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Nitro


Member

Posted Tue Jan 13th, 2009 5:13pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
What is your favorite play and why is it your favorite? Was there a particular scene that stands out in your head?

If the play you like is not well known or obscure, for whatever reason, please at least be able to provide a linked source about it.

Please do not reference *any* musicals.


If you've never seen a play or have and hate them all, please use another thread to talk about how much you dislike plays or never go to them . X-D

Really? Wow.

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PamJH


Member

Posted Tue Jan 13th, 2009 7:24pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Well, I have to say my favorite has always been MacBeth. Tried and true, I know, but it has everything - passion, greed, stupidity, fear, loathing, a severed head - everything that makes life worth living.

A local theater group staged it about a year ago and did a magnificent job, except for one thing. The director must have encouraged one of the witches to do a lot of orgasmic moaning that actually had the audience in barely suppressed glee. Not a good way to start a play, I'd wager. Fortunately, the rest of the actors were able to make us forget that until after the final curtain. Then we ragged on her with a ruthlessness...well, I can't think of any more alliteration to go with this.

The play I've always wanted to see is "12 Angry Men." If you don't know, its about a jury that must decided the fate of an accused murderer. The film is terrific but I'd like to see it staged.

I'd also like to go to New York to see "Equus." I've read the play, but that's as close as I've come to it.

Pam

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Desdemona


Member

Posted Tue Jan 13th, 2009 8:05pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
The Woman in Black.

It was brilliant, the suspence is amazing, and some of the tricks they do for the woman dissapearing. I went with my school, everyone in the theatre screamed when she appeared ... or even didn't appear.
its no wonder the show has been goign for 30 years at the west end.
(and its way better than the movie)

Skip Life and come with me?

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Lauz


Member

Posted Wed Jan 14th, 2009 4:03pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
I love going to the theatre, wish i could afford to go London more often. Saying that i do like the small productions as well.

Two years ago i saw Romeo and Juliet done by the Lord Chamberlain's Men in the grounds of Cardiff Castle and it was brilliant. Me and my mate sat on the floor really close to the stage and by the final scenes it was dark and the stage was lit by just a few lights. Really stands out for me.

Favourite play? I don't think i can pick just one, so i'll sit on the fence. I do really like Macbeth and King Lear though

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IdeaCollector


Member

Posted Thu Jan 15th, 2009 11:03pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
The Woman in Black.

Not my favorite play but I do approve of your choice. Excellent play.

My favorite changes all the time and I fear you've caught me at a moment when I have three.

The Beard of Avon by Amy Freed is a fantastic comedy that basically uses the idea of who wrote shakespeare's plays. Then it takes every theory posited and shows that they all wrote shakespeare's plays. everyone from the queen to will himself...its easily the funniest play i've ever seen.

The Gingham Dog by Lanford Wilson which is a drama about the struggles of a newly married interracial couple trying to save their marriage.

The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh which tells the tale of an author who writes short stories about ghastly child murders. As the murders from his short stories begin to be played out in real life, he is taken in for questioning. Can he clear his name and what role does his mentally handicapped brother play?

I used to be EternalStudent on these forums until the switch over. So don't get excited..I'm not someone new and exciting. I'm just me :P

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Nitro


Member

Posted Mon Jan 19th, 2009 3:28am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
ES, those sound intriguing and I will look them up. Thank you for not only mentioning your favorite plays folks but also, for saying why. That's what I was hoping for.


As I write this I want to say that I think someone mentioned "Equus"? I never saw the plays, but did see the movie starring Richard Burton, when I was very young. And have only seen the film version of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf". The intense drama in both are part of what I enjoyed about them.

I don't live in an area exactly thriving with plays. On a local level, directors have to be careful about what they choose for all sorts of reasons, but in particular keeping the audience in mind. In some areas you can get away with a 'challenging' play, and in others it will get a generally negative reaction. And I can only take seeing 'Hamlet' or 'Romeo and Juliet' so many times. I do like seeing local plays with local talent though. There's a kind of charm to any of the blunders or hiccups witnessed, balanced by the willingness to do something like that with absolutely no reward of payment or fame.

Really? Wow.

