Are you thinking about trying a play in your English language classroom? Not sure which one to choose? Here are the synopses of our short plays for the classroom. You can also download this list of short plays here.
The setting is a restaurant kitchen in a seaside hotel. Layla, a young immigrant, is in trouble with her boss. The head chef scolds her for not following his instructions for cutting strawberries. He also seems bothered by the fact that her saffron cake with pistachio cream is becoming increasingly popular. When the chef steals her recipe to enter a local bakeoff, Layla finds the courage to stand up to him and turn the tables.
The setting is a family gathering on a snowy day in New England. It centers around two sisters who live completely different lives. Cassie has stayed close to their parents and their world. She has a traditional family with a husband and children. Lola has left the small town. She works for a robotics company in Boston. When Lola brings a man home to meet their parents, Cassie shows up to investigate. It turns out Rob is not who he seems to be. When Cassie realizes Lola is dating a robot, their two perspectives on life and love clash.
A foreign exchange student, Ingrid, is living on a goat farm in Colorado. When the play opens, her friend Tina is visiting. When the two girls are told they need to stay inside at night, they decide to investigate. Is it the ghost of a previous owner? A white smudge in the darkness suggests so, but the ghost turns out to be a snowy owl. The real trouble begins when a mountain lion shows up. They survive the encounter, but Ingrid has to make an important choice: face the dangers of life in the wild or return to the safety of the big city.
A Gulf Coast city is about to experience an intense tropical storm. The play starts with Ajax an adventurous teenager who boards a downtown bus with his bookish classmate Magnus. As the flood waters rise and the streets close down, Magnus chooses to stay safe in the library. Ajax, on the other hand, disobeys his parents and goes out into the storm to rescue people. Who is right? Is Ajax recklessly endangering himself and others, or is he a hero of the storm?
A mysterious woman, Sarafina, moves into a guesthouse owned by a nurse and her teenage son. Sarafina stays up all night and gets mysterious packages. She claims to be a medical researcher, but Ramsay, the teenager, isn’t so sure. When a stranger starts taking pictures of Ramsay, confronting his mom at her work, and finally attacks Sarafina. Things come to a head. What is Sarafina researching? Is it controversial? And why does she have to do it in secret?
2018 Runner-up for English-Language Award from the English-Speaking Union
The setting is a family home in middle America. Gigi announces she is breaking up with her fiancée Oscar. The reason? Oscar plays computer games too much. As a high-profile gamer, he has a chance to join a professional league. This puzzles Gigi and her family, though they are proud of Gigi’s sister’s success on the soccer field. The contrast in their feelings about esports and traditional athletics opens a conversation about how families treat young computer gamers and their passion for their sport.
A family is preparing to send their daughter off to college, but no one can agree on what she should study. Aida has had some success in high school theater. In fact, she’s been invited to audition at a famous performing arts school. It would be a dream come true for some teenagers, but not for Aida. She wants to be a scientist. Her choice of a stem career would be a dream come true for many parents, but not for Aida’s mother and father. They push for her to be an actress. By flipping traditional expectations, the play lightly explores different perspectives on how a young person chooses a career.
Find all our drama resources on our Plays for Students Page, including free resources on doing plays in class, doing reader’s theater, improv and theater games, and even short activities for practicing grammar, pronunciation, and non-verbal communication.