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re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read

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jimmy_oh_jimmy
Chorus Member
joined:6/27/08
What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 11/20/08 at 04:27pm
Ok so I've heard that savvy student actors need to constantly be reading plays..... what are some that should be at the top of our list?

Loving thus far:

Noises Off (classic goofy humor)
Holy Ghosts (weird)
Brighton Beach Memoirs (not as good as i thought)
all my sons (fav)
and the list goes on....
Shut Up It's Been 29 Years! ~ St. Patti
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Juliash
Broadway Star
joined:3/6/07
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 11/20/08 at 04:51pm
The Pillowman.
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SamanthaisFierce
Stand-by
joined:9/20/08
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 11/20/08 at 06:48pm
Proof by David Auburn
Anything written by John Patrick Shanley, Neil Labute or Neil Simon
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ILoveMyDictionary
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/06
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 11/20/08 at 07:49pm
Golden Boy
Anything by Tenessee Williams and Eugene O'Neil

I think a better question is what playwrights should every actor be familiar with.
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dg22894
Broadway Legend
joined:2/22/08
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 11/20/08 at 08:22pm
Spring Awakening (Both the play and the musical)
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Lavieboheme3090
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/04
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 11/21/08 at 05:06pm
THE GREEKS

AESCHYLUS: Agamemnon
The Libation Bearers
The Eumenides
ARISTOPHANES: The Birds
The Frogs
Lysistrata
EURIPIDES: Andromache
The Bacchae
Medea
Iphigenia at Aulis
The Trojan Women
SOPHOCLES: Antigone
Electra
Oedipus Rex
Oedipus at Colonnus

SHAKESPEARE & JACOBEANS

SHAKESPEARE: Every play (38 total)
FORD: ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore
JONSON: Bartholomew Fair
Volpone
KYD: The Spanish Tragedy
MARLOWE: Dr Faustus
Edward II
Tamburlaine
MIDDLETON: The Changeling
Women Beware Women
TOURNEUR: The Revenger’s Tragedy
WEBSTER: The Duchess of Malfi
The White Devil


RESTORATION:

BEHN: The Rover
CONGREVE: Love for Love
The Way of the World
ETHEREDGE: The Man of Mode
FARQUHAR: The Beaux’ Stratagem
GAY: The Beggar’s Opera
GOLDSMITH: She Stoops to Conquer
OTWAY: The Orphan
Venice Preserv’d
SHERIDAN: The Critic
The RIvals
The School for Scandal
VANBRUGH: The Relapse
WYCHERLEY: The Country Wife


AMERICAN:

ALBEE: A Delicate Balance
Three Tall Women
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Zoo Story
BARRY: Philadelphia Story
Holiday
HART: Once in a Lifetime
HELLMAN: Little Foxes
Children’s Hour
Toys in the Attic
INGE: Bus Stop
Picnic
KAUFMANN/HART: Dinner at Eight
The Man Who Came to Dinner
Royal Family
You Can’t Take It with You
KOPIT: Oh Dad, Poor Dad…..
MILLER: After the Fall
All My Sons
The Crucible
Death of a Salesman
View from the Bridge
ODETS: Awake and Sing
Golden Boy
Rocket to the Moon
Waiting for Lefty
O’NEILL: Ah Wilderness
Anna Christie
The Emperor Jones
The Hairy Ape
The Iceman Cometh
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Moon for the Misbegotten
Mourning Becomes Electra
A Touch of the Poet
RABE: Hurlyburly
Streamers
SAROYAN: The Time of Your Life
SHEPARD: Buried Child
Cowboy Mouth
Curse of the Starving Class
Fool for Love
Lie of the Mind
Tooth of Crime
True West
STEINBECK: Of Mice and Men
WILDER: The Matchmaker
Our Town
The Skin of our Teeth
WILLIAMS: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Glass Menagerie
Night of the Iguana
Orpheus Descending
Rose Tattoo
A Streetcar Named Desire
Summer and Smoke
Sweet Bird of Youth
27 Wagons
WILSON: Fences
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Piano Lesson
FRENCH:

ANOUILH: Antigone
Ring Round the Moon
CAMUS: Caligula
COCTEAU: The Infernal Machine
CORNEILLE: Le Cid
DE MUSSET: Lorenzaccio
GENET: The Balcony
The Maids
GIRADOUX: The Madwoman of Chaillot
IONESCO: The Bald Soprano
The Lesson
Rhinoceros
JARRY: Ubu Roi
MOLIERE: Bourgeois Gentleman
The Imaginary Invalid
The Misanthrope
The Miser
The School for Wives
Tartuffe
RACINE: Phedre
ROSTAND: Cyrano de Bergerac
SARTRE: The Flies
No Exit
ZOLA: Therese Raquin

