Monday Mailbox 9/10/12

Hello, and welcome to Monday Mailbox. This month, Monday Mailbox is being hosted by Kristen over at BookNAround.

This week I picked up a handful of plays at my office. I also made an Amazon purchase, but those haven't arrived yet, so that'll be for next week. :D As for this week:

The Collected Plays by Lillian Hellman

Lillian Hellman and I go way back to junior year of high school when everyone got assigned a playwright on which to do this giant soul-crushing four-phase project. The year was 2001. The internet was sizeable, but it wasn't the Rancor it is today. YouTube was four years away; Wikipedia was still a fledgling site with only about 20,000 pages (today it has 22 million, 4 million of which are in English); and internet memes were somewhat less interactive. This meant a lot of time was spent in the school library trying to dig up information on a playwright that most people have probably never heard of. I had no access to JStor or, and Google did not respond with the some 700,000 results if you searched "Lillian Hellman" as it does today. This meant I had to be very creative, and I had to be a little more critical of her plays on my own. So I read all of them. There's a soft spot in my heart for the broad; she was no-nonsense, she was a bitch, and she was kind of brilliant. 

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller

I'm not going to pretend that anyone didn't read this in high school.

Democracy, by Michael Frayn

Michael Frayn may be better-known for his theatrical farse Noises Off which is, perhaps, the funniest damned thing ever written outside of a Dave Barry column (to me, at least) but his drama is also pretty awesome. This one is a spy drama that takes place in West Germany. The Broadway productionn (2004-2005) starred James Naughton and Richard Thomas, and it was one of the first Broadway shows I bought my own ticket for after moving to New York for college.

Did anyone else pick up plays this week?


  1. I have actually done four plays this week as the assignment for one of my reading groups.

    Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters, The Seagull.

    I normal listen to all my reads on audible. Plays are a bit tricky. One of the high school English teachers (I have one kid still in high school, one in under graduate and one in graduate school, so we know the high school teaches well) has always said plays are written to be seen, not read.

    I tried one voice reader of script, I tried audio recording of stage performance. I ended up with BBC DVD's.

    When I was in high school, we did a production of The Crucible, so not only read it, saw it and probably worked on the stage crew. But, alas, I do not remember a thing about it.


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