"Laugh Lines"

Short Comic Plays

Short plays for class, rehearsal, or performance. Emmanuel Faure

Maybe you’re looking for a short play or two to use with students in an acting class. Maybe you need a new source of scripts for play competitions. Maybe you’d just like to read a lot of plays in one afternoon and enjoy a few laughs in the process.

If any of the above applies, consider this collection: Laugh Lines: Short Comic Plays.

This book contains over 30 short plays - each will only take 10 - 15 minutes to read or perform. All of the plays - as suggested by the title - will make audiences laugh out loud.

The playwrights are all American, among them well-known and distinguished authors such as Christopher Durang, David Lindsay-Abaire, Steve Martin, and Elaine May.

Here is some information on three of the plays:

Miss You by David Auburn

Two actors split four roles in this lightning quick play that exemplifies many relationship issues. Man 1 misses Woman 1. Woman 1 desires Man 2. Man 2 would like to break it off with Woman 1 until Woman 2 busts him for cheating on her. Then Man 2 misses Woman 1 who realizes how good she has it with Man 1.

Miss You looks and feels similar to an open scene, but the script has defined outcomes. Like an open scene, however, the dialogue lends itself to interpretation and creativity of by the cast.

Production Details
Setting: Anywhere
Time: Anytime
Cast Size: This play can accommodate 4 actors.
Male Characters: 2
Female Characters: 2
Characters that could be played by either males or females: 0
Man 1
Man 2
Woman 1
Woman 2

The production rights for Miss You are currently held by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Your Mother’s Butt by Alan Ball

Your Mother’s Butt is a comedic and rather all too honest account of a psychologist’s appointment. The client is flighty and feels bored with his life. He would rather distract himself with shiny images of clothes and belts and shoes instead of facing the struggles he’s had with his mother. The psychologist is dedicated to helping this young man and comes so very close to a breakthrough with him only to have him sail back to the safe harbor of clothing.

Production Details
Setting: Psychologist office
Time: Present
Cast Size: This play can accommodate 2 actors.
Male Characters: 1
Female Characters: 1
Characters that could be played by either males or females: 0
The Client is a bored young man who is obviously trying to avoid deep-rooted issues. A personal shopper instead a professional and highly educated psychologist might better suit his needs.
The Psychologist is a woman in her mid-thirties - talented and professional. She exhibits much restraint in dealing with her distracted and delusional client.
Content Issues: Talk of butts in bathtubs

The production rights for Your Mother’s Butt are currently held by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Alone at Last! by Gina Barnett

A boy and girl who are in love (or close to it) are alone on a couch. They want to kiss (and much more) but the voices in their head (and outside their head) make them hesitate and question their every move. Eventually, the boy and girl succeed and have a sweet and wonderful experience - after which there is a great moment: The remainder of the cast (those voices that they heard) lights up cigarettes. The boy and girl then send the voices away and decided to go at it again - this time just for themselves.

This short one act play offers opportunities for actors to play extreme characters. The subject matter and actions required of the actors suggest this script as material for college age actors and older. The boy and girl must be able to keep a make-out session going for the duration of the play and simulate sexual intercourse as well.

Production Details
Setting: Suburban living room
Time: Now
Cast Size: This play can accommodate 9 actors
Male Characters: 5
Female Characters: 4
Characters that may be played by either males or females: 0
A Boy
A Girl
A Female Therapist
The Girl’s Mother
The Girl’s Father
The Boy’s Mother
The Boy’s Father
The Girl’s Ex-Boyfriend
Content Issues: Sex

Playwright Gina Barnett has retained copyrights for her play. For inquiries contact: Sonia Pabley, Rosenstone/Wender, 38 E 29th Street, New York, NY 10016.