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Plays

From Sophocles to Neil Simon, stage plays deliver a unique and often powerful experience. Explore the drama, the history, and the merriment of classic plays and lesser known gems.
  1. All My Sons (4)
  2. Antigone (7)
  3. Crucible, The (10)
  4. Death of a Salesman (4)
  5. Doll's House, A (6)
  6. Ghosts (4)
  7. Glass Menagerie, The (3)
  8. Importance of Being Earnest (6)
  9. Laramie Project, The (3)
  10. Man and Superman (8)
  11. Oedipus the King (3)
  12. Oleanna (3)
  13. One Act Plays and Scenes (61)
  14. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's (1)
  15. Our Town (3)
  16. Peter Pan (3)
  17. Piano Lesson, The (3)
  18. Raisin in the Sun, A (10)
  19. Seagull, The (3)
  20. Streetcar Named Desire, A (12)
  21. Themed Plays (8)
  22. Twelve Angry Men (3)
  23. Who's Afraid of Virginia W. (3)
  24. You Can't Take It With You (1)

Pygmalion - Act One
A plot synopsis of Pygmalion, a 1913 comedy written by G. B. Shaw.

Pygmalion - Act Two, Plot Summary (Part One)
A script synopsis of George Bernard Shaw's comedy, Pygmalion.

Pygmalion - Act Two (Part Two)
In the second half of Act Two, Professor Higgins encounters the crude yet fascinating father of Eliza, Alfred Doolittle.

Pygmalion - Act Three
Plot summary and character analysis of the third act of George Bernard Shaw's play, Pygmalion. Study questions for the play.

Pygmalion - Act Four
Plot Summary of Pygmalion, Act Four.

Pygmalion - Act Five
Plot summary of the conclusion of the George Bernard Shaw play, Pygmalion.

"The Seafarer" - Summary of Act One
A plot summary of The Seafaraer by Conor McPherson. A look and the characters and events of this modern day supernatural tale about playing poker with the Devil.

Act Two of "The Seafarer" by Conor McPherson
Synopsis of The Seafarer, a play by Conor McPherson. Summary of the plot and characters from the supernatural drama about a devil who plays poker to win a man's soul.

"Private Lives" by Noel Coward (Act One)
A synopsis of Act One of Private Lives. Summary of the characters from Noel Coward's play.

Private Lives by Noel Cow+ard - Acts Two and Three
A plot summary and character analysis of Noel Coward's play, "Private Lives."

Finale of "Private Lives" by Noel Coward
Synopsis of the conclusion of Noel Coward's play, Private Lives. Includes biography of Noel Coward and an analysis of the domestic violence portrayed in the play.

"All in the Timing"
All in the Timing is a collection of one act plays by David Ives, including such comedies as "Sure Thing," "Words, Words, Words," and "Variations on the Death of Trotsky"

The Marriage Proposal
A plot summary and character guide to Anton Chekhov's one act play, "The Marriage Proposal."

Run for Your Wife
Run for Your Wife failed as a movie but was one of the most successful comedies of the 1980s. What happened? Why did Ray Cooney's film do so poorly?

"The Misanthrope" - Act Three
Plot Synopsis of "The Misanthrope" Act Three, a comedy of manners by French playwright Jean-Baptiste (AKA Moliere).

"The Misanthrope" - Characters and Synopsis
A character and plot summary of Moliere's play, "The Misanthrope." Study guide and character analysis of the French comedy, the tale of a man who hates mankind.

The Misanthrope - Plot Summary of Act One and Two
A synopsis of the plot and character analysis of "The Misanthrope" - Act One and Act Two.

"The Misanthrope" - Act Four
A summary of The Misanthrope, Act Four, in which Aleceste tries and fails to break up with Celimene.

The Misanthrope - Act Five
The plot summary of the last act of The Misanthrope by French playwright Moliere. A guide to the characters and story of the play.

Reasons to Be Pretty - Act One
Study guide for Neil Labute's play Reasons to Be Pretty.

Clybourne Park - Act Two
Summary of Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris. Essay help for Clybourne Park, Act Two.

Clybourne Park - The Conclusion
The ending of Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris' sort-of sequel to A Raisin in the Sun.

Reasons to Be Pretty - Act Two
Study guide for reasons to be pretty by Neil labute

A Man for All Seasons
A summary of the plot and characters from Robert Bolt's play, "A Man for All Seasons." The story of Sir Thomas More and Henry VIII.

Clybourne Park - Act One Summary
A summary of "Clybourne Park," the new play by Bruce Norris.

"Water by the Spoonful" by Quiara Alegria Hudes
What is Water by the Spoonful mean? Find out in this guide to Quiara Hudes' play.

