Tag Archives: one act festival play

The play’s the thing – one act crime script about the perfect murder

one act crime script about a murder


It was the perfect murder. And the perfect accident. Or so Greta thought. Deeply infatuated by her good looking actor boyfriend, her husband Charles appears to be nothing more than an impediment to their happiness. She plans the perfect way to get rid of Charles, and make it look like it was all an accident. When Larry, her lover, gives Charles (who is a well known actor) a script to read, she decides to ask Charles to ‘act out’ the script with them, and supplies him with a loaded gun for the suicide scene… But she’ll have to learn the hard way that there’s no such thing as the perfect murder in this one act crime script.


Holy Rosary Convent, EDENVALE, SOUTH AFRICA – 2022

Read other plays by Peter – The Coming of Jed Crest – an ordinary girl finds out her dad may be a rock star from back in the day.

Author: Peter Pitt

Genre: Crime, drama

Type: One act crime script

Length: Thirty minutes

Cast: 3M, 2F

Ages of the actors: One M in his fifties, two in their thirties and two in their twenties

Suitable for: All ages to watch. Adults to act in.

Set: A luxury apartment in London, furnished with 1930’s styled furniture. There is a large couch, two armchairs, a writing desk, cocktail cabinet, a television set and a telephone

Level of difficulty: 7/10 – accents and period piece.

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Copyright © April 2017 Peter Pitt and Off The Wall Play Publishers

Like this play? Other crime scripts for you to enjoy:

The Mysterious Death of Christine Wilde – one act crime drama
All in the past – period murder mystery play
War stories – good cop, bad cop drama

Scream – one act suspense thriller

one act thriller


The power is out as Mary Jones enters her kitchen early one morning to prepare breakfast.  She and her husband will discover from their neighbors that what looks like a meteor shower has not only knocked out all electricity but batteries as well as cars and all electrical items.

How long this blackout will last is one of many terrifying realizations as the neighbors try to go about the task of maintaining order (protecting the neighborhood) and taking care of daily necessities (how will they cook, how long before the freezer contents go bad, how extensive is this power disabling celestial occurrence, what about the children away at school, what about world peace).

Doug Jones, seeking that all elusive Pulitizer winning story realizes that this is a golden opportunity.

There is nothing normal about the next few hours as the neighbors try to plan ahead.  The women are quick to want to share what they have with the others on the street; the men cautious about survival.

Herb Smith, the self appointed policeman, envisions robbers from a nearby housing complex about to descend upon them.  As he readies his guns to secure his property as well as his neighbors, a young man who has escaped from a gang related incident in the housing complex is desperately seeking a place to hide.  Mary Smith, alone and frightened, is his victim.

The true traits of the neighbors (Mary, Doug, Sally and Herb) not only come to the fore in this crisis but determine who will survive and who will not.

SCREAM was a finalist in the Tennessee Williams One Act Play Competition in 2014.


University of Urbana, OH, USA – 2017

Read about best selling playwright Jean Blasiar. Other plays (Am I good – giggly one act comedy) by Jean.

Author: Jean Blasiar

Genre: Suspense thriller play script

Type: One act play

Cast: 3M 2F actors

Ages of the actors: Four middle aged to older and one teenage boy

Suitable for: PG 8

Length: 45-50 minutes

Set: Home of Mary and Doug Jones, specifically the kitchen/office.
Office is set up with a FAX, computer, monitor, wireless phone, (2) lap tops, a partner’s desk, chairs with knee holes facing each other
Kitchen is very modern, all electric: stove, ovens, dishwasher, microwave, coffee pot, toaster. Small color TV on counter
Small round table and four chairs
Door stage left to rest of house
Door upstage center to driveway with window, top half
Window over sink looking out onto the driveway and house next door.

Level of difficulty: 8/10 – building up to the climax in this suspense thriller

Read a Sample of the Script

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Copyright © November 2015 Jean Blasiar and Off The Wall Play Publishers

Like this play? Other suspense thrillers in stock:

Becoming disappeared – short eerie sci fi script
Victims of the forest – medieval scary plays
The Dark Chronicles of the Golden Raven Society – ghost story script


Six days till Sunday – one act comedy plays for Teens and Amdram

one act comedy plays for teens


When two friends discover the bodies of two famous missing journalists in a mountain log cabin, miles from where the two were supposed to have disappeared, they read their diary, discovering that the journalists were in fact faking their disappearance in the Australian outback. The two had decided to hide out in the mountains and return, triumphant to reality, having narrowly escaped death in the ”outback.” But in that case, why had they died?

