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Do you enjoy reading plays?

Do you find it enjoyable in the same way you might enjoy reading a novel or short story?

Or does reading a piece of literature meant for performance feel too removed for you?

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by Anonymousreply 46December 30, 2021 11:57 AM

Yes. Except with Shakespeare's plays, because there are so many old idioms and archaic expressions that I don't always grasp the meaning of the sentence.

by Anonymousreply 1November 26, 2021 10:57 PM

I don't read a lot of them, but I still remember reading The Importance of Being Earnest, and laughing so hard at it, and being thrilled that reading a play could get that reaction out of me.

by Anonymousreply 2November 26, 2021 10:59 PM

I do, scripts in general. I especially like when they've been made into films, for the changes. I also read some of the early Downton Abbey scripts and it was interesting what was cut.... nothing significant plot wise but most of the cut lines actually made the characters more interesting.

by Anonymousreply 3November 26, 2021 11:00 PM

I don't do it often, but I've read plays and film scripts in the past and enjoyed them.

by Anonymousreply 4November 26, 2021 11:02 PM

R3 That's really noticeable with drafts of film scripts that are available online. Actors don't get recognized for how often they polish up their scripts- the most famous lines from films are often not in scripts, especially more recent films.

by Anonymousreply 5November 26, 2021 11:06 PM

Some plays are very readable. Some are not. I've read some plays (William Inge and Tennessee Williams among them) that I liked very much. So I guess I could say I like reading some plays.

by Anonymousreply 6November 26, 2021 11:08 PM

When I was a kid with no exposure to live theatre I read every play in the local library and played all of the roles in my head and sometimes acted them out in my bedroom. Taught me to use my imagination. I’m an actor now.

by Anonymousreply 7November 26, 2021 11:11 PM

Do I enjoy reading plays?

Only plays from before 1640 and a handful of Restoration pieces.

I paid my dues earlier in life and playbooks over the last 150 are just sad and sloppy.

by Anonymousreply 8November 26, 2021 11:24 PM

I do. I like the format.

by Anonymousreply 9November 26, 2021 11:45 PM

As someone who has a college degree in theatre, I'd BETTER enjoy it. And I do. Very much so.

by Anonymousreply 10November 27, 2021 12:13 AM

Before you start reading cast the characters with the most unlikely actors and read it that way.

by Anonymousreply 11November 27, 2021 12:42 AM

Great. Now I will visions of Danny Devito pressing the most Italian part of him into Debra Lee Scott's Blanche.

by Anonymousreply 12November 27, 2021 1:10 AM

I have enjoyed reading many plays but I don't do it often. I really like reading Shakespeare more than watching performances because his language is so clever and there's no way to absorb it when performed the way one can while reading it. I remember enjoying plays by Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Jonathan Harvey and others that I never saw performed. I didn't love reading Ibsen, though.

by Anonymousreply 13November 27, 2021 1:29 AM

When I was a gayling I would read the Burns-Mantle annual cover to cover.

by Anonymousreply 14November 27, 2021 2:42 AM

r11 I'm gonna try that!

by Anonymousreply 15November 27, 2021 8:27 AM

Tennessee is a good read. O'Neill not so much.

by Anonymousreply 16November 27, 2021 8:57 AM

I spent three years in high school having to read just about every play Shakespeare ever wrote. When I read the final line of "As You Like It" in my senior year (Year 12), I swore I would never read another fucking play again as long as I lived. And with the exception of Titus Andronicus (the one Shakespeare play we were spared, due to its being considered too disturbing for our teenaged sensibilities), I never have.

by Anonymousreply 17November 27, 2021 9:14 AM

Similar to R7, growing up I never had any access to theater but I loved to read, so I read a lot of plays. It also made English class a lot easier; plays are much quicker to read than novels, so I ended up coming across as very well read because I would be maybe two or three plays in while most classmates were still slogging through a book for their book report.

by Anonymousreply 18November 27, 2021 9:27 AM

I had to read a lot of plays in high school and college. I can't say I'm a fan of reading them. I remember the one's I didn't mind so much were comedies by Restoration dramatists, such as Congreve and Wycherley.

by Anonymousreply 19November 27, 2021 9:28 AM

If there's a newer piece I missed the chance to see, I'll buy the script and read it.

by Anonymousreply 20November 27, 2021 9:43 AM

R14 - yes those annuals were great. I remember reading The Women before I saw the 1939 film. Neil Simon plays are also good to read too.

by Anonymousreply 21November 27, 2021 10:42 AM

I enjoy reading them in class. My students will FIGHT to get certain roles. Ah, The times when education inspires such passion

by Anonymousreply 22November 27, 2021 12:42 PM

What grade do you teach r22?

by Anonymousreply 23November 27, 2021 1:09 PM

They aren't, for the most part, meant to be read. But I joined a playreading group during the lockdown, and found that stuff I found unreadable silently, became more interesting when read aloud.

