a brilliant and beautiful Spanish woman full of secrets and rage. The play explores the conflict between love and art, devotion and submission, and the danger in making men into gods.

FORGOTTEN FIRE by T. James Belich

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 45 minutes
Royalty: $40 per performance

In the land of Edelsha three traveling players come to tell the Tale of the Burning Sword… An ancient weapon from a forgotten time, the Burning Sword offers great power to whoever wields it.  After it fades into legend, bound by a mysterious prophecy, the Burning Sword becomes key to Edelsha’s survival when a young magician seeks to conquer the kingdom.  To rescue her land, Phenron Sirrin, the magician’s old friend, sets out to retrieve the sword.  However, when confronted by the magician, Phenron is torn between loyalty to her friend and loyalty to her king.  In the end, only one can reclaim the sword, either to destroy Edelsha or to save it.

GRAY PEOPLE by Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm

  1. Cast Size: 2M 1W
  2. Running Time: 90+ minutes
  3. Royalty Rate: $75 per performance
  4. Trust fades, loyalties shift, and tensions rise as James, Jenny and Adam await a late-night delivery in the woods. They don’t know what to believe about each other – and are increasingly uncertain of their fates. GRAY PEOPLE is a darkly comic three-hander following gravediggers who don’t ask any questions about the nameless corpses they’re sent to bury. After all, the bodies are already dead…what difference would it make?

LAST CALL AT THE AARDVARK by Paul Stroili

  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

The Bronx, 1935. The end of prohibition turned all the speakeasies into legitimate nightclubs, if you want to call The Aardvark Club legitimate. Honey has worn nearly every hat you can wear; slinging drinks, cooking the books, but at the end of the day, she’s a stripper. Most people come and go like ghosts, but it’s hard to miss Zack, an aspiring comic who performs at the club.  Zack’s got some talent. He might even amount to something. So why did he have to tell that joke? One bad joke, about Frankie’s girl, no less – and club owner Frankie is not known for his sense of humor. Now Frankie has given Honey one more job to juggle. She’s got to help Zack build a whole new act for an audience of one. And as they say in comedy; “You either kill, or you just die up there.”

MINOR INCONVENIENCES by Bradley Nies

Cast Size: 2M 1F
Running Time: 40 minutes
Royalty Rate: $40 per performance

Ever have trouble getting the lid off the mayonnaise jar? Ever not be able to find the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle you’ve been working on for a month? Ever wondered why life is full of things that inconvenience us? After hitchhiking along Houston’s busy FM 1960, a young waitress comes face to face with an unlikely duo who claim to be responsible for the minor inconveniences in our lives

MONESSEN FALLS by Greg Burdick

Cicadas chatter feverishly outside as a middle-aged architect startlingly awakes from a crippling night-terror. Returning to his childhood home for the first time in seventeen years when his mother dies, Kip must grapple with the ghosts of his past, his hostile and jobless brother who never managed to move out, and the financially crushing debts now left behind by his parents. Set in an aging, former steel town in southwestern Pennsylvania, Kip is joined by his noticeably younger girlfriend, Phoebe. She has come to assist with the funeral arrangements but discovers quickly that she’s in for much more than she bargained for. Kip’s brother, Ethan, won’t enter the bedroom where their mother died; and tensions rise when the sanctity of that space is abruptly invaded. Secrets buried deep are exposed. Old wounds are made fresh. And sibling rivalries scale new heights with potentially frightening consequences. Just as the town of Monessen has found a way to reinvent itself beyond the long-gone glory days of its Steel City heritage, so must two brothers… whose relationship has rusted, after years of neglect.

  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

PAPER THIN by T.K. Lee

  1. Cast Size: 2M 1W
  2. Running Time: 90+ minutes
  3. Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Lucrece wanted a good man for a husband. She found one in Gerald. She wanted a sweet boy, a good son; she got one in Charlie. She wanted a picture-perfect little family; she’s had one. Now, she wants one last thing, a promise Gerald made her on her wedding night — all those years ago — that when the time had come, she could get a divorce. The time has come, in her opinion, and come today. Which is why we find Lucrece on her roof — on an otherwise average, run-of-the-mill Tuesday — having herself a very big day putting her foot all the way down, as she stands ready and willing to show Gerald and Charlie, that sometimes the only way to keep a family together is to tear them apart.

PAST CURFEW by Arthur M. Jolly

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 90 minutes
Royalty: $60 per performance

In Arthur M. Jolly’s fellowship winning play Past Curfew, the dysfunctional relationship between a single mother and her teenage daughter erupts on the night 17 year-old Kirstie sneaks home late after a disastrous first date, and is caught by her mother, Sarah. During the course of one night, years of bitter conflicts gradually erupt as Sarah and Kirstie finally confront the unspoken issues between them through a vicious series of head games, where lies are buried under lies, and the truth is brought out only as the ultimate weapon. The arrival of Kirstie’s would-be boyfriend Michael only compounds the issues – but as dawn approaches, all the lies are stripped away; the core of their relationship is finally exposed – and can be rebuilt. Arthur M. Jolly -an academy recognized screen-writer and award winning playwright -explores some of his darkest territory yet in this harrowing drama. 