As the two friends read through the diary, one of them decides on a grisly plan to ‘discover’ the bodies of the famous duo, thus bringing fame and fortune to himself.

Six days till Sunday was performed at  the State of Arkansas Regional International Thespian One Act Festival  in Fayetteville, Arkansas in November and  received all superior ratings for its production of Six Days Till Sunday. The one act was selected by the adjudicators to be preformed at the Arkansas State International Thespian Festival in February of 2018.

Production History

Saint James Academy, Texas, USA, 2016
Fayetteville High School, Askansas, 2017

Author: S. Tighe

Genre: Comedies for teen and amdram (community theatre)

Type: One act comedy plays for teens

Length: 30 minutes

Cast: 3M 1F (but could be played by 2F 2M or 3F 1M)

Ages of the actors: Young, late teens to early twenties

Suitable for: All ages

Set: A room, bare except for a table and four chairs and old leaves/twigs on the ground. Next to the table are the ‘dead’ bodies of Susan and Neil, in their twenties, slumped together on the ground against the wall. There is an open notebook next to Susan. Neil wears a polka dot beanie. A couple of big backpacks are placed nearby, but not within reaching distance.

Level of difficulty: 7/10 – to bring comedic elements into the piece

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Copyright © August 2015 S. Tighe and Off The Wall Play Publishers

Like this play? Other similar one act comedy scripts:

Don’t Bank on it – one act comedy for 5 actors
Stirred, not shaken – comedy about girlfriends, dead bodies and Martini’s
An Ordinary Man – comedy about a guy who is frankly tired of being a werewolf

Behind the Nets – one act period drama

one act period drama


It is 1937. Sybil is worried as her husband, Norman, has been held overnight by the Police. Josie, her sister-in-law, calls to inquire why her brother isn’t at work at the bank.

When she finds Sybil doesn’t have the answer, she leaves to investigate what has happened to him. Soon after, Norman returns home, followed a little later by Josie.
What Norman and Josie explain to Sybil so outrages her, that she is tempted to do something that could affect all of their lives.


Bispham CastAways, Lancashire, UK – 2019

Author: Peter Pitt

Genre:  One act Period drama

Type:  One act play

Cast:  4 1M 3F

Ages of the actors:  All 30’s-40’s

Suitable for: PG 10 –  alludes to issues of homosexuality

Length: 20-25 minutes

Set:  Front room of a house in a London suburb in 1937

Level of difficulty: 7/10 – building the tension till the final climax

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Copyright ©February 2015 Peter Pitt and Off The Wall Play Publishers

Like this play? Other one act dramas that we stock:

My child – a drama about an unwanted teen pregnancy and the woman who is desperate to have a child
Anna, alone – drama about a young woman with multiple personality disorder
Uncovered – romantic drama about failing relationships

One act play – award winning one act plays

one act drama


One act play won the Lace Market New Writing Competition in Nottingham UK (2014)

We are greeted by a middle aged couple in bed, roused from their slumber by Dvorak’s New World symphony, synonymously paired with Hovis to us Brits, bedecked in nightcaps that even Mrs Bennet would shy away from. Broad Yorkshire accents start the piece right from the off, each character’s monologues displaying to the audience their ideas of culture. The woman describes Les Miserables and the benefits of beards, the man speaks of the latest production of Two Gentlemen of Verona.

The stereotypical Northernisms continue with talk of whippets, flat caps and pipes, peppered with ‘by gums’ and ‘by ‘ecks’. That is until one of the characters shatters the fourth wall by pointing out the audience sitting in front of them. Thus the play starts to descend into unfamiliar territory. The characters discuss the existence of their creator, i.e the playwright himself. Growing ever more bold in their gestures towards their maker they dare to dream of a world outside the bed they woke up in. Even their dreams are clichés, dropped into their head by the writer, with talk of a house in the mountains by babbling brooks.

