One-Act Play Synopses

2023 One-Act Schedule

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2023 One-Act Synopses

#censored by Maria McConville; Poynette High School. In this ensemble-driven drama, a school art fair becomes embroiled in controversy when a student unveils a divisive painting. Students, parents, and teachers must ask themselves tough questions about freedom of speech, appropriateness, what art is supposed to do, and “What is the cost of censorship?”

All in the Timing by David Ives; Gibraltar High School. Three short vignettes: All in the Timing Time Flies, Two lonely but sweet mayflies meet and find out that they will only live for one day. Soap Opera, A washing machine repairman falls in love with the perfect household appliance. Words Words, Words, A scientist tests the hypothesis that three apes hitting keys randomly on typewriters for an infinite amount of time will surely produce Hamlet.

Andromeda’s Galaxy by Alan Haehnel; directed by Gayle Gander, Oconto Falls High School. On the surface, Andromeda is an average teenager. Few realize that, influenced by her name and watching too many Star Trek episodes as a child, she filters all the events of her life through hilarious sci-fi scenarios. When her cheating boyfriend returns, it’s not just Andromeda’s pride at stake, but her whole starship. With her shields down and weapons inoperable, will Andromeda prevail against the onslaught of “The Brad”?

Appropriate Audience Behavior by Ian McWethy; Monroe High School. The audience takes the spotlight in this meta play within a play that highlights bad audience etiquette in a hilarious way.

Bad Auditions By Bad Actors by Ian McWethy; Holmen High School. A comedic play that tells the story of Carol Danes, a young woman, who- for her directing debut- must pull together a production of Romeo and Juliet to save her beloved community theater from ruin. The task turns out to be impossible when the actors are truly impossibly bad, ranging from extreme method actors, walk-up actors who have no idea what is happening, entitled agents, and a frenzied casting director trying to cast a show all with the help of cell phone addicted assistant, Rodger.

Find Me by Dennis Bush; Wrightstown High School. An emotional exploration of what lies behind the facades we show the world, Find Me weaves together the revelations of six characters struggling with life–changing events.

Fire Exit by Stacie Lents; Hamilton High School. Everybody at Westfield High School thinks they know what happened the day of the fire. Fire Exit opens in the aftermath, as the community faces what appears to be a prank gone terribly wrong. But as the kids and adults open up about their lives and the bigger picture of the day’s events emerges, the truth proves to be far less simple. Told through a series of poignant and often very funny monologues, Fire Exit is a powerful ensemble piece that proves things and people aren’t always as they seem.

Home Shopping Studios Live! by Claire Epstein; Augusta High School. Comedic revenge is a dish best served hot. A recently fired producer of a live Home Shopping television show sabotages the day’s guest list to get back at the hosts who were responsible for his firing. A succession of quirky and questionable characters selling offbeat products has been scheduled. Mayhem ensues. Will the hosts be able to avoid the impending disaster and complete the day or will they meet the same fate and get fired themselves for the chaos and poor ratings?

I, Chorus by Ian McWethy; Riverdale High School . College-drop out Elle is lost and trying to find her place in the world until she meets a Greek Chorus completely devoted to each other and speaking in unison. And doing other things in unison. Like getting a job a Walmart and going on a date. To join them, Elle has to give up everything and everyone she knows, but maybe this is exactly what she has been looking for…

Lovers, Lunatics, and Poets by Kelly McAllister; DeForest Area High School. When the real Puck appears after a bad rehearsal of a high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, his mischief only makes matters worse. As he meddles with a production filled with drama divas, a surprise director, terrible actors, and the cast and crew’s own scrapes with unrequited love, chaos descends. Identities are mistaken, spells are cast, and an actor gets transformed into a pygmy hippo — yet somehow, in true theater fashion, the show manages to go on.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare; Waukesha West High School. Amidst the eerie Scottish highlands, Macbeth’s thirst for power, driven by dark prophecies, unleashes a blood-soaked nightmare. Haunted by ghosts, his mind unravels into madness, and he quickly descends into unchecked treachery and carnage.

Murder Box by Reid Conrad; Campbellsport High School. At the end of the 1940s an old theatre building is about to be torn down. As the theatre’s acting troupe is packing up the props, costumes and set pieces, an old magician’s trunk is wheeled onstage. Suddenly, members of the company are turning up dead. Margaret, the director’s assistant, is the only witness to these crimes, seeing with her own eyes how Eve was strangled, Madigan bludgeoned, and Stan shot. Yet no one will believe her, especially when there is no trace of any of the bodies!

