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Plays

All the world's a stage, as Shakespeare put it in "As You Like It"; and the stage is where you'll find performances of works by such famed playwrights as Anton Chekhov, Eugene O'Neill, and the Bard himself, among many others.
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Henry IV, Part 1
Henry IV, Part 1, chronicle play in five acts by William Shakespeare, written about 1596–97 and published from a reliable authorial draft in a 1598 quarto edition. Henry IV, Part 1 is the second in a sequence of four history plays (the others being Richard II, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V) known...
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Falstaff and Prince Hal in Henry IV, Part 1.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, comedy in five acts by William Shakespeare, written about 1595–96 and published in 1600 in a quarto edition from the author’s manuscript, in which there are some minor inconsistencies. The version published in the First Folio of 1623 was taken from a second quarto...
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opera adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream
Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot, tragicomedy in two acts by Irish writer Samuel Beckett, published in 1952 in French as En attendant Godot and first produced in 1953. Waiting for Godot was a true innovation in drama and the Theatre of the Absurd’s first theatrical success. The play consists of conversations...
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Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in Waiting for Godot
Pygmalion
Pygmalion, romance in five acts by George Bernard Shaw, produced in German in 1913 in Vienna. It was performed in England in 1914, with Mrs. Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle. The play is a humane comedy about love and the English class system. Henry Higgins, a phonetician, accepts a bet that...
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Wendy Hiller as Eliza Doolittle and Leslie Howard as Henry Higgins in the 1938 film version of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.
Oedipus Rex
Oedipus Rex, (Latin: “Oedipus the King”) play by Sophocles, performed sometime between 430 and 426 bce, that marks the summit of classical Greek drama’s formal achievement, known for its tight construction, mounting tension, and perfect use of the dramatic devices of recognition and discovery. It...
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Peter Pan
Peter Pan, play by Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie, first produced in 1904. Although the title character first appeared in Barrie’s novel The Little White Bird (1902), he is best known as the protagonist of Peter Pan. The play, originally composed of three acts, was often revised, and the...
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Frampton, Sir George James: Peter Pan statue
The Seagull
The Seagull, drama in four acts by Anton Chekhov, performed in 1896 and published in Russian the following year as Chayka. A revised edition was published in 1904. The play deals with lost opportunities and the clash between generations. The main characters, all artists, are guests at a country...
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Judi Dench as Arkadina in a 1994 National Theatre production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull.
Macbeth
Macbeth, tragedy in five acts by William Shakespeare, written sometime in 1606–07 and published in the First Folio of 1623 from a playbook or a transcript of one. Some portions of the original text are corrupted or missing from the published edition. The play is the shortest of Shakespeare’s...
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Jon Finch (centre) as Macbeth in Roman Polanski's 1971 film version of Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Hamlet
Hamlet, tragedy in five acts by William Shakespeare, written about 1599–1601 and published in a quarto edition in 1603 from an unauthorized text, with reference to an earlier play. The First Folio version was taken from a second quarto of 1604 that was based on Shakespeare’s own papers with some...
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Hamlet
A Doll's House
A Doll’s House, play in three acts by Henrik Ibsen, published in Norwegian as Et dukkehjem in 1879 and performed the same year. The play centres on an ordinary family—Torvald Helmer, a bank lawyer, his wife Nora, and their three little children. Torvald supposes himself the ethical member of the...
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A Raisin in the Sun
A Raisin in the Sun, drama in three acts by Lorraine Hansberry, first published and produced in 1959. The play’s title is taken from “Harlem,” a poem by Langston Hughes, which examines the question “What happens to a dream deferred?/Does it dry up/like a raisin in the sun?” This penetrating...
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(From left) Ruby Dee as Ruth, Sidney Poitier as Walter Lee, Claudia McNeil as Mama Lena, and Diana Sands as Beneatha in the 1961 film version of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun.
Our Town
Our Town, drama in three acts by Thornton Wilder, produced and published in 1938. It won a Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1938. The play is considered a classic portrayal of small-town American life. The play is set in Grover’s Corners, N.H., and features a narrator, the Stage Manager, who sits at the...
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Faust
Faust, two-part dramatic work by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Part I was published in 1808 and Part II in 1832, after the author’s death. The supreme work of Goethe’s later years, Faust is sometimes considered Germany’s greatest contribution to world literature. Part I sets out the magician Faust’s...
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Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman, a play in “two acts and a requiem” by Arthur Miller, written in 1948 and produced in 1949. Miller won a Pulitzer Prize for the work, which he described as “the tragedy of a man who gave his life, or sold it” in pursuit of the American Dream. After many years on the road as a...
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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, play in three acts by Edward Albee, published and produced in 1962. The action takes place in the living room of a middle-aged couple, George and Martha, who have come home from a faculty party drunk and quarrelsome. When Nick, a young biology professor, and his...
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Elizabeth Taylor as Martha and Richard Burton as George in Mike Nichols's 1966 film version of Edward Albee's play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The Cherry Orchard
The Cherry Orchard, drama in four acts written by Anton Chekhov as Vishnyovy sad. Chekhov’s final play, it was first performed and published in 1904. Though Chekhov insisted that the play was “a comedy, in places even a farce,” playgoers and readers often find a touch of tragedy in the decline of...
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Ibsen, Henrik Playwrights A-K
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Voltaire, bronze by Jean-Antoine Houdon; in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Playwrights L-Z
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