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jseligmann eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Eugene Ionesco’s inspiration for "The Bald Soprano," his first play, was an English primer, a book used to help learn the English language. Its simple, everyday sentences were incorporated into the play in maddening, repetitious fashion.

What is a play, really? It's a game of sorts, wherein people get up on a theater stage that has a make-believe bedroom or livingroom or whatever, and these people pretend to be other people talking sense to one another. It's a construction.

Well, "The Bald Soprano" takes this convention, this theatrical invention, and turns it on its ear. People talk to each other in conversations that make no sense. All kinds of bizarre things happen for no reason whatsoever. Clocks don't tell the time correctly, people who've known each other for years, don't remember they know each other...

And what Ionesco is getting at in his play is a commentary on the game that a play is: he presents a game inside a game that makes us realize that plays are not real, and we just watch make-believe and pretend to ourselves that we believe it.

The "Bald Soprano" is an anti-play written to make you think about re-constructed reality.

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The Bald Soprano

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