Who Shot Calhoun Cahootz?

by  Maxine Holmgren

Short Play, Comedy  /  4m, 3f, 1boy(s) or girl(s)

This charming, easy to produce comedy features several familiar women characters of the Old West including a saloon owner, an uptight busybody, a schoolmarm, and a Spanish spitfire, among others. They are all called together by the Sheriff for some big news. It turns out, they have all been taken …

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Who Shot Calhoun Cahootz?

by  Maxine Holmgren

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 3f, 1boy(s) or girl(s)
  • Duration


    40 minutes
  • SubGenre


  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

A fun, easy to produce one-act comedy. A slick, con man has been swindling the towns people. He charmed them out of heir affection and money. His scam was to bring the railroad to town, a surefire economic boon it would have been. But he has not been seen for days and then is found shot to death. The characters all have a motive, so who "dunnit?"

Parodies of "You Are My Sunshine", "Oh, my Darling Clementine" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad" are sung by cast.

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Betrayal, Business


Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $45 per performance



  • Time Period: Wild West
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Setting: One interior set of a bar room, set in the days of the wild, wild, west.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


4m, 3f, 1boy(s) or girl(s)
KITTY - Owner of the Black Buzzard Saloon. She's hard as nails, with a tender heart. She is somewhere between the age of 40-70, but who would dare to ask?
DUSTY - Bartender of the Black Buzzard. Could be of any age. Could be played by male or female.
CARLOTTA - Star of the Black Buzzard. and proud of it. Speaks with a Spanish accent. Wears swishy skirt and off shoulder blouse.
ELSIE - She's been the school marm for 26 years. Wears long skirt plain blouse. She has a stern look and manner, and always carries a ruler with which to point or rap knuckles.
COWBOY - He looks like he just came off the cattle drive. He wears jeans, cowboy hat, boots, etc.
CALAMITY JOAN - Dresses like a cowboy. Lacks social grace.
SHERIFF - He's so proud of being Sheriff he even wears his badge on his pajamas. He is not too bright and has trouble speaking words with more than two syllables.
MISS PRISCILLA - She dresses very prim and proper. She is President of the Buzzard Bend Busy Bodies Ladies Guild of the only church in town.
NON-SPEAKING ROLES - Extra cowboys and dance hall girls to fill the Black Buzzard Saloon.
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Cast Attributes

  • Room for Extras

Casting Notes

Plus extra "cowboys" and "dance hall girls" as needed (non speaking).



Maxine Holmgren

Maxine Holmgren is a writer, playwright, actress, and director. She has worked with local theatre groups in Wisconsin, Arizona, and California. She is the founder of Maxine's Mystery Tea Party Plans and has written over sixteen mystery party plans to be performed during the serving of a tea party, ...

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Who Shot Calhoun Cahootz? was performed in 2007 at Webb Hall in Sun City, California. It was directed by the author, Maxine Holmgren.

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