Some works really need both (the Bard is the poster boy for that category), but for the most part, plays need a stage, a theatre, actors. A playreading group is the best way to read plays without the stage, theatre, and actors.

by Anonymousreply 24November 27, 2021 1:13 PM

In high school English, we'd read plays in class with a different student reading each characters' lines. In was the early 80s, we read "The Miracle Worker." I was allowed to read the servant role of "Viney" in a teenager's idea of a old-timey black dialect. That would so NOT fly today. But it was funny then.

by Anonymousreply 25November 27, 2021 1:14 PM

[quote] What grade do you teach [R22]?

I teach in an psychiatric hospital, all ages, elementary, middle-school and high school.

by Anonymousreply 26November 28, 2021 9:42 AM

[quote]I really like reading Shakespeare more than watching performances because his language is so clever and there's no way to absorb it when performed the way one can while reading it.

The definition of a bad production of Shakespeare (which almost all of them are) is that you can't understand what the actors are saying. If the actors themselves understand exactly what they're saying and what it means, you will definitely understand as well. It is the director's job to make sure they do and you do. IDK what most directors of professional Shakespeare are actually doing, but it's not that.

A brilliant production, by contrast, often makes you go "I've seen this play in three different productions and read it twice, and only now do I get what that scene is really about!"

by Anonymousreply 27November 28, 2021 11:19 AM

R27 There's a lot of shitty, lazy professional theater in the U.S. done by people who don't understand or appreciate the material.

by Anonymousreply 28November 28, 2021 11:46 AM

I do. It's not a frequent habit, but I like things written for stage. Film scripts are more distracting and less a pleasure; I can't think of any film scripts that were a pleasure, maybe it's the reliance on visual things, movement, and the often simplified dialogue.

by Anonymousreply 29November 28, 2021 3:30 PM

R26 How interesting and inspiring! You are a gift to the world.

by Anonymousreply 30November 28, 2021 3:39 PM

No. My synethesia is out of control with them (not sure why).

by Anonymousreply 31November 28, 2021 4:15 PM

R31 You smell things?

by Anonymousreply 32November 28, 2021 8:09 PM

Only ones by gay guys (Terence McNally, Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, etc.) because they are witty and prose-y.

by Anonymousreply 33November 28, 2021 9:11 PM

I enjoy playing with myself

by Anonymousreply 34November 28, 2021 10:29 PM

Two film scripts that are easy to read like plays are All About Eve and A Letter to Three Wives.

by Anonymousreply 35November 29, 2021 1:05 AM

As a young gayling living in a small town, reading plays from the library was as close as I could get to going to the theatre. And there are many wonderful plays that just aren't done anymore, so the only way you can enjoy them is to read them. Jean Kerr's plays, for example, are never done anymore but they read really well.

Later, I used to get multiple copies of a play, then have a dinner party where we read the play together over dessert. I'd sometimes invite odd assortments of people just because I thought they could bring the play to life. I think I should start doing that again. It's better than TV!

by Anonymousreply 36November 29, 2021 2:47 AM

[quote] [R26] How interesting and inspiring! You are a gift to the world

Well, thanks. My best friend says the same. It’s important work, and sometimes very difficult, with class periods where I’m glancing at the clock every two minutes to see when i can be rid of the little bastards, but i can honestly say i’ve never enjoyed a job more. When its good, its sublime.

by Anonymousreply 37December 6, 2021 7:38 AM

No, I prefer watching books.

by Anonymousreply 38December 6, 2021 7:40 AM

I don’t mind it at all, OP.

by Anonymousreply 39December 6, 2021 7:41 AM

"Do you enjoy reading plays?"

I don't not enjoy it.

by Anonymousreply 40December 6, 2021 8:12 AM

hey R18 and R21 - your cunt is showing

by Anonymousreply 41December 10, 2021 9:35 PM

I don't think I've ever read more than two or three plays, but "The Little Foxes" was one of them, and I really enjoyed it.

by Anonymousreply 42December 10, 2021 9:37 PM

r14 thanks for mentioning Burns Mantle. I checked out a bunch of his 1920s/1930s volumes and I love them, especially the overview of the theater seasons in New York, Chicago, and San Fransisco.

by Anonymousreply 43December 29, 2021 4:01 PM

Meant to sign r43 "OP"

by Anonymousreply 44December 29, 2021 4:02 PM

[quote]I really like reading Shakespeare more than watching performances because his language is so clever and there's no way to absorb it when performed the way one can while reading it

When I watch Shakespeare on DVD I turn on the subtitles, which is the best of all worlds. Immerse in the atmosphere, watch great actors, hear the music of the language, read those captivating words.

Most recently watched the BBC's 'Henry IV Pts 1 and 2', which is as good as it gets in all those above respects.

by Anonymousreply 45December 30, 2021 11:16 AM

When I was in high school, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF was the talk of the town. Without the published script there was no way to find out what all the fuss was about, save a trip to NYC, which was out of the question. My friends and I bought a script and read it out loud. Yes, we were nerds.

Surprised no one has mentioned Fireside Theater, a Book-of-the-Month subscription series that sent a new play or musical every month. It was a lifeline for those who wanted to read contemporary drama.

by Anonymousreply 46December 30, 2021 11:57 AM
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