Rebel Without a Cause


Writers: James Fuller


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
Based on the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause
Number of Acts
First Produced
Period, Multiple Settings, Simple/No Set
Time & Place
1950s, American suburb
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Diverse Cast, High School, Large Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes late teen, adult, mature adult, early teen, elderly, young adult characters


Jim Stark is once again the new kid in town. He feels detached from everyone, especially his own family, who pick up and move whenever he gets into trouble. But Jim is hopeful that this time they will stay and he can have a fresh start. He makes a new friend, Plato--a slightly odd but eager kid, ready to be a buddy and hang out with Jim. He also catches the eye of Judy, a neighbor girl who tries to play it cool. But right away, Jim finds himself confronted by Buzz Gunderson, the leader of the local gang (and Judy’s boyfriend). To prove himself and his courage, Jim agrees to a chicken run: Each boy will drive a stolen car towards the edge of the cliff, as fast as they can. The first one to jump is chicken. But when this test of honor goes horribly wrong, Jim is confronted with much deadlier consequences than a fight after school. Before the night is over, Jim will have to not only save himself, but protect his new family of Judy and Plato from the vengeful gang. Based on the 1955 iconic movie of the same name, Rebel Without a Cause is an excellent character study for young actors.

Lead Characters

Rebel Without a Cause guide sections