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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: March ::
50 Best American Plays
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0094  Tuesday, 3 March 2009

[1]  From:   Larry Weiss <
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      Date:   Monday, 02 Mar 2009 01:34:30 -0500
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0089 50 Best American Plays

[2]  From:   John Knapp <
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      Date:   Monday, 02 Mar 2009 01:13:42 -0600
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0090 50 Best American Plays

[3]  From:   Robert Projansky <
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      Date:   Monday, 2 Mar 2009 01:37:53 -0800
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0089 50 Best American Plays

[4]  From:   Jack Heller <
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      Date:   Monday, 2 Mar 2009 07:21:04 -0500 (EST)
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0089 50 Best American Plays

[5]  From:   Aaron Azlant <
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      Date:   Monday, 2 Mar 2009 07:59:49 -0500
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0089 50 Best American Plays

[6]  From:   Charles Weinstein <
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      Date:   Tue, 3 Mar 2009 07:31:33 -0500
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0089 50 Best American Plays


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:      Larry Weiss <
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Date:      Monday, 02 Mar 2009 01:34:30 -0500
Subject: 20.0089 50 Best American Plays
Comment:   Re: SHK 20.0089 50 Best American Plays

How can we forget Eugene O'Neill? A case can be made for at least six of 
his plays: Desire Under the Elms; Mourning Becomes Electra; Ah, 
Wilderness; The Iceman Cometh (surely!); Long Day's Journey Into Night 
(again, for sure!); Moon For The Misbegotten.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:      John Knapp <
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Date:      Monday, 02 Mar 2009 01:13:42 -0600
Subject: 20.0090 50 Best American Plays
Comment:   Re: SHK 20.0090 50 Best American Plays

Best plays, American or otherwise,  for middle school students: Some of 
my graduate students who are training to be HS and MS (middle school) 
teachers were lamenting the terrible state of drama choices aimed at a 
MS audience (ages 11 to 14) in the USA. Most MS level textbooks in the 
US are focused on largely dreadful Y/A (young adult) fiction, doggerel 
poetry, and almost NO dramatic works other than one-act pot-boilers. My 
own choice of Kenneth Koch's *Rose, Where Did you Get That Red?* has 
helped with poetry teaching, and I have borrowed (shamelessly) from such 
narratologists as James Phelan and Peter Rabinowitz for help with 
teaching fiction, but I am at a loss looking for good dramatic 
literature for 12 yr olds of average reading ability.

I have myself, however, seen -- at the New Globe in London -- a group of 
what looked to be 12 yr olds enjoying (and apparently understanding most 
of) a Shakespearean production (forgot title) last summer. Is my 
understanding of UK literature teaching a bit too optimistic or do UK 
English teachers have a much more developed sense of what constitutes 
good theater for MS age students than do American teachers? If so, care 
to share your knowledge?

Either way, could someone on the SHAKSPER recommend some interesting 
dramatic works for this age group, works longer than one-acts, and works 
other than monologues for beginning actors? Is there out there a program 
devoted to introducing semi-literate MS students to Shakespeare and 
other good theater -- a program that actually works -- and would be 
somehow available to American teachers w/o their traveling across the water?

I would be grateful for any help, here or back-channel,

John

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:      Robert Projansky <
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Date:      Monday, 2 Mar 2009 01:37:53 -0800
Subject: 20.0089 50 Best American Plays
Comment:   Re: SHK 20.0089 50 Best American Plays

Number 1 on my list:

Eugene O'Neil's Long Day's Journey Into Night

And if you want to see it at home I recommend the 1962 Sidney Lumet film 
with Ralph Richardson / Katherine Hepburn / Jason Robards / Dean 
Stockwell. Be sure to get the longer version.

Bob Projansky

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:      Jack Heller <
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Date:      Monday, 2 Mar 2009 07:21:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 20.0089 50 Best American Plays
Comment:   Re: SHK 20.0089 50 Best American Plays

I'll add for consideration

Fences, August Wilson
Joe Turner's Come and Gone, August Wilson
Glengarry Glen Ross, David Mamet
The Laramie Project, Moises Kaufman (perhaps more for its form than for 
its writing)

I have read much Eugene O'Neill, but of course he'll belong on the list 
somewhere.

Jack Heller

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:      Aaron Azlant <
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Date:      Monday, 2 Mar 2009 07:59:49 -0500
Subject: 20.0089 50 Best American Plays
Comment:   Re: SHK 20.0089 50 Best American Plays

I just wanted to put a good word in both for Eugene O'Neill, especially 
Long Day's Journey Into Night and The Iceman Cometh, and for David 
Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross. -AA

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:      Charles Weinstein <
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Date:      Tue, 3 Mar 2009 07:31:33 -0500
Subject: 20.0089 50 Best American Plays
Comment:   Re: SHK 20.0089 50 Best American Plays

There are no fifty best American plays.


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