Popular Theatre Books

30+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Theatre

Discover the list of some best books written on Theatre by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Theatre highly popular among the readers worldwide.

4/5

Too Much Is Not Enough by Andrew Rannells

From the star of Broadway's The Book of Mormon and HBO's Girls, the heartfelt and hilarious coming-of-age memoir of a Midwestern boy surviving bad auditions, bad relationships, and some really bad highlights as he chases his dreams in New York City When Andrew Rannells arrived in New York City from Omaha in 1997, he, like many, saw the city as a chance to break fr From the star of Broadway's The Book of Mormon and HBO's Girls, the heartfelt and hilarious coming-of-age memoir of a Midwestern boy surviving bad auditions, bad relationships, and some really bad highlights as he chases his dreams in New York City When Andrew Rannells arrived in New York City from Omaha in 1997, he, like many, saw the city as a chance to break free. To start over. To transform the fiercely ambitious but sexually confused teenager he saw in the mirror into the Broadway leading man of his dreams. In Too Much Is Not Enough, Rannells takes us on the journey of a twentysomething hungry to experience everything: new friends, wild nights, great art, standing ovations. And at the heart of his hunger lies a powerful drive to reconcile the boy he was and the man he might have been with the man he wants to be. As Rannells reveals how he merged these Andrews into the one who made his Broadway debut at 26, he also shares stories from his path to the Great White Way, from horrible auditions and behind-the-curtain romances to the exhilaration of landing his first gig in Hairspray and the heartbreaking death of his father at the height of his ascent. Along the way, Rannells learns that you never really leave your past--or your family--behind; that the most painful, and perversely motivating, jobs are the ones you almost get; and that sometimes the most unforgettable nights are marked not by the hot clubs you danced at, but by the recap over diner food after. Filled with candor and humor, Too Much Is Not Enough is an entertaining look at love, loss, and the powerful forces that determine who we become.

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4.9/5

Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson , Ellen Hagan

Jasmine and Chelsea are sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women's Rights Club. They post everything online—poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine's response to the racial macroaggressions she experiences—and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also Jasmine and Chelsea are sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women's Rights Club. They post everything online—poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine's response to the racial macroaggressions she experiences—and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by online trolls. When things escalate, the principal shuts the club down. Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices—and those of other young women—to be heard.

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3.2/5

Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

Pulitzer Finalist Susan Choi's narrative-upending novel about what happens when a first love between high school students is interrupted by the attentions of a charismatic teacher In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, Pulitzer Finalist Susan Choi's narrative-upending novel about what happens when a first love between high school students is interrupted by the attentions of a charismatic teacher In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving “Brotherhood of the Arts,” two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed—or untoyed with—by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley. The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school’s walls—until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down. What the reader believes to have happened to David and Sarah and their friends is not entirely true—though it’s not false, either. It takes until the book’s stunning coda for the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place—revealing truths that will resonate long after the final sentence. As captivating and tender as it is surprising, Trust Exercise will incite heated conversations about fiction and truth, friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and of the powers and responsibilities of adults.

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4.9/5

Too Much Is Not Enough by Andrew Rannells

From the star of Broadway's The Book of Mormon and HBO's Girls, the heartfelt and hilarious coming-of-age memoir of a Midwestern boy surviving bad auditions, bad relationships, and some really bad highlights as he chases his dreams in New York City When Andrew Rannells arrived in New York City from Omaha in 1997, he, like many, saw the city as a chance to break fr From the star of Broadway's The Book of Mormon and HBO's Girls, the heartfelt and hilarious coming-of-age memoir of a Midwestern boy surviving bad auditions, bad relationships, and some really bad highlights as he chases his dreams in New York City When Andrew Rannells arrived in New York City from Omaha in 1997, he, like many, saw the city as a chance to break free. To start over. To transform the fiercely ambitious but sexually confused teenager he saw in the mirror into the Broadway leading man of his dreams. In Too Much Is Not Enough, Rannells takes us on the journey of a twentysomething hungry to experience everything: new friends, wild nights, great art, standing ovations. And at the heart of his hunger lies a powerful drive to reconcile the boy he was and the man he might have been with the man he wants to be. As Rannells reveals how he merged these Andrews into the one who made his Broadway debut at 26, he also shares stories from his path to the Great White Way, from horrible auditions and behind-the-curtain romances to the exhilaration of landing his first gig in Hairspray and the heartbreaking death of his father at the height of his ascent. Along the way, Rannells learns that you never really leave your past--or your family--behind; that the most painful, and perversely motivating, jobs are the ones you almost get; and that sometimes the most unforgettable nights are marked not by the hot clubs you danced at, but by the recap over diner food after. Filled with candor and humor, Too Much Is Not Enough is an entertaining look at love, loss, and the powerful forces that determine who we become.

