What play should everyone have the joy of reading before they graduate high school? I remember when I was in high school, we read Oedipus, and a few entries in the Shakespeare canon, but that was it. I always thought more modern drama could be important literature in high school English.
Our Town. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Lost In YonkersThe Shadow BoxDeath of SalesmanThe Elephant ManTea and SympathyA Streetcar Named DesireThe Glass MenagerieSt Joan
I don't agree with the premise, and I think the question is basically inane, but the answer is Angels in America.
I wouldn't be surprised to see HAMILTON eventually taught in some schools. And why not? It's expertly written and a history lesson as well.
Doubt: A ParableChanged my lifeWill also add that I did very much enjoy Oedipus and got a lot out of it - the trick is getting a solid translation
The trick is also having a good teacher-an even more difficult feat in many cases.
A Doll's House for young women especially,Death of a Salesman or All My Sons for young men.
There are too many excellent plays to limit this question, but given the world now, Angels in America feels truly essential.
I second Doubt. I read it last year in my college English class and it was amazing. The movie is as well.
Here's a problem with the op.....plays are meant to be SEEN. It doesn't matter the playwright.....reading plays isn't the same thing, and forcing the study of it, kills the form to many. My drama students love it.....but that's about it. Asking the reader to be actor, director AND dramaturge is a lot.
Most of these suggestions are very serious plays,How about some fun ones like Bye Bye Birdie, Grease or Little Shop.
Petralicious said: "Most of these suggestions are very serious plays,How about some fun ones like Bye Bye Birdie, Grease or Little Shop."Musicals are less fun to read?
My high school English curricula included Oedipus, Hamlet, Waiting for Godot, The Crucible, Raisin in the Sun, The Glass Menagerie, and Death of a Salesman. I think if we are approaching this from a "plays as literature" perspective, that's a decent sampling.But I did go to an arts program, so the plays read in my theatre classes were far more diverse and far too numerous to list here. And, honestly, would probably have been objected to by many parents if they were to find out.Needless to say, I think it was more effective to approach plays as theatre rather than plays as literature.
To me, the answer lies in a different question: "why" should a high schooler read a particular play?is it for the history presented, e.g 1776, Hamilton, Angels in America? is for how a period of time was depicted or is depicted? e.g. Shakesepare, Moliere, Rostandis it for the subject of the show to start a discussion e.g. Angels in America, Next to Normal, Doubt? is it for the quality of the writing or how the story is told - technique, inspiration? e.g. any by Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Ibsen, Chekov, Neil Simon. is it for general cultural awareness? e.g. Shakespeare.
When I was in High School we read, Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, MacBeth, The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, and I Never Sang for My Father.
dramamama611 said: "Here's a problem with the op.....plays are meant to be SEEN. "My high school Literature teacher understood that point. She scheduled a field trip for us to see Romeo and Juliet at the Goodman, but only after we'd read and studied the play, first. As most found the read/study phase to be challenging (especially regarding language), she wryly admonished us to be patient, and to hold off on solidifying any opinions regarding Shakespeare's work until after we'd seen the Goodman's production.For most of us, seeing the show, hearing the text delivered and performed by professional actors, as well as directed discussion of our pre- and post-show opinions in class (specifically, did our opinions change? Why, why not?) was a fantastic learning experience about Shakespeare, acting, and theater in general.For me, I believe the choice to read first, then see the show had the most impact. If we'd seen the Goodman's production first, then studied the play as Literature, the peripheral knowledge about acting and the theater would not have been made so profoundly (in my case).
I love seeing plays, but reading plays is amazingly rewarding. For one thing, it's easy to find them cheaply, and they're extremely portable, and not only can you carry around two hours of heady drama in your back pocket, you have the luxury of being able to study the language.Anyways, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Happy Days both changed my life. Angels in America is also highly recommended and extremely entertaining.
Angels in America is so essential. It wasn't even ever mentioned by anyone when i was in high school (2006-2010) and i discovered it via a library dvd of the fantastic miniseries, but I so wish it had been covered in high school because the first time I read it I was blown away, and this was even after I'd seen and loved the HBO adaptation.
dramamama611 said: "Here's a problem with the op.....plays are meant to be SEEN. It doesn't matter the playwright.....reading plays isn't the same thing, and forcing the study of it, kills the form to many. My drama students love it.....but that's about it. Asking the reader to be actor, director AND drama turned is a lot. "I have to disagree. I had great success getting average students to become engaged when reading plays in class. We came very close to actually performing in the classroom. I always took a role that would speed things along and my involvement got the kids involved Just recently I met a former student at the mall and he fondly recalled reading the play Of Mice and Men in my class.I guess it all depends on lots of things
A Raisin in the Sun is my vote... so many to choose from.
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