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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!
Although Langston Hughes had a lifelong engagement in theatre and other performance arts, his work in this area is the least known of his rich and complex contributions to African American expressive culture. This volume focuses on Hughes's plays after 1942, along with all of his other work written for performance, including operas, musicals, radio plays, ballet libretti and song lyrics, all of which demonstrate his strong determination to inject an African American presence into a range of cultural forms. In 1943, Hughes brought into being what would become his most famous character, Jesse B. Semple - not for the stage, but for a newspaper column he would write for the Chicago Defender for 15 years and then for the New York Post until 1965. Hughes revised and collected the stories into four books, and following the success of his second collection, Simple Takes a Wife , composed a play of the same name, which he later turned into the musical Simply Heavenly . Although well known, this work was atypical of Hughes's interests during the postwar period. It was African American music that engaged him, particularly gospel music, which was, in the 1950s, acquiring significant crossover success. Aside from a few educational or occasional pieces, virtually all of Hughes's stage writing after 1942 incorporated music in some form. He wrote five complete operas, as well as musicals, gospel plays, several cantatas, two very successful Broadway productions, and the more than 30 plays that he provided to community theatres and collegiate, church and amateur groups. It was inevitable that HUghes, the most prolific of African American playwrights at that time, would seek to employ the music genre that dominated Broadway during the 1940s and 1950s to tell his own kind of stories. Hughes's intense engagement with theatre and other performance arts lasted more than 35 years. In every genre he attempted, Hughes left unforgettable and inspiring work, giving rise to the range and richness of contemporary African American theatrical achievement.
This collection contains two plays by Gao Xingjian, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2000. Escape was written in 1989 in the wake of the June 4 Student Movement in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. With the publication of the play, Gao was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party, dismissed from his state appointment and his house in Beijing confiscated. Perhaps because of this controversy, Escape has become the most performed of all of Gao's plays: it has been staged in Sweden, Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, Japan, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and Canada. Wherever it was staged, it was given a locally relevant intepretation and was well received, which lends credence to Gao's claim of the universality of the play he describes as the tragedy of modern man. The Man Who Questions Death is the latest of Gao's plays. It is also one of the most exciting and powerful. Here Gao condemns the commercialization of modern art and ponders on life and the inevitability of death. At once sad and comical, the play traverses anger, cynicism, resignation, release, and total freedom, culminating in what he terms black absuridity. No other two plays illustrate more of Gao Xingjian's ideas on life and art. In Escape and The Man Who Questions Death , he describes the encroachment of politics and commercialism on the individual and the arts, and uses this as the basis to comment on the existential challenges facing mankind. The plays are also perfect examples of Gao Xingjian's accomplishment as a dramatist and his idea of the theater. In them we can experience for ourselves the now familiar Gaoian monologue and get to understand his concept of the neutral actor. This collection is a must read for anyone who wants to appreciate Gao Xingjian as dramatist and thinker.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan's last play, an adaptation of August Von Kotzebue's Die Spanier set in Peru and first performed in 1799, was one of the most popular of the entire century. Set during the Spanish Conquest of Peru, Pizarro dramatized English fears of invasion by Revolutionary France, but it is also surprisingly and critically engaged with Britain's colonial exploits abroad. Pizarro is a play of firsts: the first use of music alongside action, the first collapsing set, the first production to inspire such celebratory ephemera as cartoons, portraits, postcards, even porcelain collector plates. Pizarro marks the end of eighteenth-century drama and the birth of a new theatrical culture. This edition features a comprehensive introduction and extensive appendices documenting the play's first successful performances and global influence. It will appeal to students and scholars of Romantic literature, theatre history, post-colonialism, and Indigenous studies.
Margaret D. Bauer reintroduces one of Paul Green's best plays, The House of Connelly, the first play performed (on Broadway, in 1931) by the renowned Group Theatre of New York. In so doing, Bauer also perhaps reintroduces the playwright himself, famous and well respected in his day, but largely forgotten today, except for his outdoor symphonic drama The Lost Colony, which continues to be performed every summer in Manteo, North Carolina. Green's The House of Connelly is a more traditional drama, comparable to the writing of Tennessee Williams, and Bauer asserts that this play is as good as Williams's plays and deals more directly and fully with racial issues of the early twentieth-century South than Williams did in his drama. Bauer's new edition includes both endings to the play: the tragic ending that Green wrote originally and the revised ending he wrote upon the Group Theatre directors' request. Bauer provides the writing, production, and publication history of the play; a scene-by-scene critical analysis, including an analysis of both endings; and a discussion of the 1934 film adaptation, Carolina. The play's theme is change, Bauer concludes: with both endings, Green shows that the South had to change if the people were going to survive.
