5-Minute Plays by Tara Meddaugh
THE SHIPWRECK SOLUTION
What do a box jellyfish, a mako shark, an anglerfish and a tiger shark have in common? They all want to live in the same abandonned shipwreck on the ocean floor! No one wants to share, no one wants to live somewhere else and…uh oh…what if someone can’t help but want to eat someone else? Check out The Shipwreck Solution to discover if these four, very different creatures, can find a way to work it out!
Cast: 4 male or female (gender neutral cast)
Genre: Comedy/children (teens and adults can have fun with the roles too!)
Set: Minimal, a shipwreck in the ocean
Running time: 5-7 minutes
Great for: Reader’s theater, engaging children in theater in a fun way, learning about sea creatures (in a fun way!), equal roles for 4 children, a play with 4 non-gender-specific roles
*The Shipwreck Solution includes a “Yes, It’s True” page featuring fun facts referencing the animals you read about, as well as a glossary with a few key terms.
The Shipwreck Solution is part of Tara Meddaugh’s Reader’s Theater series. These are great plays for any age in a theater setting, competition or classroom. But as Reader’s Theater, they are designed to make reading aloud enjoyable for children. Children don’t need to memorize or “perform,” but simply benefit from the act of reading out loud together, in dramatic form. Reader’s Theater can promote fluency, confidence, creativity, empathy, oral expression and connections among peers. Children at home or in the classroom enjoy reading these fun scripts aloud.
Click to read a free excerpt to the play, The Shipwreck Solution.
Click below for a digital copy of the 5-minute play, The Shipwreck Solution.
THE ITEMS FORGOTTEN
Locked out of their house for the third time this week, Travis and Kira search for their spare key on their porch, and begin questioning their relationship (and state of mind)!
Cast: 2 actors (1 female, 1 male)
Genre: drama, comedy
Set: On a porch of a house on a cold day
Length: 5 minutes
*Published in Five-Minute Plays, Applause Acting
CLICK below for a complete digital copy of The Items Forgotten.
HIS FIRST ENGLISH WORDS
Grace is a Catholic widow who takes in a Jewish refugee child in the 1940s. She knows very little of his experience, culture, or language and strives to find a way to connect.
Genre: Drama, 1940s, monologue
Running time: Approximately 5-6 minutes
Cast: Female, 40s-60s
Setting: a home, a public library
Great for: Showcases, performances, festivals, monologue competitions, forensics, dramatic interpretation, Toastmasters performance, 5-minute solo pieces, strong female role, a play about an historical issue
Click here for more information on this monologue.
*This monologue stands alone as its own piece, but it also comes from the collection of shorts in the full-length play, Victory Gardens.
Click for a free excerpt to His First English Words.
Click below for a complete digital copy of His First English Words (once purchased, you will be given a link to download the script)
THE ADVENTURE OF THE SEED
Alice, a young newlywed mails a letter to her husband, who is stationed in the army overseas during WWII. The letter carries more than her love, worries and hopes for the future, but also an important revelation which she believes will bring him home safely.
Genre: Drama/Comedy/WW2/Monologue Play
Cast: 1 Female
Age range: Older teen to adult
Running time: Approximately 4-5 minutes
Great for: Showcases, performances, monologue competitions, Toastmasters performance, 5-minute solo pieces, strong female role, a play about an historical issue
*This story, complete as a whole play itself, comes from the collection of shorts in the full-length play, Victory Gardens.
