Short/One Act Plays

All can be performed with locales suggested by simple props, lights and set pieces.

A Balm in Beverly Hills

  • 10 min.
  • 1M: 1F drama
  • A woman who can’t leave her home finds help half a world away.

A Death in the City

  • 60 min.
  • 1F drama
  • A woman looks at the impact of attending Cleveland’s segregated schools in the 1960s. Her memories are triggered by the mention of the Rev. Bruce Klunder, who was mowed down by a bulldozer on the grounds of what would be one of the ten elementary schools she attended. Performed in staged reading at Dobama Theatre, 2017.

A Brief History of Mah Jongg

  • 40 min.
  • 6 F; comedy.
  • A comedy about women’s friendships. A longstanding Mahj group reunites after 22 years, missing one player and one tile. They’ve been invited back to learn why their game mysteriously disbanded. Commissioned by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage (Cleveland) to accompany the exhibit Project Mah Jongg.  Performed around the U.S. and published by ArtAge Publications, Portland, OR.  Direct inquiries:

A Legion of One, or George’s Sand

  • 10 min.
  • 2M; tragicomedy.
  • A young American journalist comes to a barren Iraqi outpost in 2021 to interview a Frenchman who has decided to wait there for peace in the region (or the end of days) whichever comes first.

Above and Beyond

  • 35 min.
  • 2M, Drama
  • It’s October 1973 and the U.S. military is on heightened (DEFCON II) alert. Two Air Force officers report to their missile launch silo knowing that this might be the day they have both trained for and dreaded.  Premiered at Playwrights’ Local, Cleveland, October-November 2018.

And Thirty More

  • 10 min.
  • 2M; 2F: comedy.
  • A friend hosts a surprise party for a couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. As an added surprise, the unsuspecting guests of honor must publicly renew their vows.

Bleating Hearts

  • 10 min.
  • 2M; 1F; 1 sheep (F); backstage comedy.
  • A young thespian refuses to leave the theatre following the closing performance of Milk and Honey. His scene partner, a sheep he’s named Belinda, is bound for the slaughterhouse. Non-traditional casting is recommended.  Most memorable production, Cleveland Play House’s 90th anniversary.

Checking In

  • 10 min.
  • 2M; 1F, dramedy.
  • A man decides to surprise his wife on their 40th anniversary with a getaway that promises no amenities, no view and no air.

Children’s Services

  • 10 min.
  • 1M; 2F, comedy.
  • Mommy is horrified that Children’s Services is sending a case-worker to investigate why Little Cameron has missed his dental checkups,more horrified still to see who is sent to save them.

Day Jobs

  • 10 min.
  • 1M: 1F, comedy.
  • What happens to the folks we love to hate, when they get home from work? Meet a telemarketer and her husband, a deputy from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles during their down time.

Family Markers

  • 30 min.
  • 1M; 1F, a family warning.
  • Two Fathers Days, 50 years apart. In the prologue, a brother and sister visit the grave of their recently departed brother, only to find he’s been moved with no forwarding address. Decades later, another generation is left to sort it all out.  Winner, Warner International New Play Contest.

Fear of the Marketplace

  • 10 min.
  • 2M, drama.
  • A retired handyman in Cleveland seeks medical advice from a stranger and receives life support. A look at one dimension of our lonely planet.

Funny Valentine

  • 10 min
  • 1M; 2F, a tragedy averted.
  • Two Americans visiting Peru attempt to purchase a ring (nothing showy) and are thwarted when their credit is denied.

Good as Gold

  • 10 min
  • 3F
  • Three adult sisters meet to open a package that sat for years in a long-forgotten safety deposit box kept by their late mother. Before they see its contents, they consider the legacy she left each of them – and discover three different mothers.

Last Call

  • 12 min.
  • 1M; 1F, drama.
  • It’s closing time and a young server notices a man waiting, silently, at a remote table. Turns out, he is waiting for something that will save his life.

Leaving the Ecosphere

  • 10 min
  • 3M; 1F, comedy.
  • After two years living, working and doing without paper products in a glass-domed hot house, four seasoned professionals prepare to get the hell out.

Neither Rain

  •  10 min.
  • 2M; comedy.
  • A look at what would happen if Homeland Security ran the U.S. Postal Service.

Nora in the Time Out Chair

  • 35 min.
  • 1M; 2F, comedy for children.
  • Nora, age 5, has a delightful singing voice. At times, she forgets to give it a rest. When she is sent to her time out chair, she silences her voice and awakens her imagination.

Playing Dirty

*65 min.

*4M;2F,  drama

*What was behind the football team’s racial slurs during the last game? Where was the kids’ sense of civility? And where are the adults to say, “Enough?” Performed in staged reading at Dobama Theatre (2016) as “Talking Points.”

One Man, One Vote

  • 10 min
  • 1M; 1F; comedy.
  • A busy attorney takes his elderly mother to the polls assuming she needs his help for more than transportation.

Semester At Sea

  • 10 min.
  • 2F; comedy.
  • When a college student takes a semester off to see the world, her mother decides to move into her dorm room and take the unsuspecting roommate for a ride.

Small Change

  • 10 min
  • 2F; drama.
  • What made Dani, 18, post her roommate’s deepest secrets on the Internet, prompting her suicide? As Dani waits to face the justice system, she must first face her mother and herself.


  • 10 min
  • 1M; 1F, absurdist comedy.
  • An aspiring playwright meets a middle-aged producer at his cocktail party again and again.

Sunday in the Park with Larry

  • 10 min.
  • 2M, comedy.
  • A 60-year-old Canadian national is stunned to meet an American stranger who would like to bring him home, where he belongs.


  • 10 min.
  • 1M; 1F, drama.
  • He’s playing with optical illusions on his i-Pad. She’s attempting to lift the scales from his eyes. One couple deals with reality.

The Battle of Chicamauga

  • 15 min.
  • 1M; 2F, comedy.
  • A recreational weekend of Civil War reenactment turns sour when a 21st century wife meets her husband’s 19th century girlfriend.

The Errant Gene

  • 10 min
  • 2M; comedy.
  • A Marine recruiter is not sure he wants to encourage the young man who has come to enlist. Thanks to gene mapping, he knows too much about him.

The Seventh Question

  •  10 min.
  • 1M; 1F; drama.
  • It’s late at night on a luxury liner in the middle of the ocean. A woman is lost in her solitude until a server named Tong arrives to offer drink and salvation.

Time Shared

  •  10 min.
  • 1M; 1F, comedy.
  • How wrong can things go on J-Date? During one couple’s first F2F encounter, they discover that each brings a hidden agenda. It’s love in the time of collaring.

White Elephants

  • 10 minutes
  • 1M; 1F Comedy.
  • A medical resident training in cardiology appears not to have a heart of his own.