13 Contemporary Comedies We Love

Looking for a good laugh? With witty dialogue, laugh-out-loud characters, and unbelievable plot twists, we’re big fans of these contemporary comedic plays. Dive into our selection and discover the brilliance of playwrights who masterfully blend humor with storytelling, ensuring any audience has an unforgettable theatrical experience.

Great for Community Theatres


Jaja’s African Hair Braiding by Jocelyn Bioh

Jaja’s African Hair Braiding in Harlem is a salon full of funny, whip-smart, talented women ready to make you look and feel nice-nice. On this particularly muggy summer day, Jaja’s rule-following daughter Marie is running the shop while her mother prepares for her courthouse, green-card wedding—to a man no one seems to particularly like. Just like her mother, Dreamer Marie is trying to secure her future; she’s just graduated high school and all she wants to do is go to college. While Marie deals with the customers’ and stylists’ laugh-out-loud drama, news pierces the hearts of the women of the salon, galvanizing their connections and strengthening the community they have longed to make in the United States.

The Shark Is Broken by Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon

The first summer blockbuster movie is being filmed—but no one working on the film would know it. Dive deep into the tumultuous, murky waters of the making of a major motion picture with testy, feuding costars, unpredictable weather, and a shark prop whose constant breakdowns are looking like an omen for the future of the movie. In this comedy co-written by Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon, the short tempers of Jaws stars Robert Shaw (father of co-writer Ian), Richard Dreyfuss, and Roy Scheider take center stage as they bond, argue, drink, gamble, and pray for an end to the shoot, not knowing it will change their lives forever.

The Cottage by Sandy Rustin

Sylvia and Beau find themselves in an English countryside cottage for their yearly rendezvous, and Sylvia knows this time it will be the beginning of their new life together. But when Beau demurs on a shared future, and their spouses arrive at the cottage, she realizes that this home-away-from-home is a refuge for determining a new path forward. With a tip of the hat to Noël Coward and sex comedies of the past, The Cottage offers a perfect showcase for six actors with endless laughs, hilarious twists, daring physical comedy, and a happy ending for lovers everywhere.

Eureka Day by Jonathan Spector

The Eureka Day School in Berkeley, California, is a bastion of progressive ideals: representation, gender identity, social justice. In weekly meetings Eureka Day’s five board members develop and update policy to preserve this culture of inclusivity, reaching decisions only by consensus. But when a mumps outbreak threatens the Eureka community, facts become subjective and every solution divisive, leaving the school’s leadership to confront the central question of our time: How do you build consensus when no one can agree on truth?

LUCY by Erica Schmidt

On paper, Ashling is the perfect person to take care of Mary’s young children: a confident, highly qualified childcare professional with a sunny disposition and lots of experience. But from the moment Mary hires her, something starts to feel just a little off. Is Ashling as wonderful as she seems? Is the misunderstanding all in Mary’s overworked, stressed-out, sleep-deprived mind? Surely she hasn’t welcomed someone unstable into her home, has she? LUCY is a comedic thriller about what happens when you don’t trust the person who holds the key to your front door.

Hangmen by Martin McDonagh

It’s 1965, and the death penalty has just been abolished in the United Kingdom. Naturally all of Oldham, northern England, wants to know what Harry, the second-best hangman in the country, has to say about it. As the news breaks, Harry’s pub is overrun with locals and reporters looking for a quote, until a visitor arrives with a darker and more mysterious agenda.


BLKS by Aziza Barnes

When stuff goes down, your girls show up. Waking up to a shocking and personal health scare, Octavia and her best friends, June and Imani, go on a crusade to find intimacy and joy in a world that could give a f*** less about them or their feelings. This 24-hour blitz explores what it is to be a queer blk woman in 2015 New York, how we survive and save ourselves from ourselves.


Great for Educational Theatre


Clue High School PosterClue: On Stage (High School Edition) Based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn, Written by Sandy Rustin, Additional Material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price, Original Music by Michael Holland

Based on the iconic 1985 Paramount movie which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, Clue is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery. The tale begins at a remote mansion, where six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu. When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects. Led by Wadsworth – the butler, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard race to find the killer as the body count stacks up. Clue is the comedy whodunit that will leave both cult fans and newcomers in stitches as they try to figure out…WHO did it, WHERE, and with WHAT!

The Outsider by Paul Slade Smith

Ned Newley doesn’t even want to be governor. He’s terrified of public speaking; his poll numbers are impressively bad. To his ever-supportive Chief of Staff, Ned seems destined to fail. But political consultant Arthur Vance sees things differently: Ned might be the worst candidate to ever run for office. Unless the public is looking for… the worst candidate to ever run for office. A timely and hilarious comedy that skewers politics and celebrates democracy.

The Play That Goes Wrong (High School Edition) by Henry Lewis, Henry Shields & Jonathan Sayer

From Mischief, Broadway masters of comedy, comes this smash hit farce. Welcome to opening night of the Cornley Drama Society’s newest production, The Murder at Haversham Manor, where things are quickly going from bad to utterly disastrous. This 1920s whodunit has everything you never wanted in a show—an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines). Nevertheless, the accident-prone thespians battle against all odds to make it through to their final curtain call, with hilarious consequences! Part Monty Python, part Sherlock Holmes, this Olivier Award–winning comedy is a global phenomenon that’s guaranteed to leave you aching with laughter! This High School Version of this show addresses certain language and content challenges of the original and provides options to accommodate a variety of casting needs. You may also want to consider the one-act version: The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong.

How to Get Away with a Murder Mystery by Don Zolidis

Five mysterious color-coded guests. A mansion. A murder. Can the killer get away with it? And how will the sleuths bring them to justice? A handy guide for how to escape the law when you just happen to be a prime suspect of a mysterious murder. Told in vignettes in a style similar to 10 Ways To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse, this show hilariously skewers the tropes of the murder mystery: an airtight alibi, a long-winded monologue by a detective with an accent, an impossibly complicated Rube Goldberg murder device? Check, check, and check!

46 Plays for America’s First Ladies by Genevra Gallo-Bayiates, Chloe Johnston, Andy Bayiates, Bilal Dardai, & Sharon Greene

46 Plays for America’s First Ladies leaps from comic to tragic as it surveys the lives of the women who have served (and avoided serving) as First Lady, from Martha Washington to Jill Biden. A biographical, meta-theatrical, genre-bending ride through race, gender, and everything else your history teacher never taught you about the founding of America. Also check out the companion play, 45 Plays for 45 Presidents.

Fast Food by Tracy Wells

When you’re hungry for hilarity but short on time and tight on budget, where do you turn? Why, the one-act play Fast Food, of course! From crazy customers to screwy staff, this vignette-style collection of scenes will satisfy your craving for fast food fun while offering a simple set and an entirely flexible and expandable cast.


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