In 1995 I wrote and directed my first school play, Terence. Since then, I’ve watched more than thirty 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 twenty two 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.
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
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
The creation/evolution debate. Comedy. (Senior. Cast of 4) Unnatural Selection
Friends gather after death of a friend. Drama. (Senior. Cast of 6) Double Exposure
A girl discovers a prototype love pill. Comedy. (Junior. Cast of 14) Zucchini Tom
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
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
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