For her first job, teenage Sarah thinks she's easily qualified to check out customers at Puritan Foods, her local grocery store. At least it has to be better than serving up greasy fast food, right? But Sarah isn't prepared for Carl, the assistant manager, who refuses to deal with unruly customers because he's too busy putting up Christmas displays in August. And she isn't ready to deal with the customer who can't put down her cellphone long enough to acknowledge that Sarah is there. Or the two dudes who use their time in the checkout line to launch into an existential argument about the environment. And what about the mysterious cowboy or, even worse, Angus, the person who Carl warns Sarah about the day she's hired. Then there are her crazy co-workers who put on camouflage to hunt down stray grocery carts or live in closets and subsist on Twizzlers to avoid Carl. All Sarah wants is the answer to the simplest question in the world: Paper or plastic? High-school performers will love this zany comedy, as it is great both for public performance and as competition material.
- Type of Show One-act Play
- Product Code PB5000
- Cast Size 15
- Min. Royalty Rate $50/perf
- Cost $8.95
- Approx. Run Time 40 min
- Target Audience Young Audiences | Middle School | High School | College and Adult | Family (all ages)
- Performing Group Middle School | High School | College Theatre | Touring Group | Dinner Theatre
- Genre Comedy | Drama | Satire
- ISBN(13) 9781583425244
- "This was an ideal play to do with my large cast of 14 because the parts are almost equally written in terms of stage time. The kids, as well as the audience, enjoyed the variety of characters and the play's humour."
- Review by Maureen Cassidy, The Drama Club, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
- "This is a great, fast-paced play that the students thoroughly enjoy. A modern-day comedy based in a real-life grocery store. Lots of fun!"
- Review by Becky Jones, Perkins Middle School, DeLeon, Texas
- "Paper or Plastic? proved to be one of the best experiences for my young theatrical company. The play received constant laughter and applause from the audience."
- Review by Crystal Hart-Majors, Dueitt Middle School, Spring, Texas
- "It was a great play for middle schoolers! Lots of good dialogue; easy parts for young actors to memorize."
- Review by Erin Schalk-Purnell, Tiffin Middle School, Tiffin, Ohio
- "Paper or Plastic? is a fun romp into everyday routines of dealing with odd characters. Students enjoyed playing all the "wacky" characters who go to the grocery store."
- Review by Nancy Fiegel, New Knoxville Local School District, New Knoxville, Ohio
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "Easy to stage; needs only two tables, a couple of stools and some pretend cash registers."
- Tip by Alta Moseley, Habersham Community Theatre, Demorest, Ga.
- "Creating grocery store checkout lines is actually quite easy. Take a standard long folding table and measure its height. Cut sheets of hardboard( $7-8/ sheet at your local hardware store) to make sides and front. Spray paint the hardboard in a hammered steel, hinge with black duct tape. An old flatscreen monitor and keyboard on a box stand, and you're good to go. We were able to borrow grocery carts and baskets from a local supermarket. "
- Tip by Scott Piehler, Providence Christian Academy, Suwanee, GA