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Dramatic Works

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By: August Strindberg (1849-1912)

Book cover Dream Play

A Dream Play (Swedish: Ett drömspel) was written in 1901 by the Swedish playwright August Strindberg. It was first performed in Stockholm on 17 April 1907. It remains one of Strindberg's most admired and influential dramas, seen as an important precursor to both dramatic Expressionism and Surrealism. The primary character in the play is Agnes, a daughter of the Vedic god Indra. She descends to Earth to bear witness to problems of human beings. She meets about 40 characters, some of them having a clearly symbolical value (such as four deans representing theology, philosophy, medicine, and law)...

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

Book cover Return of Sherlock Holmes (version 2 Dramatic Reading)

The Return of Sherlock Holmes is set three years after the detective fell to his death in the Reichenbach Falls in his final struggle with Moriarty. Or did he? In the first story of the series Holmes explains to Watson what really happened that day, followed by twelve more adventures of the dynamic duo including two of Doyle's own favourite stories: The Dancing Men and The Second Stain. Other notable characters in this book include Black Peter and Charles Augustus Milverton. Watson: Cori SamuelHolmes:...

By: James Joyce (1882-1941)

Book cover Exiles

Exiles is a play by James Joyce, who is principally remembered for his novels. It was rejected by W. B. Yeats for production by the Abbey Theatre. Its first major London performance was in 1970, when Harold Pinter directed it at the Mermaid Theatre. The basic premise of Exiles involves a love triangle between Richard Rowan (a Dublin writer recently returned from exile in Rome), Bertha (his common law wife) and his old friend Robert Hand (a journalist). (There are obvious parallels to be drawn with...

By: John Bunyan (1628-1688)

Book cover Pilgrim's Progress (version 3)

Probably the most famous allegory ever written of the Christian life, The Pilgrim's Progress follows the journey of Christian from his first encounter with the Evangelist, through his trials and doubts and as he meets various people who help and hinder him in his journey towards the Celestial City to meet his King. Part 2 follows the journey of Christian's wife and sons as they follow him along the same path past the Slough of Despond, the Castle Despair and Vanity Fair. This version was edited in 1909 by the Rev...

By: Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936)

Book cover Henry IV, A Tragedy in Three Acts

A talented actor and historian falls off his horse in a historical pageant while playing the role of Henry IV. When he comes to, he believes himself to be Henry. For the next twenty years his nephew, Count de Nolli, funds an elaborate hoax in a remote villa, where actors play the roles of Henry's privy councillors and simulate the 11th century court.On request from his dying mother, de Nolli brings a Doctor referred to as the latest in a succession to try to cure Henry (whose real name, if it is not Henry, is never mentioned). All the action of the play occurs in this one day of the visit.

By: Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838)

Book cover Don Juan

Don Juan (Spanish), Don Giovanni (Italian) is a legendary, fictional libertine. Although the various iterations of the Don Juan myth show some variation, the basic story remains the same. Don Juan is portrayed as a wealthy, seductive libertine who devotes his life to seducing women, taking great pride in his ability to seduce women of all ages and stations in life. Don Giovanni, an opera composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, is arguably the best-known version. First performed in Prague in 1787, it inspired works by E...

By: Hyakuzō Kurata (1891-1943)

Book cover Priest and His Disciples (Shaw Translation)

At the age of twenty-six (at the height of the Great War in Europe), the religious pilgrim and maverick Kurata Hyakuzō wrote a profoundly philosophical play called "The Priest & His Disciples" ("Shukke to sono deshi"). This stage play is based on the life and teachings of the 13th century Buddhist priest Shinran (1173-1263) and quickly became immensely popular. Shinran, the historical founder of the True Pure Land School of Buddhism (Jōdo Shinshū), encounters the poor family of Hino Saemon and his wife Okane, and converses with them about how to live in circumstances of change and turmoil and hardship...


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