Available for Production

 

Plays by Matt Buchanan

One-Act Plays

Full-Length Plays

Ten-Minute Plays

COMMISSIONS WELCOME!

 

Love my work by don't see exactly the play you need?  I'm always open to commissions for new work.  Drop me a line and we'll talk.

  • SLEEPING WALTER

    Ever wish you could just keep dreaming? Sleeping Walter is the story of a young boy whose

    dreams are so much more fulfilling than his real life that he refuses to wake up. Walter dreams a series of increasingly fantastic triumphs, as his family grows more and more concerned that he won't wake up. Finally his sister, Grace, joins him in his dreams to try to "talk him down." But it is not until Walter learns for himself that real satisfaction comes from trying, not from winning, that he decides to come back to the real world. Entertaining for adults and small children alike.  2M, 2F, 18+ Either.

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishing

     

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  • ERNIE'S PLACE

    The play tells the story of three children who must adjust to the change in life occasioned by a move. Stella, Louie and Max move from the city to the suburbs after their parents' divorce.

    They retreat into themselves and are reluctant to trust or need anyone else. They build a shed in their new backyard and make it their "super secret clubhouse." And when they discover a homeless man sleeping in their clubhouse, they wonder what happened to him. How did he come to be homeless? In pursuit of answers, and with the man's abandoned belongings as clues, the children enact, through dramatic play, several possible scenarios to explain "Ernie's" situation—but they are really playing out their own worst fears about belonging and finding a place in the world. "Ernie's" situation ultimately moves the children to open up their clubhouse to everyone. Ernie's Place is a play about reaching out and making connections.  2F, 3M (one of which is a walk-on).

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers

     

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  • PUCK AND THE PLAYERS

    A contemporary language take on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, focusing on the story of the rustics and Puck. A ragtag troupe of tradesmen gets together to put on a play for the Duke. A mischievous fairy (Puck) takes it into his head to mess with their heads, turning one of their number (Nick Bottom) into a donkey during a rehearsal deep in the woods. After a very strange encounter with a glamorous fairy queen under a spell, Bottom makes it home, and the play can go on—which it does, very badly indeed. A fun, fast-paced introduction to Shakespeare's classic.  5F, 8M, 3 Either.

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers

     

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  • PRINCE UGLY

    What is a real friend? Prince Ugly is a contemporary fairy tale about a young prince who is cursed at birth, like Sleeping Beauty—only this is a very different kind of curse! Poor Prince William is

    the ugliest child on the planet. Children run from his face, and even strong men quail. The spell can only be broken when the prince makes a real friend—but how can he, when everyone is afraid of him? A fun, often zany story about identity and friendship.  7F, 6M, 3 either.

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers

     

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  • TWO DUDES FROM DAYTONA

    When two best friends from Daytona Beach, Val and Theo, move to the Big Apple, Theo leaves behind the love of his life, Julia, and Val swears he'll never fall in love.  Surprise, surprise, they both fall for the same girl in New York.  Sylvia, an up-and-coming actress, loves Val, but Theo won't stop trying to cut his friend out. To make matters worse, her mother, who also happens to be Val's agent, is determined that she should marry the already successful Skip - whom she despises. Just when Theo has managed to get both lovers thrown out of the house, Julia arrives, disguised as a boy, to find out why her lover hasn't been writing.  Harrowing misadventures on the streets of New York ensue, but in the tradition of Shakespearean farce, all's well that ends well in this modern comedy loosely based on the Bard's Two Gentlemen of Verona.  6-11 M, 7-12 F, 5+ Either.

     

    Available from YouthPLAYS.

     

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  • THE UNSCARY GHOST

    Loosely based on Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost. When the Otis family moves into the old Victorian home in Canterville, Ohio, they soon learn that the place is haunted.  Only nobody in this jaded, modern family finds the ghost remotely frightening.  The ghost, Simon Canter by name, is humiliated and frustrated by his attempts to live up to his assigned task of frightening people, while the family alternately taunts him and tries to exploit him, even trying to get a spot on the hit TV show, "America's Most Haunted."  Only the oldest daughter, Ginny, seems to care for or understand poor Simon.  Can she help him find peace?  A sometimes zany, sometimes touching show for the whole family.  3+ M, 5+ F, 8+ Either.

