play twelve: our town

Author: Thornton Wilder Published: 1938 Synopsis: the stage-manager of ‘Our Town’ narrates the¬†story of Grover’s Corners, a fictional sm(all)-American town, between 1901 and 1913. It tracks the growth, departures, and deaths of two neighbouring¬†families through the slowly burgeoning relationship between high-school sweethearts George Gibbs and Emily Webb. What moved me: Wilder’s prescience in terms of…

play six: homebody/kabul

Author: Tony Kushner Published: 2002 Synopsis: I’ve struggled to wrestle this play into a fistful of lines and so give you Nancy Franklin’s take on it in her New Yorker article ‘Afghan Tales.’ What moved me: The Homebody holding the shopkeeper’s “ruined right hand.” The stage direction “So late at night it’s nearly dawn, but…

play four: buried child

Author: Sam Shepard Published: 1978 (won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize) Synopsis: Focused on the fragmentation of the Midwestern nuclear family that was central to the American dream. Vince returns to his family home to introduce girlfriend Shelley after a six-year absence. He finds a violently dysfunctional family who barely recognise him: his dying grandfather, the…

play two: a view from the bridge

Playwright: Arthur Miller Published: 1955 Synopsis: Mr Alfieri, a smalltime lawyer in an Italian-American neighbourhood near Brooklyn Bridge, narrates the tragedy of Eddie Carbone. A longshoreman married to Beatrice and guardian of orphaned niece Catherine, he houses Beatrice’s relatives Rodolpho and Marco who arrive as illegal immigrants. The steadily growing attraction between Rodolpho and Catherine…