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3.1/5

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda , Jeremy McCarter

Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of r Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country's origins for a diverse new generation. Hamilton: The Revolution gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages--"since before this was even a show," according to Miranda--trace its development from an improbable perfor­mance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here. Their account features photos by the renowned Frank Ockenfels and veteran Broadway photographer Joan Marcus; exclusive looks at notebooks and emails; interviews with Questlove, Stephen Sond­heim, leading political commentators, and more than 40 people involved with the production; and multiple appearances by Presi­dent Obama himself. The book does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don't throw away their shot.

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4.6/5

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution. Eventually he takes When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution. Eventually he takes a job teaching Literacy Through Theatre to the prisoners at the nearby Burgess Correctional Institution, and is making a modest success of it when an auspicious star places his enemies within his reach. With the help of their own interpretations, digital effects, and the talents of a professional actress and choreographer, the Burgess Correctional Players prepare to video their Tempest. Not surprisingly, they view Caliban as the character with whom they have the most in common. However, Felix has another twist in mind, and his enemies are about to find themselves taking part in an interactive and illusion-ridden version of The Tempest that will change their lives forever. But how will Felix deal with his invisible Miranda’s decision to take a part in the play?

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3.7/5

Have a Nice Day by Billy Crystal , Quinton Peeples , Justin Bartha (Narrator) , Annette Bening (Narrator) , Dick Cavett (Narrator) , Auli'l Cravalho (Narrator) , Rachel Dratch (Narrator) , Darrell Hammo

Have a Nice Day features a live multi-cast script reading captured over two evenings at Minetta Lane Theatre in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Tony and Emmy Award winner Billy Crystal leads an all-star cast including Oscar winner Kevin Kline (President David Murray) and four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (First Lady Katherine Murray) in a performance of this hilarious a Have a Nice Day features a live multi-cast script reading captured over two evenings at Minetta Lane Theatre in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Tony and Emmy Award winner Billy Crystal leads an all-star cast including Oscar winner Kevin Kline (President David Murray) and four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (First Lady Katherine Murray) in a performance of this hilarious and poignant story about a man desperately scrambling to put his affairs in order: to save his presidency, his marriage, his relationship with his daughter—and possibly his life. President David Murray starts the day in crisis. He’s lost control of Congress, has to decide whether to run for a second term, and his wife and teenage daughter are barely talking to him. What’s more, the Angel of Death has sent a rather inept “repo man” who is at the foot of his bed, giving him only one more day to live. Cast members include Justin Bartha, Irene Bedard, Annette Bening, Chris Cafero, Dick Cavett, Auli'i Cravalho, Billy Crystal, Rachel Dratch, Darrell Hammond, Christopher Jackson, Robert King, Kevin Kline, and Robin Thede. ©2018 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC

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4.5/5

Girls & Boys by Dennis Kelly

An unexpected meeting at an airport leads to an intense, passionate, head-over-heels relationship. Before long they begin to settle down, buy a house, juggle careers, have kids – theirs is an ordinary family. But then their world starts to unravel and things take a disturbing turn. A tragic, violent look at parenthood and trauma.

