Are you ready for a new year full of new theatrical experiences? Kick it off by reading our top 10 plays of 2019!

#10: The Elf on a Shelf Must Die

By Don Zolidis
  • Christmas Comedy
  • One-Act (30-35 minutes)
  • 12-20 actors, gender flexible

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood meets Silent Night in this hilarious Tarantino-esque Christmas caper about two kids racing against the clock to bring their elf back to life before Santa finds out what they've done. Yes, The Elf on a Shelf Must Die, but it turns out that's the easy part.

You just might say this killer comedy is an audience slayer.

Read the play for free!
Take a look at these photos from Keller Middle School's production:


By Maria McConville
  •  Drama
  • One-Act (30-35 minutes)
  • 7-30 actors, gender flexible chorus

In this ensemble-driven drama, a school art fair becomes embroiled in controversy when a student unveils a divisive painting.

Students, parents, and teachers must ask themselves tough questions about freedom of speech, appropriateness, what art is supposed to do and "what is the cost of censorship?"

With a gender flexible-cast, this one-act has won multiple state competitions.

#CENSORED - Stage Partners

#8: Back Cover

By Emily Hageman
  • Drama
  • One-act (40-45 minutes)
  • 10 actors, large female cast

A story of loss, courage, humanity, and the painful— but wonderful— experience of growing up. This new one-act with a large, female-driven cast is already one of the most popular choices for UIL.

Read the play for free!
Check out these production photos:

    •  Comedy/Mystery
    • Full-Length (80-85 minutes)
    • 10-30 actors, gender flexible

    A new season of that popular bachelor show is upon us and comic master Don Zolidis has a #spoilerlalert for even the biggest fans: A murder is afoot!

    Okay, so maybe this TV show is fictional, but the play is real! And The Single Man knows a thing or two about reality TV!

    After a death threat on the set of a, uh, popular TV bachelor show, the producers hire a semi-renowned detective to solve the mystery. But with eight single ladies vying for his attention, will he be able to discover the killer in time?

    The Single Man - Stage Partners

    Peter Pan (Non-Flying Version!) - Stage Partners

      #6: Peter Pan (Non-Flying Version!)
      Adapted by Jon Jory

      • Adventure
      • Full-Length (75-85 minutes)
      • 15-40 actors

      This inventive adaptation can be performed with or without flying, making it a perfect and flexible choice for smaller spaces and limited budgets. In the world of Neverland, Peter Pan is king until he meets his match... a female Captain Hook.

      Experience a theatrical and inventive Peter Pan like you never have before! Master director and acclaimed playwright Jon Jory has also re-imagined the classic tale with a crew of female pirates, opening up the casting possibilities for schools and theaters.

      Read the play for free!
      Read the one-act version for free!
      BLOG BONUS: Get tips for directing your own young actors from playwright/director Jon Jory in our ongoing "Director's Corner" series.

      When Bad Things Happen to Good Actors - Stage Partners

      #5. When Bad Things Happen to Good Actors

      By Ian McWethy and Jason Pizzarello
      • Comedy
      • One-Act (25-30 minutes)
      • 10-30 actors, gender flexible

      A simple one-act production of The Wizard of Oz gets derailed by missed cues, forgotten lines, and a renegade sound board op who refuses to play anything but dinosaur noises. A comedy that proves, when it comes to live theatre, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and it will be hilarious.

      Read the play for free!

      • Comedy
      • One-act (30-45 minutes)
      • 10-40 actors, gender flexible

      Playwright M.G. Davidson says this best seller is a comedy, but I'm pretty sure anything about middle school belongs in the horror genre.

      Ah yes, we're talking about middle school. The best worst years of your life! The friends, the memories, the life lessons, and of course the... inevitably haunting embarrassments that will leave emotional scars for years to come!

      Brace yourself for a hilarious dose of reality in The 10 Best/Worst Things About Middle School by M.G. Davidson!

      Read the play for free!

      The 10 Best/Worst Things About Middle School - Stage Partners

      #3: Tuck Everlasting

      A new play adapted by Mark Frattaroli from the classic book by Natalie Babbit
      • Drama
      • Full-length (65-80 minutes)
      • 8-20 actors possible

      This new adaptation of the classic book "transforms [Natalie] Babbit's coming-of-age story into a breathtaking piece of theater" (Chicago Reader). Follow the journey of 10-year-old Winnie Foster who runs away from her strait-laced 1880's family and discovers the humble Tucks who accidentally stumbled upon a spring that gives them eternal life.

      I devoured this book growing up and love the timeless choice Winnie is faced with at the end: Whether or not to drink the immortal water and join the Tucks in an everlasting adventure— or live on in a natural way, with a life full of the ordinary beauty of growth and change.

      Read the play for free!
      Browse our favorite photos from the Dallas Children's Theater Production:

      For more great school theater recommendation and photos be sure to follow Stage Partners on Facebook and Twitter!

      The Day the Internet Died - Stage Partners

        #2: The Day the Internet Died
        By Ian McWethy and Jason Pizzarello

        • Comedy
        • One-act (30-35 minutes)
        • 10-50 actors, gender flexible

        It was supposed to be a comedy but maybe it's actually a nightmare. The Day the Internet Died is an (unfortunately) timely satire that hilariously explores how inept we are when we don’t have a screen to look at.

        Read the play for free!
        BLOG BONUS: Spend a day with playwright Ian McWethy in our series "This Writing Life"

        #1: Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time

        Adapted for the stage by some of our favorite playwrights!
        • Six unique versions available!
        • One-Act and Full-length
        • Flexible casting options

        With SIX totally different stage adaptations, it's no surprise that Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time has found its way into so many theaters. From a small-cast version, to a one-act tailored for competition, our Wrinkle In Time homepage will help you find the perfect adaptation for your school or theater.

        Read all SIX versions for free!
        BONUS: 5 Free Lesson Plans for teaching A Wrinkle In Time

        Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time - Stage Partners

        Chris Barlow is the author of the comedies iFeel and School of Sharks (A Shark Tank Parody), as well as other plays. As a designer he has worked on over 100 productions in and around New York City, at theaters ranging from The Roundabout to Second Stage to an installation in a Harlem apartment.

        Chris is also the Director of Social Media and Content Manager at Stage Partners. He'd love to hear what you think of the blog by tweeting @stage_partners on Twitter.

        Plays by Chris Barlow - Stage Partners

        Looking for even more plays for young actors?

        Check out all our plays for schools and young actors here!