4 Character Plays

BEARS by Mark Rigney

  • Cast Size: 2M 2W (1 pre-recorded voice)
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance
  • The world is going to hell in a hand-basket, but neither Growl Bear nor Timmy Bear, two grizzlies stuck in a suddenly deserted zoo, have the least idea what a hand-basket might be. What they do know is that their keeper is in tears more often than not, and the treats they used to get from cheerful zoo visitors are long gone. Enter Suzie Wild Bear, a committed loner brought to the zoo for breeding purposes. As the zoo shuts down around them, the three bears form an alliance and escape to the supposed paradise of the wilderness.

THE BEST WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN by Jean Koppen

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

Joanna is worried about her mother’s failing memory. Margie is concerned about her daughter’s career and love life. In truth, both are terrified about how they will handle the worst that can happen – Margie contracting Alzheimer’s Disease. When an unlikely new housemate enters their lives and his movie producer brother pays an unexpected visit, both Margie and Joanna discover the best that can happen in the worst situation.

BILL’S BACK by Gene Kato

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

Barry Plumber has the worst case or writer’s block he’s ever experienced. His inability to put pen to paper is exacerbated by the fact that he shuns inspiration from all of the great writers in history, dismissing them as hacks. One evening, in a fit of resistance, he declares that “Shakespeare sucks!” – which inadvertently conjures the spirit of William Shakespeare, who refuses to leave. It’s only after Barry is forced to deal with the unwelcome apparition, that he realized that his inability to create may lie in the need to exorcise the demons from his past.

DEAD MOVEMENT by John Patrick Bray

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

Welcome to the Rosendale Hotel where guests can stay a night, a week, a month, or a lifetime. Enter Patrick, a harmonica-playing stranger who meets local inhabitants such as Joe Joe, a mechanic and tow-truck operator with dreams of being a car salesman; a Resident that insists they are just drinking tea, nothing stronger; and Rachel, the “Pastel Goth” concierge whose only pleasures in life come from watching the various residents torture themselves as if she were watching a reality show. There’s also a wolf circling outside, a suitcase full of money (or is it just bones?), and transformations that seem to happen by bargaining with the Universe. Described by an audience member as an “absurdist Hot L Baltimore,” Dead Movement is the hauntingly humorous story of people who want to disappear, and others who want to be seen; both are desperate impulses which, when followed, lead to funny, complicated, uncanny results. 

Dead Movement was a Semifinalist for the Third Annual New Comedies Festival at B Street Theatre.

THE DEATH OF A CAT by C. Denby Swanson

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

One by one members of the family of succumbed to a mysterious disease. Now the twins are quarantined and Mother’s only hope for Father’s life lies in the hands of the modest family doctor. But is the doctor the devil? No animals are injured in the course of the play, but we make no promises about the health of a family of cat-shaped sock puppets.

EVERMORE by Gary Wright

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

October, 1849.  Edgar Allan Poe has just died.  As his literary executor, Rufus Griswold, compiles Poe’s complete works for posthumous publication, the stories and poems come alive in highly theatrical interludes which show the profound effect Poe’s personal relationships had on his writing – and vice versa.  For Griswold, the stories and poems trigger bitter memories of his own brief friendship with Poe, which disintegrated in a series of petty slights and misunderstandings, and turned into one of the bitterest feuds in the annals of American letters.  But far, far more painful for Griswold are his fond reminiscences of Poe’s wife Virginia – a witty, delightful girl, loved by all, whose sudden illness and death inspired Poe’s masterpiece The Raven, but also transformed him from a brash, devil-may-care romantic figure into a tragic, haunted madman – for evermore.

FIRST, DO NO HARM by J. Thalia Cunningham

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

FIRST, DO NO HARM is inspired by a real case and explores current themes of medical ethics, medical error and racial profiling – but from the inner realm of a physician’s world rarely unveiled to the public. Surgeon Dr. Elissa Kerry performs a routine appendectomy on 21-year-old African-American Treshaun Clester, who unexpectedly dies on the operating table. Dr. Kerry breaks the news to Mattie Clester, Treshaun’s mother, who seeks answers from Mr. Hatcher, the hospital’s CEO. Internal and external investigation into the case propel Dr. Kerry into a nightmare, as both her professional and personal lives disintegrate. Through a series of encounters over coffee in the hospital’s vending machine room, Dr. Kerry and Mattie journey together as mothers through grief, guilt, loss, and self-discovery, helping one another to move forward with their lives.