View the excerpt below:
I’m mailing this seed today, and it will go on a greater adventure than I have ever been on. It’ll start right here, in New Rochelle. A seed I’ve taken from a watermelon I’ve grown in our backyard victory garden and dried over two weeks. It’s sealed in an envelope and it’ll be picked up tomorrow morning by Mr. Parker, our mailman. It will ride in a US Postal truck to New York City, then it will find a good long rest on a boat, or maybe a plane, which will cross the Atlantic Ocean to France. From there, it will bump along in a military vehicle, until it reaches its final destination and infantry division, and into the warm, fair hands of Mr. Richard Ayers. (pause) Richard is most likely in the trenches, because he’s 19, and in the army. The trenches often fill with mud, and it’s hard to sleep because he hears the bombs in the distance and he wonders if the sounds are getting closer or he is just imagining it. It’s getting harder to tell what is really happening anymore, because none of it seems real when he thinks about it. (pause) A year ago, when we fell in love, he was in High School, hoping to become a university professor one day. He liked English literature courses and playing the clarinet, and he had never killed anyone, or thought of killing anyone before. Then they bombed Pearl Harbor, and this caused him to be filled with a new kind of hatred he had only read about, and it made him put his books down and begin his own, real, journey that maybe he will write about one day. (pause) He’s happy when the mail comes. Mail is second only to food and munition, the government says, and he says that’s true. Sometimes, troops get a magazine with a photograph of Rita Hayworth and the men pass it around. My Richard shakes his head at the photograph of Rita Hayworth because it doesn’t seem like she can possibly be in the same world as them anymore, but he likes looking at her nonetheless. END OF EXCERPT
Click below for the complete 4-5 minute dramatic monologue, The Adventure of the Seed.
MY BEST MYSELF
While Megan and Kel are waiting for their school bus to arrive, Megan challenges Kel to prove how she received her latest Girl Scouts badge.
Cast: 2 females
Set: A bus stop
Great for: Children, reader’s theater, 2 strong female children’s roles, fun simple piece with depth, competitions, brings up issues to discuss (but subtly)
My Best Myself is part of Tara Meddaugh’s Reader’s Theater series. These are great plays for any age in a theater setting, competition or classroom. But as Reader’s Theater, they are designed to make reading aloud enjoyable for children. Children don’t need to memorize or “perform,” but simply benefit from the act of reading out loud together, in dramatic form. Reader’s Theater can promote fluency, confidence, creativity, empathy, oral expression and connections among peers. Children at home or in the classroom enjoy reading these fun scripts aloud.
CLICK for EXCERPT OF FIVE MINUTE CHILDREN'S PLAY, MY BEST MYSELF.
Click below for the complete 5-minute children’s play, My Best Myself.
Dan is at work, and has just participated in the office “Secret Santa” exchange where participants were instructed to make a gift for their Secret Santa. He is speaking to Penny, the coworker he has been assigned to give a gift to. He has just given her his gift and she is not impressed, but there is a very good reason for Dan’s uncreative gift.
Genre: COMEDY/DRAMA/MONOLOGUE PLAY
Cast: MALE (FEMALE)
Setting: AN OFFICE
Age range: 20-50s
Running time: Approximately 5 minutes
Great for: Competitions, 5-minute solo pieces, performances, toastmasters piece, showcase, strong male monologue
Read a free excerpt below of the 5-minute monologue play, Secret Santa:
What did you expect? Me to knit a scarf? You think I’m gonna bake, what, cookies shaped like Santa and put a bow on it? (shakes head) You can’t have the same expectation on me as you do Chrissy—we all see her at lunch, reading those magazines with, I don’t know what they have on them—little crafts—and—food…things? And Gerald has his own woodworking shop in his garage. I’ve seen it. You probably haven’t, but he’s got everything. He built his kids a huge wooden fire truck. They can stand inside of it and it has a real hose installed.. They keep it in their driveway all summer. So his handcrafted Frank-shaped nutcracker is nothing for him. (pause) So. Look. It’s—you’re taking this too personally. I know the rules of Secret Santa this year were that we had to make our own gift. But…Penny. You know what I’ve been going through, right? Sarah left me right on Halloween. We’re going through the kids’ candy when they’re in bed, you know, making sure they’re fine, eating a few peanut butter cups. And she gets all excited and says she’s found one with the wrapper open. I tell her Joey was starting to open a pack of Skittles after he brushed his teeth, so I had him save it for the next day. And it’s a pack of Skittles she’s got in her hands too, so it’ gotta be the same one. I tell her all this but she doesn’t believe me and she gets hysterical that someone in the neighborhood is trying to poison the kids. I say I doubt that, but she keeps going on about it, so I shrug it off and let her get it out of her system. We’ll throw them out if it makes her happy, who cares. Joey has enough candy...END OF EXCERPT
CLICK BELOW FOR THE COMPLETE 5-minute comedic/dramatic monologue play, Secret Santa.