PLAYS I READ THIS SEMESTER, RANKED
I'm not an expert, but I read these plays for Race, Gender, and Theatre this semester and I thought I'd share my thoughts and feelings
- 1.for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enufA collection of poems that tell the stories of several different women experiencing racism and sexism. Tackles everything from rape to domestic violence to abortion to HIV. Beautiful, heartbreaking, important, READ IT.
- 2.The Normal HeartSaddest fucking play. Largely autobiographical. It basically follows the playwrights journey to get the AIDS epidemic the visibility that it needed when it first arose and gives a lot of insight into the gay community and gay culture.
- 3.Stop KissFollows the budding romantic relationship between two women, Callie and Sara. They kiss in the West Village and are consequentially attacked. The story is told out of order, alternating between scenes from when they met/are getting to know each other and scenes from the attack and the aftermath of it. Sad af, but with a kinda hopeful ending.
- 4.FencesRead this one in high school as well. Set in the 1950s. Chronicles the sort of cycle of abuse in a black man, Tory Maxson's, family. Exemplifies how parents mistakes and misfortunes can sometimes end up damaging their children's hopes and dreams as well.
- 5.De DondeTranslates to "Where are you from?" The play chronicles several different accounts of immigration. From immigrants crossing the border and being detained to legal immigrants providing a home for illegals. It exemplifies the many diverse experiences that immigrants have and the different pressures and struggles that they face.
- 6."Master Harold"...and the boysSet in 1950s South Africa. After a series of unfortunate events take place one day, the main character, Hally, basically releases his pent up anger at his father on his black friend/mentor, Sam, who has been his friend since childhood. Reflects on apartheid and how it affected white entitlement.
- 7.The Heidi ChroniclesFollows a woman, Heidi's, adult life and career as an art historian and a feminist. She becomes dependent upon this scrub of a man over the years, but in the end they don't work out. She decides she doesn't need a man and ends up randomly adopting a baby in the end. Sorry, spoilers.
- 8.Black Elk SpeaksA play within a play. A little too Inception-y for me, but really exemplifies a lot of the ways Europeans fucked over the Native Americans and the different pressures they face because of that. The author of the original book (which was later adapted into the play) worked closely with Lakota medicine man Black Elk whose experiences and stories were the basis of the play.
- 9.OleannaA college student, Carol, goes to her professor, John, to tell him she doesn't understand the material. He tells her he'll help her, but she ends up reporting him for sexual harassment for some vague reason. It all escalates from there. I honestly couldn't tell you who was in the wrong. Definitely a lot of controversy there.
- 10.M. ButterflyBasically a French guy falls for and has an affair with a Chinese opera star who is actually a man dressed as a woman. Sort of based off of an opera called Madame Butterfly, but subverts the fantasies of Western dominance over Oriental women by switching the gender roles from the original opera. Some crazy shit goes down.
- 11.New AnatomiesI honestly couldn't tell you what this play was about. I was so confused. Something about a French woman disguising herself as an Arab man to get into some city and gain respect. She ends up living there for years under this guise as a man then ends up getting killed I think. I don't know. I like the premise, but the play just went straight over my head.
- 12.That Championship SeasonWhite people problems.