GERMAN

BRECHT: Baal
Caucasian Chalk Circle
Galileo
Good Woman of Setzuan
Jungle of the Cities
Mother Courage
Rise and Fall of City of Mahagonny
The Threepenny Opera
BUCHNER: Danton’s Death
Leonce and Lena
Woyzeck
DURRENMATT: The Visit
GOETHE: Faust
SCHILLER: Mary Stuart
WEDEKIND: The Lulu Plays
Spring Awakening
WEISS: Marat/Sade
IRISH:

BECKETT: Endgame
Krapp’s Last Tape
Waiting for Godot
JOYCE: Exiles
O’CASEY: Juno and the Paycheck
The Plough and the Stars
SHAW: Arms and the Man
Candida
Heartbreak House
Man and Superman
Major Barbara
Misalliance
Pygmalion
St Joan
Too True to be Good
SYNGE: Playboy of the Western World
Riders to the Sea
WILDE: An Ideal Husband
The Importance of Being Earnest
Lady Windemere’s Fan
A Woman of No Importance
Salome
YEATS: Purgatory


ITALIAN:

DARIO FO: We Won’t Pay!
PIRANDELLO: Six Characters in Search of an Author


RUSSIAN:

CHEKHOV: The Bear
The Cherry Orchard
The Proposal
The Seagull
Three Sisters
Uncle Vanya
Wild Honey (Platonov)
GOGOL: The Inspector General
GORKY: Enemies
The Lower Depths
Summerfolk
SCANDINAVIAN:

IBSEN: A Doll’s House
Enemy of the People
Ghosts
Hedda Gabler
Lady from the Sea
The Master Builder
Peer Gynt
Wild Duck
STRINDBERG: Dance of Death
A Dream Play
The Father
Ghost Sonata
Miss Julie
The Stronger


SOUTH AFRICAN:
FUGARD Boesman & Lena
Master Harold and the Boys
The Road to Mecca


SPANISH:

DE VEGA: Fuente Ovejuna
LORCA: Blood Wedding
House of Bernarda Alba
Yerma

BRITISH

BARNES: Red Noses
The Ruling Class
BOND: Early Morning
Lear
Saved
BRENTON: Bloody Poetry
Sore Throats
CHURCHILL: Cloud Nine
Mad Forest
Vinegar Tom
COWARD: Design for Living
Hay Fever
Private Lives
ELIOT: Murder in the Cathedral
HARE: The Blue Room
Plenty
The Secret Rapture
Skylight
Stuff Happens
ORTON: Entertaining Mr Sloan
Loot
What the Butler Saw
OSBORNE: The Entertainer
Look Back in Anger
PINTER: Betrayal
The Birthday Party
The Caretaker
The Dumb Waiter
The Homecoming
Mountain Language
No Man’s Land
Old Times
STOPPARD: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern



CONTEMPORARY PLAYWRIGHTS:

DURANG: Beyond Therapy
Laughing Wild
The Marriage of Bette and Boo
FORNES: Fefu and Her Friends
Mud
GILMAN: Spinning Into Butter
HOWE: The Art of Dining
Museum
KANE: Blasted
4.48 Psychosis
Phaedra’s Love
Painting Churches
MAMET: American Buffalo
Edmond
Glengarry Glen Ross
Oleanna
Speed-the-Plow
MARTIN: Keely and Du
Talking With…
NOTTAGE: Intimate Apparel
OVERMYER: On The Verge
PARKS: In the Blood
Topdog Underdog
SILVER: The Food Chain
Raised in Captivity
SIMON: Brighton Beach Memoirs
California Suite
Chapter Two
The Odd Couple
Plaza Suite
VOGEL: The Baltimore Waltz
How I Learned to Drive
WOLFE: The Colored Museum


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Taryn
Broadway Legend
joined:1/24/04
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 11/21/08 at 05:12pm
The only thing I can think to add to that remarkable list is Angels in America (Kushner).
CMU_bway_lover
Stand-by
joined:3/20/08
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 11/21/08 at 09:43pm
Ditto on all of Shakespeare, but being realistic:
Richard III
Henry IV (both parts)
Winter's Tale
Twelfth Night
Othello
Anthony and Cleopatra
Titus Andonicus

All of Chekhov or at least Three Sisters, Seagull, and Cherry Orchard

August Wilson, esp. Piano Lesson

Shaffer's Equus

William's Glass Menagerie

This list is starting to read like that 1001 books you should read before you die list :)
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oohshizz146
Broadway Legend
joined:12/17/07
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 11/22/08 at 09:46pm
-The Importance of Being Earnest,
-Shakespeare Classics:
Hamlet, Macbeth,Midsummer, R+J, etc,
-Springs Awakening(but you know me, im terribly biased!)
-Everyman
-Oedipus/Antigone
"I told you, NO Rodgers and Hammerstein!"- Bart Simpson
broadway234
Chorus Member
joined:6/14/08
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/6/08 at 06:56pm
also add
Baby With the Bathwater (Durang)

very funny if you like dark humor.
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Schmerg_The_Impaler
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/08
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/6/08 at 07:25pm
CMU-- Hmmm... my favourite Shakespeare by far is "the Scottish play." I'd definitely add that one onto the list.
In my pants, she has burst like the music of angels, the light of the sun! --Marius Pantsmercy
I'mseeingbraille57
Chorus Member
joined:12/25/06
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/7/08 at 12:19am
This may have been a typo LaVie but Painting Churches isn't Kane, it's Howe. To add to the wonderful list already posted I'd say

