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 Brief History of Mah Jongg

  • 40 min.
  • 6 F; comedy.
  • An ensemble piece 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 (Cleveland) to accompany the exhibit Project Mah Jongg.

A Laborer of Love

* 10 min.

*1M; 2F

*a RomCom

*Simma, a wife, mother, periodontist and Orthodox Jew, is renowned for her matchmaking skills. But as she nudges two strangers toward a perfect match, it’s clear there is nothing orthodox about her methods.

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; 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, under the main stage.

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 oxygen.

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.

Family Markers (Radio Play)

*24 minutes

* See above. Available for listening through; and additional platforms through

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. The play has also been produced as a woman’s story under the title, A BALM IN BEVERLY HILLS.

Funny Valentine

  • 10 min
  • 1M; 2F, a tragedy averted.
  • Two Americans visiting Peru attempt to purchase a ring (nothing showy, believe me) 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 their late mother’s long-forgotten safety deposit box. Before viewing its contents, they consider the legacy she left each of them – and discover they had three different mothers.

Heal Thyself

*10 min.

*1M; 1F, Comedy

*A young female physician consults with a  rather unusual patient, a cranky old man with a message. Before the old man leaves, it’s the doctor who has received the treatment.

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.

Message from Patagonia

* 10 min.

* !M; 1F, darkish comedy

* A truly decent American guy travels to the remote Australian outback to deliver a postcard he found on the even more remote Patagonian Bay. Alas, he discovers that sometimes it’s better to leave well enough alone.

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.

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.

Saving the Hewlitts

* 10 min

* 2 – Chris and Leslie.  Gender casting optional

* Clevelanders have engaged in a long debate about saving the Hewletts, the huge iron ore lifters that defined our waterfront during our industrial heyday. For one couple, the debate rages on about whether everything  that once worked is still worth salvaging.

Semester At Sea

  • 10 min.
  • 2F; comedy.
  • When a college coed 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.

Someday My Prince

* 5 min

*1 – can be any gender

* When a stranger claiming Nigerian royalty begs for help (in an email), one might wonder who nibbles. Asked and answered. A pathetic comedy.


  • 10 min
  • 1M; 1F, absurdist comedy.
  • An aspiring playwright meets a middle-aged producer at the same 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 Family Zoom

* 9 min.

*1F – monologue

*Gram uses the new technology to call a family meeting – and leave nothing unsaid. Written for – and dedicated to – Dorothy Silver (1929-2021)

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.