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Plays / Theatre

Theatre For Children: Fifteen Classic Plays

Theatre For Children: Fifteen Classic Plays

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Theatre was made for children. With their fertile imaginations and their honest ability to be carried away by a story, they are the best audiences that directors, actors, and playwrights could ever hope to encounter. They also represent the future of the arts.
Theatre for Children is a collection of new and classic plays for children. Adapted from some of the most beloved stories in children's literature, such as Roald Dahl's The Witches, The Great Gilly Hopkins, and Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, as well as original plays, this anthology brings together new and overlooked plays that children are sure to love.
Theatre for Children is an invaluable resource for directors, teachers, and students of theatre.
Foreword
Country Mouse and the Missing Lunch Mystery by Sandra Fenichel Asher
Ernie's Incredible Illucinations by Alan Ayckbourn
Two Donuts by Jose Cruz Gonzalez
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Timothy Mason and Mel Marvin
A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks
Braille: The Early Life of Louis Braille by Lola H. and Coleman A. Jennings
Bless Cricket, Crest Toothpaste, and Tommy Tune by Linda Daugherty
The Great Gilly Hopkins by David Paterson and Steve Liebman
The Witches by David Wood
Mississippi Pinocchio by Mary Surface and David Maddox
The Wolf and Its Shadows by Sandra Fenichel Asher
Ezigbo, The Spirit Child by Max Bush and Adaora Nzelibe Schmiedl
Inuk and the Sun by Henry Beissel
A Village Fable by James Still
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Y York
Theatre of E E Cummings

Theatre of E E Cummings

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The Theatre of E. E. Cummings collects in their entirety Cummings's long out-of-print theatrical works: the plays HIM (1927), Anthropos (1930), and Santa Claus (1946), and the ballet treatment Tom (1935). In HIM, a creatively blocked artist and his lover, Me, struggle to bridge the impasse in their relationship and in his art. In Anthropos, a Platonic parable, three "infrahumans" brainstorm slogans while a man sketches on a cave wall; and in Santa Claus, Death and Saint Nick exchange identities. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is reimagined as dance, transforming the novel into a symbolic attack against Evil itself. Cummings's prodigious creativity is on display in each of these works, which are ultimately about the place of the artist outside of society. "DON'T TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT, LET IT TRY TO UNDERSTAND YOU," Cummings famously wrote about his intentions for the stage. Thoughtful and witty, Cummings's dramas are an integral part of his canon.
Theatre of Tennessee Williams

Theatre of Tennessee Williams

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"The Theatre of Tennessee Williams" brings together in a matching format the plays of one of America's most influential and innovative dramatists. Arranged in chronological order, this ongoing series includes the original cast listings and production notes.
Theatre of the Oppressed

Theatre of the Oppressed

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Boal and his work are marvelous examples of the post-modern situation-its problems and its opportunities. Twice exiled, Boal is 'at home' now wherever he finds himself to be. He makes a skeptical, comic, inquisitive and finally optimistic theatre involving spectators and performers in the search for community and integrity. This is a good book to be used even more than to be read. - Richard Schechner

Augusto Boal's achievement is so remarkable, so original and so groundbreaking that I have no hesitation in describing the book as the most important theoretical work in the theatre in modern times - a statement I make with having suffered any memory lapse with respect to Stanislavsky, Artaud or Grotowski. - Goerge E. Wellwarth

Originally basing himself at the Arena Stage in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Augusto Boal developed a series of imaginative theatre exercises which promote awareness of one's social situation and its limitations, individual attitudes, and even how our bodies are bound by tradition. Boal is continued his explorations in Paris, where he directed Le CEDITADE (Centre d'Etude et de Diffusion des Techniques Actives d'Expression - Methode Boal), in addition to traveling and lecturing extensively in other countries. On May 2, 2009, Boal died at age 78 in Rio de Janeiro.

Theatre of the Unimpressed: In Search of Vital Drama

Theatre of the Unimpressed: In Search of Vital Drama

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How dull plays are killing theatre and what we can do about it.

Had I become disenchanted with the form I had once fallen so madly in love with as a pubescent, pimple-faced suburban homo with braces? Maybe theatre was like an all-consuming high school infatuation that now, ten years later, I saw as the closeted balding guy with a beer gut he'd become. There were of course those rare moments of transcendencethat kept me coming back. But why did they come so few and far between?

A lot of plays are dull. And one dull play, it seems, can turn us off theatre for good. Playwright and theatre director Jordan Tannahill takes in the spectrum of English-language drama - from the flashiest of Broadway spectacles to productions mounted in scrappy storefront theatres - to consider where lifeless plays come from and why they persist. Having travelled the globe talking to theatre artists, critics, passionate patrons and the theatrically disillusioned, Tannahill addresses what he considers the culture of 'risk aversion' paralyzing the form.

