Like Father, Like Son

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4 characters, all male. Approximately 10 minutes running time. Short play by Debra A. Cole, in which two boys brag about their fathers.

When two boys start arguing about whose father is better, it turns into a bragging contest. Just when the argument is about to get physical, the fathers rush in and stop the boys. But all too soon, the bragging resumes between the fathers!

This funny short play can help students understand that competition doesn’t have a place in a friendship. The play includes discussion questions, and director’s notes about casting, costumes, and simple staging.

Debra A. Cole is a celebrated humanities teacher, youth theatre director, and children’s playwright with degrees in journalism, art history, and elementary education. She understands the needs of young performers and their directors and creates pieces that encourage engaging discussion, creative thought, and quirky playfulness. Her goal is that young performers discover the power and delight that theatre brings to actors and audiences alike.

Visit her website:

Excerpt from the play:


BOY 1 — (M) strong and confident – not a fan of old-fashioned traditions
BOY 2 — (M) open to a new thought process
FATHER 1 — (M) just wants to be loved and appreciated
FATHER 2— (M) powerful and believer in tradition

(The action takes place in modern times in a neighborhood driveway.)

(Lights come up on two boys sitting on stage. They are tossing a ball back and forth to one another. Both boys are dressed casually as young boys often do.)

Father’s Day is on Sunday. What you do plan on getting for your dad?

I don’t know. My dad is pretty amazing.

Yeah, my dad is pretty amazing too.

Yeah, but my dad is THE BEST.

Okay… that’s great, but you are not hearing me. MY DAD IS THE BEST.

Oh yeah? Can your dad make waffles?

Plain waffles? That’s all your dad can do? My dad makes chocolate chip waffles!

Okay. I can see that you are confused. It happens. Let me make explain this another way. My dad is the BEST, because he is the strongest. Just last week, he carried BIG boxes down to the basement.

The STRONGEST? I don’t think so. Yesterday, my dad lifted both me and my brother high above his shoulders. There isn’t another father alive that could do that. WE ARE REALLY heavy. I could see him strain.

My dad strains too. But is your dad the FUNNIEST like mine? Last week, my dad made a noise that made me fall on the ground laughing. It was really gross! (starts to act like he’s making the motions as he moves hands toward arm pits until he is stopped) You see he cupped his hand and put under his arm pit like…

STOP! I’ve seen it before. Everyone has seen that move before. My dad is the clearly the FUNNIEST. He does this face (starts to mimic the face) when he puts his fingers in his eyes and mouth and pulls like…

(becoming frustrated – getting close up in the face of Boy 1) Strongest … funniest …. my dad is actually the SMARTEST dad in the whole entire world! When I bring my math homework home, my dad knows how to help me with        EVERYTHING! He doesn’t even have to use a calculator!

(standing right back in front of Boy 2) You think that is smart? Ha! My dad knows the EXACT tire pressure of my bike, and that’s measured in something called PSI…I don’t even know what that is!

(aggressively) That’s it! Let’s settle this once and for all.

(aggressively) I’m in.

(Just as the boys are ready to face off, the dads of the two boys run out to the driveway. They both look concerned and begin to pull the two boys apart.)

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