FOUR QUARTERS by Christopher Heath

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

What if the never-ending internal dialogue that we call our “thoughts” were externalized? Christopher Heath’s fascinating play uses this as a theatrical device, giving its sexually ambiguous characters (Jo/Joe and Teri/Terry) each two physical expressions: one masculine, one feminine. Hence: Four Quarters. The play explores love and death with a resonance and power that gains strength from its deliberate indefiniteness, allowing the viewer to write his or her own emotional history onto the character’s plight.

 GENERATION RED by Alexander Utz

Erica, Alan, Denver, and Trish are the first four people to be born on Mars. They are waiting to find out if they’ve passed “The Test,” which would allow them to go outside for the first time in their lives. To pass the time, they play a game creating scenes that imagine what life on Earth would be like. As control of the game jumps from person to person, questions are raised about the truths and fictions in their own lives on Mars. Before long, it becomes apparent that the outside world isn’t as simple as they’ve imagined.

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

THE GHOSTS OF US by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill

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

Emma and Jackson are getting a divorce.  To fulfill the terms of an ill-conceived prenuptial agreement, they must spend 36 hours together, no modern conveniences or distractions, before their divorce can be legally filed.In an idyllic cabin in the Rocky Mountains, the couple begins their 36 hours sentence.  They each bring backup: Jackson’s best friend Aiden, and Emma’s sister, Sophia. Aiden chooses this opportunity to profess his long-secret love for Emma, Jackson chooses this opportunity to profess his long-withheld lust for Sophia.  Each of the women, with their feelings for the wrong man, complete the love-square.As alliances shift, old grudges and long-held secrets emerge, until each member of the group is laid metaphorically bare before the others, revealing who is whole and who is broken, who holds the moral high ground, and who actually de-railed long ago.

GIVING by Ellen Abrams

Gillian Lowell was a vice president at a pharmaceutical company—until a drug the company made caused the deaths of four children. Devastated by the part she played in the tragedy, Gillian is trying to start her life over as an fundraiser for a small children’s charity. But there she will learn that it is impossible to hide from her past, and that she must stand up against what she knows is wrong.

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

THE HOUSE ON GEOFFREY STREET by John F. Green

Cast Size: 3M 1W
Running Time: 45 minutes
Royalty: $40 per performance

A one-act play about Rachel, who experiences a supernatural event in a house she and her husband have recently purchased. Is Havenwood haunted by a woman who lived in the house and probably died in it? Or is Rachel simply hallucinating?

INDIFFERENT BLUE by George Pate

Cast Size: 3M 1W
Running Time: 45 minutes
Royalty: $40 per performance

Indifferent Blue tells the story of Stanley who is desperate to get out of heaven. He’s sick of the overwhelming sameness of it all and he decides to find his way out. Trying to stop him are his guardian angel, Gerald, a man who carries a heavy secret, and a smug St. Peter. Along with their friend, Elise, Gerald and Stanley embark on a quest to discover the nature of heaven, hell, and friendship.

 ” WINNER – 2008 Tennessee Williams One-Act Comedy Playwriting Award”

THE INSTITUTION by Carol M. Rice

Cast Size:1M 3W
Running Time:45 minutes
Royalty: $40 per Performance

An institution is often a place for the confinement of inmates, especially mental patients. Marriage can be defined as the social institution under which a two people establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments. Commitment can be defined as confinement to a mental institution or hospital….and we’re back where we started. So WHY is it called the institution of marriage again??? Carol M. Rice takes a cynical and humorous yet touching look at marriage in these monologues and scenes. From a woman who has been married eight times giving advice to her single friends, to a three-time widow describing her husbands’ crazy deaths, to why men and women have trouble being “just friends,” the situations are absurd yet realistic. Institution: any established custom or familiar, long-established practice (as in marriage).

KILL THE MOMENT by Scott Gibson

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

An isolated mountain cabin is the setting for the mystery/thriller KILL THE MOMENT. The unexpected appearance of a stranded motorist at the home of a former soap opera actress sets in motion a violent chain of events that includes lies, blackmail, betrayal and murder. Bodies refuse to remain buried-or dead, for that matter-and tend to reappear at the most inconvenient moments in a plot that is by turns morbid, darkly comedic, and wildly unexpected 

