The Guest

Join Now Button

5-10 characters. Approximately 10 minutes long. Fun wintery mystery play for teens.

A family is trapped in a cabin in the woods during a snowstorm when a mysterious visitor appears. Should they flee the cabin for safety, or are they better off staying put? This suspenseful play is based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic short story, “The Ambitious Guest.”

Playwright Bio

Jake Lewis is a middle school English teacher who has been involved in writing, directing, and acting in theatrical productions his entire life. He was the founder of Jakespeare Theatre Company, and he has published a collection of his short plays, “Tell Me Something.”

Excerpt from the Play


Setting: A cabin in the woods in a snowstorm, Now/Then

“Mankind can only disappoint Mother Nature for so long.”
– Anthony Douglas Williams

The stage remains black as the sound of strong winds are whistling and
blowing loudly for several long moments, followed by the noise and flash
of the power suddenly zapping out.

Lights rise, dimly, on the interior of a cabin where there has been a power
loss. It is lit only by a small fire that DAD has just finished kindling in the
hearth and perhaps a gas lantern or two.

MOM is in the nearby kitchenette, making hot chocolate on the
gas-powered stove. BRO and SIS are doing time-killing things, like her
using her phone or him playing something like a Nintendo Switch. Both are
annoyed by the loss of electricity, but SIS, more so. GRANDPA appears
asleep in a rocking chair in front of the fire. The words “I WAS
HERE” are etched into the mantle.

DAD: (To GRANDPA.) Ah! There we go! You warm, Dad?

GRANDPA snores in response.

BRO: Knowing Dad, let’s hope he doesn’t burn the whole place down.

MOM: At least we’ll be warm.

DAD: (Sarcastically.) You’re welcome!

SIS: I don’t know what’s worse – being engulfed in flame or trapped out there in the middle of nowhere, in a snowstorm, with hardly any Wi-Fi.

BRO: Unlike you, you sad human, who is reliant on the internet, I don’t need Wi-Fi to stay entertained. (Begins playing his video game.)

MOM: I’d save those batteries if I were you, kids. We don’t know how long the electricity will be out.

SIS: And do what, just sit here in the dark and…dear God, talk to each other? Thanks, but I’ll pass. I think Grandpa’s got the right idea. (She lays down in her bed.)

DAD: You guys are party poopers. Where’s your sense of adventure? We’re facing the elements of Nature here! Man Vs. Mother Nature!

BRO: Not really. I mean, apart from right now, it has electricity, running water, and flush toilets. You want to fight nature, go outside and make a lean-to.

DAD: My point is, it’s exciting! I couldn’t have planned this if I tried!

SIS: But you did plan this. I saw you make the reservation online.

BRO: And you could have checked the weather forecast, but we all know you think that takes the fun out of it.

DAD: Alright, I get it! The Boy Scout in you should love this!

BRO: I was never a Boy Scout. And I haven’t been a Cub Scout for 4 years, Dad.

MOM: I think what your dad is trying to say is to just think about how memorable this vacation will be compared to all the others we’ve gone on.


BRO: Snowstorm in a cabin vs. cruise ship in the Caribbean…Yeah, you’re right. This is better.

SIS: I thought about it too, and no, it’s not exciting. At all. Especially if we die.

Play, Licensing and Copyright Information
Join our Facebook Sharing Group
Read Our Reviews
Member of…
Member of ASCD
Member of National After School Association

Why Subscribe?

DN Why Subscribe to Drama Notebook Inside Drama Notebook, you will find a huge collection of well-organized lesson plans, scripts for kids, drama activities, 50 drama games on video and more! Join today and dramatically reduce your planning time while delivering fresh, innovative drama lessons to your students! If you are new to teaching drama, this site will be a Godsend! You will immediately feel confident about teaching drama like an expert. The site guides you step-by-step and provides you with materials that you can use right away with your students.

If you have been teaching for years, Drama Notebook will inspire you with a fresh new approach and innovative ideas!

The site is packed with original, innovative lessons and activities that you will not find anywhere else—and new materials are added monthly.

DN Explore Button
DN Join Now Button