     

    Available from YouthPLAYS

     

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  • THE CRONE OF CROPLEY

    Nothing seems to be going right in the little town of Cropley. The cows won't give milk, the hens won't lay eggs, and the crops are dying in the field—until a mysterious old woman shows up. Does she have magical powers or just wisdom? When the town adopts her in hopes that she'll cure their ills, they learn that through helping her, they can help each other. A fairy tale about the importance of cooperation and the power of helping others.  6F, 6M.  (The play can also make use of an optional ensemble, thus allowing more performers to participate.)

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers

     

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  • THE MISER OF DRY GULCH

    Old Man Richman is the richest rancher in Dry Gulch, but he's also the stingiest. His two marriage-aged children have each fallen in love, but Old Man Richman has other plans—instead of the poor but pure lovers they have chosen, he wants to marry them off to wealthy old-timers who will soon die, so they can inherit their fortunes. To make matters worse, he plans to marry his son's sweetheart himself—if she can come up with a dowry! Loads of zany slapstick shenanigans follow as the two young people attempt to foil Richman's plans for them and find a happy ending in this wild-west adaptation of Molière's classic French farce.  3F, 6M.

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers

     

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  • THE DAY BOY AND THE NIGHT GIRL

    A free adaptation of a George MacDonald fairy tale about a boy raised never to see darkness and a girl kept always in the dark. The two children accidentally meet and eventually learn that they need each other. The story is framed by a parallel story of two children in a London orphans' hospital. This is a wonderful archetypal fairy tale, yet it will be new and fresh for most audiences. Though it can be done very simply, it also offers creative opportunities for your technical people, especially your lighting designer.  4F, 4M.

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers

     

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  • OPERATION TAKE BACK DAD

    Mom and the children have almost forgotten he lives there. Frustrated by their emotionally distant dad's obsession with work, five children take matters into their own hands and kidnap him in this zany play with a heart.  3F, 2M. 2 Either.

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers.

     

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  • THE BIRD

    A titmouse among the bus-stop pigeons--a messenger from God?  A twisted encounter between strangers.  2M or 2F.

     

    Available from YouthPLAYS

     

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  • LARRY OF THE LAKE

    A harried businessman is tempted to a life of irresponsibility by a mysteriously wet man.  2M (or 2F).

     

    Available from YouthPLAYS

     

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  • WITNESSES

    This dynamic series of short monologues from seven people who have participated in or witnessed a botched robbery allows audiences to piece together what actually happened, but what's more interesting is the insight we get into the minds of the witnesses. None of the accounts match, and each one betrays the witness's prejudices. An exploration of perception, stereotypes, and prejudice, it showcases an actor's ability to play multiple characters and ethnicities.  2-7, mixed gender.

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers

     

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  • DESERT ISLAND DISCS

    If you were marooned on a desert island...if there actually is an island in the desert...what, or whom, would you want with you and what would be your number one priority? After two guys wreck their boat and end up on an island, many pertinent questions are answered before they are rescued.  2M (Or 2 F).

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers

     

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  • LILY

    Lily, a mannequin in a dress-shop window, forms a special friendship with the lonely old woman who stares through the window at her every day. We see the old woman's uneasy relationship with her driven daughter, but in the end, we see some of Lily's spirit in her young granddaughter. A gentle story that can be a real showcase for honest emotion, with just enough humor to balance the sweetness.  1F.

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers

     

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  • COYOTE KILLER

    A young teen's cat is mauled by a wild coyote. Determined to avenge his pet, the teen sets out on a campaign to kill the coyote. But in order to get close enough to do it, he must essentially befriend the animal, and in the end his revenge sickens him. This emotional and sometimes shocking monologue is a great vehicle for showcasing an actor's intensity.  1M or 1F.

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers

     

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  • LITTLE WOMEN

    Based on the cherished novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women tells the story of the four March Girls, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, as they grow to adulthood in Civil War era New England.  This adaptation stays very close to the original text and is especially popular with those who truly love the book. An evening with sensible Meg, headstrong Jo, quiet Beth and lively Amy makes a wonderful and moving theatrical experience for the whole family.  8-15F, 7-11M.

     

    Available from Brooklyn Publishers

     

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  • IRENE AND CURDIE

    Adapted from the George MacDonald fairy tale, The Princess and the Goblin.  Irene, a young princess, is suddenly thrown into an evil world of goblins bent on destroying her father's castle. With the help of the young miner named Curdie and a magical great-great grandmother who may or may not be real, Irene must warn the castle of the gathering storm. But will anyone believe her? A tale of fantasy, adventure, and friendship.

     

    Available from Playscripts.com

     

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