Acting Production

Theatrefolk’s Top 10: Plays About Empathy

Top 10 Plays about Friendship
Written by Lindsay Price

Time for a Tfolk Top Ten Plays About….

Empathy. Based on the idea that empathy is the act understanding and sharing another person’s experience, these plays open the door to looking out to others rather than looking in. Use these plays to spark to an empathy discussion.

Click the link and you’ll be taken to the webpage for each play. There you’ll get the details and read sample pages. Hand this list over to your student directors and see what they think.

All the best with your search!

Middle schoolers face a tornado of questions every day. What do I wear? What if I wear the wrong thing? What is she wearing? What do I look like? Stop looking at me!

Hoodie examines image and appearance in the vignette style and poses what may be the most difficult question of all – Do I stay in the clump or do I stand alone?

Read an excerpt and order now.

Sometimes we choose the way the world sees us. Black box – indestructible. Jewelry box – plain on the outside, shiny on the inside. Sometimes our box is defined by others – our parents, our friends, our enemies. A box built by others can feel small, confined, impossible.

How do we handle the boxes imposed upon us because of our gender? Our race? From peer pressure? From parent pressure? Do we have to live with our box for the rest of our lives? Can we change?

Read an excerpt and order now.

Sometimes it’s easy to see the world as your own personal sinking ship. It’s way easier to look into our own whirlpool than look out at what’s going on with others. I don’t care about them. Why should I? They’re not like me. They’re wrong.

In this one-act middle school vignette play, characters come face-to-face with the fact that there are other people in their boat. Some are different. Some only seem different. Who will learn to paddle together? Who will spin in circles? Who will realize we’re all in the same boat and we always have been?

Read an excerpt and order now.

We all have our stories. “New and old, complete and untold.” Anonymous is a story of every teenager: the new kid trying to fit in, the best friends, the love interests, the kid in the corner with their secret, the group of individuals each trying to belong.

Read an excerpt and order now.

Children of divorce are united through humor in this honest and theatrical look at the day to day reality of growing up in a family that’s been torn apart. As these teenagers navigate a winding road that includes new bedrooms, new siblings and new responsibilities, they begin to put the pieces of their broken homes back together.

Read an excerpt and order now.

Finishing Sentences
After being arrested for vandalizing a classmate’s car and perpetrating criminal harassment, Kendra serves her community service at a summer camp looking after a frequently bullied kid. Her journey through this surreal summer camp exposes Kendra to her own raw underbelly.

Taking the perspective of the bully, the play forces us to consider the human side of the people we often dismiss.

Read an excerpt and order now.

Chemo Girl, And Other Plays
A collection of plays that examine the impact of cancer as seen through the eyes of teenagers. Characters deal with the difficulty of saying the word cancer out loud, the difficulty of admitting a friend or family member has the disease, and the difficulty of finding the energy and the attitude needed to fight.

Read an excerpt and order now.

Flaky Lips
Two young women live in separated societies. One skin colour on this side. One skin colour on that side. They have never seen what the other looks like, until circumstances throw them together. They must choose whether to perpetuate the myths about the other side or to seek out the truth. Are their differences only skin-deep?

Read an excerpt and order now.

The Pregnancy Project
The project seems simple enough. Everyone (girls AND boys) wears a pregnancy belly to simulate what it feels like to be pregnant. Bonus points go to students who wear the belly 24/7. Easy, right? It’s not as if it’s real. Lucy, who seems to live the ideal life, isn’t finding the project so easy. She’s a week late. And every day that passes is another day when life is far from ideal.

Read an excerpt and order now.

The Myths at the Edge of the World
Four campers are not only lost in the wood, they are lost at the edge of the world with no land, water, stars or sun. The only way to bring life back is to ask the right questions that will release stories from the wind. These stories come from all over: China, Africa, Native lore, and the Aztecs. Do you know the Myth of the Water Dragons? Or The Girl who Scattered the Stars? Perhaps you are at the edge of the world too…

Read an excerpt and order now.

Not right for your group right now? Search our play catalogue to find one that's right for your group!

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About the author

Lindsay Price