Baltimore Writer

Page 5

                                                                        ONE ACT PLAYS

This section contains descriptions of one-act plays in the volume entitled "Look, Don't Look." They range in length from three
to thirty minutes,but most are ten minutes long. The ten-minute play format was first promoted by the Actors Theatre of Louisville in 1977 as part of the Humana Festival of new American Plays. Since then it has become a popular genre in its own right for playwrights and audiences alike. All of these plays are royalty-free and may be performed together or separately. They are copyrighted, however, and the playwright's name must be included in all performances, programs, and copies of the plays, whether they are reproduced in print, electronically, or online.

A brief synopsis of each play is given below. If you wish to download one of the listed plays, contact me at

                                                                        Synopsis of the Plays 

Look, Don't Look (10 minutes)                                                                                                  

In this spoof of the art world a curator mounts an exhibit of erotic works that shocks spectators, pleases critics, and arouses the museum director.  Comedy. Cast: ensemble of four to six actors (three male and three female).

Waiting for Will (10 minutes)                                                                                    

Samuel Becket encounters William Shakespeare and Helen of Troy in the afterlife. They seem trapped together for eternity until one of them decides to escape. Comedy. Cast: two males and one female.

The Age of Reason (10 minutes)                                                                                                       

A teenage girl desperate to flee from caring for her disabled sister entraps a stranger into helping her escape. Drama. Cast: one female and one male.

Rapture (20 minutes)                                                                                                        

On the eve of the Apocalypse a young evangelical discovers two older men holed up on the top floor of an apartment building who offer him food and a place to rest. When he learns they are gay, he tries to convert them with comic results. Dark comedy. Cast: three males.

The Hurly Burly (30 minutes)                                                                                                

In this gender bending take on Macbeth, a college teacher relives her nightmare about child birth while discussing the play with her English class.  In the process she reveals a dark secret about her pregnancy as well as her plans for a bloody crime. Drama. Cast: two males, two females (one transsexual), and a mixed ensemble of six others.

Absolution (30 minutes)                                                                                                                      

Two brothers reunite after a long absence. One is a priest and the other an agnostic who seeks absolution. After confessing their past failures and present differences, they must resolve a conflict that threatens one of them with death. Drama. Cast: two males.                 

The Audition (3 minutes)                                                                                                                               
A would-be Shakespearian actor is given three minutes to audition for an unknown role. Comedy. Cast: two males.

Hole in the Ground (10 minutes)                                                                                                         
Two gravediggers entertain each other during their lunch break with comic reflections on life and death. Dark comedy. Cast: two males and one female.

The Smile (6 minutes)                           
The subject of a famous portrait guesses the truth about the artist, who captures her smile for posterity.  Drama: 2 males and two females.






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