Night Sky by Susan Yankowitz; Burlington High School. Night Sky explores the brain and the cosmos. When she is hit by a car, the brilliant astronomer Anna loses her ability to speak, a condition known as aphasia. What emerges from her mouth is a hodge-podge of unconnected words alternately confusing, funny, and wise. In a series of brief, often comic episodes, the play follows Anna through her illness and ultimate acceptance of herself and dramatizes the impact of her changed circumstances on her relationships.

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles; directed by Bill Pakesheare, WISDAA. By leaving his home in Corinth, Oedipus thinks he has escaped a terrible prophecy that says that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus has defeated the riddling Sphinx, saved the seven-gated city of Thebes, and married the queen Jocasta. (Her first husband, Laius, had been killed.) They have four children, Eteocles, Polynices, Antigone, and Ismene, and they rule in peace.

Orphan Trains by Deborah Craig; Oshkosh West High School. From 1853 to 1929, The Orphan Trains Project joined adoptive parents with orphans in countless towns throughout the vast American landscape. Based on primary records from the Children’s Aid Society of New York, Orphan Trains brings this compelling story of hardships and victories to life, resonating with the authentic voices of a diverse group of children.

Pandora’s Fire by Judith Walsh White; Pulaski High School. Pandora is often condemned for opening the box and releasing all the bad things into the world. But should she be blamed?

Perfect by Alan Haehnel; Owen-Withee High School . Perfect, written by Alan Haehnel, follows one girl named Bethany through her experiences growing up and learning to accept and love herself. In this production Bethany grows from a young toddler to a young adult quickly, and faces several situations that cause her self esteem to drop. Bethany rapidly spirals as she realizes that she is not perfect in the eyes of others, but there is still hope for her realizing her self love comes from within.

Relative by C. Denby Swanson; Badger high School. When Alberta, the daughter of a mathematician, struggles to comprehend her parents’ impending divorce, she invokes her own namesake: Albert Einstein. The unlikely pair visit the past to study the early strains of her parents’ marriage via an incident involving an ambiguous traffic light, a tv-style judge, and a few amiable Texas Rangers. By examining the incident step by step, Einstein helps Alberta to the conclusion that time is in fact relative and change is indeed the only constant.

SCENES FROM METAMORPHOSES by Mary Zimmerman; Appleton North High School. Nominated for three Tony Awards, Mary Zimmerman’s METAMORPHOSES brings the Greek myths of Ovid to stunning visual life. Funny one moment, achingly sorrowful the next, METAMORPHOSES juxtaposes the ancient and the contemporary in both language and image to reflect the power of myth to touch and transform our lives. Several theatrical techniques have been utilized to help relate and enhance the stories including abstract movement and mime, music, choric narration, and the imaginative use of water.

She Wrote, Died, Then Wrote Some More by Steven Stack; Tomahawk High School. Alina Devereaux has finally completed her 2700+ page non-fiction fictional memoir and is anxious to share it with the world. Until she ends up dead. Or not dead. The comedic, melodramatic, one-act mystery features betrayals, broken hearts, a rather odd yet beautiful love story, a few twists, along with eccentric and unique characters who may or may not at some point end up dying themselves.

Snappy’s Happy Half-Hour by Don Zolidis; Madison East High School. On the set of America’s favorite interactive children’s broadcast, a surprise visitor arrives to monitor quality control. Join Snappy, Boo-Ba, and Ms. Conductor Person as they navigate through the broadcast and the entertainment industry.

Social Pariahs by Jared Mallard; Greenwood High School/Loyal High School. A Social Pariah is “someone considered as isolated, an outcast, or different by others.” Stan is a social pariah. Until Chloe arrives at school. Stan and Chloe become allies and gradually fall in love. Social Pariahs is a portrait of how your first love can affect your life, no matter how old you grow. It is a story of how teenage sorrow, bravery and beauty can stay with you forever.

Something’s Rotten in the State of Denmark by Joseph Wallace; Northwestern High School. Tom is cast as Hamlet and has just completed his last dress rehearsal. He is nervous and excited. His director tells him to get some rest, and he falls asleep on stage. In a dream, the story of Hamlet is re-imagined into a chaotic 40 minute farce.

The 146 Point Flame by Matt Thompson; directed by Katrina W Brunner, Middleton High School. This play gives a voice to the young women that perished in the historic 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. Vincenza, Tessa, Yetta, Lena, and a small chorus of workers share memories, hopes, and fears as they experience their final moments on earth.

