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Zap: A Play

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  150 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Aimed at a generation of short attention spans and a taste for razor-sharp comedy, the rapid-fire ZAP is a smart, farcical new play for high-school students that's ready to bring the house down.

When they're not dusting off the old classics — over and over — high-school drama departments are constantly in search of new material. But what play could possibly suit the point-a
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Hardcover, 96 pages
Published August 9th 2005 by Candlewick (first published March 1st 2003)
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Hamlet by William ShakespeareMacbeth by William ShakespeareThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareThe Crucible by Arthur Miller
Best Play Ever
228th out of 436 books — 391 voters
Yoko's Diary by Paul HamThe Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam MaggsEyes Wide Open by Paul FleischmanGo by Chip KiddChildren of the Tipi by Michael Oren Fitzgerald
Excellent YA Nonfiction
12th out of 37 books — 3 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 273)
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Jen
Jul 20, 2009 Jen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: high school theater directors
Recommended to Jen by: the cover itself
Picked up this little book because the cover called out for attention.
A play specifically written for high school productions because the author was sick and tired of seeing Romeo and Juliets kiss on balconies or Olivers! ask for more porridge.
Because the television remote has given us the attention spans of goldfishes, the author devises a play that combines several noted plays that one "zaps" back and forth from: Richard III, an Agatha Christie type mystery where everyone is a polite dinne
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Andrew Montana
This book, or should I say play, was a very interesting one. With its rapid changes in plays, it was a little hard to follow. This book consisted of 7 total plays. At the beggining the house manager reads a monologue explaining some theater etiquite, such as turning off cell phones and no flash photogrophy, then he tells the audience to feal free to use their remotes in their seat to change the play whenever they wanted. So basically the book was a series of plays.
The first play is an "English M
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Munro's Kids
Aug 07, 2015 Munro's Kids rated it liked it
This is a play! Actually, more like seven plays all bundled into one. Fleischman wrote this script because high schools have so few choices in their arsenal and seem perpetually to be performing Grease. (As a survivor of Grease, I thank him profoundly)

Though not a playwright himself, Fleischman shows he knows his ways around several of the big play genres or styles: Shakespeare, dark Americana, British murder mystery, avant-guard, Checkovian, American comedy, and the modern monologue. He sets up
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Jonah Levine
Dec 24, 2014 Jonah Levine rated it liked it
A quick, fun play to read. The idea was very interesting, and the execution was solid, despite some technical challenges. Although I do have a problem with the foreword: Fleischman said that high school theatre departments could only choose from "Grease" and "Romeo and Juliet," but there are tons of amazing high school companies performing interesting, diverse, and modern plays. I feel bad that he thinks we are limited to such a small repertoire; in the last year alone, my school has performed 4 ...more
Kristy K
Feb 22, 2015 Kristy K rated it liked it
Shelves: plays, 2015
This started out as a really strong, solid play for me. It is essentially seven plays in one, where the "audience" gets to choose which one they wish to watch by "zapping" or "changing the channel" with remotes provided. As the plays go on they slowly disintegrate and start to impede on each other. While this is amusing, I actually became invested in the plays and sort of wish we could have seen them acted out to fruition. I imagine seeing the play in real life would be hilarious and completely ...more
04brandonr
Dec 14, 2011 04brandonr rated it really liked it
This play write was a very interesting one. With its rapid changes in plays, it was a little hard to follow. This play consisted of 7 total plays within. At the beggining the house manager reads a monologue explaining some theater etiquite, such as turning off cell phones and no flash photogrophy, then proceeds to tell the audience to feal free to use their remotes in their seat to change the play whenever they wanted. The first play is an "English Mystery", a play based in the 1960's in a big h ...more
Guillermo
Jan 27, 2012 Guillermo rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist
A murder mystery unfolds in the turn of the century England as a party awaits a war hero...ZAP! A disgruntled writer plots revenge on a fellow word craftsman steals and publishes his life story...ZAP! The classic Shakespearean play, Richard III begins...ZAP! A Russian woman is dragged to live in her...ZAP! A one woman show, performance art...ZAP! A couple sees it as no big deal when they find a corpse...ZAP! An artist plots to run away from his Southern home while his grandmother...ZAP!

So is the
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Rachel Fessenbecker
Jul 03, 2010 Rachel Fessenbecker rated it really liked it
What a unique little play! Or shall I say…PLAYS. It’s seven plays in one with the premise that the audience is in control of a remote and can switch between plays when the plot becomes dull. What ensues by the end is sheer catastrophe (in the best, most humorous way of course). I would recommend this to any young adult looking for a refreshing take on drama or theater in general. My only complaint is that it would be helpful if one has some background in popular plays as much of it parodies/spoo ...more
Camden Dusenbery
Dec 01, 2015 Camden Dusenbery rated it really liked it
The cover is what got my attention for this book honestly. The play is based off the crowd "controlling" a play (zap). Which is why the cover is the way it is. Its a very good book but I got kind of lost at times. I would recommend this if you need to read a poetry genre.
Michael Earp
Aug 18, 2015 Michael Earp rated it it was amazing
This is a play that is hilarious to read. I would love to see it performed one day.