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3.6/5

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail - for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he's released, he's greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago. As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail - for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he's released, he's greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago. As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

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3.2/5

The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir by Jenifer Lewis

The "Mega Diva" and legendary star of Black-ish looks back on her memorable journey to fame and the unforgettable life lessons she learned along the way. Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this provocative and touching memoir by a mid-western girl with a dream whose journey from poverty to Hollywood will move, shock, and inspire readers. Told in the audacious voice her fans ador The "Mega Diva" and legendary star of Black-ish looks back on her memorable journey to fame and the unforgettable life lessons she learned along the way. Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this provocative and touching memoir by a mid-western girl with a dream whose journey from poverty to Hollywood will move, shock, and inspire readers. Told in the audacious voice her fans adore, Jenifer describes a road to fame made treacherous by dysfunction and undiagnosed mental illness, including a sex addiction. Yet, supported by loving friends and strengthened by "inner soldiers," Jenifer never stopped entertaining and creating. We watch as Jenifer develops icon status stemming from a series of legendary screen roles as the sassy, yet loveable, mama or auntie. And we watch as her emotional disturbances, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations movie, launch her on a continuing search for answers, love, and healing. Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with sixteen-pages of color photos, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: "Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes." From her first taste of applause at five years old to landing on Broadway within eleven days of graduation and ultimately achieving success in movies, television and global concert halls, Jenifer reveals her outrageous life story with lots of humor, a few regrets and most importantly, unbridled joy. Candid, warm and wonderfully inspiring, The Mother of Black Hollywood intimately reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest.

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4.6/5

Indecent by Paula Vogel

“Indecent reminds us of the power of art to tell us truths long before we are able to recognize them as such.” — Los Angeles Times “Indecent sheds an eye-opening light on a little-known time when theatrical history, Jewish culture, and the frank depiction of homosexuality intersected, with explosive results.” — New York Times When Sholem Asch wrote God of Vengeance in 1907, “Indecent reminds us of the power of art to tell us truths long before we are able to recognize them as such.” — Los Angeles Times “Indecent sheds an eye-opening light on a little-known time when theatrical history, Jewish culture, and the frank depiction of homosexuality intersected, with explosive results.” — New York Times When Sholem Asch wrote God of Vengeance in 1907, he didn’t imagine the height of controversy the play would eventually reach. Performing at first in Yiddish and German, the play’s subject matter wasn’t deemed contentious until it was produced in English, when the American audiences were scandalized by the onstage depiction of an amorous affair between two women. Paula Vogel’s newest work traces the trajectory of the show’s success through its tour in Europe to its abrupt and explosive demise on Broadway in 1923—including the arrest of the entire production’s cast and crew. Paula Vogel's play How I Learned to Drive received the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Lortel Prize, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics Awards for Best Play, as well as earning Vogel her second Obie. Other plays include The Baltimore Waltz, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, The Long Christmas Ride Home, A Civil War Christmas, and Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq. She has also had a distinguished career as a teacher and mentor to younger playwrights, first at Brown University and currently at the Yale School of Drama. Based on real events, a provocative new drama from a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright about one of Broadway’s greatest controversies

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3.2/5

Dear Evan Hansen by Steven Levenson , Benj Pasek (Lyricist) , Justin Paul (Lyricist)

An original musical that explores the poignant desire for human connection in the tumultuous life of one young man. Evan is shy, lonely, and bullied for it―teeming with the irrepressible emotions all too familiar with anyone who's ever been a teenager. After a tragedy strikes, Evan's life suddenly gets turned around, but is it ultimately for the better?

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3.7/5

Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning by Leslie Odom Jr.

Leslie Odom. Jr, burst on the scene in 2015, originating the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. Since then, he has performed for sold-out audiences, sung for the Obamas at the White House, and won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. But before he landed the role of a lifetime in one of the biggest musicals of all time, Odom put in Leslie Odom. Jr, burst on the scene in 2015, originating the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. Since then, he has performed for sold-out audiences, sung for the Obamas at the White House, and won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. But before he landed the role of a lifetime in one of the biggest musicals of all time, Odom put in years of hard work as a singer and an actor. With personal stories from his life, Odom asks the questions that will help you unlock your true potential and achieve your goals even when they seem impossible. What work did you put in today that will help you improve tomorrow? How do you surround yourself with people who will care about your dreams as much as you do? How do you know when to play it safe and when to risk it all for something bigger and better? These stories will inspire you, motivate you, and empower you for the greatness that lies ahead, whether you're graduating from college, starting a new job, or just looking to live each day to the fullest.

