Best Plays for "Drama in Literature" ClassI 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...

Best Plays for "Drama in Literature" Class

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.

Expert Answers
linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Prestwick House resources are great. I use them in all my classes. You can access them here at eNotes. Just click on the Lesson Plans tab at any title.

Here are my suggestions:

A Doll's House, Ibsen

The Glass Menagerie, Williams

Antigone, Sophocles

The Crucible, Miller

Our Town, Wilder


lnorton eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

morrol eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I like the suggestions you've gotten already, but you seem to be missing some more modern American stuff.  How about these:

"Fences" by August Wilson

"A Raisin in the Sun" Hansberry


teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

najee | Student

What does this epigram mean by Thoreau MEN HAVE BECOME TOOLS OF THEIR LIFE. 

lindzc | Student

I wouldn't throw out all of Shakespeare...choose some thing that isn't often taught like Taming of the Shrew or Merchant of VeniceBarefoot 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.

sillymoose | Student

Well I'd start off with Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles

and then move up the timeline to include

The Crucible, by Miller

The Importance of Being Ernest, by Wilde

Pygmalion, by Shaw


A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams


I don't know if you'll have enough time to do more then that.