I work in the theatre. As such, I read a lot of plays. And, a lot of those plays I can’t really discuss on a public forum because of confidentiality purposes. However, I still read plays in my free time because it helps me be aware of the landscape, there are a LOT of plays, and they’re fun to read. Since they’re fun to read, I thought it would be nice to share the plays I’ve read in my free time in any given month. After all, these playwrights have put a lot into their work, and it should be shared. Due to the nature of my work, I will not be “rating” these plays. That is not productive to the work I’m trying to do. Neither is it fair, as these scripts are a roadmap for a fully realized production. I’ve been to enough shows and readings to know that I’m not going to mine as much meaning out of some lines as an actor can. Instead, I’m going to give a little taste, and I hope you’ll be intrigued.
Polaroid Stories by Naoimi Iizuka
An urban interpretation of the Metamorphoses, Polaroid Stories follows the likes of Orpheus, Eurydice, Persephone, Narcissus, Echo, and “D” (who I can only imagine is Dionysus). Polaroid Stories plays with language and imagery, with stage directions such as someone turning into a star. This is not a literal play, and one I’m eager to see one stage to really explore it fully.
The Glory of Living by Rebecca Gilman
Lisa is the daughter of a prostitute. She meets Clint when he accompanies one of her mother’s clients to their trailer. Lisa runs off with Clint, but the good times are short-lived, and something we never see on stage. Instead we reunite with the couple as Clint has begun using Lisa to procure young runaway girls for him. When girls begin turning up dead, Lisa becomes a suspect in their murder. This play is fast-paced and dark. However, if you’ve never read Gilman before, I would personally recommend Boy Gets Girl, her exploration of stalking, as a first go.
Live Broadcast by John William Schiffbauer
A conservative Hollywood star is convinced by an old friend to go on his political talk show to battle it out with a star liberal congresswoman.
A Strange and Separate People by Jon Marans
The lives of a Jewish couple intersects with a gay doctor, and his devout behavior forces them to reconsider many of their beliefs.
Bachelorette by Leslye Headland
They’re the girls who seem to have everything including beauty and a carefree attitude. But they also have a chip on their should because life has not gone they way they thought it would. They drink and cuss and are generally awful. They also happened to be gathered to celebrate the wedding of one of their own, though it becomes evident they don’t believe she deserves her happily ever after. A bachelorette party descends into chaos, and the balance of power shifts.
Blood and Gifts by J.T. Rogers
In 1981 CIA operative Jim Warnock is sent to Afghanistan where he also deals with the convoluted political landscape including the Pakistani, British, KGB.