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4.8/5

Walk Through Walls: A Memoir by Marina Abramović

“I had experienced absolute freedom—I had felt that my body was without boundaries, limitless; that pain didn’t matter, that nothing mattered at all—and it intoxicated me.” In 2010, more than 750,000 people stood in line at Marina Abramović’s MoMA retrospective for the chance to sit across from her and communicate with her nonverbally in an unprecedented durational performa “I had experienced absolute freedom—I had felt that my body was without boundaries, limitless; that pain didn’t matter, that nothing mattered at all—and it intoxicated me.” In 2010, more than 750,000 people stood in line at Marina Abramović’s MoMA retrospective for the chance to sit across from her and communicate with her nonverbally in an unprecedented durational performance that lasted more than 700 hours. This celebration of nearly fifty years of groundbreaking performance art demonstrated once again that Marina Abramović is truly a force of nature. The child of Communist war-hero parents under Tito’s regime in postwar Yugoslavia, she was raised with a relentless work ethic. Even as she was beginning to build an international artistic career, Marina lived at home under her mother’s abusive control, strictly obeying a 10 p.m. curfew. But nothing could quell her insatiable curiosity, her desire to connect with people, or her distinctly Balkan sense of humor—all of which informs her art and her life. The beating heart of Walk Through Walls is an operatic love story—a twelve-year collaboration with fellow performance artist Ulay, much of which was spent penniless in a van traveling across Europe—a relationship that began to unravel and came to a dramatic end atop the Great Wall of China. Marina’s story, by turns moving, epic, and dryly funny, informs an incomparable artistic career that involves pushing her body past the limits of fear, pain, exhaustion, and danger in an uncompromising quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. A remarkable work of performance in its own right, Walk Through Walls is a vivid and powerful rendering of the unparalleled life of an extraordinary artist.

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4.7/5

Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

Hope dreams of working backstage in a theatre, and she’s determined to make it without the help of her famous costume designer mum. So when she lands an internship on a major production, she tells no one. But with a stroppy Hollywood star and his hot young understudy upstaging Hope’s focus, she’s soon struggling to keep her cool… and her secret. Gorgeously fresh, funny and Hope dreams of working backstage in a theatre, and she’s determined to make it without the help of her famous costume designer mum. So when she lands an internship on a major production, she tells no one. But with a stroppy Hollywood star and his hot young understudy upstaging Hope’s focus, she’s soon struggling to keep her cool… and her secret. Gorgeously fresh, funny and commercial YA romance from the author of Unconventional, and The Last Summer of Us.

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4.1/5

When The Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher

In 1952 two young lovers meet, in secret, at the beautiful Southern C ross theatre in the very heart of London's West End. Their relationship is made up of clandestine meetings and stolen moments because there is someone who will make them suffer if he discovers she is no longer 'his'. But life in the theatre doesn't always go according to plan and tragedy and heartache ar In 1952 two young lovers meet, in secret, at the beautiful Southern C ross theatre in the very heart of London's West End. Their relationship is made up of clandestine meetings and stolen moments because there is someone who will make them suffer if he discovers she is no longer 'his'. But life in the theatre doesn't always go according to plan and tragedy and heartache are waiting in the wings for all the players . . . Almost seventy years later, a new production of When the Curtain Falls arrives at the theatre, bringing with it Oscar Bright and Olive Green and their budding romance. Very soon, though, strange things begin to happen and they learn about the ghost that's haunted the theatre since 1952, a ghost who can only be seen on one night of the year. Except the ghost is appearing more often and seems hell bent on sabotaging Oscar and Olive. The young couple realise they need to right that wrong from years gone by, but can they save themselves before history repeats itself and tragedy strikes once more?

