Drama and Theatre discussion

Need suggestions for a play

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message 1: by Letitia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:58PM) (new)

Letitia | 24 comments My husband has to propose two plays to direct this next semester, one as a black box theatre project, and one as his final thesis. The faculty are very particular on what plays are done, so we are racking our brains to be able to propose as many plays as possible and get one accepted that we like. Help me out!

Here are the parameters for the black box:
Simple set
6 or less characters, preferably young.
Character driven (no absurdism, farce, avant garde)

Parameters for the thesis:
10 characters or less
More elaborate set okay
Character driven
Nothing written before 1800

My husband in particular has a predilection for shows that deal with hope and redemption. This department has a tendency to do a lot of nihilistic and depressing shows and he likes to bring an alternative to that for the sake of the audience. Thanks for any and all suggestions.


message 2: by Rosemary (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:58PM) (new)

Rosemary Here are two hopeful plays I've enjoyed in small professional theatres in Houston--both shows done with very simple sets (mostly sound effects and lighting creating the mood of some scenes).

SILENCE by Moira Buffini


Most of the characters are young or fairly young. There is an old king in SILENCE. That play was performed on a bare stage, and set pieces such as a wooden cart, a throne, a bed were wheeled on and off. In fact, as I recall, the cart transformed into the bed and back again. What I do remember clearly is that the characters and the language were so compelling that my imagination filled in a panorama of sets.

Also--and my feelings won't be hurt if you reject this one--my drama THE LITTLE DEATH (produced in Houston and scheduled for a fall '08 production in Seattle) can be done with minimal sets, with two young women, one young man, and one 40ish man (sounds young to me). The play has some dark and darkly comic moments, but the ending is hopeful for one of the characters. For more details about it, please see my website (http://poole-carter.info).

message 3: by Letitia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:59PM) (new)

Letitia | 24 comments Rosemary, that is sooooo helpful! Thanks. And we will definitely look at your piece. Both my husband and I wish to encourage new playwrights every way we can. Best of luck!

message 4: by Rosemary (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:59PM) (new)

Rosemary Thanks, Letitia. Another play came to mind after I wrote you (sorry, I don't remember the author)--THE PITCHFORK DISNEY. This play uses a single set, and the few characters are all young, as I recall. I saw this one years ago in Houston and loved it. It's truly outrageous and has something of a cult following in London(if memory serves). If you'd like to see a dialogue sample from THE LITTLE DEATH, just let me know.

I read and enjoyed your Piano Man piece (that news story haunted me, too.)

message 5: by Danell (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:06PM) (new)

Danell An idea for black box: Oleanna by David Mamet. Two characters - a female college student and a college professor (who could easly be played by a younger man). Lots of great tension and a really good script.

message 6: by Amanda (last edited Mar 31, 2008 05:41AM) (new)

Amanda (randymandy) | 51 comments Moose Mating by David Grae

I drected this one in a black box for my Undergrad Thesis in 2000. I added a couple actors to replace the "projections" and we actually had the guys hanging from rock climbing cables for the parachuting scene. Rocked. :) but anyway, it's a fun piece. I got lots of comments (from men) that went a bit like this, "I thought this was gonna be a chick piece, but it wasn't bad!"

PS. I agree with the Oleanna post. It's much more intense in a black box.

message 7: by Nessie (new)

Nessie | 42 comments Letitia,

I would check out the yearly collections published by Actor's Theatre from the Humana Festival. The parameters of the festival mean that most of the plays from those collections would satisfy the requirements you list. Break Legs!


message 8: by Letitia (new)

Letitia | 24 comments The two we ended up using in the black box were "My Children, My Africa," by Athol Fugard, and "Two Rooms," by Lee Blessing.

We are still looking for a thesis project, so all your suggestions are great! Keep them coming!

Amanda, I have never heard of Moose Mating, but I'll pick it up. And thanks Karen for the heads up on that festival.

message 9: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) | 51 comments Ah ha! Very good choices. And yes, those ATL festival plays are awesome. Usually good for smaller projects, as they're typically very short pieces.

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