"Play Dates" by Sam Wolfson
Synopsis of Play Dates by Sam Wolfson, co-author of Jewtopia.

Mother Courage and Her Children
Learn about the characters from Bertolt Brecht's classic anti-war play, "Mother Courage and Her Children."

"Superior Donuts" by Tracy Letts
Essay help and analysis of characters, themes, and the script Superior Donuts: a play by Tracy Letts.

"A View from the Bridge" by Arthur Miller
Character analysis of Eddie Carbone, protagonist from A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller.

Glengarry Glen Ross - The Characters and Plot
Synopsis of Glengarry Glen Ross script with essay tips on characters, themes, and quotes. Also include an analysis of Alec Baldwin's monologue from Glengarry film.

Dead Man's Cell Phone
Understanding the themes and characters of Sarah Ruhl's "Dead Man's Cell Phone" is the first step in preparing an essay.

"The Mountaintop" by Katori Hall
Katori Hall's play, The Mountaintop stars Samuel L. Jackson as Martin Luther King Jr. and Angela Bassett as an angel maid.

"A Life in the Theatre" by David Mamet
A Life in the Theatre - David Mamet's comedy about life on the stage.

"Fat Pig" by Neil LaBute - Study Guide and Commentary
"Fat Pig" by Neil LaBute - Character Analysis of Fat Pig Play

Beyond Therapy
A brief study guide and acting tips for Christopher Durang's comedy: Beyond Therapy, a play about a bisexual man who falls in love with a lonely woman, and the therapists that get in their way.

Sam Shepard Plays
Character analysis of two plays by Sam Shepard: Buried Child and Curse of the Starving Class.

"True West" by Sam Shepard
An analysis of the themes and characters found in Sam Shepard's family dramas such as the plays True West, Curse of the Starving Class, and Buried Child.

Arms and the Man
Plot summary and character analysis of "Arms and the Man" a comedy by George Bernard Shaw.

"M. Butterfly" by David Henry Hwang
Characters and themes in David Henry Hwang's play M. Butterfly, featuring BD Wong and John Lithgow.

Best of Shakespeare - Number One Play
Wade's number one favorite work of Shakespeare: the epic tetralogy of Richard II, Henry IV, Part One, Henry IV Part Two, and Henry V.

Doubt by John Patrick Shanley
Doubt a character analysis, study guide of John Patrick Shanley's drama about a nun who suspects a priest of child molestation.

Best of Shakespeare - Part Four
Hamlet is Shakespeare's most personal play, and although it is not his best play on my list, it comes very close to the top spot.

Best of Shakespeare - Part Three
The Best of Shakespeare countdown continues with 5, 4, and 3: Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

God of Carnage
Character analysis and theme study guide for Yasmina Reza's play, God of Carnage.

"Picnic" by William Inge
Plot summary, character and themes of William Inge's 1953 play, "Picnic."

The Best of Shakespeare - Part Two
What is the best play by William Shakespeare? A look at the top ten plays written by Shakespeare.

"Picasso at the Lapin Agile" by Steve Martin
Study Guide to "Picasso and the Lapin Agile." Meet Picasso and Einstein as they discuss life, art, women, and the universe in Steve Martin's sometimes witty sometimes silly play.

Jake's Women
Plot and character analysis of Neil Simon's comedy, "Jake's Women" starring Alan Alda.

Dracula - Stage Play Written By Steven Dietz
Plot summary of Dracula, a play written by Steven Dietz based upon Bram Stoker's Dracula. This relatively faithful adaptation is not without its challenges for the actors and director. However, it's better than many other adaptations of this creep vampire story.

Uncle Vanya
Uncle Vanya: Character Analysis and Plot Summary of Anton Chekhov's play about country life.

"Angels in America" by Tony Kushner
Essay help for Angels in America. A brief character analysis of Tony Kushner's protagonist, Prior Walter. Themes and plot summary.

Everyman - A Medieval Morality Play by Anonymous
The Summoning of Everyman - A Plot Summary and Study Guide for the medieval morality play, "Everyman." Character analysis, plot summary, themes of Everyman. Synopsis of a religious play written in the Middle Ages. The play tells the story of Everyman, as he journeys to meet God and is guided by Knowledge and Good Deeds.

"Speed-the-Plow" Plot Summary and Study Guide
Speed-the-Plow Plot Summary and Study Guide - Character Analysis and Story Synopsis of David' Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow."

