Plays by Jonathan Caws-Elwitt
Most of my scripts are available here (click titles to access .pdf’s), with the understanding that this is for reading purposes only. (You are also permitted to laugh.) Please e-mail me to make licensing arrangements for your productions of my work, where rights have not been assigned to a publisher. All rights reserved.
- THE CAN OF YAMS [published by Samuel French]
There’s only one thing standing between egotistical painter Alan Plum and the fame he craves ... and it’s a can of yams! To his sister Delphinia’s dismay, Alan has cherished the can of yams since childhood. He has even chosen it as the subject of his unfinished masterpiece. But when gallery owner Heather Lyme announces a visit to Alan’s studio, his insecurities rise to the surface, and an artistic crisis erupts around the still-incomplete still life. With Heather and her assistant on the premises, the panicked Alan makes frantic, ridiculous attempts to impress, stall, and paint. Meanwhile, the fast-talking, sardonic Delphinia tries to salvage her brother’s career—and straighten out her own love life. Sharp-witted dialogue drives this frivolous one-act farce.
[One-act farce; 2m/2f]
Sample pages can be viewed at the Samuel French site. Note: Beware of bad data, at Google Book Search and elsewhere, that erroneously merges The Can of Yams with another play by another author. The Can of Yams is authored by me alone and is not an adaptation of a Molière play.
Scene from the initial production of The Can of Yams by Endless Mountains Theatre Company in Montrose, PA, 2002. Jonathan Caws-Elwitt as Alan Plum, Jennifer Lyn Smith as Delphinia. Directed by Andrea Lang. © 2001–2013 Jonathan Caws-Elwitt. All rights reserved.
- AS LONG AS IT’S IN THE SCRIPT: A Sex Farce within a Sex Farce
Finalist, Cheshire Comedy’s “Funniest Play on Earth 2008” contest.
Finalist, 2006 Mountain Playhouse Comedy Playwriting Contest.
Helen has seen every sex comedy in the repertory, and she’s decided that staging a private bedroom farce of her own is the key to revitalizing her sex life. Enter indulgent husband Mark and reluctantly cooperative best friend Julie. And just when it seems that they may be playing their parts a little too well, the action is complicated by the unscripted arrival of Julie's ex-boyfriend Fred, not to mention a cantankerous hotel plumber. From out-of-order bathrooms to double-booked suites, the cast and director grapple with the comical challenges of getting through the scripted business of a make-believe affair before it becomes real.
[Full-length farce; 3m/2f]
- SEVENTIES SEX COMEDY
Commissioned for the Jason Miller Playwrights’ Project Dyonisia ’11 invitational, Scranton Public Theatre.
Leonard and Janice push the boundaries of 1970s-style neurotic-romance comedy.
[10–15 min. comedy; 1m/1f]
- FARCE THING IN THE MORNING: A Bed & Breakfast Sex Comedy in One Uninterrupted Act
A husband who misunderstands what his wife has in mind for their vacation navigates around a breakfast-obsessed hotel manager.
[One-act farce; 2m/2f]
- SURELY, YOU JEST!
What happens when the official office jester is deemed unnecessary by the corporate higher-ups?
[10–15 min. farce; 2m/2f]
- THE WAFFLE TRUTH
An inventor intent on selling the world a better waffle machine grapples with three bickering daughters, dithering business executives, an eccentric poet, an overly helpful mail carrier, and a mysterious squeaking noise.
[Full-length farce; 4m/7f or 5m/6f]
- THE PROOFREADER'S IN THE PUDDING
Scarlett Marx, the staff proofreader at Nitwit House publishing, has been murdered at the annual New Year’s Eve party—poisoned with a dose of instantly lethal cyan production ink, and hidden ineffectively in the enormous tureen of tapioca pudding that always marks this festive occasion.
[One-act comedy/mystery with no conclusion (solution to be determined by cast/audience); 2m/5f]
- CYBER & DOUGHNUTS
Kenneth and Mitchell have promised to run the Chamber of Commerce office for their dad this summer. All should go smoothly ... as long as they don’t offend the mayor, make a lot of promises they can’t keep, pester the attractive women from the computer store, or grossly mismanage the all-important town parade.
[Full-length comedy; 5m/7f or 6m/6f]
- YOU CALL THIS HOSPITALITY? A Farce in One Act (and Three Accents)
Mr. Weisman’s habit of using phony accents to entertain himself was bound to get him into trouble sooner or later.
[One-act farce; 3m/2f]
- DROP BY ANYTIME: A Slight but Charming Little Comedy That’s Perfect for 10-Minute Play Festivals
Danny’s friends invite him over on a regular basis, yet they seem strangely uninterested in entertaining him.
[10–15 min. comedy; 2m/1f]
Copyright © 2001–2011 Jonathan Caws-Elwitt. This page revised March 29, 2013.