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PamJH


Member

Posted Mon Jan 19th, 2009 3:55am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Nitro,

You're right about a drama group having to consider its community, etc., before choosing a play. I belong to a fledgling drama group in my community and will be on the play-reading committee. I'm new at this so I asked a bunch of questions about what can be considered. The guy in charge said we have to see what's being performed in a 50-mile radius so we don't duplicate, nothing really racy because the community won't stand for it (by that I mean won't attend) and until we get established, we can't choose anything terribly unfamiliar. We also need to have a wide variety of offerings.

We'd like to be able to do original plays at some point, but we have to wait until people are regularly coming to performances. We also have to get community financial backing as well.

This is an interesting thread. I'm learning about some new plays that we might potentially be able to use.

Pam

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joan


Member

Posted Mon Jan 19th, 2009 5:06am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Don's Party by david Williamson is my favourite Australian play, because it has stuff that interests me - politics - and people behaving badly:

Synopsis
On federal election night in 1969, Don and Kath Henderson (John Hargreaves and Jeanie Drynan) host a party, to celebrate what they expect will be a Labor victory after 20 years of conservative government. Most of their friends vote Labor. As the television results dash their hopes, the men devote their energies to drinking and debauchery with the younger women, while their wives and girlfriends scowl. There are punch-ups, match-ups, feel-ups and knock-backs as disappointment takes over from hope.

It is a well-known play here, sometimes studied at school.

There is also 'The One day of the Year' about a dysfunctional family on Anzac Day by Alan Seymour - here's a write up about it:-

Central to Alan Seymour's modern Australian classic is the paradoxical nature of Anzac Day. We chose as our venerated, inescapable symbol of military remembrance a campaign that was both a tactical fiasco and a defeat.

Late in the play Alf (Max Cullen) points this out to his hot-headed, uni-radical son Hughie . As Alf observes: "They tried and they was beaten. A man's not too bad who'll stand up in the street and remember when he was licked."

Alf has another, equally strong point: Anzac Day is celebrated out of uniform - not soldiers in regiments, but old mates in civvies. It's a celebration of the idea that all who served are equal, and equally worthy.

This sense of worth and belonging is something that Alf gets only on this one day of the year. The other 364, Alf drives a lift and despises the suits who travel in it. He knows he's nothing, and realises he always was nothing. But the annual celebration brings out the worst in him - getting on the grog and proclaiming a jingoistic, sneering and monocultural patriotism.

I use both these plays to try to understand Australians - never will though.

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Desdemona


Member

Posted Tue Jan 20th, 2009 11:27pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
And I can only take seeing 'Hamlet' or 'Romeo and Juliet' so many times.

I saw hamlet with RSC with David tennant in. Even though it was amazing, i wouldn't be able to watch it again in the next year.

The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh

David tennant played a part in this when it was showing at the RST, i can't remember which part but it looks a brilliant play.

Skip Life and come with me?

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IdeaCollector


Member

Posted Wed Jan 21st, 2009 6:47am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh

David tennant played a part in this when it was showing at the RST, i can't remember which part but it looks a brilliant play.[/quote]

He played Katurian...the lead role if memory serves.

I used to be EternalStudent on these forums until the switch over. So don't get excited..I'm not someone new and exciting. I'm just me :P

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Nitro


Member

Posted Thu Feb 12th, 2009 5:47am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Nitro,

You're right about a drama group having to consider its community, etc., before choosing a play. I belong to a fledgling drama group in my community and will be on the play-reading committee. I'm new at this so I asked a bunch of questions about what can be considered. The guy in charge said we have to see what's being performed in a 50-mile radius so we don't duplicate, nothing really racy because the community won't stand for it (by that I mean won't attend) and until we get established, we can't choose anything terribly unfamiliar. We also need to have a wide variety of offerings.

We'd like to be able to do original plays at some point, but we have to wait until people are regularly coming to performances. We also have to get community financial backing as well.

This is an interesting thread. I'm learning about some new plays that we might potentially be able to use.

Pam

How is this going for you? Any plays picked out yet? Do you have a fairly regular pool of actors that work with you?

