Play Suggestions

Plays and other dramatic works
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ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » January 20th, 2018, 9:36 am

Okay, I'm sure everyone here is sick and tired of seeing me publicly brainstorm future projects, but I just stumbled across two plays from Theodore Dreiser that I'm kinda jazzed about. I'd love for us to do both, especially since Dreiser is one of my favorite American authors (and these plays are pretty obscure, so consider this a public service). And since Dreiser died in 1945, everyone here can participate (I still feel weird and skuzzy obsessing so much about when authors died, but that's another story).

Anyway, the two plays...

The Hand of the Potter - A Naturalist drama about the assault and murder of an 11 year old girl, investigating both the societal and biological factors that caused such a horrifying crime and the cataclysmic effect it has on the murderer's family. This is obviously pretty dark and harrowing stuff, and Dreiser doesn't shy away from the extremity of his main character's crime. This was actually based on a well-publicized murder of a small child. Dreiser's version, from what I gather, is a refutation of the sensationalization he saw he media reports at the time. Anyway, this is a fascinating play, from what I've read, and it has a ton of characters for folks to read (although two of the characters, the murderer's parents, speak with Yiddish accents, so... um... that might be a problem).

Plays of the Natural and Supernatural - Far removed from the punishing Naturalism of the other play (and most of Dreiser's output, to be honest), this collection of seven short sketches is kinda coo-coo bananas. Seriously. This is Dreiser writing in a far different register than what we're used to, often giving us scenes that indulge in the bizarre and fantastical: ghosts, shadow people, monstrous children, beings from other realities, etc. Two of the plays are standard issue Naturalism, the sort of stuff we've come to expect from the author of Sister Carrie, but for the most part... these are some pretty strange and wonderful little plays that give us a startlingly different perspective on Dreiser. It also contains one of my favorite pieces of stage direction: "The earth sweeps onward on its arc, bisecting a third plane." Can you imagine trying to produce this for the stage?

Anyway, I'm very excited about both of these and might actually launch one of them soon. I'm so glad I found these. :-)
Help Us Finish These Plays:
The Dream (Joanna Baillie)

Coming Soon
Plays of the Natural and Supernatural (Theodore Dreiser)

SonOfTheExiles
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Post by SonOfTheExiles » January 23rd, 2018, 11:51 pm

ChuckW wrote:
January 19th, 2018, 7:04 pm
Rollo's Wild Oat (Clare Kummer): A frivolous little lark about a privileged millionaire who wants to be a Shakespearean actor. About as insubstantial as a dandelion fart, but fun. There's very little "literary" value here, but it's a fine example of 1920s Broadway comedy.
'

Skimming through it, that "Rollo's Wild Oat" looks like a lot of fun! I could just see myself playing that theatrical manager Mr Stein. And I'm sure that several of our ladies would have a ball playing "Goldie" ... "A girl of twenty-one or two, rather timid naturally, but brave as occasion may require. She is blonde and has an expression of arch-wistfulness".


Cheers,
Chris
"Sorry, my tongue got in the way of my eye-tooth, and I couldn't see what I was saying..."
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ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » January 25th, 2018, 10:41 am

SonOfTheExiles wrote:
January 23rd, 2018, 11:51 pm
ChuckW wrote:
January 19th, 2018, 7:04 pm
Rollo's Wild Oat (Clare Kummer): A frivolous little lark about a privileged millionaire who wants to be a Shakespearean actor. About as insubstantial as a dandelion fart, but fun. There's very little "literary" value here, but it's a fine example of 1920s Broadway comedy.
'

Skimming through it, that "Rollo's Wild Oat" looks like a lot of fun! I could just see myself playing that theatrical manager Mr Stein. And I'm sure that several of our ladies would have a ball playing "Goldie" ... "A girl of twenty-one or two, rather timid naturally, but brave as occasion may require. She is blonde and has an expression of arch-wistfulness".


Cheers,
Chris
I was actually thinking of holding off on this one to do Plays of the Natural and Supernatural instead... but no you've made me reconsider.

I mean... to be fair, this play has little "literary" value, but it would be a lot of fun to produce. I'm willing to bet some of our listeners would love a lighter, less "challenging" play in the catalogue.

