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Dramatic Works

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By: Aristophanes (446-389 BCE)

Book cover Clouds

Strepsiades is an Athenian burdened with debt from a bad marriage and a spendthrift son. He resolves to go to the Thinking Shop, where he can purchase lessons from the famous Socrates in ways to manipulate language in order to outwit his creditors in court. Socrates, represented as a cunning, manipulative, irreverent sophist, has little success with the dull-witted Strepsiades, but is able to teach the old man's son Phidippides a few tricks. In the end, the play is a cynical, clever commentary on Old Ways vs. New Ways, to the disparagement of the former.

By: Charlotte M Brame (1836-1884)

Book cover Shadow of a Sin

A story of a young woman in love and the sacrifices she makes in order to save a man's life when he is accused of murder. Has she gone too far and risked too much? Will she ever find happiness again, or is she destined to live a life of secrecy?

By: Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC)

Book cover Orestes

In accordance with the advice of the god Apollo, Orestes has killed his mother Clytemnestra to avenge the death of his father Agamemnon at her hands. Despite Apollo’s earlier prophecy, Orestes finds himself tormented by Erinyes or Furies to the blood guilt stemming from his matricide. The only person capable of calming Orestes down from his madness is his sister Electra. To complicate matters further, a leading political faction of Argos wants to put Orestes to death for the murder. Orestes’ only hope to save his life lies in his uncle Menelaus, who has returned with Helen after spending ten years in Troy and several more years amassing wealth in Egypt...

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: John Ford (1586-1639)

Book cover 'Tis Pity She's a Whore

One of the most shocking plays produced in England during the reign of Charles I, 'Tis Pity She's A Whore chronicles the disastrous results of an incestuous affair between fatalistic Italian siblings, Giovanni and Annabella. As suitors vie for Annabella's hand, various webs of deception and revenge intertwine, culminating in a bloody finale. CAST LISTBonaventura, a Friar/ Bergetto, Nephew to Donado: alanmapstoneA Cardinal, Nuncio to the Pope AND Banditti: Algy PugSoranzo, a Nobleman: tovarischFlorio,...

By: Maria Thompson Daviess (1872-1924)

Book cover Heart's Kingdom

Nickols Powers is in love with the beautiful Charlotte and desperate to marry her. Charlotte however, is independent and reluctant to accept his religious views as a good wife should. However, she may still be convinced by the charismatic preacher building a new church in her own backyard.

By: Mary Ella Lyng

Book cover History Plays for the Grammar Grades

A charming collection of 14 short American history plays for the very young - ranging from Christopher Columbus to George Washington to Susan B Anthony.

By: Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899)

Book cover Selected Interviews with Robert G. Ingersoll, Volume 1

A controversial lecturer, brilliant lawyer, and arguably the most famous orator of the mid to late 1800's, Ingersoll railed against the absurdities of the Bible and cruelties of Christianity, particularly the horrific notion of "eternal damnation". He tirelessly supported the arts, education, science, women’s rights, abolition, home, family, children, and human liberty. As a leader of the Freethought movement, his creed was: “Happiness is the only good, Reason the only torch, Justice the only worship, Humanity the only religion, and Love the only priest...

By: Various

Book cover Dramatic Reading Scene and Story Collection, Volume 001

readers present a collection of their favorite chapters and short stories, with the original author’s words all brought to life with different reader voices for each character in our popular Dramatic Reading style. This volume includes Anne's Confession from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Coming Home from Mates of Billabong by Mary Grant Bruce [not PD in Australia or Europe], Scandal in Bohemia from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Tunnel Under the...

Book cover One-Act Play Collection 005

This collection of ten one-act dramas features plays by James M. Barrie, Hereward Carrington, Marjorie Benton Cooke, Alice Gerstenberg, Susan Glaspell and George Cram Cook, St. John Hankin, George Middleton, David Pinski, Frederik Pohl, and an unknown Japanese author. The plays were coordinated by Arielle Lipshaw, Availle, Chuck Williamson, Todd, Peter Yearsley, Caprisha Page, Charlotte Duckett, and Amanda Friday.

Book cover One-Act Play Collection 005

This collection of ten one-act dramas features plays by James M. Barrie, Hereward Carrington, Marjorie Benton Cooke, Alice Gerstenberg, Susan Glaspell and George Cram Cook, St. John Hankin, George Middleton, David Pinski, Frederik Pohl, and an unknown Japanese author. The plays were coordinated by Arielle Lipshaw, Availle, Chuck Williamson, Todd, Peter Yearsley, Caprisha Page, Charlotte Duckett, and Amanda Friday.

