28 Plays Later 2024 – Brief #12 – The Trilogy Challenge (Part I): Rochambeau Rumble





Gentlebeings  – and not so Gentlebeings – welcome to this year’s Rochambeau Rumble, where an intergalactic panel of players tries to win the ultimate game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Let’s meet them. Rock, who are you and where are you from?


Name’s Thaaj. From Tellarus. I work as a blaster in the flobutnum mines. Got a wife and a son who’s gonna be a miner like me some day. (beat) I will crush the competition. (Rock holds his arm up, one hand in a fist.)


Alright, next is Paper. Tell us about yourself.


I’m Laihaina from Serenity, and I’m a schoolteacher in the Interplanetary School on Novelus Two. I don’t want to boast, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got my competitors all wrapped up.  (Paper extends one arm in front of her, her hand flat like paper.)


Well good luck to you, Paper. I hope your students are watching tonight and cheering you on. Scissors, you’re up.


I’m Aelak of Fiskar. I’m a cardio-thoracic resident, and I’ve never lost a patient. I plan to cut through the competition. (He extends his arm to the side, his hand in a scissors position.)

ANNOUNCER (nervous laughter):

Well, that’s great, Scissors. Thanks for that. (recovers) Audience, the stage is set, the players all seem pretty confident. (shifts to a Monster Truck announcer voice): Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!  (beat) Round one begins now. Players… take your marks.

Read the Entire Play:  012 – 2402.15 – Rochambeau Rumble

Important Note:

This play mentions three different charities, all of them are real, and I hope you’ll consider throwing some or all of them a few bucks:

Paper for Water

Doctors Without Borders

The Halo Trust


28 Plays Later 2024 – Brief #010 – The Original Musical Challenge: Mother of Water

Walking Into the Sea


Old Fisherman:
I put to see at the break of dawn

Seamen’s Chorus:
Mother of Water, guide me on.

Old Fisherman:
I search for where the fish have gone.

Seamen’s Chorus:
Mother of Water, guide me on.

Mother of Water, mother of waves!
Other lives she takes but ours she saves!

Read the Entire Play Here: 010 – 2402.12 – Mother of Water

28 Plays Later 2024 – Brief 01 – the TLC Challenge: The Lost Cow

The Lost Cow



Scene: the front porch of a weathered farmhouse. GLADYS enters from a door, center, and sees something in the distance.


George! Tyler’s little calf is on our lawn again. Hasn’t he fixed that fence yet? This is the third time this week the poor thing’s gone stray.


(off stage)

Guess I better call him to come get it.



I guess you’d better come out here and lead the calf to our barn. It’s supposed to freeze tonight, and that creature’s too young to stay in the open. (beat) George? (another beat) George, I mean now!



I heard you, and I’m coming! You don’t need to scream your fool head off, woman. You’ll scare the calf away.

GEORGE enters from the same center door. He’s wearing denim overalls, and a baseball cap with the CAT logo on it. He’s carrying a rope lasso, which he swings as he moves


Alright, I’m here, now where’s the calf you’re so concerned about?



Over there, by the horse trough. Be careful you don’t trip, it’s dark out there.

GEORGE steps off the porch and disappears upstage left. There’s the sound of a lasso being twirled.


(off stage)

Oof! Hold it there. Now c’mon closer. I ain’t gonna hurt you.

From offstage there is a loud MOOO and then Blackout.

Read the entire play here: 001 – 2402.01 – The Lost Cow

The Second Voyage of Calypso

Jacques Cousteau Statue by Ron Jordan

Brief: Take one of your previous plays and expand it in some fashion.


JACQUES:                  (watching both) I see why you brought Mr. Steinbeck to join us.

JOHN:                         Because she likes my work?

JACQUES:                  No… because she sees a kinship between herself and us.

JOHN:                         A kinship. Because we both love Baja?

JACQUES:                  That probably sparked the flame, but no… it’s because she sees us as alike. To this lovely young woman –

MELISSA:                   Hey, I’m almost fifty; I’m hardly young.

JOHN:                         Maybe not in years, but definitely in miles.

JACQUES:                  You have youthful energy, my dear. In any case, as I was saying, to this lovely young woman, we are the same. We are both explorers. I spend more of my time under the sea, you on the surface, but… in this we are the same. (to MELISSA) You… you’re an explorer as well.


Follow the link below to read the entire play.

027 – The Second Voyage of Calypso



Brief: Write a play with no plot.


Scene 5: Electricity


He:                              (proudly) I’ve made the center light switches match.


She:                              So, up is on, and down is off?


He:                              No, they’re opposite, because otherwise the door switches don’t match.


