Cold Reads scripts are posted as they’re read, and so far almost all have been full length plays—by far the dominant form. Very few great plays last less than an hour and a half. (See A Short History of Short Plays.)
On the other hand, short plays are perfect for both first-time cold readers (get your feet wet) and those with busy schedules—especially “short-short” Ten Minute Plays, a whole new form of “high-octane drama for a fast-food generation” has become a very popular theatrical genre. The plays may not be all that great, but most are funny, some disturbing, and they take no time to read.
To supplement my fledgling lists, I have included links to several sites that publish short plays on line, and suggest readers search on line for recommended titles. Any scripts you’d like to add are welcome (PDF or DOC), subject to review (for spam), which could take time. Click Upload a Script in the right sidebar for guidelines.
Green links indicate scripts in the public domain. Titles in Red are copyright-protected, and require a password. Click the Password Request link in the right sidebar, fill out and submit the form, and you’ll receive a reply in a day or three.
Although we read eighty plays last year as an ad hoc panel of judges for the Storefront Theatre’s Short Short competition, I cannot yet post them. Thankfully, a lot of playwrights post their own. Search for recommendations (“Best Ten-Minute Plays,” etc.) and downloadable scripts (“Ten-Minute Plays On Line,” etc.) Here are a few samples.
One Act Plays
Theaters rarely produce one-act plays, so playwrights don’t often write them. (Or vice versa.) Here are a few.
Edward Albee: The American Dream; Fam and Yam
Samuel Beckett: Krapp’s Last Tape
George Gray: Three Way Stop
Maurice Maeterlinck: The Intruder
Eugene O’Neill: In The Zone; The Long Voyage Home; Moon of the Caribbees; Where the Cross Is Made
Tennessee Williams: 27 Wagons Full of Cotton and other plays; American Blues
J M Synge: Riders to the Sea
External Links (search “Best One=Act Plays…”):