I’m a theatre geek at heart. I’ve been performing and helping put on productions for over 10 years and was president of my theatre troupe in college, as well as a member of the national theatre honors society, Alpha Psi Omega. So I feel like I’m fairly qualified to recommend some plays that you can read and enjoy. In truth, theatre is meant to be seen, not read, but not everyone can afford to get to the theatre on a regular basis, so reading scripts can be another great way to experience the magic of drama.
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
This is one of the greatest American plays in history, and for good reason; its exploration of the extraordinary in the ordinary was both revolutionary and timeless. It follows a group of people in a small town throughout their lives.
Trifles by Susan Glaspell
This one-act play is noted as one of the quintessential feminist American plays and won a Pulitzer. It focuses on one location: the home of a murdered man, whose wife is being accused. While the men wander around the property, two women investigate and discuss the wife’s possible guilt or innocence, and whether to report what they find to the men.
The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
A pioneer in African American drama, Wilson brings the legacy of slavery to the forefront with this play, which centers on a family conflict over whether or not to sell a piano.
‘night Mother by Marsha Norman
This one act play follows a woman as she makes her final preparations before committing suicide, including saying goodnight to her mother. It won 4 Tony’s and a Pulitzer, and is probably one of the most emotional plays I’ve ever read.
These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich
I may be partial because I played a lead in this show, but it’s also a great retelling of American history and the group of women often referred to as the Radium Girls. These women – Catherine, Charlotte, Pearl and Frances – fought for worker’s rights and changed the labor industry for everyone (In case you’re wondering, I played the character of Charlotte). It’s heart-wrenching and a great read!
Any other theatre geeks on here? Let me know in the comments what your favorite play is!