One Act Plays

black and white version of the flyer (designed by Yolanda Klappert) "Fate Delayed" - a collection of one act plays by Julius Galacki

The following is selection of longer one-act plays which range in time from about 12 to about 40 minutes. Click on the highlighted titles for short dialogue samples:

flyer image for "Five Tigers Go to the Mountain ©

is an affectionate, absurdist farce that utilizes the conventions and mythology of the Kung Fu genre – literature and film. Each of the six characters (played by five actors) go on highly divergent paths to their version of enlightenment. Within the wacky time and mind-bending plot, the play explores the external and internal conflicts of East and West, heroism, Buddhism, male domination, chivalry, gender reversal and Hollywood exploitation. (3 men, 2 women – 20 to 30 something; about 25 minutes long)

Cast of "5 Tigers..." - Feodor Chin, Jennifer Chang, Ewan Chung, Brian Slaten and Kim Swennen ©

is a black comedy, in which a poetry salesman – he sells the words of “only the best dead people” – receives his comeuppance from an judicious waitress who has a heart of gold only for those that deserve it. This play has been produced by Love Creek Productions on Theatre Row in NYC as part of one their one-act play festivals and was part of the “Fate Delayed” play reading at The Brewery Arts Complex in 2007. A monologue from this play was published by Smith & Kraus in their Audition Arsenal series. (3 men, 1 woman – all 30 to 40 something; about 22 to 25 minutes long)

Jim Donovan and Dana Benningfield, staged reading, NJ Repertory Company, 10-25-1998

a monologue from "Tautology" appears in this volume (also, other JG monologues in the other 3 volumes too)

is a drama consisting of a series of rotating monologues spoken directly to the audience. Thematically, the play is an examination of the relativity of truth, but on a literal level, each monologue is a simple recounting of an important event and/or observation made by each character: a high school psychologist, a teenage girl, a blue-collar father and his maladjusted teenage son. While initially their lives seem rather separate, the latter character becomes the link and focal point of the play in a strongly emotional ending. This play was originally produced while I was a student at NYU. Revised versions have been produced by Love Creek Productions on Theatre Row in NYC as part of one their one-act play festivals and more recently was also part of the “Fate Delayed” play reading at The Brewery Arts Complex in 2007. A monologue from this play was published by Smith & Kraus in their Audition Arsenal series. (3 men, 1 women, about 15 minutes long)

The following plays my more radical experiments with form and/or content:

is set in a bleak future where a traveling pornographic variety show is performing their acts for a baffled, aesexual alien dignitary. The play is not only a satire of the sex industry but also of our society’s notions of beauty, pleasure and value. Linguistically, this play is highly experimental as it utilizes a non-standard grammar and made-up slang. Furthermore, the Blue Show is a tragi-comedy burlesque employing simulated nudity and sex acts – the antecedent to the costumes, i.e. the gigantic foam prostheses meant to be worn by the actors playing the porn performers is the Greek satyr plays in which the actors wore giant leather phalluses. While these Greek satyr plays were comedies, they were meant to be performed between the tragedies at the drama festivals. In my play, the tragedy and comedy occupy the same story. (3 men, 3 women, 1 neutered being playable by either; about 30 to 35 minutes long)

A highly stylized play where a male protagonist seeks shelter in a Neutral Space, but instead is threatened by the presence of an antagonistic man and a mysterious woman. The play is a kind of dramatic poem about sorting through indecision and possibility, as well as a homage to Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theatre. (2 men, 1 woman – 20 something or older but all roughly of the same age; about 13 minutes long)


is a comic fugue detailing the very minor loves and tragedies of a late night crowd in a well-worn city diner. As the Cook/Waiter cleans up, he eavesdrops on the various pairs of customers. His ears are in effect a microphone for the audience. The polyphony of overheard conversations juxtapose to form an ironic, spoken-music. This play read as part of NYU’s Gallatin Arts Project in NYC. (8 men, 3 women – though 4 of the male parts could easily be converted into female ones; about 20 minutes long)

is a false translation of Stanislaw Witkiewicz’s “Nowe Wyzwolenie”, i.e., without consulting a Polish-English dictionary, I “translated” Witkiewicz’s proto-absurdist play by freely associating on the sounds of the Polish words to create a kind of loony poetry about a tyrannical king suffering from a spiritual and physical malaise. Four of his courtiers attempt to lift him from his funk, while simultaneously promoting their own power agendas. In following this methodology, I created my own new example of the Theatre of the Absurd that weirdly honors the spirit of Witkiewicz’s own avant garde enterprise. (3 men, 2 women; about 15 minutes long)

is a collage play derived from seven separate, disparate sources. Each work is representative of novels, poems or plays that I was influenced by, or at least greatly enjoyed, during my formative late teens/early twenties. I then, as per the surrealist model, randomly chose a page from each source and appropriated that dialogue. I then re-assembled this restricted amount of words, making only very minimal alterations. The plot consists of two parallel stories: two lovers who are re-united after some sort of man-made cataclysm, and the negotiations between three diplomats about that conflict. (4 men, 1 woman – about 12 minutes long)