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4.5/5

Terror: Ein Theaterstück und eine Rede by Ferdinand von Schirach

Ein Terrorist kapert eine Passagiermaschine und zwingt die Piloten, Kurs auf ein voll besetztes Fußballstadion zu nehmen. Gegen den Befehl seiner Vorgesetzten schießt ein Kampfpilot der Luftwaffe das Flugzeug in letzter Minute ab, alle Passagiere sterben. Der Pilot muss sich vor Gericht für sein Handeln verantworten. Seine Richter sind die Theaterbesucher, sie müssen über Ein Terrorist kapert eine Passagiermaschine und zwingt die Piloten, Kurs auf ein voll besetztes Fußballstadion zu nehmen. Gegen den Befehl seiner Vorgesetzten schießt ein Kampfpilot der Luftwaffe das Flugzeug in letzter Minute ab, alle Passagiere sterben. Der Pilot muss sich vor Gericht für sein Handeln verantworten. Seine Richter sind die Theaterbesucher, sie müssen über Schuld oder Unschuld urteilen. Ferdinand von Schirachs »Terror« ist ein Stück von bedrückender Aktualität. Es stellt die Frage, wie wir in Zukunft leben wollen. Werden wir uns für die Freiheit oder für die Sicherheit entscheiden? Wollen wir, dass die Würde des Menschen trotz der Terroranschläge noch gilt? Der terroristische Anschlag auf die Redaktion von Charlie Hebdo im Januar 2015 hat auf schrecklichste Weise gezeigt, wie hoch der Preis sein kann, den wir für unsere Freiheit zahlen müssen. Schirachs Rede auf Charlie Hebdo, die ebenfalls in diesem Band enthalten ist, ist ein eindrucksvolles Plädoyer für die Freiheit des Wortes, für unsere Zivilisation im Angesicht ihrer Feinde.

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4.8/5

Hamlet by William Shakespeare , Harold Bloom (Contributor) , Rex Gibson (Editor)

Among Shakespeare's plays, "Hamlet" is considered by many his masterpiece. Among actors, the role of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is considered the jewel in the crown of a triumphant theatrical career. Now Kenneth Branagh plays the leading role and co-directs a brillant ensemble performance. Three generations of legendary leading actors, many of whom first assembled for the Among Shakespeare's plays, "Hamlet" is considered by many his masterpiece. Among actors, the role of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is considered the jewel in the crown of a triumphant theatrical career. Now Kenneth Branagh plays the leading role and co-directs a brillant ensemble performance. Three generations of legendary leading actors, many of whom first assembled for the Oscar-winning film "Henry V", gather here to perform the rarely heard complete version of the play. This clear, subtly nuanced, stunning dramatization, presented by The Renaissance Theatre Company in association with "Bbc" Broadcasting, features such luminaries as Sir John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, Emma Thompson and Christopher Ravenscroft. It combines a full cast with stirring music and sound effects to bring this magnificent Shakespearen classic vividly to life. Revealing new riches with each listening, this production of "Hamlet" is an invaluable aid for students, teachers and all true lovers of Shakespeare - a recording to be treasured for decades to come.

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4.3/5

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare , Paul Werstine (Editor) , Barbara A. Mowat (Editor)

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare creates a violent world, in which two young people fall in love. It is not simply that their families disapprove; the Montagues and the Capulets are engaged in a blood feud. In this death-filled setting, the movement from love at first sight to the lovers’ final union in death seems almost inevitable. And yet, this play set in an extraordina In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare creates a violent world, in which two young people fall in love. It is not simply that their families disapprove; the Montagues and the Capulets are engaged in a blood feud. In this death-filled setting, the movement from love at first sight to the lovers’ final union in death seems almost inevitable. And yet, this play set in an extraordinary world has become the quintessential story of young love. In part because of its exquisite language, it is easy to respond as if it were about all young lovers. The authoritative edition of Romeo and Juliet from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes: *Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play *Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play *Scene-by-scene plot summaries *A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases *An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language *An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play *Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books *An up-to-date annotated guide to further reading