I'm also thinking about taking the role of Rollo for myself... which would be a nice little meta-textual commentary, as the play itself is about a woefully underprepared buffoon launching a dramatic production just to wrongheadedly hog the main role for himself. ;-)
Help Us Finish These Plays:
The Dream (Joanna Baillie)

Coming Soon
Plays of the Natural and Supernatural (Theodore Dreiser)

mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » January 25th, 2018, 7:47 pm

ChuckW wrote:
January 25th, 2018, 10:41 am
I'm also thinking about taking the role of Rollo for myself... which would be a nice little meta-textual commentary, as the play itself is about a woefully underprepared buffoon launching a dramatic production just to wrongheadedly hog the main role for himself. ;-)
I think you should do it, for this reason alone. :lol:
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SonOfTheExiles
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Post by SonOfTheExiles » January 25th, 2018, 8:03 pm

Check out this discussion between Rollo and Stein the theatrical manager:

Rollo: I would use the same set for every scene -- just throwing on different lights to give an effect of ghastliness, beauty, morning or evening, as the case might be.

Stein: The same set for a bedroom or a jail?

Rollo: Certainly. The text, the costumes, the lights tell the story.

Stein: The costumes? People have gone to bed in a jail, you know, if they are unlucky enough.

Rollo: I know, but you never saw pink boudoir lights in a jail.
"Sorry, my tongue got in the way of my eye-tooth, and I couldn't see what I was saying..."
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ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » January 26th, 2018, 4:08 pm

SonOfTheExiles wrote:
January 25th, 2018, 8:03 pm
Check out this discussion between Rollo and Stein the theatrical manager:

Rollo: I would use the same set for every scene -- just throwing on different lights to give an effect of ghastliness, beauty, morning or evening, as the case might be.

Stein: The same set for a bedroom or a jail?

Rollo: Certainly. The text, the costumes, the lights tell the story.

Stein: The costumes? People have gone to bed in a jail, you know, if they are unlucky enough.

Rollo: I know, but you never saw pink boudoir lights in a jail.
Okay, you sold me on it. I just launched this. :-)
Help Us Finish These Plays:
The Dream (Joanna Baillie)

Coming Soon
Plays of the Natural and Supernatural (Theodore Dreiser)

ChuckW
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Location: The Lonesome Crowded Midwest

Post by ChuckW » January 30th, 2018, 8:33 am

So here's an interesting play I accidentally stumbled upon. It's a biographical play about Alexander Hamilton, which might be a perfect fit for anyone who counts themselves as a fan of current Broadway production. I haven't read it yet, but maybe someone here might like to give this a shot.

https://archive.org/details/hamiltonplayinfo00hamlrich
Help Us Finish These Plays:
The Dream (Joanna Baillie)

Coming Soon
Plays of the Natural and Supernatural (Theodore Dreiser)

ToddHW
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Post by ToddHW » January 30th, 2018, 4:41 pm

ChuckW wrote:
January 30th, 2018, 8:33 am
So here's an interesting play I accidentally stumbled upon. It's a biographical play about Alexander Hamilton, which might be a perfect fit for anyone who counts themselves as a fan of current Broadway production. I haven't read it yet, but maybe someone here might like to give this a shot.

https://archive.org/details/hamiltonplayinfo00hamlrich
Chuck,

This looks very good. Are you wanting to run it? If not I'll do it.

Mary Hamlin's dates are 1871-1964. (Co-author George Arliss is 1868-1946.) So this will work for US since published in 1918 (made into a movie in 1931), but sadly this won't work for more than death+50 countries...

Thanks, Todd

ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » January 30th, 2018, 6:28 pm

ToddHW wrote:
January 30th, 2018, 4:41 pm
ChuckW wrote:
January 30th, 2018, 8:33 am
So here's an interesting play I accidentally stumbled upon. It's a biographical play about Alexander Hamilton, which might be a perfect fit for anyone who counts themselves as a fan of current Broadway production. I haven't read it yet, but maybe someone here might like to give this a shot.

https://archive.org/details/hamiltonplayinfo00hamlrich
Chuck,

This looks very good. Are you wanting to run it? If not I'll do it.

Mary Hamlin's dates are 1871-1964. (Co-author George Arliss is 1868-1946.) So this will work for US since published in 1918 (made into a movie in 1931), but sadly this won't work for more than death+50 countries...