The Sisters Rosensweig
Character analysis of The Sisters Rosensweig. Themes and essay ideas for Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosensweig

"The Baltimore Waltz" Themes and Characters
Plot Summary of The Baltimore Waltz - Characters and Themes from Paula Vogel's Play "The Baltimore Waltz"

"Ruined" Character Analysis of Mama Nadi
A character analysis of Mama Nadi from "Ruined" by Lynn Nottage. "Ruined" is a play based upon dozens of refugee women shared their stories of pain and survival. The women recounted unimaginable suffering and nightmarish acts of violence and rape. After gathering hours upon hours of interview material, playwright Lynn Nottage created a play that incorporates the heart-wrenching narratives of the …

Proof - A Play by David Auburn
"Proof" by David Auburn premiered on Broadway in October 2000. It is a drama about Catherine, the twenty-something daughter of an esteemed mathematician, has just laid her father to rest. He died after suffering through a prolonged mental illness. Robert, her father, had once been a gifted, ground-breaking professor. But as he lost his sanity, he lost his ability to coherently work wi…

Character Analysis: Dr. Vivian Bearing in "Wit"
A character analysis of Dr. Vivian Bearing from Margaret Edson's play, "Wit." Also known as W;t. The play explores the life and death of a college professor whose sole pleasure in life was studying the poems of John Donne. She ultimately learns the limitations of intellectualism and embraces tenderness and human contact.

Niel Simon's Autobiographical Plays
Where do comedy writer's get their ideas? This overview of Neil Simon's autobiographical plays analyzes how the playwright developed his unique sense of humor. Plot and character analysis of "Brighton Beach Memoirs", "Biloxi Blues", and "Broadway Bound." (Also known as the "Eugene Trilogy")

"On Golden Pond" by Ernest Thomspon
Most romantic plays don't go beyond “happily ever after.” Ernest Thompson’s heartfelt drama 'On Golden Pond' does exactly this. It is a touching, funny look at a loving marriage in its “golden” years.

August Wilson's "Fences"
Arguably August Wilson’s most renowned work, "Fences" explores the life and relationships of Troy Maxson and his family. This moving drama was written in 1983 and earned Wilson his first Pulitzer Prize. Though deeply flawed, he represents the struggle for justice and fair treatment during the 1950s. Troy also represents human nature’s reluctance to recognize and accept social change.

"The Vagina Monologues" by Eve Enlser
An analysis of one of the most debated and discussed theater experiences of the 1990s: The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler.

"Trifles" by Susan Glaspell - Plot and Character Analysis
An analysis of the plot and characters of "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell. Written in 1916, Susan Glaspell’s one-act play is loosely based on an actual murder which she covered as a young reporter.

Character Analysis of Tartuffe
Character Analysis of Tartuffe - Plot / character summary of comedy by Moliere Author of Tartuffe or The Hypocrite.

Hedda Gabler - Plot Synopsis of "Hedda Gabler"
Hedda Gabler - Plot Synopsis of Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler"

"Amadeus" by Peter Shaffer
Overview and character analysis of "Amadeus" by Peter Shaffer - a drama that tried to answer the question: How did Mozart die?

"Inherit the Wind" - Controversial Play Inspired by the Scopes "Monkey" Trial
Inherit the Wind - Character Analysis of Evolution vs. Creationism Play Inherit the Wind, a fictionalize account of the Scopes Monkey Trial.

Characters and Themes from Tracy Letts' "August: Osage County"
What is August: Osage County? One of the greatest American plays of modern theater. Explore the characters and themes of August: Osage County by Tracy Letts.

Hurlyburly - Character Analysis of David Rabe's Darkly Comic Drama
"Hurlyburly" by David Rabe is a darkly comic drama filled withy loathesome yet fascinating characters.

Mark Twain Plays
A look at stage adaptations of Mark Twain's books and stories. Includes links to play versions of "Huckleberry Finn," "Tom Sawyer," "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," and other stories.

"The Cuban Swimmer" - One Act Drama by Milcha Sanchez-Scott
Plot summary and analysis of "The Cuban Swimmer," a one-act play by Milcha Sanchez-Scott. The play is a sometimes comic, sometimes heart-wrenching tale of a 19 year woman who attempts to swim from long Beach to Catalina Island.

The Miracle Worker – The Roles of Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller
An overview of "The Miracle Worker" by playwright William Gibson. The biographical play provides a wonderful challenge to actresses who take on the role of Anne Sullivan and/or Helen Keller.

The Genius of George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw began his writing career as a critic. First, he reviewed music. Then, he branched out and became a theater critic. He must have been disappointed with his contemporary playwrights because he began writing his own dramatic works in the late 1800s.

Top 5 Plays of Tennessee Williams
An annotated list of the top five plays by Tennessee Williams.

10 Plays by August Wilson -- The Pittsburgh Cycle
In the early 1980s, playwright August Wilson decided that he wanted to create a cycle of ten plays, one play for each decade. Collectively, they would become known as the Pittsburgh Cycle -- all but one take place in the city's Hills District. August Wilson's 10 play series is arguably one of the finest literary achievements in contemporary drama.

