10 Plays Every Actor Must Read

10. The White Male Saga: The Life and Times of the John J. McWhitman Family Parts 1, 2, and 3
by John J. McWhitman
This epic drama by Nobel Laureate John J. McWhitman traces his ancestral roots from the founding of the McWhitman’s Mississippi plantation all the way to the present. Critics hailed it as the cleanest, most distilled version of American history ever to grace the stage.

9. Death of the Kitchen Sink by Joe Stale
Stale’s 1991 play reinvented the “kitchen sink” drama when the patriarch of the Highboy family decides to remodel the kitchen and put in an island. Gripping and imaginative, pay special attention to the wife’s heartbreaking monologue about losing her floor space.

8. Overlapping Dialogue by Su/sie Cleever
The most recent title on this list explores the themes of two people constantly talking over each other in this 90 minute play about their relationship. Cleever captivates with all the highs and lows one might expect and all performed without an intermission.

7. Pullover! The Tire’s Flat by Henry Borman
Henry Borman’s comic masterpiece takes place on the side of the highway where Stephen and his wife Bunny get stuck after having a flat tire. Hilarity ensues in this slice-of-life when the couple discovers that… you guessed it, the spare is missing!

6. Over the Guinness Moon by Thomas Patrick Sadly
This Pulitzer Prize finalist from T.P. Sadly is an exploration of the human condition when secrets are kept and grudges held in a small town in western Ireland. The Guinness flows as hearts break in Sadly’s classic tale.

5. Enemy of Everybody by Oscar Hammelschmidt
Hammelschmidt made his name with this play about a drifter who winds up in the wrong town at the wrong time. His crime? He has no idea. This searing masterpiece will have you enthralled for three hours as you watch the townspeople grow angrier and angrier at some stranger until it reaches it’s shocking finale.

4. Dinner Party Disaster by Danielle Doozy
Doozy’s dramedy about two bickering couples at a dinner party took Broadway by storm in 2012 when audiences and critics were stunned that people could disagree over politics and religion. The powerful script features such original lines as, “He doesn’t really believe that”, “Can I get anyone a drink?” and “Are you sleeping with my wife?”

3. The Summers I Spent Helping Dad Fix the Old Rambler by Patricia Wannabee
Only slightly dated in it’s sentimentality, Wannabee’s 1987 play shows us just how deep a father and daughter’s bond can be as they come together every summer to work on the old ’57 Thunderbird languishing in the barn. The years fly by as Elizabeth comes to terms with her father’s Alzheimer’s, as both he and the car come to an end.

2. Somebody Shot the Minority by Terrence Filmmoker
Emmy Award winning HBO screenwiter, Terrence Filmmoker (known for The Untouchable Glory and The Best House) tried his hand at playwriting to enormous success with this 1999 courtroom drama about an out of town military lawyer you uncovers the truth about the Army’s one person of color who is mysteriously killed in… the dead of the night.

  1. Sergeant Godot by Howard Zane
    Set fifty years after the events of Samuel Beckett’s own classic, Waiting for Godot, this play won the Olivier Award for Best Play for continuing the story. The original’s Vladmir and Estrogon are dead and gone but their great grandchildren are now best friends and soldiers with the British 101st Cavalry in Afghanistan in 2003. Believe it or not Godot does show up and just so happens to be their superior officer.

 

Our Town a Play by Quentin Tarantino
Through an extraordinary lapse in judgement, the Thornton Wilder estate recently lost the rights to the famed playwright’s body of work, including Our Town. 

The Pulitzer Prize winning work was immediately snatched up by Academy Award winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino who says, “The story of George of Emily has spoken to me since I first read it in my 11th grade English class, but I just feel that it needs a little more… chutzpah, you know?”

*Spoilers from here on*

The new film adaptation follows the timeless tale of falling in love, getting married and reckoning with one’s mortality through the eyes of the two protagonists George Gibbs and Emily Webb. The play ends with George visiting Emily’s grave after she has died in childbirth and it is this event (though never shown in the original) that Tarantino will aim to depict on the screen.

“It’s going to be so much fun, in like, a realistic way, you know? To show Emily screaming in the throes of both death and birth. It’s really going to be quite something to see George up to his ears in blood and Doc Gibbs covered in afterbirth, ” said the director of Pulp Fiction.

The film, retitled as Our Town: Back to Main Street, is set be released in time for the Christmas holiday in 2019 and will star Henry Cavill as George, Tina Fey as Emily and the reanimated corpse of Paul Newman as the Stage Manager.

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