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See below for a selection of the latest books from Plays, playscripts category. Presented with a red border are the Plays, playscripts books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Plays, playscripts books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Paradise, the playscript by lyricist, novelist, poet and playwright Kae Tempest is a potent and dynamic reimagining of the Greek classic Philoctetes by Sophocles. Once comrades, now enemies after Odysseus abandoned Philoctetes to suffer a terrible wound alone, Odysseus is prepared to use any means necessary to get the shell-shocked Philoctetes back to the front and win the Trojan war. The National Theatre production will be directed by Ian Rickson with Lesley Sharp leading a large ensemble all-woman cast.
This volume completes the publication of this series of notebooks, the plays in question being Play, Come and Go, Eh Joe, Footfalls, That Time and What Where. Professor Gontarski brings his own experience as a director to editing this book, which provides a continuing revelation of the playwright's approach to the staging of his work. To these 'shorter plays' Samuel Beckett devoted the same care and attention to the details of textual revision and stagecraft as he did to the full-length works, and this book contains revised texts prepared on the same editorial basis as before.
This volume presents a modernised edition of Christopher Marlowe's critical engagement with one of the bloodiest and traumatic episodes of the French Wars of Religion, the wholesale massacre of French Huguenots in Paris in August, 1572. Sensorily shocking and intellectually gripping, the play's dramatic action spans a tumultuous two decades in French history to unfold for its audience the tragic consequences of religious fanaticism, power politics, and dynastic rivalry. Comprehensively introduced and containing full commentary notes, this edition opens up this frequently neglected but historically significant and dramatically powerful play to student and scholar alike. The introduction examines such topics as the history of the massacre, the play's treatment of its sources, the play's dramatisation of trauma, and the play's exploration of notions of religious toleration. -- .
You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock / Wathint'Abafazi, Wathint'Imbokodo is a bristling example of protest theatre making during the height of apartheid. Created in ensemble fashion in 1986 by director Phyllis Klotz in collaboration with performers Thobeka Maqhutyana, Nomvula Qosha and Poppy Tsira, this play stands as a contemporary South African classic. The play focuses on three central characters: Sdudla, Mambhele and Mampompo living and working in a Cape Town township trying to eke out a living in a racially, socially and economically unequal world. There are few work opportunities and there is a great deal of red tape to be self-sufficient. Men are glaringly absent from this world - working as cheap migrant labour in urban areas. Women have to undertake great risk to see their husbands and to try keep a semblance of family cohesiveness. Helicopters fly above and state security police surveil the area. The play shows how these women work miracles to ensure the survival and wellbeing of their families at all cost. Following the famous 1956 slogan of the South African woman's march against apartheid laws, this latest publication in 2021 is a testament to the contemporariness of this play. Its themes around gender activism and the need for gender parity remains as true today as it did fifty years ago. Fresh and full of life, this is an important historical document and will be a landmark play for high schools and students of theatre.
Stephens writes dramas set in uncaring, uncompromising worlds, whose characters speak in a language at once naturalistic and yet artificially pared-down and whose uncertain attempts to assert their own identities sometimes lead to gratuitous and brutal acts of violence. - Financial Times A fifth collection of plays by one of Britain's most prolific contemporary playwrights, Simon Stephens, charting his work from 2011-2016, ranging from London's Royal Court Theatre, Manchester's Royal Exchange and Broadway. Wastwater (2011) Metaphoric, allusive, and thoroughly disturbing in its evocation of suspicion and uncertainty, Wastwater is a thought-provoking play whose quiet intensity stays with you for days - its effect is like that of a ugly stone dropped into a pool, which results in constant ripples of dirty water lapping at your subconscious (Aleks Sierz) Birdland (2014) Mega-fame and limitless cash can turn a man into a monster, and Simon Stephens's new play excellently evokes its hero's spiritually shrunken world (Michael Billington, Guardian) Blindsided (2014) the dialogue has a rare quality of moment-by-moment intensity (Telegraph) Song From Far Away (2015) a meditative monologue - a searching study of impotently self-aware emotional insufficiency (Independent) Heisenberg (2016) Mr. Stephens ... is an uncannily subtle dramatist who never wears his depths on the surface ... he probes cliches until they fall apart, before reassembling them into solid but transformed shapes, reminding us why such cliches have become enduring elements of our collective mythology. (Ben Brantley, New York Times)
