Play with Me!
Y'all know about the New Year's resolutions I make every year to see 24 Anglo-American movies and 24 international ones that had previously eluded me. I never come close to reaching them all, although in better years than this one, I manage about half. Anyway, I do the same thing with 24 plays, no more than one by the same author. (Also with 24 novels, but we won't get to that till another post.) I've only scratched six from my list this yearagain, blame my dissertation, the new job, etc.but I read many more than that. My favorites, in no particular order, were:
- Jean Genet's The Screens, which was timely as all get-out as well as being astonishing in every other way
- John Guare's Landscape of the Body, which I read well before I knew about the upcoming Signature production
- Tug Yourgrau's The Song of Jacob Zulu, which so bravely avoided easier ways out of its story
- Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, whose thrilling Broadway production was almost exactly what I'd envisioned from the script, except the wobbly Goldblum and Ivanek perfs
- John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, a deserving Tony winner in any other year, whose Broadway production was notably unlike what I'd envisioned
- Will Eno's Thom Pain (based on nothing), which was a hoot and a holler to perform, twice, while I baked
- August Wilson's King Hedley II, which at long last debuted in print from TCG
- Bertolt Brecht's Edward II, which I thoroughly enjoyed even before seeing Creative Mechanics' delicious Off-Broadway production this past September.
Making it harder: I've still got all the 2005 plays I didn't get to moving onto the 2006 list, so these authors are already spoken for: Bullins, Calderón, Chekhov, Churchill, Congreve, Fornès, Ibsen, Kane, Kramer, Lorca, O'Neill, Orton, Racine, Shakespeare, Shaw, Wilde, Wilder, and Yew.
Now, I know y'all are still up to it. Throw down some titles and make your case. Get everyone talking drama, no matter what Mary J. say. Here are some hintsI'm definitely on the market for a good Soyinka or Fugard, or a Pinter that will challenge the impressions I've formed from The Caretaker, The Homecoming, and The Room. Extra points for any good African-American drama, since it'll come in handy for my Spring 2006 seminar. My absolute favorite playwrights are Adrienne Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, Caryl Churchill, and Bertolt Brecht, if you need some guidance on taste.
Now: ready, steady.... go!