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3.4/5

Macbeth by William Shakespeare , Linda Alchin , Antoni Cimolino (Stage Director) , Shelagh O'Brien (Film Director)

In 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, becoming James I of England. London was alive with an interest in all things Scottish, and Shakespeare turned to Scottish history for material. He found a spectacle of violence and stories of traitors advised by witches and wizards, echoing James’s belief in a connection between treason and witchcraft. In depicting In 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, becoming James I of England. London was alive with an interest in all things Scottish, and Shakespeare turned to Scottish history for material. He found a spectacle of violence and stories of traitors advised by witches and wizards, echoing James’s belief in a connection between treason and witchcraft. In depicting a man who murders to become king, Macbeth teases us with huge questions. Is Macbeth tempted by fate, or by his or his wife’s ambition? Why does their success turn to ashes? Like other plays, Macbeth speaks to each generation. Its story was once seen as that of a hero who commits an evil act and pays an enormous price. Recently, it has been applied to nations that overreach themselves and to modern alienation. The line is blurred between Macbeth’s evil and his opponents’ good, and there are new attitudes toward both witchcraft and gender.

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4.5/5

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare , Barbara A. Mowat (Editor) , Paul Werstine (Editor) , Catherine Belsey (Contributor)

Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start--Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pur Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start--Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon's head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke's wedding (one of whom is given a donkey's head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny.

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3.2/5

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

The story revolves around two seemingly homeless men simply waiting for someone—or something—named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree, inhabiting a drama spun of their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as mankind’s inexhaustible search for meaning. Beckett’s language pioneered an The story revolves around two seemingly homeless men simply waiting for someone—or something—named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree, inhabiting a drama spun of their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as mankind’s inexhaustible search for meaning. Beckett’s language pioneered an expressionistic minimalism that captured the existential post-World War II Europe. His play remains one of the most magical and beautiful allegories of our time.

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3.3/5

Othello by William Shakespeare

In Othello, Shakespeare creates a powerful drama of a marriage that begins with fascination (between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona), with elopement, and with intense mutual devotion and that ends precipitately with jealous rage and violent deaths. He sets this story in the romantic world of the Mediterranean, moving the action from Venice to the i In Othello, Shakespeare creates a powerful drama of a marriage that begins with fascination (between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona), with elopement, and with intense mutual devotion and that ends precipitately with jealous rage and violent deaths. He sets this story in the romantic world of the Mediterranean, moving the action from Venice to the island of Cyprus and giving it an even more exotic coloring with stories of Othello's African past. Shakespeare builds so many differences into his hero and heroine—differences of race, of age, of cultural background—that one should not, perhaps, be surprised that the marriage ends disastrously. But most people who see or read the play feel that the love that the play presents between Othello and Desdemona is so strong that it would have overcome all these differences were it not for the words and actions of Othello's standard-bearer, Iago, who hates Othello and sets out to destroy him by destroying his love for Desdemona. As Othello succumbs to Iago's insinuations that Desdemona is unfaithful, fascination—which dominates the early acts of the play—turns to horror, especially for the audience. We are confronted by spectacles of a generous and trusting Othello in the grip of Iago's schemes; of an innocent Desdemona, who has given herself up entirely to her love for Othello only to be subjected to his horrifying verbal and physical assaults, the outcome of Othello's mistaken convictions about her faithlessness.

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4/5

King Lear by William Shakespeare

King Lear, growing old and too tired to reign, decides to divide his realm amongst his three daughters, leaving the largest share to the one who loves him the most. His two eldest daughters, Goneril and Regan, foolish and deceitful children, are rewarded for their insincere flattery. His youngest daughter, Cordelia, however, speaks honestly and truthfully, which enrages th King Lear, growing old and too tired to reign, decides to divide his realm amongst his three daughters, leaving the largest share to the one who loves him the most. His two eldest daughters, Goneril and Regan, foolish and deceitful children, are rewarded for their insincere flattery. His youngest daughter, Cordelia, however, speaks honestly and truthfully, which enrages the old king. He disinherits Cordelia, and then drives himself to madness, left to wander the heath with only his Fool, his servant Caius, and the madman Tom O’Bedlam for company. Once reunited with Cordelia, Lear is too late repents his rashness, and must face the tragic consequences of his choices.