By: A. A. Milne (1882-1956)

Once on a Time by A. A. Milne Once on a Time

This version of the book is done as a Dramatic Reading with various people speaking each characters part.When the King of Barodia receives a pair of seven-league boots as a birthday present, his habit of flying over the King of Euralia's castle during breakfast provokes a series of incidents which escalate into war. While the King of Euralia is away, his daughter Hyacinth tries to rule in his stead and counter the machiavellian ambitions of the king's favourite, the Countess Belvane. Ostensibly a typical fairytale, it tells the story of the war between the kingdoms of Euralia and Barodia and the political shenanigans which take place in Euralia in the king's absence...

By: Aeschylus (525/524 BC - c. 455/456 BC)

The Oresteia by Aeschylus The Oresteia

The Oresteia is a trilogy by Aeschylus, one of the foremost playwrights of ancient Greece. It encompasses three plays: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Furies. It tells the tragic tale of the House of Atreus, whose inhabitants have been cursed and are doomed to play out their bloody, vengeful destinies. At the beginning of the first part, the Trojan War has ended and the Greek general, Agamemnon, is returning victorious to his wife Clytemnestra. Yet she finds it difficult to forgive his sacrifice of their daughter, Iphigenia, who was killed to ensure the Greek fleet fair winds in their voyage to Troy...

Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus Seven Against Thebes

In this, the only extant tragedy from Aeschylus' trilogy about the House of Oedipus, Thebes is under siege from Polynices, a former prince of Thebes. After King Oedipus left his city and cursed the princes, Polynices and his brother, Eteocles, decided to rule alternately, switching at the end of every year. However, at the end of his year as king, Eteocles refused to turn power over to his brother and exiled him, fulfilling his father's curse that the two brothers could not rule peacefully. In the action of the play, Polynices and a group of Argive soldiers are attacking Thebes so that he can take his place as ruler...

By: Alfred Noyes (1880-1958)

Book cover Rada; A Belgian Christmas Eve

This is not heart warming holiday fare. It is a short (one-act) unsubtle antiwar play by the English poet Alfred Noyes (1880-1958), published in 1915 while World War I is in progress. Part of the work is in verse. Music sung by Duane Steadman.

By: Amelia E. Barr (1831-1919)

Book cover Maid of Maiden Lane

The Maid of Maiden lane is a wonderful love story in which Mrs. Barr intertwines the hot political and social issues that were occurring in America during the last decade of the 18th century with an excellent love story plot. Some of those issues include: the moral dilemma and debate over the French Revolution, and how that event touched the lives of the immigrants in America; the prejudices between the immigrants from England, and those from France or Holland, and how those animosities affected the ordinary lives of the people; and the political debate over titles, foreign policy, and such things(for example)as where the capital of the nation was to reside, New York or Philadelphia...

By: Anne Brontë (1820-1849)

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

An epistolary novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall follows the courageous journey of the protagonist, Helen Graham, as she struggles to escape her socially imposed role as dutiful wife, while also acting on her moral responsibilities as a mother and self-respect as a woman. Published in 1848, under the pseudonym Acton Bell, the novel provoked much criticism at the time of its release due to its shocking content and atypical portrayal of an English wife, who not only defies the strict conventions of society, but also consciously violates the law that legally represses the rights of women...

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey is the daughter of a minister, whose family comes to financial ruin. Desperate to earn money to care for herself, she takes one of the few jobs allowed to respectable women in the early Victorian era, as a governess to the children of the wealthy. In working with two different families, the Bloomfields and the Murrays, she comes to learn about the troubles that face a young woman who must try to rein in unruly, spoiled children for a living, and about the ability of wealth and status to destroy social values. After her father's death, Agnes opens a small school with her mother and finds happiness with a man who loves her for herself.

By: Anthony Munday (1560? -1633)

Book cover Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More is a collaborative Elizabethan play by Anthony Munday and others depicting the life and death of Thomas More. It survives only in a single manuscript, now owned by the British Library. The manuscript is notable because three pages of it are considered to be in the hand of William Shakespeare and for the light it sheds on the collaborative nature of Elizabethan drama and the theatrical censorship of the era. The play dramatizes events in More's life, both real and legendary, in an episodic manner in 17 scenes, unified only by the rise and fall of More's fortunes.

By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

The Proposal by Anton Chekhov The Proposal

The Proposal is a one act comic farce by Anton Chekhov. In Chekhov’s Russia, marriage was a means of economic stability for most people. They married to gain wealth and possessions. In this play, the concept of marriage is being satirized to show the real purpose of marriage – materialistic gain rather than true love.