I'm kind of in a strange mood about the theater right now. I really think the idea of a repertory company needs to be first and foremost. A place for people who actually enjoy acting finding an enjoyable environment to act in. But over the last, I dunno how long...I'm not really old enough to determine it...say couple of decades maybe(?), there's too much of a mentality...maybe coming out of colleges I don't know, whatever it is...where actors should be or expect to be bullied around....I feel antagonistic towards that idea, and I'm not an actor...great actors make it look easy, but it's fucking hard work for anyone...but who goes to the theater to see 'mediocre'? I don't. Do you? Does anyone want to?

I've done a little acting and the problem wasn't that I couldn't memorize my lines or 'emote' but that I could. Really horrible and my heart's in writing. But by going through that experience I developed a better sense of just how damned difficult it can be. So there.

I'm, by bits and dribbles, conspiring with a friend of mine to flesh out a mutual vision propelled on by my idiotic inability to be happy with the status quo. I'm an upsetter I guess. But I'm at the point now where I may very well turn my property into a theater because I don't want the local asshole deciding the fate of anything I write ( he doesn't have the talent to walk himself across the street much less direct anyone else ) nor watching local talent have any spark of creativity snuffed out of them doing the same god damned things they did four months ago. I don't want any committee of icy souls deciding anything. If none of this is F-U-N, in the end, why fucking bother? I hate art turning into mundane toil. If there's a sin, it's somewhere in that process...

You mentioned financial backing? How will you get it? What part of the production are you involved in? Please forgive my blustering and such. Just talk to me about your experiences because I'm sincerely interested. Most of all, just talk about any aspect of it that you wish. I might faint occasionally from the strain of making an effort to have a coherent conversation with you, but please ignore that because the exchange of ideas is well worth having I think. . For my part anyway

Really? Wow.

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monochromeprincess


Member

Posted Fri Feb 13th, 2009 1:16pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh

That is an excellent play. I need to get a copy of that :D.

I studied drama for three years (I did study Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and it's alright, I like Albee because he's an American representative of the Theatre of the Absurd but the American movement just didn't appeal to me as much as the European one did). My favourite plays are:

Waiting for Godot, Happy Days and Not I - Samuel Beckett
The Birthday Party - Harold Pinter
All Sarah Kane's plays

It's hard to think of things when you try to - I know so many and can't think of any!

mp xxx

@dreamingshadow

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PamJH


Member

Posted Fri Feb 13th, 2009 3:13pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Nitro,

You're right about a drama group having to consider its community, etc., before choosing a play. I belong to a fledgling drama group in my community and will be on the play-reading committee. I'm new at this so I asked a bunch of questions about what can be considered. The guy in charge said we have to see what's being performed in a 50-mile radius so we don't duplicate, nothing really racy because the community won't stand for it (by that I mean won't attend) and until we get established, we can't choose anything terribly unfamiliar. We also need to have a wide variety of offerings.

We'd like to be able to do original plays at some point, but we have to wait until people are regularly coming to performances. We also have to get community financial backing as well.

This is an interesting thread. I'm learning about some new plays that we might potentially be able to use.

Pam

How is this going for you? Any plays picked out yet? Do you have a fairly regular pool of actors that work with you?

I'm kind of in a strange mood about the theater right now. I really think the idea of a repertory company needs to be first and foremost. A place for people who actually enjoy acting finding an enjoyable environment to act in. But over the last, I dunno how long...I'm not really old enough to determine it...say couple of decades maybe(?), there's too much of a mentality...maybe coming out of colleges I don't know, whatever it is...where actors should be or expect to be bullied around....I feel antagonistic towards that idea, and I'm not an actor...great actors make it look easy, but it's fucking hard work for anyone...but who goes to the theater to see 'mediocre'? I don't. Do you? Does anyone want to?

I've done a little acting and the problem wasn't that I couldn't memorize my lines or 'emote' but that I could. Really horrible and my heart's in writing. But by going through that experience I developed a better sense of just how damned difficult it can be. So there.

I'm, by bits and dribbles, conspiring with a friend of mine to flesh out a mutual vision propelled on by my idiotic inability to be happy with the status quo. I'm an upsetter I guess. But I'm at the point now where I may very well turn my property into a theater because I don't want the local asshole deciding the fate of anything I write ( he doesn't have the talent to walk himself across the street much less direct anyone else ) nor watching local talent have any spark of creativity snuffed out of them doing the same god damned things they did four months ago. I hate art turning into mundane toil. If there's a sin, it's somewhere in that process...

