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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.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Plays you have never read or seen

There's been a meme going around the internet about famous books you have never read. It's supposed to be catharsis for all of us that never got to the end of Moby Dick or just looked at Gravity's Rainbow and said "Yeah, right."

So...theater mavens... which famous or oft-discussed plays have you never seen? Never read? Someone more industrious than me will type up a list. But heck, I'm not industrious. Never have been. I'm just a guitar player.

I'll say that I did not see and did not read any of The Coast of Utopia. I have also never read A View from a Bridge. Or Speed-the-Plow. To name a few.

The shame.

And you?


Anonymous said...

I think I'm pretty well-read, as far as the classics are concerned, but I've never seen most of them performed.

I've read, but never seen:

A Raisin in the Sun
Anything by Neil Simon
Six Characters in Search of an Author
Death of a Salesman
Streetcar Named Desire
any of Shakespeare's Histories

and much much more.

I'm ashamed to say that I'm not much of a theatre watcher, unless I can score seats towards the front of the house -- due to my hearing loss, i imagine. Also, I'm flat-ass broke, so I usually only get to go to theatres if the tickets are cheap or comped.

Matthew Trumbull said...

It's funny, a few weeks ago, I found myself standing in front of the stacks at The Drama Bookshop, thinking Jesus there is a lot I've never read. Not just individual plays, but renowned authors of whom I've never read a single work. Reading plays for pleasure is not escapist enough for me. My actor brain doesn't switch off, and it's not a relaxing experience.

I truly don't think I've ever read "Death of A Salesman". Or seen it in any version, all the way through.

David D. said...

Not a one of those g*ddamn Sanskrit plays we were assigned in World Drama.

As far as I'm concerned, if Shakuntala has a problem with that, he can let me know.

Scott Walters said...

Troilus and Cressida. And me a former Associate Artistic Director of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. *blush*

Jamespeak said...

The big one for me is Long Day's Journey Into Night. The shame, the shame!!

David D. said...

Scott's comment reminds me- Even though I've taught Shakespeare extensively, directed it, toured it, adapted it, performed it, etc., I loathe trying to read it for the sake of reading it. Unless I am working on one of the plays, I will usually wait to try to see it, or else I don't bother.

Which is why I would likely fail a basic quiz on what the hell happens in Antony and Cleopatra or Pericles. I think Pericles is about a pirate or something. But who the hell knows?

David Johnston said...

I haven't read or seen anything on stage by Adam Rapp or Neil LaBute. I don't have anything against them. I've just never gotten to any of their plays. I've also never read "Coriolanus." I think it takes place in Rome. Or Greece.

Matthew Trumbull said...

Hedda Gabler.

There. I said it.

Matthew Trumbull said...

American Buffalo, on the Mamet Front.

David D. said...

A Streetcar Named Desire.

Jeffrey Alexander Lewonczyk said...

I try to make a habit of reading a play between every other book that I read, and I manage to succeed about, oh, four months out of the year. (Maybe.) But even then I tend to gravitate more towards the odd or obscure, because I can't conceive of picking up anything by Arthur Miller (of whom I've only read the Big Two - D of a S and The C). I've probably only read one August Wilson play (Two Trains Running, I think?), one or two O'Neill pieces, a quarter of Tennessee Williams' collected output, and a handful of Albee. With the exception of the last two gentlemen (who both have their moments, especially Eddie), I happen to find the vast majority of "Serious" 20th-century American plays to be about as interesting as working a day job.

And as for Shakespeare, yeah, I don't read him much, and I'm tired of seeing most of his more popular plays onstage. I'm more interested in the Pericleses and the Troiluses and such, just because it's easier to go into them with an open mind. But honestly, I've had some fun over the past few years reading some of the minor Elizabethan playwrights - some of that shit is WEIRD.

John said...

Not only have I never read or seen Doubt, I have no intention to ever do either.

Never seen Stomp or Blue Man Group. Again, probably won't ever happen.

Anonymous said...

Despite so much peer pressure I skipped "Mama Mia" and I'm actually not all that familiar with ABBA, oh the shame.

Dan F