- Books, Literature, and Writing
Ten Minute Plays Plus "It's a Boy!"
What is a Ten Minute Play?
Ten minute plays are short, one-act plays that run for approximately ten minutes (hence, the name). They are complete plays, with the conflict and resolution, opening and closing, all necessarily taking place within the space of approximately ten pages. They can be in any genre, that is, comedy, tragedy, satire, etc.
Short plays go all the way back to the origins of the theatre. Short satires were a favorite of thespians as far back as 500 B.C. This was taken a step further in 1977, when the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays created the ten minute play genre. This genre is currently very popular at schools and community theaters. There are also many ten-minute play competitions.
The challenge for the ten-minute playwright is to squeeze a complete story in such a short space. The character(s) and their world must be introduced within the very first lines. The conflict must also be introduced equally early on, and should be heightened and then resolved within the confines of the play structure. The writer is also challenged to stay focused until the resolution.
After you read my little play, I challenge you to check some of the other ten-minute plays that you will find by following some of the links. If you are a writer, I am also going to leave you some links to information about creating these plays. Enjoy!
Little Girl and Dolly
The Man Who Did Nothing - A Ten-Minute Play
Ten Minute Plays-Scripts
- Heuer Publishing - Ten Minute Plays
Ten Minute Plays - View genre, description, play duration and cast size.
- 10-Minute Plays
A brief history of the 10-minute play genre and list of scripts available online.
- Ten Minute plays and scenes, - Theater Words
Theater Words offers free plays, royalty free plays, Women's Plays, Students' Plays, One Act Plays,Ten minute plays, Scenes, Short Plays, Historical Plays,Children's Plays,Plays in Latin, plays for women, plays for children, social issues, gay issues
- 10-Minute Plays | Ten-Minute Plays
An archive of production-tested 10-minute plays.
10 Minute Play Festival: Drugs Are Bad
Would you rather see several short plays, or one long one?
Lascar Theatre of Dionysus
How to Write a Ten Minute Play
- How to Write A Ten Minute Play | Nick Palmer, Writer
As many of you will know - and all of you should know since I'm always mentioning it. You better hurry up and get revising. There's an exam at the end of term - I belong to a group called Proteus Productions, part of Leicester University Theatre dedi
- Tips For Writing 10 Minute Plays > Formatting | Writing Courses | WritersCafe.org | The Online Wr
- How to write a ten minute play - Sydney Writer, Theatre | Kate Toon
How to write a ten minute play - a quick guide to ten minute plays with Alex Broun, Gerry Greenland, Dona Parise, Pete Malicki. Short and Sweet, Crash Test
web site of NYCPlaywrights
- How to Write a 10-Minute Play
Twelve rules for writing the perfect 10-minute play.
The Play: "It's a Boy!"
It’s a Boy!
Lucy Tomas, a five-year-old little girl
Ruby Tomas, also a five-year-old little girl, Lucy’s cousin.
A little girl’s bedroom. There is a bed, night table with a pretty lamp and a rocking chair. There are various dolls strewn throughout the room. Two small sleeping bags are stretched out on the floor.
(As the curtain comes up, Ruby is sitting crossed-legged on her sleeping bag and playing with her boy baby doll. Lucy is stretched out on her sleeping bag facing front with her chin supported on her elbow. )
Ruby: Tomorrow you are gonna have a new baby brother!
(She lifts her doll to her shoulder as if to burp him.)
Lucy: (Sighs) Yeah.
Ruby: And you can play with him.
Ruby: And you can feed him.
Lucy: (sounding irritated) Yeah!
Ruby: And you can change his dirty diaper!
Ruby and Lucy look at each other for a beat.
Both girls, together: Ewww!
Together they fall down, giggling.After a few minutes, they quiet down.
Lucy: Baby was growing inside mommy’s tummy. Now mommy and daddy are at the hospital trying to get it out. They said I might have to stay here a couple days. (Grimace). How did it get in there?
Ruby: Yeah, daddy says babies come from when daddies plant seeds in mommies tummies.
Lucy: How do they do that?
Ruby: I don’t know. Beat I don’t wanna know!
(The girls look at each other again, and again they start giggling.)
Lucy: How do they get it out?
Ruby: Well, the doctor makes a hole in mommy’s tummy and then he yanks it out!
Lucy: (looking horrified) No! He can’t hurt my mommy! He can just let the baby stay inside!
(Lucy starts screaming. Ruby, afraid of parental attention, tries to calm her.)
Ruby: Shhhhh! It’s ok, it’s ok. I was kidding. (Lucy calms down. She is sniffling a little) I think what they really do is use a transporter, like on Star Trek.
(Lucy’s eyes get real big)
Lucy: I saw that! mommy and daddy took me to the doctor’s office with them, and the doctor squirted some ookie jelly stuff on mommy’s tummy, and he rubbed this stick thing all over, and it made a picture! That’s how we know it’s a boy, because in the picture it had a pee-pee.
Ruby: But my boy doll doesn’t have a pee-pee.
Lucy: My mommy says that boy dolls are not Anna-tommy-lee correct. Anyway, I know boys have pee-pees because my daddy has one. One day, he didn’t lock the bathroom door, and I saw it. I made him splain it to me.
Ruby: Oh! One time, I saw mommy and daddy playing horsey. I had a bad dream, and I went to their room. When I went in, daddy was on top of mommy going “Giddy-up! Giddy-up!” They didn’t see me, so I said “Can I play too?” And mommy screamed and threw daddy off the bed! And guess what? Grown-ups play horsey with no clothes on!
Lucy: You’re kidding.
Ruby: No, I’m not! Anyway, daddy hurried up and got under the sheet. Then he yelled at me to go to my room.
Lucy: I’m sorry.
Ruby: It’s ok. Next day, they said sorry and gave me a big cookie and some ice cream. They said little girls can’t play grown up games.
Lucy: Guess what they want to name my brother.
Lucy: They want to name him after our grandfathers. He’s gonna be Skylar Ignatius Tomas.
Ruby and Lucy look at each other for a beat, and again they start giggling.
Ruby: You know what? That means when we all get in school, you’re gonna hafta keep him from getting beat up.
Lucy: (Shows her muscles) That’s ok. I’m daddy’s number one son, and nobody’s gonna pick on my brother!
Ruby: But now you have a boy, you might have to be a girl.
Lucy: But I am a girl.
Ruby: No, silly! I mean maybe now you have to wear a dress.
Lucy: No, I’m not!
Ruby: Maybe you are!
Lucy: No, I’m not!
(Lucy gets wide-eyed and her lip starts to quiver. A tear rolls down her cheek.
Ruby: What’s the matter?
Lucy: Daddy always wanted a boy. Now he has one, maybe he won’t want me anymore.
(Lucy puts her face in her hands and starts to cry. Ruby reaches over to hug her.)
Ruby: It’s ok. Your daddy loves you. Besides, if he did give you up, you could live here and be my sister instead of my cousin.
Lucy: You promise?
Ruby: (Sits back and puts her hand over her heart) Cross my heart and hope to die, spit a beetle passersby.
(The girls embrace).
Lucy: Thank you, Ruby. I love you.
Ruby: (As the lights fade) I love you too, sister.