You mentioned financial backing? How will you get it? What part of the production are you involved in? Please forgive my blustering and such. Just talk to me about your experiences because I'm sincerely interested. Most of all, just talk about any aspect of it that you wish. I might faint occasionally from the strain of making an effort to have a coherent conversation with you, but please ignore that because the exchange of ideas is well worth having I think. . For my part anyway

It's moving ahead, but things are moving slowly because of the rotten economy. We've set our sights on a downtown building that's large enough for the theatre itself, green room, dressing rooms, offices, and the like. We just need to find about $350,000 to get started. Finding donors has been difficult. Even the wealthier people around here are reluctant to donate. But we've got some ideas. Our town is having some meetings to talk about its financial future and what we need to do to attract business and we're hoping the town sees our venture as something to support.

We were going to do a play this spring, but since we'd have to rent a venue for rehearsals and performances, pay actors and house them and all the other inicidentals, we had to cancel those plans. If we'd had a place of our own we could have managed it. We're going to host a madrigal dinner at Christmas and we're hoping that can be a huge fund-raiser. I'm mostly involved in publicity right now but I want to get into play-reading, too.

I think theatre (I mean good theatre) can only help a community. It brings people to town for dinner, to hotels, maybe to shop, etc. We have a good volunteer theatre company that puts on quite good shows, but there's nothing quite like watching the professionals.

I understand your desire to keep a tight rein on your own work. I can't think of a much worse fate for a writer than to see his or her work altered beyond recognition. And while many actors are eager to take any role, it has to be hard when you have to do the same things over and over and don't get a chance to stretch.

Anyway, keep us posted on your plans. I'm thinking about writing a series of 1-act plays, but I'm going to have to do some research first. Perhaps I can send you something to look at when I get something done on them.

Pam

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Nitro


Member

Posted Fri Feb 13th, 2009 4:34pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
I like Beckett's work too, but think it's really a pity whatever went on that prevents his plays being performed more than they could or should be.

Pam, comparatively speaking, we are definitely in different circumstances when it comes to the scope of our goals. Financial backing? You sound more like NASA where I'm more on the level of bottle rockets. X-D

I hope you are all able to exceed your goals and make any investors, donators, or tag-alongs very happy indeed. Your arguments for the vitality it can bring to your area are sound ones of course. And don't worry too much about The Economy because it's just as possible, as it has been in the past, that people will not just want to be entertained for a little while, but actually need it. The theater as shrink and the audience in group therapy X-D I'd rather see The Economy as an opportunity for positive risk, not negative. Maybe this recession or depression is the very thing stage needs to be revitalized. I know that's very speculative but so much about economics is perception based anyway. So, sally forth and slay them dragons, whatever form they present in regards to your theaters goals. I think people, by and large, do want to be a part of it; they just need you to tell them that it's ok to do so.

I'm very flattered you'd consider sending anything you might write my way and would help the best I can. Just know that my gift is not in donating large sums of money X-D I mention this now to avoid any unpleasant disappointment for you.

Working at bottle rockets level, it's a case of wearing multiple hats because it's necessary but also I really want to create an innocent environment initially and see what grows and what dies just given the best possible soil and sunlight. And I don't think it would be possible at first to do that if there were non-artists ( money-bags ) applying their own kind of pressure. Does that make sense? You're right, of course, that there's a big difference between pro's and amateurs but most pro's start out somewhere don't they? X-D People need a place they can trip over themselves on their way to growing up. I guess if you're super-lucky, they stick around for a little while once they have. Sniff...I'm getting sentimental. How disgusting.

I hope you'll keep me apprised of your progress as you can, and I'll do the same.

Really? Wow.

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PamJH


Member

Posted Fri Feb 13th, 2009 5:19pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Will do. Our group has ambitious plans and I hope we can stick with it long enough to see it through. Our dream is to build a program that will outlive us.

Bottle rockets? We all have to start somewhere. I think my group might just be in the sparklers stage.

Pam

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