The Art of Being Vague by Peter Bloedel; Lincoln High School – Wisconsin Rapids. “Colby learns from a young age that he can find success by being vague with the people in his life. Colby’s “art” of being vague continues to grow throughout his life as he convinces his classmates he’s cool, persuades an interviewer he’s best for the job, and rises to the top of the top. Although this seemingly fantastic art initially brings him great success, it ultimately comes at the expense of an unsatisfactory life.” ~Stage Partners

The Comedy of Terrible Errors by Don Zolidis; Waukesha North High School. The student director of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors is living a nightmare: one lead actor doesn’t know his lines, another lead actor is having an ill-advised showmance, they’re not allowed to touch the set, and the actors with small roles are about to mutiny for more stage time. It all comes crashing down in this hilarious adaptation of Shakespeare’s 28th-most loved play.

The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza by Don Zolidis; Jefferson High School. Two battling narrators attempt to cover the entirety of Greek mythology using audience participation, cross-dressing, and general theatrical insanity. Creation myths such as Pandora’s Box and Cronos and the Titans jostle for space with other famous myths like Jason and the Argonauts (the original Super Friends). Culminating in a heart-pounding, five-minute, two-actor version of The Iliad, this fast-paced, free-wheeling play is wild, silly, and a complete blast for all ages.

The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza by Don Zolidis; Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School. “The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza” is a hilarious and fast-paced comedy that takes the audience on a wild ride through the world of Greek mythology. The play features a cast of quirky characters, including a hungry Titan, arrogant warriors, and Tricia. As they attempt to retell classic myths like the Trojan War, the characters encounter numerous comedic twists and turns.

The Hallmarks of Horror by Peter Bloedel; Wauwatosa East High School. Copied from website: Scary movies are full of different ways to give you nightmares – but once you figure out the formula, the frightful looks pretty funny. Take a whirlwind tour through the common categories of the creepy, from lines like “let’s split up!” to tropes like the car that never starts. If you dare to master everything from cobwebs to clowns, you’ll be ready when they all converge in a single hilarious finale scene.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde; Prescott High School. The Importance of Being Earnest is a fast-paced farcical comedy filled with deception, misadventure, and disguises. It’s the story of two bachelors, Jack and Algernon, who discover they both have alter egos named Ernest. In an attempt to win the hearts of the women they love, they discover that the two women, conveniently, claim to only be able to love men named Ernest. The bachelors struggle to keep their stories straight and chaos ensues.

The Inexplicable Chaos Factor of Mia Gregory by Emily Hageman; West De Pere High School. Liv is one of the most brilliant teenage mathematicians in the country, but she does not understand her best (and only) friend Mia. Like, at all. And now, she’s doing this stupid play to try to figure it out. An incredibly moving and empowering story about the chaos we create, and the order we can find in it.

The Lottery by Based on the Story by Shirley Jackson Dramatized by Brainerd Duffield; Homestead High School. It’s a beautiful summer day, June 27. The children are out of school, and the villagers have begun assembling in the square to hold a lottery. Mr. Summers runs the town lottery. He is tasked with putting the lottery cards in the black box each year, although the black box isn’t the original. The original black box was lost several decades ago. Mr. Summers asks the residents if they should replace the current box, because of it’s poor condition, but they refuse to break tradition.

The One Act Play that Goes Wrong by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields; Northland Pines HS. The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society hopes you enjoy The Murder at Haversham Manor . Plagued by low numbers and an even lower budget, past productions have left much to be desired by their audiences. This particular production, however, has the cast and crew hopeful for rave reviews. A classic murder mystery can, at times, be confusing for the audience but what happens when the cast and crew are equally as confused? Cross your fingers as they attempt to pull together a successful production.

The Scheme of the Driftless Shifter by Carolyn Lane; Waunakee Community High School. A serious melodrama (ominous chord) meets a play gone wrong.

This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing by Finegan Kruckemeyer; Neenah High School. Triplet sisters are left in a forest by a woodcutter father and forced to find their own way in the world. From this fairytale beginning, three resolutions are made – one sister walks one way to find purpose, one the other to find adventure, and the third stays right where she is, to create a home. Years later, having circled a globe and fought vikings, toppled lighthouses, tamed wilds and achieved greatness, the three meet again, as women. It is an irresistibly charming tale for young and old.

Tick Talk by Lindsay Price; Marinette High School. Each of the characters in Tick Talk has a lot to say, but only one word with which to say it.

Tracks by P. Tarsi; Drummond High School. Is there an afterlife? If so, where are we going and how many choices do we have? For 10 travelers caught in a subway station, they have arrived there with limited possessions, their watches and cell phones do not work and they are not sure when the next train arrives. There are only two choices and they soon realize that their lives are altered foreve.

Tracks by Peter Tarsi; Regis High School. Ten strangers meet in a subway station, but no one is certain when the next train is coming. . . or where it’s going. As the characters begin to understand what they have in common (they’re all recently deceased), they try to determine more specifically which way (up or down) their train is heading.