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3/5

The Tempest by William Shakespeare , Paul Werstine (Editor) , David Lindley (Editor) , Israel Gollancz (Preface & Glossary) , Barbara A. Mowat (Editor)

Alternate Cover/publisher Edition ISBN 0743482832 (ISBN13: 9780743482837) Each edition includes: • Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play • Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play • Scene-by-scene plot summaries • A key to famous lines and phrases • An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language • An essa Alternate Cover/publisher Edition ISBN 0743482832 (ISBN13: 9780743482837) Each edition includes: • Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play • Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play • Scene-by-scene plot summaries • A key to famous lines and phrases • An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language • An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play • Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

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4.3/5

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde's madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers entanglements still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of The Importance of Being Earnest have made it a mainstay of the high school curriculum for decades. Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax Oscar Wilde's madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers entanglements still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of The Importance of Being Earnest have made it a mainstay of the high school curriculum for decades. Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gwendolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack's ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack's country home on the same weekend the "rivals" to fight for Ernest's undivided attention and the "Ernests" to claim their beloveds pandemonium breaks loose. Only a senile nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day! This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary and reader's notes to help the modern reader appreciate Wilde's wry wit and elaborate plot twists.

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4.5/5

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

The Pulitzer Prize and Drama Critics Circle Award winning play—reissued with an introduction by Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman and The Crucible), and Williams’ essay “The World I Live In.” It is a very short list of 20th-century American plays that continue to have the same power and impact as when they first appeared—57 years after its Broadway premiere, Tennessee Will The Pulitzer Prize and Drama Critics Circle Award winning play—reissued with an introduction by Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman and The Crucible), and Williams’ essay “The World I Live In.” It is a very short list of 20th-century American plays that continue to have the same power and impact as when they first appeared—57 years after its Broadway premiere, Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire is one of those plays. The story famously recounts how the faded and promiscuous Blanche DuBois is pushed over the edge by her sexy and brutal brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Streetcar launched the careers of Marlon Brando, Jessica Tandy, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden, and solidified the position of Tennessee Williams as one of the most important young playwrights of his generation, as well as that of Elia Kazan as the greatest American stage director of the ’40s and ’50s.

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3.9/5

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen , Michael Meyer (Translator)

A Doll's House (1879), is a masterpiece of theatrical craft which, for the first time portrayed the tragic hypocrisy of Victorian middle class marriage on the stage. The play ushered in a new social era and "exploded like a bomb into contemporary life".  The Student Edition contains these exclusive features: ·         A chronology of the playwright's life and work ·    A Doll's House (1879), is a masterpiece of theatrical craft which, for the first time portrayed the tragic hypocrisy of Victorian middle class marriage on the stage. The play ushered in a new social era and "exploded like a bomb into contemporary life".  The Student Edition contains these exclusive features: ·         A chronology of the playwright's life and work ·         An introduction giving the background of the play ·         Commentary on themes, characters. language and style ·         Notes on individual words and phrases in the text ·         Questions for further study ·         Bibliography for further reading.  

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5/5

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

'For a salesman, there is no rock bottom to life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine.' Willy Loman has been a salesman for 34 years. At 60, he is cast aside, his usefulness now exhausted. With no future to dream about he must face the crushing disappointments o 'For a salesman, there is no rock bottom to life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine.' Willy Loman has been a salesman for 34 years. At 60, he is cast aside, his usefulness now exhausted. With no future to dream about he must face the crushing disappointments of his past. He takes one final brave action, but is he heroic at last?, or a self-deluding fool?

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3.6/5

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare , Barbara A. Mowat (Editor) , Paul Werstine (Editor) , Robert Jackson (Editor) , Gail Kern Paster (Contributor)

Much Ado is a romantic comedy that revolves around obstacles presented to two young lovers as well as a merry war of the sexes.

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