7 Character Plays

© SULLIVAN: THE PLACE WHERE PEOPLE COME TO DIE by Luke Krueger

Cast Size: 4M 3W
Running Time: 120 minutes w/ intermission
Royalty Rate: $60 per performance

©Sullivan: The Place Where People Come to Die is about the small town of Sullivan, located just outside of the city of Nowhere. Sullivan is odd in that specially themed funeral homes are the only commerce; the mayor is openly crooked; the wealthiest man in town donates his money to build bell towers on college campuses and preserving mascots with offensive Native American themes; a woman in town speaks only in lines from “The Princess Bride”; and virgin births seem to be a nonchalant announcement. This is what Eric Sullivan returns to for his ten-year high school reunion, at which he discovers that out of a class of 99, no one remembers him. Since leaving Sullivan, he became a decorated war hero while suffering severe wounds fighting in Mogadishu (which the town thought was a short lived television show), and after his military service, he made his fortune. His return home is partly to re-establish a lapsed romantic relationship, but he is in on business. At a town ceremony, he lets the town know he has copyrighted the name “Sullivan.” The town must rebuild the school library, or he will bankrupt them with royalties. The town’s plan: Kill G.I. Joe.

A 1940s CHRISTMAS CAROL by Page Petrucka

Cast Size: 2M 5W

Running Time: 60+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

It’s December 1940 and KFLG AM radio in Kansas City, Kansas is about to perform the classic tale A Christmas Carol for listening audiences. But! Ten minutes before show time, the cast learns that they will have to go on without their sound engineer and all the sound equipment. Scrambling to find anything that will make a sound and attempting to make those sounds on the fly, the cast endeavors to forge ahead, perform the show, and make the best of a crazy situation. Audiences of all ages will enjoy this hilarious, fast-paced comedy. 

AN EXCUSE FOR WITTY BANTER by Jeremy Palmer

Cast Size: Variable

Running Time: Variable

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance (Contact for individual plays)

A series of short plays that answer some age-old Hollywood questions: What happens to the guy who gets his car stolen by James Bond? Where do Ocean’s 11 find their non-essential team members? Can money really turn brother against brother? And how did Bill Pullman feel at the end of Sleepless in Seattle? These queries and more are addressed in this clever, light, andentertaining evening of One Acts that catches up with dead people who can’t quite figure out which Heaven they’re in, divorcees who live in the background of the lives of more attractive people, blue collar crime fighters, and many more of the characters who fell between the cracks of some of your favorite Hollywood storytelling conventions.

COMING OF AGE by Ellen Wendy Kaplan

Cast Size: 2M 5W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Five women are outgrowing old roles, tired of (re)-producing to prove their worth. Gemma is an accomplished scholar who researches gender anxieties in Medieval Spain. She is writing about a deaf, Jewish, Spanish nun, a proto-feminist in a culture that saw women as weak and infirmity as a sign of God’s displeasure. Teresa found meaning in her affliction; Gemma sees aging as another kind of affliction. For Teresa, who shows up in Gemma’s whiskey-soaked dreams, malady is a sign of god’s grace. Gemma has no interest in “God,” but Teresa insists that we use different words to speak about the same thing: belief that life has meaning. But Teresa can’t hear God’s voice anymore. Gemma’s mother is in rehab, recuperating from a broken hip. Illness, age, and friends having died, left Helen without community; now she wants to move a thousand miles away, to live with Gemma’s younger sister Macy. But Macy’s children are becoming adults, and her role as a mother is about to alter. These women offer each other consolation, inspiration, and support in moving on as they scramble to discover what’s next.

DAVID’S PLAY by Tom Rowan

Cast Size: 5M 2W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Amanda Linden is opening tonight in a new Broadway show: a jukebox musical entitled Notorious! Ten years ago, when they graduated from college, she and her five best friends made a pledge: Whichever one of them made it to Broadway first, the others would all be in the audience on opening night. So most of the members of this once-close-knit group are gatheringin the apartment Amanda shares with her husband Leo. Ian, a director, arrives with a new friend—and a mysterious manuscript; Molly, now a New Jersey housewife, has managed to get a rare night off from childcare duties; and Barry, an aspiring comic, is a bit too excited about seeing her again. The only friend who didn’t keep the promise is David, a charismatic actor who was the center of their group but disappeared mysteriously in the city three years earlier. Could he still be alive? David’s Play is a serious comedy about love, loss, musical theatre, and the enduring power of friendship.

DONKEY by John Patrick Bray

Cast Size: 4M 3W
Running Time: 2 hrs
Royalty: $60 per performance 

DONKEY tells the story of Steve Ryan, an independent coffee shop owner in a liberal-arts college town in upstate New York. When the mayor paves the way for Quick Java, a corporate coffee shop, to move into the center of town Steve ignores the writing on the wall. A satire of small-town politics, Donkey reminds us that for every decision we fail to make, there is another decision waiting to not be made. DONKEY was an Alternate for the 2012 Last Frontier Theatre Conference, and a finalist for the 2010 Playwriting Residency at the Hangar Theatre.