She:                              You know I’m just gonna switch them back later, right?

Follow the link below to read the entire play.

026 – Post-Its

Cold Therapy

Ice Hotel Chapel

Brief: Use environmental sustainability as the inspiration for a play.

Notes: It’s possible that I just wanted to set something in an ice hotel.


YUERIG:                    Good, good. We are here tonight to talk about sacrifice.

WOMAN 1:                Like the animals who sacrificed themselves to give us the blankets on the seats?

WOMAN 2:                I don’t see you sticking your bum down on bare ice.

MAN 1:                       Can we just listen to the man?

YUERIG:                    The harvesting of wool doesn’t harm sheep, and removing the matted, heavy fleece keeps them cool in summer.

MAN 2:                       So, what’s your point?

YUERIG:                    Sacrifice. It’s what we are called to do during Lent, right? Give something up to prove our love of God, and our worthiness for redemption… but what do we sacrifice?

Follow the link below to read the entire play:

025 – Cold Therapy

Going Viral

Wet Ones

Brief: Write a comedy.

Notes: I thought it was amusing that so many personal hygiene products (handy wipes, hand sanitizer) were out of stock on Amazon.


CHAD:                        No… the flu is actually far more lethal. A lot of this is circumstance. A lot more is hype.


KAREN:                     And close quarters in China… still I worry. I mean, my hands are getting dry and scaly from washing them so frequently.


CHAD:                        I know. I know.


KAREN:                     And even the expensive hand lotion doesn’t help.


CHAD:                        Maybe try moisturizing wipes.


KAREN:                     Wipes? Like Baby wipes?


CHAD:                        No, like handy wipes. Like that show from years back… Priest or Nun or whatever.


KAREN:                     Monk.


CHAD:                        Right, Monk.

Follow the link below to read the entire play:

024 – Going Viral

Scenes from a High School Cafeteria


Brief & Notes: This was meant to be the “rules” challenge, but one of the reasons I switched to the untimed track is that I don’t have the energy for long pieces right now. So consider this the one-act version.


KAI:                Okay, I was pretty. But my life wasn’t. (to Mari) It’s not bad to be new, honey. New kids have the mystique advantage. When people have known you all your life, changing their perceptions is really, really hard.


ANA:               What Kai is trying to say….


KAI:                (cutting her off) What Kai is trying to say is that ninth grade was when I came out. And suddenly my best friend, who had come to sleepovers at my house for years, wouldn’t even talk to me anymore, outside of classes.


ANA:               Dion and his friends… Gardner and Ione, especially… totally gave Kai a snubbing of the kind unseen outside of Amish country.


KAI:                It’s been three years and… ( he breaks off as GARD approaches.)


GARD:            Ladies. Kai. Got a minute?


KAI:                (getting up) Depends. Did you bring cash?


GARD:            I have what you need.


ANA:               Oh, I sincerely doubt that.


GARD:            Really, Ana? (beat) Kai? A minute?

Follow the link below to read the entire piece.

023 – Scenes from a High School Cafeteria

Until There Are None



Brief: Create a performance art piece, on paper.


Cage 1: A woman. She is gaunt and tired. Her cage is filled with pacifiers and onesies.

USED FOR BREEDING:      I have never known grass under my feet. I have never known love. I have been used to crank out litter after litter of babies I never got to raise. I am lonely. I am hungry. I am only well-fed when I am pregnant. I hope my babies are safe and well. But I will never know. When  my ability to breed is over… I will be left to die. Alone.


Cage 2: Male or female, but they are bruised and abused.


BAIT DOG:                            I was offered for free, and a nice woman came to get me. I thought I was going to a new home. Instead, I went to a cage, and then I was thrown in to a ring with bigger dogs who tried to kill me. I don’t want to fight. I just want a human to love. I wish someone would stop the pain. I saw one of my friends die in the ring. I don’t want to be next.


Follow the link below to read the entire piece.

022 – Until There are None


A Thing For Sharks



Brief: Write a play in a restricted amount of time. (This is brief 21. Out of order because I’m really sick.)

Notes: The movie they watch is 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.


STEVE:                       I also found a movie for you to watch.


LAUREN:                   Something funny or cozy?


STEVE:                       Well, you’ll probably find it funny. But you have to promise not to throw things at the screen this time. One television every six months is all we can afford.


LAUREN:                   You take away all my fun.


STEVE:                       Just watch.


He settles next to her on the bed, and picks up a remote. Cheesy horror movie music begins…

LAUREN:                   You found me a shark movie! A bad shark movie!!

Follow the link below to read the entire play.

020 – A Thing For Sharks