By The Numbers – Short plays inspired by math theorems

Short Play Collection
School and Community Theatres


BY THE NUMBERS is a fun, inventive and diverse collection of eight short plays inspired by mathematical theorems.

  • POINT OF INTERSECTION by James Hindman. (1M, 1W): A watchmaker and a romantic find common ground, but can Sidney and Sydney synchronize their hearts?
  • HEDY LAMARR MAKES A MOVIE by Arlene Hutton. (2M, 2W): As Hedy Lamarr films a scene with an inexperienced young actor, the Hollywood star figures out the radio guidance systems and frequency hopping technology that led to Bluetooth and GPS.
  • THE TRANSCENDENCE OF PIE by Lynne Halliday. (2W): Jane’s blind date is a matter of life and death for Rosie – literally. In the future, the E-Life Pheromone Connector is never supposed to be wrong. But if Jane strikes out on one more date then Rosie, Jane’s android life coach, will be re-purposed.
  • THE GRAND HOTEL by Craig Pospisil. (2M, 2W, 2n/s): Shirley doesn’t understand how Hilbert, the unflappable concierge of the Grand Hotel, keeps finding rooms for guests when the hotel is already full. But if a hotel has an infinite number of rooms and an infinite number of guests, is it booked or not? And how do you feed them all?
  • SHRINKING THE NUMBERS by Lynne Halliday. (1M, 1W): Grace is a doctoral candidate in mathematics with a problem: She’s developed a math anxiety. Can her therapist Dr. Zamboni cure her? Maybe, but which one of them needs psychiatric help more is up for grabs.
  • THE FOUR COLOR PROBLEM by James Hindman. (3 n/s): Is it worth invoking the Wrath of God to create a perfect world? Designers Tippy and Buzzy dare to color outside the lines.
  • THE INCOMPLETENESS THEOREM by Arlene Hutton. (1M, 1W): During a birthday picnic, an artist and her ex-boyfriend mathematician connect with nature and learn new ways to communicate.
  • THE BIG SHELL by Craig Pospisil. (3M, 3W): In this “Math Noir,” private dick Philip Fibonacci is hired by a femme fatale to recover a priceless stolen nautilus. But the case takes an odd tangent and the variables multiply. Will Fibonacci’s theory add up?

Casting & Production


BY THE NUMBERS is written to be performed by an ensemble cast, but theaters are welcome to cast more actors and double (or not double) parts as they wish. In addition, we encourage casting the plays with a diverse group of actors from any and all races and ethnicities. In some plays, gender can be flexible as well.