Best Plays Ever

Have you got a favorite play you have read? Anything from the Bard to modern theatre.
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790 books · 1,180 voters · list created July 30th, 2008 by Karen (votes) .
Tags: plays
384 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


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Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Kucharski A hard decision... beauty or impact. I have seen (and read) most of these plays multiple times but have seen this williams play only once and still my first thought when I think of it is simply, 'wow."


Maria del Pilar Films or books that I have read decades ago


message 3: by Jason (new)

Jason where's medea! That's the greatest play of all! THE GREATEST IN ALL THE WORLD!!!


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael McLean If the anthologies and collections were removed this list would be infinitely better.


message 5: by Mariana (new)

Mariana Georgieva Yes, I agree with some of the plays, but I think that "Caligula" by Albert Camus, more of Albee's, Ibsen's and Strindberg's plays should be here too.


message 6: by John (new)

John Something I've always wondered: When you listen to an audiobook, you normally say you "read" the book. But when you watch a play being performed - either on stage or screen- can you say you have "read" the play?


message 7: by Eliza Malakoff (new)

Eliza Malakoff I think it depends on your familiarity. I don't think having seen it once necessarily counts, because the performance does not consist solely of the words. Especially in the case of a play like Shakespeare, where the words are so large a piece of the meaning and the beauty of the play- and so difficult to fully catch as a one-time audience member. However, if the language is what jumps out at you, then sure.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

What did the play Cats come from????

How about Harvey about the giant rabbit?

and then Hair?


message 9: by Zoe's Human (new)

Zoe's Human The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone removed because it isn't a play.


message 10: by MK (new)

MK "Take Me Out: A Play" by Richard Greenberg should be on the list. I read it 7 years ago, and still think about it. Very powerful.


message 11: by Argwings (new)

Argwings Kodhek This selection is extremely Eurocentric and white supremacist. The inclusion of one or two playwrights like Hansberry does not fool anyone. Was the availability of the drama in English language the first criteria? If so then where is anything from Nigeria's Soyinka? How about 'The Burdens' by Uganda's John Ruganda or 'Dedan kimathi' by Kenneth Watene of Kenya. If drama from other languages was considered then Kinjeketile of Ebrahim Hussein could not have missed out. Let anybody who cares about good literature and art access the mentioned works and let's see where truth lies.


message 12: by Sarah (new)

Sarah El Harake Why August Strindberg's plays aren't in the list?! The list is not complete without any of his plays!


message 13: by Silk (new)

Silk Road King Lear is Greatest Drama of World! Hamlet is just pop!


message 14: by Newly (new)

Newly Wardell Argwings wrote: "This selection is extremely Eurocentric and white supremacist. The inclusion of one or two playwrights like Hansberry does not fool anyone. Was the availability of the drama in English language the..." Is it not possible that most of the plays listed are just older that the works you mentioned? I don't understand how a list can be white supremacist. I think that this list in particular was voted on but the Goodreads community. Wouldn't it have been easier to nominate new plays instead of race baiting on the internet? To be fair, I will look up The Burdens and although the subject matter doesn't interest me be it is required reading for a nation of high schoolers. I'll read it and judge for myself.


message 15: by Gabriela (new)

Gabriela Newly wrote: "Argwings wrote: "This selection is extremely Eurocentric and white supremacist. The inclusion of one or two playwrights like Hansberry does not fool anyone. Was the availability of the drama in Eng..."
Sites like this are usually by definition Anglo-centric, not necessarily because of racism, but because of self selection. Most members speak English and choose books they can read. Some of my favorite works of literature in Spanish are not even listed. And some books that I want to read have yet to be translated to one of the languages I can understand. This may be because of ethnocentrism, or marketing priorities or simple lack of interest. Why don't you make a list of the most relevant african plays or novels. Or even better, books that chart the development of literature in various African countries.


message 16: by Booklovinglady (last edited Feb 24, 2017 01:35AM) (new)

Booklovinglady The version of Eugene Onegin (#160) I've read wasn't a play. Girl with a Pearl Earring (#444) wasn't a play and although I haven't read it yet, my edition of Exercises in Style (#371) isn't a play either. I can imagine novels and so on being made into plays, but the question is, of course, should they be on this list if that's the case? Or should this list be only for books written originally as plays? (Judging from the description, I'm guessing the last...)


message 17: by The Fat (new)

The Fat Faust at #76!? The Government Inspector (the greatest Russian play ever) not even making the list??


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