In 1995 I wrote and directed my first school play, Terence. Since then, I’ve watched many of my plays come to life on the school stage. Working with teenagers to develop theatre remains one of my greatest loves, and here I offer thirty eight of the plays I think are most likely to translate well into other school environments. They are available for you to download for free, and I hope you will also feel at ease editing, extending, abridging or bowdlerising them to suit your needs. If you do make use of any of them, leave a comment to help others considering doing the same.

These scripts tend to fall into two categories. Some were written with junior classes in mind (13 to 15 year olds) and tend to have larger casts (10-16) with significant difference between the smaller and larger roles. As a rule, they’re also fairly light comedies. By double casting plays like this, and having the two casts perform on consecutive nights, a full class can often be accommodated. This also has the advantage of providing back up should an actor let you down.

The senior scripts (16 to 18 year olds), are less likely to be comedic, and hopefully provide more challenging acting experiences. The casts are mostly smaller, although this varies, and in the classroom I’ve triple cast them in order to make sure all the students get the acting challenge they need and deserve.

On the title page of each download you’ll find a short description, a production note and a cast list.


Absent friends:

A group of friends hold a seance. Drama (Junior. Cast of 11)    Absent friends


A band take a DJ hostage. Comedy (Junior. Cast of 11)  Talkback


An outsider fights for the alpha girl. Comedy (Junior. Cast of 11)  Terence

Orange buttons

An explosion in a train station. Drama (Senior. Cast of 9)  Orange Buttons

Malcolm and Juliet

A boy makes a documentary on sex. Comedy (Senior. Cast of 8)   Malcolm and Juliet

Heart Attack and Vine

Tragedy on the last day of school. Drama (Senior. Cast of 6)  Heart Attack and Vine


A court case considers a violent death. Drama (Senior. Cast of 9)  Blame

Unnatural Selection

The creation/evolution debate. Comedy. (Senior. Cast of 4)  Unnatural Selection

Double Exposure

Friends gather after death of a friend. Drama. (Senior. Cast of 6)  Double Exposure

Zucchini Tom

A girl discovers a prototype love pill. Comedy. (Junior. Cast of 14)  Zucchini Tom

Love Story

A stolen phone and mistaken identity. Comedy. (Senior. Cast of 9)  Love Story

Taken to the Cleaners

Teens break in to internet dating site. Comedy. (Junior. Cast of 13)  Taken to the Cleaners


Four strangers held hostage, but why? Drama. (Senior. Cast of 8)    Singer

End to End

A murder at a party, told in reverse order. Comedy. (Junior. Cast of 10)  End to End


A metallic boy comes to life. Nobody believes him. Comedy. (Junior. Cast of 16)  Minnochio

Six Strings Attached

An aspiring musician lands a role in reality tv. Comedy. (Senior. Cast of 8) Six strings attached


PE teacher takes his class hostage. Comedy. (Junior. Cast of 15)   Puck

The End of the World as we know it.

Two girls throw a party in a bunker. Comedy. (Junior. Cast of 14)  End of the world

The Breakfast Dub

A bunch of kids on detention. Sound familiar? Comedy. (Junior. Cast of 10)  The Breakfast Dub

Superman’s Dog

A plan to kill granny turns even uglier. Comedy. (Senior. Cast of 9)  Superman’s Dog

Hutt High School Musical

A budding musician, but his father doesn’t understand. Musical. (Junior. Cast of 15)  Hutt High School Musical

Resolution Bay

A New Year’s party changes everything. Drama. (Senior. Cast of 7)  Resolution Bay

Fight or Flight

A bus breaks down on an isolated road. A strangely deserted house… (Senior. Cast of 8) Fight or Flight


A young woman prepares to leave her home. Secrets will out. (Senior. Cast of 7) Fracture


At the risk of hyperbole, my favourite play. A love story,and a study of a family living with their mentally ill mother. Funnier and more hopeful than it sounds. (Senior. Cast of 7) Home


Two young couples, one happy, one struggling, and then they meet strangers online. (Senior. Cast of 4) Rush

Lock Down

Five students are locked together in the school library during a lock down. (Senior. Cast of 5) Lock Down

Lord of the Lies

Ten teens are stranded on an island and must survive together. (Junior. Cast of 10) Lord of the Lies


Based on an idea by a group of my students, and workshopped with them,  this is the tale of an accidental death at a school ball, or was it? (Senior. Cast of 6) Domino’s

The View From Here

A group of jurors prepare to leave the jury room having delivered their verdict in a sexual assault case. But there’s an awful lot left to be said. (Senior. Cast of 7) The View from Here-2

Talking to a Stranger

This is a three hander, so good for an extra-curricular project with actors who are ready to fly. A chance meeting in a bach in the Malborough Sounds. (Senior. Cast of 3) Talking to a stranger-3

Three Nights

A companion piece to Two Nights. This piece looks at the issue of sexual consent, and does it using interlinked monologues. (Senior. Cast of 8) Three Nights

This is not a Love Story

Not for the faint hearted director, this comedy takes place in two adjacent theatre spaces, with actors moving between the worlds of the show and the (observed) backstage performance. At half time audiences swap and the play is repeated.Timing is everything.           (Senior, cast of 7) This is not a love story-2


This play was written in response to the Christchurch shootings in 2019, and examines the way the voices of the online world distort and manipulate. Follows a young woman whose involvement on the climate change movement brings her into contact with the trolls. (Senior,  cast of 10) Arrival – Script


A look at the way people allow themselves to fall for the stories they most want to believe, focusing on the antics of a performer who claims to speak to the dead. (Junior, cast 10) Beyond

Cabin Fever

Trampers arrive in a back country to discover a dead body. As more and more people arrive, the suspicions and accusations take over. A murder mystery. (Senior, cast 8) Cabin Fever

Two Nights

This is the script of the play, Two Nights, which looks at the way pornography damages notions and experiences of pornography, and was developed with Anna Flaherty and which has been toured around schools in the Lower North Island). (Senior, cast 4)  Two Nights 2019 script

Stand up

A comedy set in a comedy club, open mic night. A series of comedic monologues and duologues that plays out as a love story. (Senior, cast 4) Stand Up



A piece of social activism for a small cast. Centres on a bunch of flatmates during a lockdown, and a couch surfer who turns outnot be an anti-vaxxer. Looks at the way polarised debates get us nowhere. (Senior, cast5) 


The Shed

A senior comedy, with eight roles and a long sequence of intertwined conversations which keeps them on their toes. Based around two retired builders working on a school site. Their work shed becomes a gathering place for the struggling and disaffected.


The I-land

A junior play, based around a reality tv show set on a secluded island, all is going well until the competitors begin to suspect there is more to this than meets the eye. Are they even being televised? What is happening to them and why? (Junior, 12 roles)


One thought on “Plays

  1. Angela Smith says:

    Hi. This year (2014) I’ve used ‘Singer’ and ‘Blame’ and they were both really powerful. Minimal budget, easily edited for a boys only school, and enough depth for the boys to sink their teeth into. Much thanks.
    A Smith – St Thomas of Canterbury College

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