Top Ten Plays For Theater Newcomers
A friend of mine recently confessed, "I haven't watched a play since junior high." He then asked me for suggestions. He wanted to know which stage productions were essential for a person who is new to theater-going, who might not have time to see plays very often. His question made me wonder... Which plays represent the best elements of the theatre?

The Boys Next Door - Characters and Themes
The Boys Next Door - A play by Tom Griffin - Characters and Themes of "The Boys Next Door" A comedy-drama about four mentally challenged who live together in a small apartment.

The Emperor Jones
What are the themes in The Emperor Jones? Why was Emperor Jones controversial? The Emperor Jones - Themes and Analysis of Emperor Jones by Eugene O'Neill

The Most Controversial Plays of the 20th Century
The Most Controversial Plays of the 20th Century - Banned Plays and Boundary Pushing Dramas

A Streetcar Named Desire - Scene Six - Plot Summary for "Streetcar Named Desire"
A Streetcar Named Desire - Scene Six - Plot Summary for "Streetcar Named Desire" Character analysis of Blanche and Mitch. Who is Blanche's husband? What happens to Blanche's husband?

"No Exit" by Jean-Paul Sartre - Characters and Themes
Character Analysis of "No Exit" - Themes and Essay tips for Sartre's Play

"Journey's End" by R. C. Sherriff
Characters and synopsis of Journey's End - biography of R. C. Sherriff

Barefoot in the Park
Character and themes in Neil Simon's romantic comedy: Barefoot in the Park.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Act One
Plot summary and character analysis of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: focus on Act One, featuring synopsis of Brick Pollitt, Maggie the Cat, and Big Daddy.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Act One Continued
Essay help for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams.

Cat on a Hat Tin Roof - Act Two
Tennessee Williams classic drama, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. (A summary of Act Two.)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Act Two Continued
An analysis of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - essay help for the mendacity theme.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Act Three
Big Daddy, Brick, Maggie the Cat, and the rest of the characters from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are analyzed in this plot summary of Tennessee Williams play.

"Race" by David Mamet
A character analysis of the principle figures in David Mamet's drama, Race.

The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?
A plot and character synopsis of the script, The Goat, also known as Who Is Sylvia?

Long Day's Journey Into Night - Act One, Scene One
Summary of "Long Day's Journey Into Night" script.

Long Day's Journey into Night - Act One Continued
Synopsis of Act One and themes from Eugene O'Neill's play, Long day's Journey into Night.

Long Day's Journey Into Night - Act Two, Scene One
A synopsis of Eugene O'Neill's autobiographic play, Long Day's Journey into Night. Monologues and scene descriptions from Act Two.

The Little Mermaid - Act Two, Scene One (Part One)
Royalty free Little Mermaid play, written by Wade Bradford.

Long Day's Journey into Night - Act Two, Scene Two
Character analysis and plot summary of Long day's Journey into Night.

Long Day's Journey into Night - Act Three
Scene from Euegen O'Neill's play, Long Day's Journey into Night. How long is this play? Four Acts. It lasts about three and a half hours.

Long Day's Journey into Night - Act Four
A plot synopsis of Long Day's Journey into Night, focusing on Act Four, by Eugene O'Neill.

American Drama: Nine Recurring Themes
American playwrights have repeatedly and successfully mined these 9 themes in their dramatic works. Need to compare and contrast several plays? Check here.

How to do a live summary of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Get students to engage their minds and their bodies when summarizing A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE in this dramatic and meaningful way.

Taking a Child to the Theatre: Enjoying the Performance
Once you have chosen the show, prepared your child, and arrived at the theatre, what else do you and your child need to know about attending live theatre?

Taking a Child to the Theatre: Preparing for the Performance
Your child is ready to attend the theatre and you have bought your tickets. How can you prepare your child for the theatrical experience?

Taking a Child to the Theatre: Choosing a Performance
What should you consider before taking a child to a big production meant for an audience of both adults and young people?

I and You

Story Theatre
Story Theatre is the creative dramatic presentation of one or more stories told by a group of actors who play multiple roles and provide narration.

Story Theatre: The Play
Paul Sills' Story Theatre is a full-length play with music, adapted from fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm and a few of Aesop’s fables.

The Good Times are Killing Me
If you are looking for a compelling play for a young mixed-race cast, you may wat to take a look at "The Good Times are Killing Me" by Lynda Barry.

“The Good Doctor”
For a strong sense of author Anton Chekov’s take on the human condition via playwright Neil Simon’s wit and pithy dialogue, try "The Good Doctor."

"The Shadow Box"
An uplifting (and even funny at times) play about three terminally ill patients and their loved ones coming to grips with death? Try "The Shadow Box."

"Ah, Wilderness!"

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