Evil stalks the township of KwaMashu, near Durban. It comes in the form of Whoonga, a toxic mix of B-grade heroin, rat poison and other chemical components that almost immediately sucks its users into the vortex of addiction and the crime, deception and personal tragedy that goes with it. Caught up in the web, the ulwembu of the title, presided over by the dealer, Bongani Mseleku, are Lieutenant Portia Mthembu, a police officer in the frontline of the fight against the scourge; her son Sipho; his friend, Andile Nxumalo, and Emmanuel Abreu, a Mozambique-born spaza shopkeeper. As it traces Sipho's descent from talented scholar and aspirant poet and songwriter to suicidal addict, Ulwembu explores the effects of addiction not only on those who suffer from it but on communities, families and the police, both those who try to control the murderous trade and those who benefit from it. Using a process they have dubbed Empatheatre, The Big Brotherhood, Neil Coppen, Dylan McGarry and Mpume Mtombeni, aim to share `people's real-life stories, with the intention to inspire and develop a greater empathy and kindness in spaces where there is conflict or injustice'. Ulwembu is the dramatic result of their efforts.
It is 1936 and A. E. Housman is being ferried across the Styx, glad to be dead at last. His memories, however, are dramatically if confusedly alive. The river which flows through Tom Stoppard's play connects Hades with the Oxford of Housman's early manhood where High Victorianism in art, literature and morality is being challenged by the Aesthetic movement and an Irish student called Wilde is preparing to burst on to the London scene... The Invention of Love premiered at the National Theatre, London, in September 1997.
I am scared, that once this war is over, and I am sent home, that you won't be here. That you will have left. Leonard and Violet, young, restless and in love, spend their first night together knowing it may also be their last. It's 1942 and, in a hotel room in Bath, they dream of their future while preparing for Leonard's departure to the war. But the bombs begin to fall and their world will never be the same again. In the year 2002, the couple look back at what might have been. Examining the impact of the Second World War on two ordinary lives and a love that spans more than sixty years, Nick Payne's One Day When We Were Young premiered at the Crucible Studio, Sheffield, in October 2011 in a Paines Plough production.
The second of Shaw's unpleasant plays, written in 1893, published in 1898, but not performed until 1905, The Philanderer is subtitled A Topical Comedy. The eclectic range of topical subjects addressed in the play includes the influence of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen on British middle-class social mores (the second act of The Philanderer is set in the fictional Ibsen Club), medical follies, the rise of the New Woman, and, in particular, the destructive impact of Victorian marriage and divorce laws. Just as Shaw's other unpleasant plays, Widowers' Houses and Mrs Warren's Profession, call, respectively, for reform of laws that allow corrupt property owners to exploit the poor and for radical change to economic structures that drive women into prostitution, so The Philanderer makes the case for more liberal legislation to allow easier divorce-particularly for women-when marriages become irretrievably broken. Shaw's attack on divorce laws becomes even clearer and stronger in the final act that he wrote for the play but discarded in favour of the version he published. The discarded version is published for the first time in this Broadview edition of the play.
Six seminal plays from Ken Duncum and Rebecca Rodden, whose playwriting partnership powered the vibrant theatre scene round Wellington's BATS Theatre in the 1980s and 90s. Boldly inventive, darkly comic and ceaselessly imaginative, the plays collected here present a chilling one-woman vision of alienation (Polythene Pam); the comic and tragic impossibility of human connection (Truelove); an irresponsible punk couple horrified to find they've become parents to the Messiah (Flybaby); conjoined twins plunged into an off-kilter world of rampant advertising, animal terrorism and a perfume made from monkey semen (cult-classic JISM); a real-life 20th-century martyr tested to his limits in the afterlife by a vengeful gang of defrocked saints (The Temptations of St Max); and the not-so-quiet desperation of a fearful hoarder fighting to survive the night hours (Panic!). Supporting the plays are introductions and selected images from the writers and other BATS practitioners which vividly recapture a crucial time and place in New Zealand's theatre history.
This text features five plays from the English Renaissance which explore political questions and developments by telling stories about the erotic impulses of a national ruler. The volume contains fully annotated and modernized versions of Marlowe's Edward II , Shakespeare's Measure for Measure , Massinger's The Duke of Milan , Davenant's The Cruel Brother , and Ford's Love's Sacrifice . The author provides an introduction, initial discussion, and selected illustration(s) for each play, along with an introduction to erotic politics and the Renaissance - era political mentality.
A Fourth of July backyard barbecue is the setting for Rebecca Gilman's new play, The Crowd You're in With , a funny, thought-provoking, ultimately disquieting exploration of the question of whether to have children. Melinda and Jasper, the hosts, are deeply divided by the issue; Tom and Karen, their landlords, decided long ago to remain childless; Windsong and her husband, Dan, are expecting a baby. As the play progresses, the motivations of these characters reveal themselves as ever more complex. Even as the characters often speak in very practical terms about their decisions, Gilman never loses sight of the mystery underlying a life-shaping decision guided by both rational thought and biological imperative, which ultimately speaks to the even larger question of free will and determinism faced by every person.
Nora seems to have it all: a successful husband, three adorable children, and a beautiful home in the tiny Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. But what looks like the perfect life is woefully incomplete, propped up by dark secrets and bitter betrayals. While her husband, Terry, single-mindedly climbs the career ladder, Nora's compulsive shopping and scheming pushes her ever further from freedom and self-fulfillment. As the lies on which their life is built gradually emerge, Nora comes to realize the true cost of what she thinks she has always wanted. From Ibsen's masterpiece A Doll's House , award-winning playwright Rebecca Gilman crafts a bold and insightful update. This contemporary adaptation brings Ibsen's classic into our century with a sharp eye for social satire and moments of dark comedy coupled with powerful human drama.