The dialogue descends into a sort of stream of consciousness ramble we might find in Joyce, about how they have come to exist and the basic differences between masculinity and femininity. This mirrors one of the woman’s first remarks at the beginning when she says that only a man could have created such a cruel existence. Here is when the play reaches its climax, a cruel twist at the end proves the woman right when they come to escape…

Author: Matt Fox

Genre: One act comedy-drama

Type: Award winning one act plays

Cast: Two: 1M 1F

Ages of the actors: Adult (middle aged)

Length: 30 minutes

Set: A couple in a bed with fake legs (pillows)

Level of difficulty: 8/10 – engaging the audience and keeping their attention in this dialogue driver play

Read a Sample of the Script

Cost is $10 for this award winning one act play

Contact Off The Wall Plays with any queries about One Act Play

Copyright © December 2014 Matt Fox and Off The Wall Play Publishers

In the drink – one act plays 1M 1F

one act comedy play for 1M 1F


A melodramatic comedy about the founder of a new brand of cherry cola  and his not so charming wife who are living the life of the rich and famous. This, despite the fact that their new cherry cola has caused a public stir by setting the tongues of people who drink it on fire. But…. in doing that it has brought in a lot of new business for the local dentists and doctors.  The investors are therefore very happy, so they are too.  So they’ll carry on drinking their absinthe and gin. Just not their cola.

In the Drink was originally performed at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s 24/7 Play Festival.


Oregon State University, OR, USA – 2018

Read more about playwright Timothy Starnes.  Other off beat comedies by Timothy Starnes.

A dedication to the original cast: ‘As Lord Cynhardt would say, you can put anything into a drink. Peppermint, butterscotch extract, cigarette ashes, tears of orphans, brown sugar, medical waste and even bits of your enemies. However, you cannot simply mix in any and everything for a theatrical production that won’t get you run out of town. This script is dedicated to the original Lord and Lady Cynhardt, Hoke Pittman and Piper Parks, along with director Ryan Fay, who all worked tirelessly in a timespan of not long enough to host and clean up a dinner party in order to shape the version you see today.’

Author: Timothy Starnes

Genre: Comedy, melodrama

Type: One act plays 1M 1F

Number of actors: Two 1M 1F

Ages of the actors:  30’s up

Suitable for: All ages

Set: Living room of an upmarket home.

Level of difficulty:  8/10 – achieving the melodramatic tones without going overboard.

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Royalty information for In the Drink

© August 2014 Timothy Starnes and Off The Wall Play Publishers

Like this play? Other one act comedies for two actors:

A Blind date – best selling one act comedy
But I’m French – one act comedy for two actors
Insurance on the line – ten minute satires

Family Exercise – short one act dramas

short one act dramas


This short one act play, written entirely in free verse is an excellent short festival play. It highlights a typical family at the moment when everyone in the family finds out a big secret – that ‘dad’ has been having an affair with his son’s school teacher and that they have an illegitimate three year old son together. It is told from the son’s perspective as the events unfold in front of him. The mother, father, daughter and her Pilot boyfriend are active participants in the son’s simply told story. Great example of short one act dramas.


Northwood High School, MD, USA – 2016
Frontier Academy, CO, USA – 2017

Author: Eldad Cohen

Type: One act play, one-act 1 act play

Genre: Family drama, short one act dramas

Number of actors: Five 5, 3M, 2F

Ages of the actors: 1M 1F middle aged, 1M twenties 20’s, 1F older teen, 1M boy 8-12

Suitable for: PG 10

Set: Minimal 3 chairs only

Level of Difficulty: 7/10 – getting the audience to set the scene in their minds with minimal set

Read about author Eldad Cohen

Read a Sample of the Script

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Copyright April 2013 Eldad Cohen Off The Wall Plays

Like this play? Other family dramas we have available for your enjoyment:

Memory Palace – family drama spanning generations about a family home and moving on
Daughter like you – family drama about losing a child
Irish Jack – family comedy drama about marrying outside your culture

Road Rage – a one act comedy play

one act comedy play


In this one act comedy play, a woman knocks and enters a man’s office, making sure she has the right person and indicating she is a messenger. He shows his annoyance and, in a silly charade, pretends he is not who she is looking for, but it turns out she is not who she says she is. Eventually, she reveals who she is and why she is there and takes him through various stages of emotion, eventually taking the audience by surprise and leading to a dramatic climax.

