One-Acts Written for (or Edited for) High Schools

La Mouche (Comedy, Stephen's favorite of his one-acts with silly French waiters. It's a 10 minute play great for high schools or colleges / universities. The original is a 3 person play, and there is a 4 person version.)

Brain Sucking (A Texas comedy, Finalist Actor's Theatre of Louisville Ten-Minute Play Contest, performed at Actors Theatre of Louisville in December, 1994, AND published in Dramatics Magazine, April, 1995. This is also the first scene of the full-length play, Home of the Great Pecan.)

All About Biffo (Comedy, a nod to "All About Eve," a young, brash clown threatens the alpha status of an older clown.)

Mime in a Box (Philosophical Comedy, this play about a couple of regular guys pondering a street mime and the nature of reality seems to be a favorite of a lot of high schools and colleges and is often performed.)

Jubilation, Mississippi (Like a Twilight Zone episode, a longer piece -- about 20 minutes, a traveler finds himself in a town where everyone is annoyingly happy.)

The Proposal (Drama, this Jane Austen Era short play was published in 2006: The Best Ten-Minute Plays for 2 Actors.)

Hole (Drama, this 10-minute Appalachian mining cave-in play was published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2011.)

Corybungus (Comedy, if you're like me, you might enjoy this ode to Monty Python. Silly, great ten-minute play.)

The Queue (Comedy, an American actor tries to throw off his British competition as they wait for an audition to begin.)

Cowboy South of Houston (Rom-Com, a cowboy from Texas meets a cute, East Village artist in a gallery of paintings he can't understand.)

Bee (Drama, in a Kafka-esque world of the future a man is interrogated after the disappearance of his "companion.")

La Mouche, © 2002 by Stephen Bittrich

3 men (you could sub in women for any of the parts), 11 pages long, simple restaurant set--perhaps only a table and chair.

La Mouche takes place in a French restaurant in New York. The jumping point is the old cliché of a man finding a fly in his soup...with some new twists. 10 minute play. Great play for high schools or colleges.

There is also a 4 person version available. Non-traditional casting is welcome. (Read 4 person version.)

On a personal note, I think this may be my strongest one-act. (Royalty information.)


Brain Sucking, © 1992 by Stephen Bittrich

2 men, 7 pages long (though it plays close to 15 minutes), simple set.

Brain Sucking takes place on a back porch in South Texas. One man recounts his tale of alien abduction, while also relating some rather tasteless recent behavior toward his fiancée.

Brain Sucking was a finalist in the Actor's Theatre of Louisville's "10 Minute Play Contest" in 1994. It was one of the few ten minute plays (out of about 1800 submissions) to be chosen that year to be produced at their Victor Jory Theatre, December, 1994. It was directed by William McNulty with the following cast:

Greeley........Dustin Longstreth

Ed.............Eric Shephard

Brain Sucking was published in the April, 1995 issue of "Dramatics" magazine, a magazine geared toward theatre educators. It was recently expanded into a full-length play, called Home of the Great Pecan. (Royalty information.)


All About Biffo, © 2013 by Stephen Bittrich

2 men (and 1 off-stage voice), 10 pages long, simple set.

All About Biffo is a little like the movie All About Eve. A young radical clown challenges the spotlight of a veteran clown. The fun thing about this play is the theatricality of putting on clown make-up during the piece. (Royalty information.)


Mime in a Box, © 2007 by Stephen Bittrich

3 men, 14 pages long, simple set.

Mime in a Box takes place on the streets of the Village in New York City. Two friends test the bounds of what is real and what is imaginary with their friendly neighborhood street mime. (Royalty information.)


Jubilation, Mississippi, © 2011 by Stephen Bittrich (Revised Draft/June 2011)
(click title to read play)

4 men, 1 woman, 15 pages, simple set.

"Jubilation, Mississippi" is an ode to the great tv series Twilight Zone by Rod Serling. A traveler's car breaks down in a small town where the entire population is preternaturally happy. (Royalty information.)


Proposal, © 2006 by Stephen Bittrich (Revised Draft/Sept. 2007)

1 woman, 1 man, 7 pages long, period costumes, representative set. Period drama.

The Proposal takes place in Regency Era England (the time of Jane Austen). Julia Hightower, a progressive, headstrong young woman is cornered in the garden by a rich, rakish suitor who has a secret about her. (Royalty information.)


Hole, © 2010 by Stephen Bittrich (Revised Draft/Nov. 2010)

1 woman, 2 men, 10 pages long, simple set. Special lighting. Drama.

Hole is set in a mine cave-in in West Virginia. This piece was originally presented in an evening of one-acts on the theme of faith. The three characters have different types of faith. The young Millsap has faith that God will protect them, Brody has faith in herself to find a way out, and Murphy, the old timer, is devoid of faith. A fun thing about this piece is that it starts in the dark, and is lit only with the light that they find. There is music to the song. Contact me for an mp3 of the tune.

Note: There is one bad word -- "shit." Just change it to "crap" for your high school performance. (Royalty information.)


Corybungus - edited for High Schools, © 1993 by Stephen Bittrich (Revised Draft/Dec 1999)

1 man, 1 actor (man or woman), 7 pages, simple set.

Corybungus is, according to a loony bookstore customer, a word mistakenly excluded from the voluminous Oxford English Dictionary. Chaos ensues when the customer tries to return a supposedly defective "OED." This fast moving skit is a nod to the "Bookshop" sketch done by Monty Python. (Royalty information.)

There is another version of Corybungus geared toward an adult audience.


The Queue - edited for High Schools, © 1995 by Stephen Bittrich. (Revised Draft/Feb 1999)

2 men, 1 woman (the woman's part is only 2 lines at the end), 10 pages long, simple set.

The Queue takes place in the waiting room of a New York casting director. One obnoxious actor does his best to ruffle his fellow thesbian before the big audition. (Royalty information.)

There is another version of The Queue geared toward an adult audience.


Cowboy South of Houston - edited for High Schools, © 1995 by Stephen Bittrich. (Revised Draft/Feb 1999)

1 man, 1 woman, 9 pages long, simple set.

Cowboy South of Houston takes place in an avant garde art gallery in Soho (Manhattan). A cowboy tourist wonders into the gallery and gets more than he bargained for when he meets up with a Soho native. (Royalty information.)

There is a version of Cowboy South of Houston for adult audiences.


Bee - edited for High Schools, © 2005 by Stephen Bittrich (Revised Draft/June 2006)

1 man, 2 women, 11 pages long, simple set--a chair and special lighting.

In this scary, Kafkaesque future, a man is called in for questioning when his companion disapears. (Royalty information.)

There is another version of Bee geared a little more toward an adult audience.


On this page you will find great 10-minute plays (short plays, one-acts) which have in most cases been produced in New York City and/or published or have been finalists in contests. Plays for all sorts of casting combinations, be it 1 man, 2 men, 3 men, 1 woman, or 2 women. Some of these plays have been slightly edited for language or mature content, so that they are now appropriate for high schools.