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May 5, 2016

Top 10 Plays for Community Theaters


One of the best things about theatre is that it can be created anywhere, in any sized space and with any amount of resources. Most plays are character driven and the right cast of memorable characters can create a riveting story solely through their performances.

We’ve created a list of 10 plays perfect for any community theater, small or large. With smaller casts and easy to manage set and technical designs, these plays are great for more intimate venues or theaters who want to showcase the talent of their actors by using minimal aesthetics. Happy reading!

Wedding Belles by Alan Bailey, Ronnie Claire Edwards
Four garden-club ladies meet a young girl who has come to their little Texas town to marry an infantryman before he ships off for World War II. The women impulsively decide to throw the girl an elaborate wedding, and their lives and friendships are thrown into turmoil as they race to accomplish the nuptials in one frenzied afternoon. 5f

The Mystery of Miz Arnette by Alan Bailey, Ronnie Claire Edwards
Set in Oklahoma’s devastating Dust Bowl in 1934, when Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd along with their gangs roamed the territory. Out of the desolate nowhere arrives Miz Arnette to rent the room that had been advertised and leased four months ago. With the family farm at stake and desperate for the additional income, young Floy Kate strikes a deal and takes in the intriguing stranger that would forever change her life.  2m, 3f

Four Weddings and an Elvis by Nancy Frick
Sandy, the four-times-married-three-times-divorced owner of a wedding chapel in Las Vegas, has certainly seen her fair share of matrimonies! In this romantic comedy, we witness four of her funniest, including Bev and Stan, who are getting married–by the King himself–as revenge on their exes; Vanessa and Bryce, two arrogant aging stars who are tying the knot as a publicity ploy; and Martin and Fiona, a gentle postal-worker and a tough ex-con trying to get married before the police arrive! However, the final wedding is the funniest of all with a hilarious twist. With simple scenic requirements and memorable characters, Four Weddings and an Elvis is a comedic treat certain to please audiences! 7m, 4f

Vrooommm! By Janet Allard
In this breezy “NASComedy” the fast lane is stalled to a screeching halt by the arrival of a woman driver on the NASCAR scene, and egos get bruised as Holly “Legs” Nelson starts stealing the show, driving so fast some think she’s cheating. Her rival, Hotshot, wants to sabotage her success, which results in a fast-paced story of NASCAR drivers and their kooky fans, all in pursuit of high-octane glory. And as for the sexism of these chauvinist drivers? Well, they’re all played by women! 6f

Al’s Business Cards by Josh Koenigsberg
When New Jersey Gaffing Assistant Al Gurvis accidentally gets his new business cards swapped with those of real-estate agent Eileen Lee, he’s mildly annoyed. Little does he know that this tiny mix up has sparked a chain reaction which will ultimately ruin his life. Check out this comedy about waking up from the American Dream. 4m, 1f

Speckled Birds by Shirley Lauro
A play about growing up in our “have and have-not” society, and discovering what “family” really is. Though Angie, an adolescent, lives in a wealthy town, she is poor. After losing her father in War and being deserted by her mother at birth, she lives in a trailer with her ailing but loving Grandma. Though a gifted athlete, Angie’s afraid to compete at her preppie school, feeling she’s “Trailer Trash”. While terrified that her aunt will soon take her away to live with her and put Grandma in a Facility, Angie meets a boy at school, Theo, who’s brilliant and wealthy, but an awkward loner with distant parents. As Angie and Theo form a unique bond as soulmates, they gain the courage to begin their journeys toward adulthood…resolving family problems, and taking actions to utilize their talents at school. 2m, 4f

Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van by Mary Lynn Dobson
Sometimes the best show isn’t onstage but in the parking lot. That’s the case in Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van, a comedy where the point of view this time comes from the unsung heroes who call the show, man the spotlights, sew the costumes, count the tickets and suffer through every flubbed line, forgotten prop and missed cue. At this friendly little playhouse, the company spends their downtime in the parking lot around an aging hippie/now turned techie’s van due to lack of wing space. This play continues to prove the old adage that somehow, some way, the show must go on. And it does…just not always as planned. 6m, 4f

The Goldman Project by Staci Swedeen
It is 1994 and Naomi Goldman, recently widowed, is living in an apartment in upper Manhattan. Her son Tony, separated from his wife, lives with her. When Tony’s old college girlfriend Aviva contacts him with the ulterior motive of interviewing and videotaping his mother for a Holocaust memorial project, Tony is appalled. Naomi, reluctant at first, eventually agrees to the interview. Though appearing to be forthright in her story Naomi clearly is hiding a devastating secret. When Aviva pushes her to admit the truth the consequences are life-changing. The Goldman Project is a play about family relations, the lingering legacy of the Holocaust and the catharsis of self-renewal. 1m, 2f

My First Time by Ken Davenport
This play features four actors in hysterical and heartbreaking stories about first sexual experiences written by real people. In 1998, a decade before blogging began, a website was created that allowed people to anonymously share their own true stories about their First Times. The website became an instant phenomenon as over 40,000 stories poured in from around the globe that were silly, sweet, absurd, funny, heterosexual, homosexual, shy, sexy and everything in between. And now, these true stories and all of the unique characters in them are brought to life by four actors in this acclaimed 90 minute play from Ken Davenport, producer of Altar Boyz and creator of The Awesome 80s Prom. 2m, 2f

A Small Fire by Adam Bock
Adam Bock’s meticulously crafted A Small Fire follows John and Emily Bridges, a long-married couple whose happy, middle-class lives are upended when Emily falls victim to a mysterious disease. As her senses are slowly stripped away – smell, taste, sight – Emily resolves to remain engaged with her community, relying on John to help h
er run her company and experience her daughter Jenny’s wedding. But her stoic outlook reaches a breaking point when the disease steals her hearing, leaving her with nothing but touch to communicate with the world. Suddenly, she is completely dependent on the husband whose endless devotions she had always taken for granted. 2m, 2f