I will be teaching a semester long "Drama in Literature" class next year (grades 10-11) which will be a study of plays. I'd like to cover a variety of time periods and authors, but I am at a loss for ideas. I am looking for some suggestions on plays to use (the other English teacher uses most of Shakespeare, so those are out), resources I can access, and--is there a textbook for a class like this? I know someone out there can help me. I need to order texts or scripts, etc. soon, and I'm feeling a bit lost. I am grateful for your help.
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I wouldn't throw out all of Shakespeare...choose some thing that isn't often taught like Taming of the Shrew or Merchant of Venice. Barefoot in the Park, Aresnic and Old Lace, Oedipus Rex, The Crucible, Diary of Anne Frank just to name a few. I have always had great success with Arsenic, Crucible, and Midsummer Night's Dream.
Sophocles, especially Lysistrata is always a big hit with my high school students. It is especially good because you can read the play, then show the students "The Lysistrata Project" which uses the ancient play in a relevant way. It is a good example of timelessness in literature, and the effectiveness of drama.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is also another great choice.
If you wanted to break away from the mold a little bit, you might also consider exploring some revisionist works such as A Tempest by Aime Cesaire or M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang.
What does this epigram mean by Thoreau MEN HAVE BECOME TOOLS OF THEIR LIFE.
Aristophanes' Lysistrata is always popular.
Susan Glaspell's Trifles is short and a great way to bring in feminist issues.
Oleanna is a play that particularly interests students (sexual harassment between a student and professor -- more complex than it may seem at first blush)
I also like Six Characters in Search of an Author. It's much more experimental, but my students got into it.
I would add something fun such as You Can't Take it With You by George Kaufman. It is truly laugh out loud funny, and yet ties into common themes such as the importance of family and the importance of dreams.
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