I recently received news that Ray Fulmer passed away. He was a tremendously influential teacher at the high school I attended. He was a local poet and actor, a man who had a great passion for writing and drama. He directed me in Spoon River Anthology in high school. We all can probably think of a few teachers that we had growing up that we felt really "got it." That were inspirational and exciting and made us feel like words were beautiful and important.
He'll be missed. I hope he knew that I wandered off to write plays and live out some of the values that I saw him express.
It got me thinking: much of the general public appreciation for theater comes from public school. The high school musical. The production of Our Town or Arsenic and Old Lace. Whatever it is. And of course the high school curriculum includes some drama as well.
So...are there plays written in the last 20 years... meaning from 1990 - 2010 or so, that you feel should be added to the mix for high school students? (Maybe there are some that are already being include of which I am unaware...?) Obviously the challenge is not only what stands the test of time, but what is appropriate for that age group. Should Tracy Letts be taught alongside Arthur Miller and Eugene O'Neil, for example? Should David Lindsay-Abaire? Should Sarah Ruhl?
Another play that has only one word as it's theme and title?
What do you think?
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.