Theatre of the Unimpressed is Tannahill's wry and revelatory personal reckoning with the discipline he's dedicated his life to, and a roadmap for a vital twenty-first-century theatre - one that apprehends the value of 'liveness' in our mediated age and the necessity for artistic risk and its attendant failures. In considering dramaturgy, programming and alternative models for producing, Tannahill aims to turn theatre from an obligation to a destination.

'[Tannahill is] the poster child of a new generation of (theatre? film? dance?) artists for whom interdisciplinary is not a buzzword, but a way of life.' --J. Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail

'Jordan is one of the most talented and exciting playwrights in the country, and he will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.' --Nicolas Billon, Governor General's Award-winning playwright (Fault Lines)

Things We Said Today

Things We Said Today

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Things We Said Today features the scripts for Neil LaBute's groundbreaking Directv project 10x10--a series of short films written and directed by LaBute based on ten compelling original monologues, five each for men and women. Also included are five short plays displaying the power and scope of Neil LaBute's creative vision. In Pick One, three white guys come up with a way to solve America's problems; in The Possible one young woman seduces another's boyfriend for an unexpected reason. Call Back features an actress and actor who spar about a past encounter that she, unnervingly, remembers much better than he does. Good Luck (In Farsi), "a pleasingly astringent study in competitiveness and vanity" (The New York Times) has two actresses pulling out all the stops in a preaudition psych out; and in Squeeze Play a father and his son's baseball coach strike a mutually beneficial deal. Rounding out the collection are two monologues commissioned as part of Centerstage's "My America" project.
This is How it Goes

This is How it Goes

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Belinda and Cody Phipps appear a typical Midwestern couple: teenage sweethearts, children, luxurious home. Typical except that Cody is black--rich, black, and different, in the words of Belinda, who finds herself attracted to a former (white) classmate. As the battle for her affections is waged, Belinda and Cody frankly doubt the foundation of their initial attraction, opening the door wide to a swath of bigotry and betrayal. Staged on continually shifting moral ground that challenges our received notions about gender, ethnicity, and even love itself, This Is How It Goes unblinkingly explores the myriad ways in which the wild card of race is played by both black and white in America.

This Is Modern Art

This Is Modern Art

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Graffiti crews are willing to risk anything for their art. Called vandals, criminals, even creative terrorists, graffiti artists set out to make their voices heard and alter the way people view the world. But when one crew finishes the biggest graffiti bomb of their careers, the consequences get serious and spark a public debate asking, Where does art belong?

Kevin Coval is the author of Schtick, L-vis Lives, the American Library Association Book of the Year Finalist Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica, and an editor of The BreakBeat Poets.

Idris Goodwin is a playwright, spoken-word performer, and essayist recognized across mediums by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation.

This Is Shakespeare

This Is Shakespeare

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An electrifying new study that investigates the challenges of the Bard's inconsistencies and flaws, and focuses on revealing--not resolving--the ambiguities of the plays and their changing topicality

A genius and prophet whose timeless works encapsulate the human condition like no other. A writer who surpassed his contemporaries in vision, originality, and literary mastery. A man who wrote like an angel, putting it all so much better than anyone else. Is this Shakespeare? Well, sort of. But it doesn't tell us the whole truth. So much of what we say about Shakespeare is either not true, or just not relevant.

In This Is Shakespeare, Emma Smith--an intellectually, theatrically, and ethically exciting writer--takes us into a world of politicking and copycatting, as we watch Shakespeare emulating the blockbusters of Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd (the Spielberg and Tarantino of their day), flirting with and skirting around the cutthroat issues of succession politics, religious upheaval, and technological change. Smith writes in strikingly modern ways about individual agency, privacy, politics, celebrity, and sex. Instead of offering the answers, the Shakespeare she reveals poses awkward questions, always inviting the reader to ponder ambiguities.

Thom Pain (based on nothing)

Thom Pain (based on nothing)

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From the last lonely wilderness, the dark corner of these overlit times, in the camouflage of the common man, Thom Pain takes the stage. With terrible timing and impeccable regret, over-educated in the wrong ways, and wounded in the right ones, he appears. Teeth bared, as he picks a piece of lint off his suit. Listen to the language writhe, as he tries to say hello. Meet Thom Pain. A man who had, by his own reckless reckoning, three or four things happen to him in life. A man who is, by his own admittedly uninformed admission, a man much like a man or woman like you.