Nobel Laureate George Bernard Shaw remains one of the world's most important and popular writers. His plays are regularly performed around the world, from the boards of Broadway and the West End to regional, community, and college stages. The three plays selected here are widely considered to be three of the most important in the canon of modern British theatre: Man and Superman: a four-act comedy for serious people, staged in part at Royal court in 1905, it is one of the early works of Modernism to take an ancient myth and restage it in contemporary mode (and its influence extends across world literature, palpable in writings from Mann to Joyce). Its story of how a sensitive woman compels a superman-figure to adjust to her needs and those of the real world provides an updated commentary on Nietzsche's still-fashionable notions of ubermensch; and its famous third act introduces a persistent Shavian theme, which goes back as far as earliest religious literature-that the truly damned are those who are happy in hell. John Bull's Other Island takes up that idea: to the visionary, hell may be the ultimate modern dream of efficiency and rational administration, as manifested in a colonial Ireland run by liberal exploiters. Commissioned by WB Yeats to mark the opening of Ireland's National Theatre, the Abbey, the play was promptly refused by its Directors (who disliked its mechanical mockeries of mechanism but may have missed its visionary qualities). It was performed to huge acclaim in London in November 1904 and it made Shaw famous, the supreme example of the Playwright as Thinker and, ever afterwards, one of the most valued commentators on Anglo-Irish relations. Major Barbara: a three-act drama which in classic Shavian style unmasks the motivation of puritan idealists and dedicated industrialists, this work (like the previous two) pits a strong woman against a sardonic, practical man. Having exposed the mendacity of apostles of efficiency, Shaw seems then to submit to their doctrine, arguing that a pure private charity towards the destitute is no adequate substitute. Like the previous two works, this is a problem play, in the course of which the audience sympathy is aroused and then repelled in all directions. The suggestion that it may be acceptable to take money from tainted sources, such as arms manufacturers, caused much debate in 1905--and even more after the carnage wrought by mechanized guns in World War One.
Environmentalist, activist, and attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. contributes a foreword to this Skyhorse edition of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen's renowned 1882 play, An Enemy of the People. Regarded as one of the foremost playwrights of the nineteenth century, Ibsen tells the story of the idealist Doctor Thomas Stockmann, the medical officer of a recently opened spa in a small town in southern Norway, who finds that the water is seriously contaminated. He notifies members of the community and initially receives support and thanks for the discovery. Threatened by the possible impact of such a revelation, his brother, the town mayor, conspires with local politicians and the newspaper to suppress the story and pressure Dr. Stockmann to retract his statements. At a public meeting, an attempt is made to keep Dr. Stockmann from speaking, but he launches into a tirade condemning the corruption of the town and the tyranny of the majority. Finding his speech offensive, he is shouted down by the masses and reviled as 'an enemy of the people.' In his foreword, Kennedy alerts readers to the undeniable fact that the persecution of those who tell uncomfortable truths, which Ibsen described one hundred years ago, continues to this day and is as relevant now as it ever was. We face environmental deregulation and degradation, politicians in lobbyists' pockets, attacks on facts that are agreed upon by reputable scientists, corporate funded and controlled research, and attempts to impede and suppress whistleblowers. The battle continues and Kennedy joins Ibsen on the front lines.
Over the past three decades, theater studies has undergone a radical worldwide development and renewal. This happened through two different yet complementary paths: the first (North American in origin) led to the birth of the discipline of performance studies; the second (European continental) is what Marco de Marinis calls new theatrology. New theatrology arises from the dialogue between theatre history and the humanities and social sciences, yet de Marinis also characterizes it by a strong experimental imprint resulting from a close and participatory relationship with theatrical practice and its players. The first part of Understanding Theatre retraces the main steps that brought theater studies to make the transition from performance to the audience to their receptive act, giving proper attention to the documentary element. In the second part, de Marinis tests the new perspective of investigation on some fundamental innovative theatrical experiences of the twentieth century. In this way, the volume collects de Marinis's essays-written for magazines, conference programs, and edited collections-from a span of almost thirty years and documents key post-semiological developments in how we understand theater today.