william shakespeare

5 Dramas That Readers Who Dislike Dramas Will Love

I used to avoid reading works of drama because I didn’t think they were “my thing.” As a long-time reader of fiction, the format of traditional drama was a bit intimidating and not aesthetically pleasing to me. It wasn’t until I got to college and was forced to take a Shakespeare course, and other english courses that introduced plays, that I finally came to appreciate the genre.

 

While the format is indeed different than other genres, that very format has so many benefits in of itself that audiences can appreciate.  The messages, emotions, and stories behind the written words can echo much louder and clearer and when you discover a play you love, you wonder how you could have possibly missed out on the chance to be touched by it for so long. Maybe you’re also a reader who has hesitated to read plays, or hasn’t come across a drama naturally, but hopefully these 5 dramas will be enticing enough to give it a try.

 

 

 

1. Angels in AmericaTony Kushner

 

 

 

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Angels in America depicts an emotionally riveting tale of the AIDS crisis in 1980’s America. It conveys the complexity, fear, and rejection AIDS affected communities faced during the time and while it largely focuses on the history and experiences of the LGBT community, the story can speak to and impact a larger audience.

 

 

 

2. A Streecar Named Desire | Tennessee Williams

 

 

 

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This is a legendary play exploring sexuality, mental illness, and familial relations. A Streetcar Named Desire has delivered not only one of the most iconic American plays in history, but an equally acclaimed film adaptation, directed by Elia Kazan, that has earned a reputation as being an American classic. 

 

 

 

3. Titus Andronicus | Shakespeare

 

 

 

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Titus Andronicus may not be the most well-known or studied Shakespeare work, but it’s certainly, in my opinion, one of the most worth reading. Though it’s advertised as a tragedy (and certainly has some dramatic and emotional scenes), this shocking story about a Roman soldier, whose family becomes involved in bad blood, has some bizarre and ridiculous moments that makes it wildly entertaining and certainly a page-turner. 

 

 

 

4. The Laramie Project | Moisés Kaufman

 

 

 

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The Laramie Project explores the tragic death of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was brutally murdered in his small town of Laramie, Wyoming. Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project visited Laramie after Shepards death and conducted over 200 interviews with his neighbors, friends, family, and foes, cultivating in a powerful discussion of prejudice, rejection, and the worth of LGBT lives. The second half of the play sees the group returning 10 years later, observing the long-term affects of Shepherd’s tragic death and the lessons learned by the small town folk since.

 

 

 

5. The Normal Heart | Larry Kramer

 

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The onset of the AIDS epidemic is written about extensively, yet The Normal Heart nevertheless portrays it in such a unique and humanizing experience that it packs just as big of an emotional punch as any similar story that came before it. With moving dialogue,heart-felt messages, and an honest and emotional criticism of the social forces that failed to intervene in the AIDS crisis, The Normal Heart is an absolute must-read!

 

 

 

Featured Image Shows Mural of William Shakespeare Painted by James Cochran