When Will Eno's one-person play Thom Pain opened in New York in February 2005, it became something rare--an unqualified hit, which soon extended through July. Before that, the play was a critical success in London and received the coveted Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival. Dubbed "stand-up existentialism" by the New York Times, it is lyrical and deadpan, both sardonic and sincere. It is Thom Pain--in the camouflage of the common man--fumbling with his heart, squinting into the light.

"Astonishing in its impact. . . . One of the treasured nights in the theatre that can leave you both breathless with exhilaration and, depending on your sensitivity to meditations on the bleak and beautiful mysteries of human experience, in a puddle of tears . . . Thom Pain is at bottom a surreal meditation on the empty promises life makes, the way experience never lives up to the weird and awesome fact of being. But it is also, in its odd, bewitching beauty, an affirmation of life's worth."--Charles Isherwood, The New York Times


"Eno has emerged as one of the most original young playwrights on the scene. He is one of the few writers who can convert discomfort and outright agony into such pleasure."--David Cote, TimeOut New York


"Will Eno is one of the finest younger playwrights I've come across in a number of years. His work is inventive, disciplined and, at the same time, wild and evocative."--Edward Albee

Will Eno lives in Brooklyn, New York. His plays include The Flu Season, Tragedy: a tragedy, King: a problem play, and Intermission. His plays have been produced in London by the Gate Theatre and BBC Radio, and in the United States by Rude Mechanicals and Naked Angels. His play The Flu Season recently won the Oppenheimer Award, presented by NY Newsday for the previous year's best debut production in New York by an American playwright.

Three Days of Rain

Three Days of Rain

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Set in New York, Three Days of Rain centers on a brother Walker, his sister Nan, and their childhood friend Pip who meet to settle their parents' estate. The two fathers were long-time friends and partners in architecture; their legacy is the brilliantly daring creation, the 1960's Janeway House. In this tense and brittle reunion, much more is at stake than who gets the house.
Brother and sister discover their father's sparse diary, and use it to create a story for themselves that will explain away the present and make sense of their parent's passionless marriage. Over the three days of rain entered in the young architect's diary, the same three actors then play their own parents and reveal a romantic significance and creative dilemma that none of these children could ever have imagined.
Julia Roberts will make her Broadway debut in spring 2006 as Nan in a revival of Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain.
Three Days of Rain and Other Plays

Three Days of Rain and Other Plays

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Richard Greenberg is the winner of the Newsday's George Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Playwright, the Molly Kazan Playwriting Award, the Pen/Laura Pels Award, and his play Three Days of Rain was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize. He has been called a major new playwright who has mastered the art of telling a simple story with such grace and skill that it becomes startlingly new (Fintan O'Toole, New York Daily News). Greenberg's plays have developed a reputation for being intelligent, whimsical, always powerful pieces of theatre that are profound without being pretentious and that speak about the very basic longing of human beings (Amy Schaumberg, Drama-Logue). Collected in this volume are Greenberg's most important plays, including his latest, Hurrah at Last, which Laurie Winer in the Los Angeles Times called funny, acerbic and delightfully straightforward about falsehoods and bargains of intimacy.
Three Plays

Three Plays

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"Thornton Wilder will survive. . . as long as there are people around who are willing to sit in something called a theater and be reminded of their common humanity." --New York Times

From celebrated Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright Thornton Wilder, three of the greatest plays in American literature together in one volume: Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, and The Matchmaker. This essential compendium includes a preface by the author, as well as a foreword by playwright John Guare.

Our Town, Wilder's timeless Pulitzer Prize-winning classic about love, death, and destiny, opened on Broadway in 1938 and continues to be celebrated and performed on stages all around the world.

The Skin of our Teeth, Wilder's brilliant and enduring romp about human follies and human endurance starring the Antrobus family of Excelsior, New Jersey, earned Wilder his third Pulitzer Prize in 1943.

The Matchmaker, a dazzling farce about money and love, stars the irrepressible busybody Dolly Gallagher Levi, who leads young and old on an adventure that changes their lives. It was later adapted into the famed musical Hello, Dolly!

Three Plays by Kaufman and Hart: Once in a Lifetime, You Can't Take It with You and the Man Who Came to Dinner

Three Plays by Kaufman and Hart: Once in a Lifetime, You Can't Take It with You and the Man Who Came to Dinner

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Three American theater classics by two of our most revered playwrights.

Once in a Lifetime is a highly charged satire about three small-time vaudevillians who set out for Hollywood. There, their wild luck, the incompetence of the producers, and the haywire atmosphere of the burgeoning film industry conspire to their great success.