Thanks, Todd
I've already got about five or six other plays I'm planning on BC-ing eventually. I don't need another. :-)

Feel free to run with it, if you'd like.
Help Us Finish These Plays:
The Dream (Joanna Baillie)

Coming Soon
Plays of the Natural and Supernatural (Theodore Dreiser)

ToddHW
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Post by ToddHW » January 30th, 2018, 7:36 pm

ChuckW wrote:
January 30th, 2018, 6:28 pm
ToddHW wrote:
January 30th, 2018, 4:41 pm
ChuckW wrote:
January 30th, 2018, 8:33 am
So here's an interesting play I accidentally stumbled upon. It's a biographical play about Alexander Hamilton, which might be a perfect fit for anyone who counts themselves as a fan of current Broadway production. I haven't read it yet, but maybe someone here might like to give this a shot.

https://archive.org/details/hamiltonplayinfo00hamlrich
Chuck,

This looks very good. Are you wanting to run it? If not I'll do it.

Mary Hamlin's dates are 1871-1964. (Co-author George Arliss is 1868-1946.) So this will work for US since published in 1918 (made into a movie in 1931), but sadly this won't work for more than death+50 countries...

Thanks, Todd
I've already got about five or six other plays I'm planning on BC-ing eventually. I don't need another. :-)

Feel free to run with it, if you'd like.
Okay. Prep'd and ready to go - will likely post this weekend.
Thanks, Todd

ToddHW
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Post by ToddHW » February 2nd, 2018, 1:32 pm

Just for record keeping - the following was going on in Orra. Something to do with never turning your back on Killer Kitty, the Dastardly Diabolical DPL or something like that. It was regretted that Xena Warrior Princess is not PD but the need for a making-someone-walk-the-plank scene was definitely very high. George Burns and Gracie Allen were also mentioned....
Well, let's see.

There is a Pirate play "Wappin' Wharf" that seems to be a follow-on to Treasure Island: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24914 but I don't think that the women are the "make-them-walk-the-plank" type. But I think I should offer it anyway!

And a play by Bernard Shaw: "Captain Brassbound's Conversion" https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3418 that has some possibilities...

There is "The Queen of Pirate Isle" but she's only 9 years old and inclined to good humour. https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/17168 - and it's a book not a play.

Some other books - "The Lady and the Pirate" https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24907 and "The Romance of a Pirate's Daughter" https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/17053 and "The Admirable Lady Biddy Fane" https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/34476.

Ah ha - still a book but it is named "The Pirate Woman" https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30057 with the line from her within it: "I shall return in fifteen minutes, gentlemen," she said. "Then my man must be ready, or I will drop the great rock at the entrance, and leave ye all three caged here until ye die. For go I will, mated or mateless, with all my treasure, ere the sun sinks into the western sea." Not quite a walk the plank scene, but definite possibilities!
I have prep'd Wappin' Wharf: A Frightful Comedy of Pirates (and the book, unfortunately not a play, The Pirate Woman). The Shaw play will have to wait a little while - it is written in dialect (British and American, to highlight the differences betwixt them, methinks) and I haven't worked my way through it yet.

Thanks, Todd

ToddHW
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Post by ToddHW » February 2nd, 2018, 5:46 pm

The Pirate Woman is launched. Book, not a play. End of my signature line.

Thanks, Todd

Ealswythe
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Post by Ealswythe » February 5th, 2018, 9:46 am

“Sie werden jetzt eine oper für bettler hören....”
I listened and acted out this Threepenny Opera in German, when I was learning German in college! I would love to do it! I could even provide the German version of the Master of Ceremonies at the beginning, to kick it off. Then we could proceed with the rest of the play in English. :D

I’d like to take a role in this. Maybe a bawdy cabaret part? :D
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WiltedScribe
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Post by WiltedScribe » February 8th, 2018, 1:18 pm

Brecht's Threepenny Opera isn't PD yet, Linda, but John Gay's Beggar's Opera (which the Brecht musical is based on) is: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/25063

I've been eyeing this one for a while, as it's never been done for LibriVox. But I'm more interested in seeing a sung rendition, with the roles played by people who could sing out the airs. Maybe someone would also be able to hammer out accompaniment and exemplars if needed, but it would be a big undertaking. I think that's why no one has yet stepped forward to do this one. :lol:
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SonOfTheExiles
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Post by SonOfTheExiles » February 9th, 2018, 12:48 am

George Burns and Gracie Allen were also mentioned....”

Todd, if Kitty won’t go for the George & Gracie shtick, there’s always Oliver and Lisa Douglas.

Lisa Douglas: When you married me you knew that I couldn't cook, I couldn't sew, and I couldn't keep house. All I could do was talk Hungarian and do imitations of Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Oliver Douglas: Who?
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