  • FABLE by Doug DeVita
  • Cast Size: 2M 4W 1G
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Who has the right to tell your story? Especially when it’s the same story told from the differing memories of two legendary show business siblings? And one sister’s version is about to become a big, Broadway musical that is also destined to become legendary? June Havoc was famously ambivalent about the show Gypsy, which her sister, the burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee, referred to as her legacy. And in Fable, which is itself a fable about the creation of that musical fable, the sisters’ loyalty to each other is tested in a mounting battle that takes place in rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, onstage, backstage, and all in the memory of the aging Ms. Havoc as she faces her imminent death, still battling with fiction and truth in order to keep her own legacy alive.

THE FIRECE URGENCY OF NOW by Doug DeVita

This fast-moving comedy follows art director Kyle as he tries to discover his real self amid the power struggles and skewed priorities of a high-powered New York ad agency. After an office restructuring puts him in a new creative group run by the megalomaniac homophobe Kate, he finds an unlikely ally in copywriter Dodo, a living-legend from the era of “Mad Men” who not-so-gently prods Kyle to the uncomfortable but inevitable realization that “It’s time to take off. And soar.”

  • Cast Size: 3M 4W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

FIX NUMBER SIX by Jerry Polner

Cast Size:4M 3W
Running Time: 2 hrs
Royalty: $60 per performance

Jane is a 40-ish travel agent whose career is going nowhere. Hounded by an idiot boss, she dreams of pursuing her true calling: being an international spy. When her rich, freaky would-be customer Fred wants to take a daring trip to impress the girlfriend who left him, Jane per-forms a ballad dance version of the perfect excursion to Bhutan. But instead of buying the trip, Fred hires Jane to “fix” his life with what-ever tawdry subterfuge is necessary. Jane impersonates a lawyer to rough up Fred’s sister, spies on his ex-wife, and attempts a street heist to collect from one of his deadbeat clients. Jerry Polner’s madcap comedy will keep the audience zipping along with Jane as she fixes one problem, then fixes two problems…all on her journey to, ultimately, fix number six. 

THE FOUR SISTERS OF BAKERSFIELD by Martha Patterson

Cast Size: 3M 4W with doubling

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

A seriocomedy in the vein of Robert Harling’s “Steel Magnolias,” this is a play about four sisters coping after their mother’s suicide. Katherine, the oldest, is the “sexy” one who always did what she wanted. Sarah, the kooky, neurotic sister, is divorced and has an 18-year-old son in college. Shelby represents the voice of reason but it is overshadowed by her vanity. Last but not least, sweet Alyssa is the youngest, struggling mostly with issues a young person should not have to struggle with. Suitors come and go, but in the end it is within each other where they find their true strength. 

HISSTORY by Hilary Bluestein-Lyons

Cast Size: 7W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

It’s 150 years in the future and only women exist. A couple (an artist and a geneticist) are pregnant with their first child and have gathered the family together to announce the good news. Just before the guests arrive, the couple learns some earth-shattering news about the baby that may change the course of history. 

THE ITHACA LADIES READ MEDEA by Arthur M. Jolly

Cast Size: 1M 6W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

The year is 1953, and the House Unamerican Activities Committee is at its peak, fomenting suspicion and distrust, nowhere more so than in the insular world of Academia. Adjacent to this world, but inextricably intertwined, five women, shackled by societal constraints, defined by their husbands careers and politics, are meeting for their monthly play reading – knowing that one of them has betrayed the others to save her husbands position at the University. This is the evening they have chosen to read Medea – and as they delve into the classic Greek tragedy, their own stories unfold, their secrets and betrayals are brought to light, and their friendships are tested, shattered, and renewed.

THE LADY DEMANDS SATISFACTION By Arthur M. Jolly (Available Feb 1)

  • Cast Size: 2M 5W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

When a young maiden who has never touched a sword learns she must defend her inheritance in a duel, she struggles with a milksop suitor, a servant girl posing as a Prussian fencing master, a Prussian fencing master who thinks he is there to marry her, a stodgy lawyer and her domineering aunt – the finest blade anywhere – to save her house and lands. Like all classic farces, everyone gets the ending they deserve in unexpected ways… but will they be satisfied?

METROPOLIS HAS NO SUPERMAN by G. William Zorn

Cast Size: 4M 3W
Running Time: 2 hrs
Royalty: $60 per performance

Winner of the 2009 Mark Twain Prize for Comedy Playwriting.

Chance is the creator of Queer-Boy comics. What else would you expect from a kid who grew up in Metropolis, Illinois? When his father decides to kill Superman in order to get his son to come home, he dies in the process and now Chance must go home for the funeral and its aftermath. 

NEUROTIC MONKEYS by Alan Kilpatrick (Available Feb 1)

Cast Size: 3M 4W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Professor Sergei Kaminski, a noted expert on the “Butcher of Minsk” serial murders, champions the release of a man he believes has been falsely charged with the crimes. Opposing him is Major Natasha Baranski, an ambitious police official who is suspicious of the criminologist’s motives. Kaminski’s life begins to unravel when he is approached by the accused’s girlfriend who, believing that Kaminski is the real culprit, creates a fantastic and dangerous plan to free the prisoner. She wants him to commit another Butcher murder – this time on her.

