“Is there no play, To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?”
– from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
In the non-fiction section at Schmaling, in the 812’s and 822’s, you will discover a wide array of plays for your reading enjoyment. Shakespeare is the classic choice, of course, and we have guides and essays enough to escort you through; however, I feel just plunging in and not caring if you get every word is the best path for enjoyment.
Requesting a “No Fear Shakespeare” edition of one of his plays over inter-library loan (ILL) is also a beneficial route since it shows the modern English side by side with the original wordage.
We also offer several movie versions of some of the plays: recordings of actual performances, feature films, and adaptations. Downstairs in the Children’s Room we have (again in the 822’s) several resources including biographies, and edited and illustrated versions of the plays. There are some outstanding anthologies of the plays for children that include some of the original language that can be requested over inter-library loan (ILL); look for such authors as Charles and Mary Lamb (probably age 10+), E. Nesbit (under 10), Jeanie Lang, Leon Garfield, Roger Lancelyn Green and Bruce Coville. Upstairs in the YA section, there are graphic novels, biographies, adaptations, and an acclaimed historical fiction novel by Gary Schmidt called The Wednesday Wars.
But beyond the Bard there exists a host of notable American playwrights: Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller. We have individual plays, large anthologies, and some modern selections.
So why not read outside the box once in a while?
Click here for a look at some more play suggestions entitled "5 Plays You MUST Read Before You Die"(outside of Shakespeare). Don't forget to scroll down to the comments as well because they include some more great recommendations.