LIKE DROWNING by Brian C. Petti

Cast Size: 4M

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

The play takes place in an upper East Side Manhattan apartment, switching back and forth in time from the early 1990s to present day. The earlier scenes explore the relationship of Richard, a handsome, irresponsible actor in his 40s, and Rodney, an slightly older, attentive, well-off member of a theater’s Board of Directors. The two are sometime partners, sometime roommates who share a tumultuous, unequal association, wherein Richard does not completely return Rodney’s affections, yet finds himself frequently availing himself of Rodney’s generosity. In the present-day scenes, some 25 years later, an older version of Rodney brings an older version Richard to his apartment to care for him in the end stages of Pancreatic cancer. The two have had no relationship to speak of for many years, and Richard is both perplexed and wary of Rodney’s motives in fetching him from his Brooklyn apartment after all this time. As Richard’s illness progresses, he has bouts of anger, amnesia and confusion, testing the limits of Rodney’s devotion to him. Taken together, Like Drowning is a complex, detailed exploration of the nature of unrequited love from both the giver’s and receiver’s point of view, and the bonds of friendship and devotion that somehow manage to withstand turmoil and time.

LITTLE FISHES by Steven Haworth

It is 1975 and 100-year-old Nels has been residing in a Minneapolis nursing home for three years, being tended by, and matching wits with young Brad, his by turns loving and sadistic orderly. Brad is every bit as confused about his own future and death as Nels. His fellow orderly Pipe, 19, a Chippewa Native American, tries to reconcile the wreckage of his family and the lessons of his grandfather through caring for Nels and the abuse of peyote.  Nels seems indestructible until one day he becomes convinced Brad killed his roommate.  Is Nels unraveling or is it really Brad who has gone off the deep end?  And will Pipe bring the kind of solace to Nels that has eluded everyone he knows?  Meanwhile, the snow keeps falling.

  • Cast Size: 4M
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

NOT BEING A DICK by Jarrett Rusnak

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

David has a talking penis named Richard that lands him smack in the middle of an emotional minefield after taking Kate home from the bar. She’s struggling to move forward from a bad relationship without exploding everything around her. He’s struggling to not be a dick about it. Things take a turn for the complicated when David falls in love with Kate’s friend Becky. Trying to make the whole thing NOT end badly becomes a very delicate dance.

ONEGIN AND TATYANA IN ODESSA by Don Nigro

Cast Size: 4M 4W

Running Time: 120+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Twenty years after their romantic and ultimately tragic encounter described in Alexander Pushkin’s great narrative poem EugeneOnegin, Onegin and Tatyana encounter each other at a spa in Odessa, and as they try to make sense of the events that pushed them apart years ago, we see them reliving these events and gradually are able to piece together the puzzle of their tragic love story. Onegin, a handsome and cynical young man, has inherited a rich uncle’s country estate, and is living there, burnt out and bored, until he is befriended by a young, idealistic poet named Lensky, who innocently brings his new friend to meet the Widow Larin and her two beautiful daughters: the fun-loving Olga, who Lensky loves, and her darker and stranger sister Tatyana, who reads books and looks at the moon. Tatyana falls hopelessly in love with Onegin, writes him a letter offering herself to him, and Onegin, rather to his own surprise, decides not to take advantage of her innocence. But later, at a ball celebrating Tatyana’s Name Day, Onegin dances one mazurka after another with Lensky’s love Olga, precipitating a duel and a tragic death. Later, Oneginencounters the married Tatyana in St Petersburg, married to a wealthy Prince, and finds himself hopelessly in love with her. Complex, moving and at times also surprisingly funny, this retelling of the greatest Russian poem is part of Nigro’s ongoing Russian cycle of plays.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SKY by Kevin D. Ferguson

How do you know your purpose in life?

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

When Maggie asked for guidance from the other side of the sky, she didn’t think she’d really get it. Or when she did, that it would be more confusing than ever before. With a best friend, a boyfriend, and now the Mother of God all offering advice, what on Earth or in Heaven is Maggie going to do?

A PERIOD PIECE by Megan Hoche

Cast Size: 4W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

When Kira – a newly-single and struggling entrepreneur – finds out she is pregnant, she seeks support from her mother and sister, who bring with them their own birth-related baggage. As Kira prepares to bring new life into this world, she begins to question and examine her lineage, uncovering information that will change her family dynamic forever. Meanwhile, a parallel story unfolds as we see a woman journey through her own milestones across a lifespan. With each season of her life she finds herself rediscovering her own version of womanhood. Within both stories is a celebration of female empowerment, motherhood, sisterhood, and the women who lift us up.