NO BUSINESS LIKE IT By Carl L. Williams (Available Feb 1)

Cast Size: 3M 4W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

A frazzled director in rehearsal for a musical finds herself contending with the executive director’s latest dimwitted girlfriend, who can’t sing, the quarrelsome male lead, who can’t quit complaining, and the executive director himself, who can’t stop interfering. His uncle, the owner of the theater, begins to wonder if the show really must go on. Music is forgotten when confusion takes the stage, as theater staff and cast members clash in pursuit of art, commerce, and romance.

ON THE EXPECTATION OF WHITE CHRISTMASES by Brian C. Petti

Cast Size: 2M 4W 1G
Running Time: 90 minutes
Royalty: $60 per performance

On the Expectation of White Christmases takes place in 1975 suburban New York from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day.  It tells the story of Mary, an 11-year old girl who is waiting for her long-estranged father to show up for a Christmas dinner reconciliation.  Mary lives (quite uncomfortably) in her Irish grandparents’ house with her mother Katherine.  Her Nana, the unquestioned authority in her home, is decidedly against the prospect of hosting a dinner for the man who abandoned her daughter and pulls no punches in letting Mary know exactly what she thinks of him.  Mary waits fruitlessly for her father’s arrival with her promised bike, but dinner and the rest of the night go by. When the father finally appears drunk at 3 in the morning, the entire family is forced to confront very real Christmas ghosts.With equal parts humor and pathos, On the Expectation of White Christmases explores the trials of familial love, hope and redemption. 

STUD DUCKS & HORNY TOADS by H. Russ Brown

Cast Size: 4M 2W 1B

Running Time: 90 minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 performance

Stud Ducks and Horny Toads follows the misadventures of Milton Day and his grandson, Russell, as they blaze a trail of bull$#!+ across West Texas in this All-American comedy of warmth, wit, family, and taxidermied lizards! 

Winner of the 2003 KCACTF Region III One-Act Playwriting Competition.

TEENIE by Nicholas Priore

Cast Size: 3M 3W 1M/W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Nick and Tammy injured their daughter, Teenie, when she was an infant. After a short prison sentence, they were able to turn their lives around and start a new family…but Teenie remained completely debilitated and bed-ridden, under the custody and care of a woman named Marion. Just after Teenie’s eighteenth birthday, Marion grants Nick and Tammy permission to visit her for the first time in all those years, so that they can see the long-term effects of what they did. When things take a turn during the visit, Nick and Tammy find themselves confronted with brand new consequences for something they did as teenagers. 

TRICKSTER AT THE GATE by John Patrick Bray

Cast Size: 3M 2W Plus Dancers 
Running Time: 1hr 10 minutes
Royalty: $40 per performance

Nell is the human incarnation of the Yoruba God Esu Elegba, who is being forced to live a mortal life as penance for human deformities and suffering. We are given a glimpse of three time periods: her life in Southern Louisiana; during the Harlem Renaissance; and finally, Nell as an old woman, nearly forgotten by everyone. 

WOMAN HOLLERING CREEK by Rita Anderson

Cast Size: 2M 5W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

WOMAN HOLLERING CREEK is set in the fictional town of Dark Cloud, Texas, at the DRESSY BBQ FISH TACOS, a restaurant, dress, and bait-and-tackle shop that also offers fishing and hunting tours, as well as massages. DRESSY BBQ FISH TACOS is doing a booming business since the ghost town hopes to get into the Book of World Records for their Largest Ball of Dental Floss. The shop is like an old-fashioned General Store on steroids. It prides itself in finding you whatever you need, and they dabble in just about everything. But, when a “stranger” comes to town and promises to make them all rich, we learn that no one is who they claim to be in Dark Cloud and everyone has a secret. WOMAN HOLLERING CREEK, a serio-comedy with a farcical flair, takes its name from the creek that runs through San Antonio, and the script was inspired by the legend of La Llorona, the “weeping woman.”

WOMEN OF 4G by Amy Tofte

Cast Size: 7W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Seventy-five years in the future, an all-female crew and their male captain depart on what appears to be a routine mission to Mars … until the captain is murdered and the real mission comes to light. 4G examines relationships between women under extreme duress. Part murder mystery, part space thriller, 4G’s science fiction world asks questions about power, leadership, responsibility, and ultimately, sacrifice.

WYATT EARP’S JEWISH ADVENTURE by Steve Gold

Cast Size: 4M 3W

Running Time: 90+ minutes

Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Wyatt Earp lived with a Jewish woman for forty-seven years without benefit of marriage. Upon Earp’s death, the woman, Josephine Marcus, buried him in a Jewish cemetery in San Francisco. This play dramatizes their meeting and courtship in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, shortly before and directly following the gunfight at the OK Corral; Marcus played a subsidiary role in the events leading up to the gunfight. 

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