POISONED by J. Boyett

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 1 hr 45 min
Royalty: $60 per performance

Sam has flown to Colorado from New York to visit her brother Tom, and to meet his much younger fiancée, Dee-Dee. But it turns out she has other reasons as well-she tells Tom she’s learned something specific about Dee-Dee, something he should know. He’s not interested in digging through her past, though, and instead turns the spotlight on Sam and her own hang-ups. Sam, impatient with being examined herself, tells Tom that what she flew out to tell him is that Dee-Dee used to star in pornographic videos. Tom decides to take the high road and not to let Dee-Dee’s youthful indiscretions poison his view of her. But Dee-Dee’s surprising reaction when he confronts her sends him over the edge, and the situation quickly becomes dangerous.

REMAINING IN ORBIT by Scott Gibson

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 2hrs
Royalty: $60 per performance

“Hen” Loudin, a self-absorbed middle-aged man has shut himself off from the distractions and annoyances of the outside world, aided by his opinionated assistant Ginnie who runs errands-and interference–on his behalf. One day, Hen’s neighbor, the free-spirited Lissie bursts into his life, creating havoc with his well-ordered existence. Exasperated and enchanted by this distraction, Hen begins to recognize his self-imposed limitations and to yearn for something more. At the same time, Ginnie grows jealous of Lissie’s influence on Hen. “If you’re waiting for him to notice you, you could be waiting a long time,” Lissie cautions. “Just remaining in someone’s orbit is not enough. Not when it’s some-one like Hen.” Angered, Ginnie makes a desperate and impulsive move that causes Hen to see both of them in a new light. “Orbit” is a seriocomic examination of co-dependence between three slightly dysfunctional people each seeking a chance at happily-ever-after.

RETURN TO ROSWELL by Page Petrucka

Cast Size: 3W
Running Time: 60 minutes
Royalty Rate: $40 per performance

Three sisters journey back to the place that has been their biggest source of contention – Roswell, New Mexico. To the oldest, it is a place of wonder. But to the others, it brings only frustration. Perhaps, though, this trip will be different. Perhaps this time they will find something truly out of this world.

THE SINLESS by Judah Skoff

  • Cast Size: 1M 2W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

THE SINLESS portrays the conflict between faith and desire. Annabelle and Tuvia are a married Orthodox Jewish couple living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Tuvia is a rabbinical student and a man of deep faith, whereas Annabelle got swept up in the religious life due to its readily available community, a balm for the loneliness of being young and single. However, she is ambivalent about her marriage and the constricting religious world she finds herself in. When Tuvia leaves for the weekend to go to his brother’s bachelor party in Atlantic City, Annabelle embarks on a rebellious journey of exploration to indulge her deepest, unspoken desires. When Tuvia unexpectedly returns early, they must both confront the uneasy state of their marriage and the fictions which bind their lives.

SOUTH STAR by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill

Cast Size: 1M 1W 1MorW

Running Time: Under an hour

Royalty Rate: $40 per performance

Set seven years in the future, during the second American Civil War, South Star is the story of a survivor, an inspiration, a reluctant hero who wishes she could just stop running.  Stelfinds herself in the company of two men – one an apparent victim, and one an apparent predator.  What commences is a figurative game of three-card-Monty; the stakes are Stel’s life.

STRANGE LIGHT by Cynthia L. Cooper

  • Cast Size: 3W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

A woman lawyer, Bayley, and her girlfriend, Shue, a struggling classical musician, see their relationship teeter as Bayley’s mother falls to Alzheimer’s and the looming memories of her own unloving marriage to a lighting scientist. In stylized storytelling with the World’s Fair in the background and the WNBA in the foreground, Bayley seeks to recharge her life and chart a new path.

THE SWEET ABYSS by Jon Tuttle

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Royalty: $60 per performance

Cassandra has only one functional, fulfilling relationship in her life, and that’s with Izzy – her cat. When he dies in her arms, she is plunged into debilitating grief and sets out to find him. What follows is a rumination on morality and personal journey through sorrow and back, ultimately, to a newly negotiated comfort. 

SWEET SAND by Susan Cinoman

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 90 minutes
Royalty: $60 per performance

Sandy and Morgan, both attractive and seventeen, are set for a fun night at their beach house in New Jersey. Morgan is a great student, Sandy is a little prettier, but they have been best friends forever. Jimmy, a motorcycle riding bad boy who Sandy has secretly met ,comes over to pick up Sandy for a date that Morgan knows nothing about. Morgan is at first jealous and abandoned, and then tries to steal Jimmy for herself.

  • THE WAY STATION by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill
  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: 45 minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $40 per performance

“The Way Station” is the story of three strangers from different places and times, each pulled out of their travels and dropped off at a mysterious way station. 

As they search for a way to escape and move on, Daisy, Thomas, and Jack pull and push each other to admitting their transgressions.  At this surreal crossroads, no excuse, lie, or self-delusion holds up to the scrutiny of the others, and each person must find the strength to see themselves truly and honestly.  Only then may they move on. 

  • WOUNDED by Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm (Available Feb 1)
  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

WOUNDED tells the story of a woman in the role of caregiver to her husband after he has been severely mentally and physically injured in the Iraq war. The show starts when she, for the first time, is considering having a real relationship with someone new while still taking care of her husband. It explores the question of what loyalty you owe your spouse when they stop being the person you married. 

Review 3 Character Plays.

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