Looking for Good Plays


Running a Drama group?  Especially with high-school or college students?  There's always Shakespeare and the wonderful greek tragedies . . . but what if you can't get the right number of people together?  Here are some more ideas--

Mysteries
Christie, Agatha. The Mousetrap.
Christie, Agatha. Witness for the Prosecution.
Collins, Wilkie. The Woman in White.

Fun musicals
Gilbert & Sullivan. All works.

Religious
Anon. Everyman
Anon. Hickscorner
Anon. The Second Shepherd’s Play.
Bolt, Robert. A Man for All Seasons.
Eliot, T. S. Murder in the Cathedral.
Hroswitha. Dulcitius.

Serious drama
Chekov, Anton. Uncle Vanya.
Eliot, T. S. The Cocktail Party.
Calderon, Pedro. Life is a Dream. (though it is also a bit magical and imaginative and funny)

Whimsical yet thoughtful
Chase, Mary. Harvey.
Rostand, Edmond. Cyrano de Bergerac.

One-acts
Giraudoux, Jean. The Apollo of Bellac.
Goodman, Kenneth Sawyer. Dust of the Road.
Ives, David. Words, Words, Words.
Milne, A. A. The Ugly Duckling.

And for something really different--why not try Commedia dell'Arte, an Italian form of theater that can showcase any particular odd talents your students might have. There is room for improvisation and jokes. Learn more with John Rudlin's book or here. Here's a description of something typical from another website: An important part of every play, given always to the most expert and popular actors, were the humorous interruptions, called lazzi, which often had nothing to do with the play itself. It might be clever pantomimic acting, acrobatic feats, juggling, or wrestling. For example, three characters meet at a cook shop, where they hear of an accident which has befallen the wife of one of them. While they express their dismay at the affliction, they fall to eating greedily from a huge dish of macaroni; and as they eat, tears stream down their faces. Or again, a servant, disgusted at an order his master has given him, delays carrying it out until he has turned a complete somersault. One famous actor could execute this trick having a full glass of wine in his hand, without spilling a drop.

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