Monday, June 22, 2009

New Season's Resolution: The Summer Play Reading Plan

My new year's resolution was to see more theatre; to be specific, 3 or more shows a month. This summer, there isn't that much theatre to see in Kamloops and my lack of vehicle makes going elsewhere to see theatre problematic. With that in mind I have set myself a new resolution. For the next 7 weeks (until August 6th) I will read 2 plays a week and discuss them on my blog. You'll find the first post on Thursday of this week and then every Monday & Thursday after that.

Reading plays is hard for me. I'm not a visual person. I don't dream in pictures. When I read a play I can't picture it staged. It's much easier for me to spend my time watching TV or even reading novels where things are much more clearly written out for you. But connecting with theatre and the larger theatrical community doesn't happen solely by going to see plays. Reading plays, both new and old, is a vital part of our development as theatre artists (regardless of what role we play within the theatre world). It sharpens our theatrical senses and makes us aware of the plays that are out there - both good and bad.

I have a lot of friends and aquaintences who are playwrights. I go and support the work my actor/director/designer friends are doing. Why am I not supporting the work of my playwright friends?

As a first step to finding plays I made a call on Twitter on Saturday & Sunday. I said, "I am starting to blog about reading plays. Mostly because I need to read more plays. What should I read first? Suggestions please!? #theatre" And the responses came roaring in. Here's just a small sample of the plays people are suggesting:

  1. runismymantra I am assuming you have read top girls, anything by Ibsen, my beautiful laundrette- more of a screenplay though, Walsh by S Pollock
  2. getrealtheatre Killer Joe by T Letts, all of David Lindsay-Abaire, As Bees in Honey Drown by D Carter Beane LOTS more
  3. RyanInVancouveraugust Osage county is a great play I'd look into!!!
  4. atomicfezThe list is massive. I'd recommend 'anything you can get your hands on', or start with names like Orton, Pinter, Churchill #theatre
  5. kittybelleOn the not-so-obvious list: check out Ugo Betti.
  6. lekogirlAmy Freed is a completely brilliant contemp playwright with the best intelligent sense of humor. "You, Nero" is PHENOMENAL.
  7. _redshoes_Anything and everything by Wole Soyinka.
  8. MareBiddleRabbit Hole, How I Learned to Drive, Homecoming, and The Goat.
  9. fishbowlmuse@SMLois Anything by Daniel MacIvor and "Proof" by David Auburn
  10. PBCrookTry Fat Men in Skirts, by Nicky Silver #theatre
  11. helenemontagnaOne of my favorite plays ever is Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love". Also, anything by O'Neill, esp Long Day's Journey Into Night.

The house where I'm staying here in Kamloops belongs to the former AD of a theatre company, so there are scripts throughout the house. Some I've heard of or read before, but others have no name recognition. Some are on the recommended lists that people have sent to me. I plan to read some from all categories. I will try to read some Canadian plays, some international plays, some modern plays, some classics & some that defy categorization. If you have suggestions of plays I should read, please leave them in the comments section!

1 comment:

gilliebean said...

I'm excited for you and for this new line of thought on your blog!