THE REAL TALE OF JACK AND JILL by Gene Kato

Cast Size: 3M 1W
Running Time: About an Hour
Royalty: $40 per performance 

THE REAL TALE OF JACK AND JILL gets to the bottom of what actually happened that day up on the famous “hill”. Jack and Jill are 25 years old and still living in their parent’s ramshackle hut – sans plumbing. When their cousin Dave and his friend George unexpectedly drop by on their way to Waxahachie, TX to become professional kissers – the day quickly deteriorates. Before long, the foursome find themselves up on the hill battling falling buckets of water, flying knives, mad cow disease, and amnesia. The truth would have come out years ago if Mother Goose wasn’t such a pathological liar. 

RESURRECTION by Jordan Elizabeth Henry

Cast Size: 2M 2W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Riley, living with PTSD, navigates the loss of her grandfather while her older sister, Shae, imagines a new life for herself outside of her marriage. Their grandfather’s will reveals a surprise: a huge sum of money that could change their lives. Shae is desperate for the money, but Riley has serious reservations — all of which can be explained by a mysterious envelope that Riley urges Shae to open. But Shae is reluctant to be pulled into another of Riley’s “dramatic stunts.” As they clear out their childhood home, the sisters come to terms with their fractured relationship and try to see a new way forward together.

SIREN SONGS by Lindsay Partain

Cast Size: 3M 1W

Running Time: 45 minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

“…immediate assistance to fetch us off the Smalls before the next Spring or we fear we shall all perish, our water near all gone, our fire quite gone and our house in a most melancholy manner.” – Henry Whiteside, builder of Small’s Lighthouse, January 1777

Staring out into the cold oblivion of the Irish Sea, Thomas Griffith and Thomas Howell must fight for their lives trapped inside the Small’s Lighthouse; a tree house built on the edge of the universe swaying back and forth amidst the relentless violent waves and unforgiving storms off the coast of Wales.

SIX SOUR RASPBERRIES by Scott Gibson

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

In Six Sour Raspberries, the universal concept of unrequited love is explored in alternatively comedic and dramatic sequences that unfold over the course of five years in the lives of Duv, a thirty-something writer and his best friend since high school, Callie. Duv has long carried a torch for his friend Rob who is in a committed relationship elsewhere, and Callie is making the first tentative overtures to Lori, a new co-worker. Told in fast-paced scenarios that play out with almost no break between, the audience bears witness to clumsy attempts at flirtation, heartfelt confessions of true feelings, and a heated debate over just who is the sexiest castaway on Gilligan’s Island.

SOLEDAD by J.E. Robinson

Cast Size: 4M

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Brother and Queenie wait in the colored chapel at Angola State Prison, Louisiana, for a Maundy Thursday foot washing during Holy Week 1934, their last before their death sentence. Floyd, another prisoner, kills Queenie in the chapel, and, in the second act, Queenie finds himself dining in the kitchen in Heaven with Floyd, posing as David, the New Orleans police officer who had Queenie sent to prison. 

THE SUGAR RIDGE RAG BY Philip Middleton Williams

Dave and Pete Granger, age 17, are twin brothers in rural Ohio in 1970. Dave enlists in the Army as a combat medic and is sent to Vietnam.  Pete, a piano prodigy and gay, goes to Canada to pursue his education in music and avoids the draft.  Their parents – Hal, a veteran of the Korean War, and Deb, a nurse – are left to deal with the consequences of their sons’ actions and their future as a family. Over the next five years, their lives are changed forever by the war and the choices each of them has made.

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

THE TELL-TALE HEART by Bradley Nies

Cast Size: 2M 2W
Running Time:50-60 minutes
Royalty: $40 per performance

In the New York City Asylum for the Insane in 1843, Eliza Clemm tells the story of how she murdered her father, Edgar Clemm. In doing so, she desperately insists that she is not insane and beseeches the audience to understand her reason for the crime. As she is repeatedly told by an unfeeling nurse, a brutish orderly, and the memory of her cruel father that the asylum is where she belongs, Eliza begins to accept her fate and considers embracing her new life among the lunatics. This retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s frightening tale retains the horror found in his original short story. 

YOUR DILLY DILLY HEART by Scott Gibson

Cast Size: 1M 3W
Running Time: 1hr 45 minutes
Royalty: $60 per performance

Janis and Merle, two middle-aged widows, are on their annual summer vacation trip when they are uncere-moniously abducted by Beau, a twenty year-old escapee from a prison work farm, who holds them captive in a motel room. From the outset, it’s clear that Beau hasn’t entirely thought through his escape plan. He only wants to make his way back to his high school girlfriend, but selecting Merle and Janis as his means to of getting there may have been more than he bargained for. Your Dilly Dilly Heart delivers full-out laughs while examining the quiet lies we’ve begun to accept as fact, in order to get us to the end of the day. 

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