Leonard has written about a dozen full length plays and somewhat more one act plays. Some have won prizes: full length plays “Laramie, Equal Rights” and “Clara” won awards at the Shoreline Readers Theater, 2009 and 2010, in Washington State. “Road Rage” and “Apartment 4G” won in the 2010-2011Ink to Boards” One-Act Play Competition at Wildfire Arts.   Several plays have been produced locally in the Seattle, Washington and in New York are others have been read at writers’ workshops, and some at festivals.


St John’s school, TX, USA – 2018
Chapel Hill Thespians, NC, USA – 2019
The Little Theatre Cleadon, South Tyneside, UK – 2020

The author will allow workshopping of the play, subject to the right of refusal and he must be notified through us of any suggested modifications two weeks in advance. Read about playwright Leonard Goodisman

Author: Leonard Goodisman

Type: One 1 act play

Genre: Comedy, but can be played as a drama

Length:  Ten 10 minutes

Number of actors:  Two 2

Age of actors: Adult any age

Suitable for: All ages

Set: Simple, an office

Level of difficulty: 7/10 – maintaining tension and building to a climax

Read a Sample of the Script

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Copyright February 2013 Leonard Goodisman Off The Wall Plays

Two Brothers – a two hander one act play

two hander one act play

Two Brothers – a two hander one act play

Two Brothers – a two hander one act play is a drama about two brothers, Gary and  Jeremy, and the responsibility of caring for their aging mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Although she hardly knows them, they feel that they have a responsibility to care for her, but on the other hand,  there is also a need to move on with their own lives.  There is a feeling of being trapped in their situation.

When Jeremy decides to break free from their situation and move to Las Vegas with his wife, Gary feels that Jeremy is abandoning their mother and also leaving him with most of the responsibility.

Author Morley Shulman tackles this delicate situation that is so well known to many families by diving straight into the subject!  This is a character driven short two hander one act play that should be simple to perform in a one act play festival, for example.

Morley Shulman is the author of the award winning play, Naked, that took top spots at the both Franklin players festival of one act plays and the EADS festival of one act plays in 2012.

Production History:

Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama, USA – 2016
West Des Moines Valley High School, IA, USA – 2022


Author: Morley Shulman

Type: One act  festival play

Genre: Drama

Length: 15 minutes

Ages of actors:  20s-40s.

Cast: 2M, two men, two male actors

Set: Simple – a living room

Suitable for:  PG 12 – language

Level of difficulty: 7/10 –  the play starts on a medium to high level of emotion and then increases further before dipping to a conclusion. Maintaining the focus and energy.

View a Sample of the Script

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Other Plays by Morley Shulman

Read more about Morley Shulman

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Copyright November 2012 Morley Shulman  Off The Wall Play Publishers

The love of Cheesecake – Comedy One act play for Adults

comedy one act play for adults


In this one act play for adults, Molly, a slightly tubby housewife is rather desperate because she feels that the spark has gone out of her marriage to the very predictable Arthur and she doesn’t know what to do about it. She feels that her relationship has become loveless and all the frustration she has built up comes pouring out. She ends up pouring her soul out to her best friend and neighbour, Fran.  Fran comes up with an idea to help Molly and Arthur out and reignite the flame and passion in Molly and Arthur’s staid relationship.  She sends her to a therapist who sets them tasks for each other. This includes everything from body food (which goes well) to a stripper pole (which doesn’t) ending with side splitting consequences in this hilarious adult comedy.


University of Pretoria Department of UP Art, Pretoria, South Africa – 2018

The author will allow work shopping of this on act play for adults.  Ashley Nader is a small play festival award winning playwright.   The Love of Cheesecake won best play, best original script, best actress and best supporting actress in the Franklin  players festival of one act plays which is a national play festival held annually in South Africa. Ashley’s play My Middle Name is Angry is another award winning play featured on “Off The Wall Plays.” Read more about  playwright, Ashley Nader in our About the Authors section.

Author:  Ashley Nader

Genre: Adult comedy

Type: One act festival play

Length: 20 (twenty minutes)

Number of Actors:  2 F (female)  1M (male)

Ages of the actors: Any age from thirties till seventies

Set: Simple –  kitchen come lounge – a single sofa, and a table with fruit  and juice.

Level of difficulty:  7/10 – an easy script with a conversational feel. Maintaining the humor throughout is the only challenge.

View a Sample of the script from The Love of Cheesecake.

Buy this one act play for adults – the price of this play is $10

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Copyright  July  2012 Ashley Nader Off The Wall Plays