War of the Buttons by Jonathan Dorf

Drama/ 12 Characters, 10 Men (9 teens, 1 adult), 2 Women (both teens)/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: (Freely adapted from La Guerre des Boutons by Louis Pergaud)¬†Each year, the kids in a failed manufacturing town — a now-closed ice cream factory was its lifeblood — wage a war against the students of the nearby boarding school that’s buying up failed homes and businesses and taking over. This year, the prisoners will have their buttons cut off.

Charlie, leader of the town kids, is abandoned by his parents, but even having to hide in the now-closed ice cream factory to avoid being sent to a youth home doesn’t stop him from fulfilling his duties as general. When the preps ambush him and take his buttons, Charlie leads a daring midnight raid to recapture them — otherwise, he won’t pass muster at school the next day. But when his friend Hugo gets in trouble for it, Charlie must decide whether to save Hugo or himself.

A portion of War of the Buttons may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button above. To obtain a complete reading copy, please see the Contact Information on this page.

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Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Jonathan Dorf
7125 De Longpre Ave. #209
Los Angeles, CA
Ph.: 1-877-245-5879

About the Playwright:
Jonathan Dorf has had his plays produced across the United States, as well as in several foreign countries, including stagings of his work by Walnut Street Theatre, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Ensemble Studio Theatre – LA and the Pittsburgh New Works Festival. Mr. Dorf is the co-chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, the former managing director of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. He has also written several produced short screenplays and a number of feature scripts.

In addition to writing for stage and screen, he serves as the resident playwriting expert for Final Draft: he created “Ask the Expert” Playwriting for their scriptwriting software and also writes a column about playwriting for their website. He is resident playwriting expert for The Writers Store, for whom he created Playwriting 101.com, and he also contributes regularly to their e-zine. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a degree in dramatic writing and literature and holds an MFA in playwriting from UCLA. He is available to playwrights and screenwriters as a script consultant.

The War of the Buttons was first performed at the Haverford School, Haverford, Pennsylvania in 1999. It awaits its first professional production.