The 1936 Pulitzer Prize winner You Can't Take It With You is the tale of a zany but lovable family of hobby-horse enthusiasts. For thirty-five years Grandpa has done nothing but hunt snakes, throw darts, and avoid income-tax payments; his son-in-law makes fireworks in the basement, and other assorted family members write plays, operate amateur printing presses, and play the xylophone. They live in delightfully comic eccentricity until Alice brings home her straitlaced Wall Street boyfriend.

The Man Who Came to Dinner opened in 1939 to become one of the longest-running hits in the history of Broadway. It portrays an eminent lecturer who unwillingly accepts a dinner invitation in a small Ohio town, slips on the ice outside his hosts' home, and is forced immediately to their sickbed. While convalescing well beyond his stay of welcome, he turns the house of his indignant hosts into bedlam with his hilarious friends and diabolic pranks.

Also included in this volume are "Men at Work" and "Forked Lightning," two essays Kaufman and Hart wrote about each other.

Three Plays: Blood Wedding; Yerma; The House of Bernarda Alba

Three Plays: Blood Wedding; Yerma; The House of Bernarda Alba

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Newly repackaged, three plays by Federico García Lorca

In these three plays, Federico García Lorca's acknowledged masterpieces, he searched for a contemporary mode of tragedy and reminded his audience that dramatic poetry--or poetic drama--depends less on formal convention that on an elemental, radical outlook on human life. His images are beautiful and exact, but until now no translator had ever been able to make his characters speak unaffectedly on the American stage. Michael Dewell of the National Repertory Theatre and Carmen Zapata of the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts have created these versions expressly for the stage. The results, both performable and readable, have been thoroughly revised for this edition, which has an introduction by Christopher Maurer, the general editor of the Complete Poetical Works of García Lorca.

Three Plays: Desire Under the Elms, Strange Interlude, Mourning Becomes Electra

Three Plays: Desire Under the Elms, Strange Interlude, Mourning Becomes Electra

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Winner of the Nobel Prize

These three plays exemplify Eugene O'Neil's ability to explore the limits of the human predicament, even as he sounds the depths of his audiences' hearts.

Three Plays: Dividing the Estate, the Trip to Bountiful, and the Young Man from Atlanta

Three Plays: Dividing the Estate, the Trip to Bountiful, and the Young Man from Atlanta

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Bringing together the rich characters and wry humor of a celebrated Texas scribe, this book collects three of Foote's most recognized plays. In these works, Foote deftly combines the claustrophobia of the Southern families from Tennessee Williams, the physical and psychological dysfunctions of Eugene O'Neill's families, and the humor and pathos of small town Southern life portrayed by Flannery O'Connor. In the dark comedy Dividing the Estate, matriarch Stella Gordon is dead set against the parceling out of her clan's land despite the financial woes brought on by the oil bust of the 1980s. In the course of the play, the power of petty self-interest and long-held resentments makes even painful compromise an elusive goal. Widely acclaimed in a 2007 production at Primary Stages, the play will open on Broadway in November 2008. In The Trip to Bountiful, Carrie Watts is determined to escape a cramped, unpleasant life in a small Houston apartment with her son and avaricious daughter-in-law. Her burning desire is to return to the now desolate town of her childhood, against the inexorability of change and the refuge of memory. Foote earned an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1985 for his work on Bountiful. The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Young Man from Atlanta tells the story of a couple living in Houston in 1950, suffering the aftershocks of the mysterious death of their son. Will and Lily Dale Kidder try to hold onto their beliefs about their son's life and death and the possibilities for their own lives, but both are dealt a shattering blow by the young man of the title, a friend of their son's who never appears in the play. Foote's pitch-perfect characters and sensitive eye for interpersonal relationships continue to place him at the top of playwrights working today. This new collection brings his best to new audiences.
Three Plays: Melissa Arctic, Orange Flower Water, and the Pavilion

Three Plays: Melissa Arctic, Orange Flower Water, and the Pavilion

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Craig Wright is one of the most widely produced, consistently entertaining playwrights of his generation. The three plays gathered in this volume--Melissa Arctic (winner of the 2005 Helen Hayes Award), Orange Flower Water, and The Pavilion--are all set in the fictional town of Pine City, Minnesota. The plays share a focus on love and relationships and feature a consistent undercurrent of observation and speculation about the nature of time. Melissa Arctic brings Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale into the present, retaining the original's captivating mix of the comic and tragic. A brutally frank exploration of marriage, Orange Flower Water examines the irresistible lure and poisonous effects of unrealistic expectations within love, and portrays the inescapably compromised contours of relationships founded on adultery. The Pavilion, a lyrical and rueful homage to Our Town, is a meditation on dashed dreams and unquenchable hopes, set at a twenty-year high school reunion. In all three plays, Wright shows himself to be one of the most perceptive and engaging playwrights working today.