The Avant-Garde play is WONDERFUL! Had me laugh out loud every time it was zapped on stage.
Kirsti
Paul Fleischman is a successful author who wanted to try writing something different. He noticed that high schools typically put on the same plays again and again, so he wrote a new one. This one mixes seven different styles of play -- Agatha Christie, Shakespeare, Chekhov, avant-garde, Tennessee Williams, Neil Simon, and performance art.
Brantz Woolsey
Feb 03, 2014 Brantz Woolsey rated it really liked it
One of the weirdest plays I even acted in. We did this as a competition piece when I was a high school jr.
Christine
Oct 10, 2015 Christine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
I quite enjoyed reading this play! It would be a great one to see...
Lisa
Dec 16, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
Quite a cool concept. Well written and well woven.
Catherine
Jul 28, 2014 Catherine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This book had me laughing. I loved that the author decides to use a remote control switch between the different plays.
Grace
Aug 29, 2013 Grace rated it it was amazing
I thought this play was FANTASTIC. It was so funny and it gives more layers and dimensions than most plays. It reminded me a lot of the play, "Noises Off." It has this really good concept up until everything goes completely and hilariously wrong. I read this in a day. I checked out from my school library and had it finished by the end of the school day. I just couldn't leave it out of my sight. So naturally, I was secretly reading it under the desk! This was fantastic and would be an awesome pro ...more
Jillian
Apr 14, 2008 Jillian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youngadult
This was a very entertaining read, and I can imagine it would be hilarious to see staged. However, I think Fleischman overestimates today's high schoolers--or more specifically, high school administrators.
This book was given to me by my mother, who's looking for a play to direct at her high school next year. Alas, as funny as this play reads, it's certainly not meant for a Midwestern High School.
Christine Crawford
Oct 11, 2009 Christine Crawford rated it really liked it
A play that is really seven plays mashed together. The idea is that the audience should have remote controls, along with the illusion that they can switch from play to play. Switching occurs faster and faster and the plays and actors become jumbled. Pretty funny and clever, especially towards the end. I think older teens and adults would appreciate it more than younger ones.
Earl
Nov 16, 2015 Earl rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2015
I was intrigued by this play because it was a mash-up of so many genres. From a whodunit a la Agatha Christie to Shakespeare to a comedy to an avant garde production, the audience get to switch between each concurrent play by a zap from their remote controls. Soon, characters and plot lines begin to get mixed up in this hilarious screenplay for teens.
Sarah
May 12, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing concept and an equally amazing read! Multiple plays organized to be viewed as if channel surfing with funny twists and turns. No traditional play writing here. Moves quickly can (and probably should be) read in one sitting.
If you like farcical plays then this is for you!
Joe
Jun 04, 2012 Joe rated it liked it


An interesting idea. I actually worked with a group one to combine a smattering of Shakespeare's plays together, I'm not sure my students would really enjoy this. Perhaps after they had been introduced to all the genres used in Zap, they would appreciate it.
Joant
May 31, 2008 Joant rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Fleischman is so clever, but his cleverness never detract from his great stories!.. Here he writes a play that is 6-7 plays within the play. The audience gets to "change channels" and the actors change plays. Yet a story gets told here. I liked this.
Kelli
Dec 06, 2010 Kelli rated it it was amazing
This is a play our drama class did a few years ago. I remember it as funny, so I'm reading it to see if I want to teach it next year.

This is hilarious. :) I definitely recommend it. I hope the drama class does it again sometime.
Abby Connell
Oct 30, 2012 Abby Connell rated it liked it
This is a good, quick read, which combines a variety of play genres into one play designed for high schools. It's a really cute book, but doesn't provoke any thought and hasn't changed the way I live my life in any way.
Chris
May 11, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
The author said that he wrote this play because he was tired of seeing Grease and Romeo and Juliet being performed by the High Schools around his hometown. It is pretty funny.
Jamie
Mar 19, 2008 Jamie rated it it was ok
Shelves: 14-16, drama
I think this is better in idea than practice. Very narrow appeal, and the epitome of a skinny book not being perfect for reluctant readers. A little self-indulgent.
Dortha
Feb 06, 2008 Dortha rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
I am actually performing this and it is a lot of fun. I play Irina, the Russian with a fake but. If you have a big cast and no money than this is the show for you!
Bella
Apr 27, 2009 Bella rated it it was amazing
Really interesting. It seems like a really fun play to do, albeit definitely confusing when just being read. I'd love to actually do the production one day.
Michelle
May 15, 2011 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think this book had potential, and I probably would like it on stage. However, I just couldn't get into it and I got very confused by all the characters.
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Paul Fleischman grew up in Santa Monica, California. The son of well-known children's novelist Sid Fleischman, Paul was in the unique position of having his famous father's books read out loud to him by the author as they were being written. This experience continued throughout his childhood.
Paul followed in his father's footsteps as an author of books for young readers, and in 1982 he released
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