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Ten-Minute Plays

With the rise of popularity for these action-packed skits, we’re certain you’ve heard of ten-minute plays–but what are they exactly?

We wanted to share our knowledge on ten-minute plays. We even share some of our very own ten-minute playscripts.

Let’s begin, shall we?

What is a Ten-Minute Play?

You might be wondering, what is a ten-minute play?

A ten-minute play is a fairly new form of play that showcases the fast-paced development of characters and plot. Sometimes ten-minute plays are excerpts from longer scripts, but more often than not, they are original skits.

The concept of Ten Minute Play was developed by the UK’s National Theater in order to encourage new audiences to watch theater productions. This meant that plays were staged at short intervals, usually every ten minutes, rather than once or twice a week.

This format has become very popular in recent years, especially in the US. In fact, some theaters even offer tickets specifically for these shorter shows.

Why Do We Love Ten-Minute Plays?

First, they are incredibly fun! They allow you to get into character quickly, which can sometimes lead to spontaneous performances. If you have ever seen an improv show, this is similar to that.

Second, they are extremely easy to stage. All you need is a couple of chairs, a microphone, and maybe a prop or two.

Third, you don't need any special equipment for them. Most ten-minute plays don't require lights or sound effects, making them affordable options for most groups.

Finally, they can be used to teach different skills like improvisation, acting, storytelling, and directing.

How Do You Write a Ten-Minute Play?

When writing a ten-minute play, or really any script, the biggest obstacle is the idea.

The main goal is to have a large amount of development in a short amount of time–most likely meaning there will be a lot more dialogue than actual movement.

Check out this video series to help give you all the tips and tricks you need to write an action-packed playscript!

Examples of Ten-Minute Plays

The Type Writer

This play consists of 2 characters–one male and one female. It’s a perfect play for high school students and upward! This playscript is perfect to show the relationship, chemistry, and development between two actors.

To Bee or Not to Bee

We love a good monologue! To Bee or Not to Bee is Hamlet by Shakespeare, with a modern twist. Use this playscript to showcase your comedic timing! This monologue is suitable for high school students and up.

Characters: 2

The Type Writer

By Rebecca Wimmer

This two-person script for one male and one female illustrates, with the use of a typewriter, a view of the relationship between the Creator and his Creation.

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Characters: 1

To Bee or Not to Bee

By Tracy Wells

Casey is an actress with big dreams of making it on Broadway. So why is she stuck in this enormous, uncomfortable bumblebee suit? In this hilarious 10 minute monologue, Casey will recount her path to making her dream a reality, and the roles she regrets along the way. This comedic monologue allows the actor great opportunities for characterization and physical comedy, and leaves the audience laughing as they see "whatever will bee, will bee."

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Ten-minute plays are a fan favorite for a reason--they wrap up the story into a nice little bow.

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Script Spotlight: To Bee or Not To Bee by Tracy Wells

Tracy Wells’ ten-minute monologue is all comedy. Dressed in a full bumble bee outfit, a lone performer tells the sad-and-Shakespearean story of one actor’s star-crossed journey from New York to L.A. to a clown car to Easter Bunny envy at the mall.