This is more American Contemp (with a little other stuff thrown in)
Stoppard: Arcadia and The Real Thing
Letts: August: Osage County
Gurney: Love Letters, The Dinning Room
Hwang: M. Butterfly
Norman: 'night Mother
Bogosian: subUrbia, Talk Radio
Linsday-Abaire: The Rabbit Hole
Kushner: Angels in America, A Bright Room Called Day
LaBute: The Shape of Things, bash, The Mercy Seat
Shanley: Danny in the Deep Blue Sea, Doubt
Shange: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf
Hansberry: A Raisin in the Sun
McCullers: Member of the Wedding
Friel: Dancing at Lughnasa, Translations
Rapp: Red Light Winter
Devere Smith: Twilight: Los Angeles
Guare: The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Seperation
Greenberg: Three Days of Rain, Take Me Out
Martin: WASP, Picasso at the Lapin Agile
Wilson (Lanford): Fifth of July, Burn This!
McNally: Love! Valor! Compassion!, Corpus Christi, Frankie and Johnny at the Claire de Lune


And just for a tip for attacking Shakespeare, the best way to go for comprehensive purposes imho, is The Folgers edition.

I also am very partial to the Richard Wilbur translations for Moilere, he makes the language so exciting.
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blondebaby589
Broadway Legend
joined:7/12/08
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/7/08 at 12:29am
Wow lavieboheme, you are amazing haha
www.tinydancer5.tumblr.com
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somuchtodo
Featured Actor
joined:4/4/07
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/7/08 at 11:59am
This thread is so great that I have linked it to Backstage.com - the 'New Actors' forum.

Lavieboheme3090 - what a fantastic resource you have provided! Thank you! Thanks also to everyone else who took the time to read that extensive list and make it even more comlplete.
xOnMyOwnX
Stand-by
joined:1/22/08
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/14/08 at 08:35pm
*bookmarking*
WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/15/08 at 03:37pm
Rather than a specific list of plays (and the lists already here are extraordinatily comprehensive), I would say read every play you can get your hands on.

Even the bad ones. Especially the bad ones. You can learn as much from a bad play as you can from a great play. Sometimes more.

Read every damn script that comes your way.

I have always found Shakespeare not that easy to read since I don't read verse that easily, but a breeze to watch. Chekhov is very difficult for me to read because of all the layering and juxtapostition, but I sit through many productions of the big four in a year.

Read 'em all.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
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oohshizz146
Broadway Legend
joined:12/17/07
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/15/08 at 07:40pm
The Game of Love and Chance.
It is brilliant...and hilarious!

I have a thing for French comedy =)
"I told you, NO Rodgers and Hammerstein!"- Bart Simpson
PeaceFrog
Understudy
joined:8/6/06
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/19/08 at 06:36pm
Wow, what a great list! For those who haven't already stumbled across them, a good number of these plays are available for viewing on YouTube ... http://www.youtube.com/user/ShakespeareAndMore

Not all of it is exactly great, but I'd highly recommend checking out the stuff from the BBC Collections. They stay faithful to the plays and feature some now legendary British actors in their younger years.
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RunningInTheDark
Understudy
joined:7/19/07
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/20/08 at 07:57am
FAT PIG- Neil LaBute. Especially if you're a boy or overweight, there are some GREAT monologues in there.

FAT PIG FAT PIG!!!!
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PUGILIST
Understudy
joined:12/10/06
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/25/08 at 02:22am
Nicky Silver.
Don't you wanna be the life of the party?
Manny2
Stand-by
joined:7/12/08
re: What Plays Should Every Actor Read
Posted: 12/30/08 at 12:38am
Caligula- Albert Camus
Les mains sales: Jean Paul Sartre
Cyrano de Bergac:
Candide Ou L'optimisme: Voltaire

My personal favourites from all over the place:
The Seagull
Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?
Beckett
Macbeth
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Streetcar Named Desire
Festen
Chips With Everything
Ana in the Tropics
Proof
A Raisin in the Sun
The East Village Tetralogy

Those are the only ones that come to my head at the moment, but they are pretty brilliant.

Ohh, and of course; The Little Prince.
Sure, it's a novel, but it's still bloody brilliant.

 
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