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov The Seagull

The Seagull (Russian: Чайка, Chayka) is the first of what are generally considered to be the four major plays by the Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov. The play was written in 1895 and first produced in 1896. It dramatises the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the ingenue Nina, the fading leading lady Irina Arkadina, her son the experimental playwright Konstantin Treplyov, and the famous middlebrow story writer Trigorin.

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard is Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's last play. It premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904 in a production directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play as a comedy and it does contain some elements of farce; however, Stanislavski insisted on directing the play as a tragedy. Since this initial production, directors have had to contend with the dual nature of this play. The play concerns an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family's estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage...

Book cover Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya (subtitled “Scenes From Country Life”) is a tragicomedy by Anton Chekhov. It is set on the failing country estate of a retired professor, Serebrakoff, who returns after a long absence with his beautiful young wife, and throws the household into confusion. Rivalry, unrequited love, illicit romance, and attempted suicide are the result, punctuated throughout by Chekhov’s sad, wistful humor.

The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov The Three Sisters

Three Sisters is a naturalistic play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters (Olga, Masha, and Irina) and their brother Andrei. They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence. The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow; however for the past eleven years they have been living in a small provincial town...

Swan Song by Anton Chekhov Swan Song

In 'The Swan Song' an aging actor reminisces about his life and the parts he's played. The piece takes a tragic look at ambition and the sacrifices that must be made in order to succeed. Chekhov’s ability to capture and explore human nature and experience is showcased here.

Book cover Ivanov

Nicolai (anglicised Nicholas in this translation) Ivanov, a middle-aged public servant, is unhappy. His wife Anna, disinherited by her family after converting from Judaism, is dying of tuberculosis. He is deeply in debt. And his best friend’s daughter is infatuated with him. Comedy and tragedy ensue in truly Chekhovian fashion. An example of the young Chekhov’s maturing style, Ivanov is an early harbinger of themes that would recur throughout his work.

Book cover Ivanov

Nicolai (anglicised Nicholas in this translation) Ivanov, a middle-aged public servant, is unhappy. His wife Anna, disinherited by her family after converting from Judaism, is dying of tuberculosis. He is deeply in debt. And his best friend’s daughter is infatuated with him. Comedy and tragedy ensue in truly Chekhovian fashion. An example of the young Chekhov’s maturing style, Ivanov is an early harbinger of themes that would recur throughout his work.

By: Aristophanes (446BC - 385BC)

Lysistrata by Aristophanes Lysistrata

Lysistrata read by the Classics Drama Company at DePaul. The Classics Drama Company at DePaul is a new gathering of Thespians and Classicists dedicated to performing and understanding ancient literature. If you live in Chicago and attend DePaul University, we welcome new additions to our group. Contact Dr. Kirk Shellko (kshellko@depaul.edu), if interested.First performed in classical Athens c. 411 B.C.E., Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is the original battle of the sexes. One woman, Lysistrata, brings together the women of all Greece, exhorting them to withhold sexual contact from all men in order that they negotiate a treaty...

By: Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934)

The Amazons: A Farcical Romance by Arthur Wing Pinero The Amazons: A Farcical Romance

This 1895 farce inspired by the outlandish idea of women wearing pants, centers around the predicament of the three daughters of the eccentric Marchioness of Castlejordan, who determined to have sons, raised them like boys. She encouraged them to dress and act like boys at home, yet dress like ladies when out. As the girls come of age, they are conflicted. They want to please mother by acting as her sons, but, suddenly smitten with three gentlemen, they are compelled to grow up and be ladies. When their suitors secretly come to woo, they aren’t sure what to do……and what will mother do if she finds out?

By: August Strindberg (1849-1912)

Countess Julie by August Strindberg Countess Julie

August Strindberg’s naturalistic one-act drama has only three characters: Julie, a passionate young noblewoman; Jean, her father’s ambitious valet; and Kristin, the cook, who is also Jean’s fiancee. The play is set on Midsummer Eve, when everyone is reveling, and Julie and Jean get a bit too intimate – with tragic results.

Book cover Creditors

Creditors is an 1889 tragicomedy by August Strindberg that plumbs the depths of the twisted triangular relationship between Tekla, her husband Adolph, and her ex-husband Gustav.

The Ghost Sonata by August Strindberg The Ghost Sonata

The Ghost Sonata (Spoksonaten) is a play in three acts by Swedish playwright August Strindberg. Written in 1907, it was first produced at Strindberg's Intimate Theatre in Stockholm on 21 January 1908... The Ghost Sonata is a key text in the development of modernist drama and a vivid example of a chamber play. In it, Strindberg creates a world in which ghosts walk in bright daylight, a beautiful woman is transformed into a mummy and lives in the closet, and the household cook sucks all the nourishment out of the food before she serves it to her masters...


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