Plays by Matt Buchanan



Playwrights know that a play is never really "finished" until it has had its first production. The following are unpublished plays that are in search of that essential first production. Should you be the first, the benefit to me is that I get a chance to see the play in production and tweak whatever needs tweaking, prior to publication. The benefits to you and your students are the opportunity to participate in the developmental process and to be listed in the eventual published version (if any) as the original cast. Plus, I'll provide the rights to the first production royalty free. If you are relatively local to me (I live in the Boston area) I will want to attend some rehearsals and talk with the cast. If you are further afield of me, we’ll chat via email, Skype, etc. Should you wish to read one of these plays or to be considered for its premier, please contact me by clicking any of the “Contact Me” links on the site or by CLICKING HERE.


Summer Magic

This is a very exciting new script. A full length musical, Summer Magic brings to audiences not one but two of Shakespeare's best-loved plays--A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet. Set in an imaginary contemporary city, the musical tells the story of a young theatre troupe putting on their own version of Romeo and Juliet, the Musical in a city park. In the course of rehearsing, they encounter and eventually become entangled with a feud between two teenaged city dwellers and four prep school lovers lost in the city. Mayhem, of course, ensues. With tons of roles, big and small, lots of theatrical in-jokes and sincere teenage romance, this is the perfect vehicle for any up-and-coming young company. Should you wish to read Summer Magic or to be considered for the premier, please contact me by clicking any of the “Contact Me” links on the site or by CLICKING HERE.


The Lady of the Silver Moon

This is an adaptation of George MacDonald's fairy tale novel, The Princess and Curdie. However, although that novel is a sequel to The Princess and the Goblin and my published play, Irene and Curdie, is an adaptation of that book, The Lady of the Silver Moon is not really a sequel to Irene and Curdie. It's meant to be its own stand-alone play, and is very different stylistically from the earlier play. It tells the story of Curdie, a young miner who must travel, at the behest of a mysterious old/young princess, to the far reaches of the kingdom, to rescue the King and his daughter from the clutches of corrupt courtiers. Along the way, he collects a small army of weird magical creatures (providing myriad opportunities for a large cast to shine), and meets a young woman who may not be exactly what she seems. Big, flexible cast, strong female roles, and lots of magic, combined with settings that could be elaborate but need not be, make this a great choice for a school production or for Theatre for Young Audiences. Should you wish to read The Lady of the Silver Moon or to be considered for the premier, please contact me by clicking any of the “Contact Me” links on the site or by CLICKING HERE.


Midsummer Madness

What happens if the student playing Puck in your high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream actually turns out to be the real Puck? What kind of mayhem would he spread? Find out in Midsummer Madness. Realistic teen characters, honest teen issues, plus a lot of metatheatrical fun make this a great play for teen actors. Bonus—many get to perform Shakespeare at the same time. Be aware that this play features an openly gay character, as well as depictions of homophobic behavior towards him. Should you wish to read Midsummer Madness or to be considered for the premier, please contact me by clicking any of the “Contact Me” links on the site or by CLICKING HERE.


Arlo’s Monster

This new, short musical for family audiences tells the story of Xerxes, an imaginary friend whose little boy, Arlo, is growing too old for an imaginary friend. It touches on themes of the stress and fear associated with growing up—and its joys—as well as the bittersweet experience of parents as their children grow more independent. It also addresses issues of bullying and compassion. Cast size is very flexible, with expandable “choruses” of toys and of kids. Most characters are also gender-flexible. The play would work well with a group of mixed ages, such as community theatre, with adults playing the adult roles and kids playing the kid roles. It would also work for middle school or for a high school TYA group. To learn more, CLICK HERE.


Enquire Within Upon Everything  (in progress)

This play is not finished, so I can’t promise it for an immediate production. On the other hand, if I know ahead of time who’s going to be doing the premier, I can, at least to some extent, tailor the casting to your group. (Obviously this will become less true the closer I come to finishing it.) The play was inspired by the existence of a real book by the same title that used to exist in practically every Victorian household. The real book contained practical advice on a wide range of household problems, from how to get wine stains out of curtains to how to cook the perfect roast, to how to eliminate crabgrass. But in the play, one can literally enquire about ANYTHING—it’s a magical book that can answer any question at all. When two children discover it in an old trunk, they’re determined to use it to win the school science fair—until it’s stolen by a rival team. The protagonists are forced to use old-fashioned brainpower and research to contrive a way of retrieving the book, and in the process manage to come up with a winning science project all on their own. For now I’d like to limit potential productions to within a couple of hours of Boston, so that I can regularly interact with directors and students, but if that’s you, and you’re interested in learning more, contact me by clicking any of the “Contact Me” links on the site or by CLICKING HERE.