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February 26, 2009


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The major arcana:
The Iceman Cometh
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
A Streetcar Named Desire
Waiting for Lefty
for colored girls...
True West

On the bubble
Tales of the Lost Formicans
Fefu and her Friends
Fifth of July

Joshua James

I'd say Tennessee Williams (Glass Menagerie or Streetcar) or Shepard (BURIED CHILD) was more influential than Mamet, much as I admire Glengarry ..

John C

Mother Courage
The Dream Play
Ubu Roi


The Homecoming?

Alec D.


Malachy Walsh

Some good ones have already been mentioned.

O'Neill's LONG DAYS JOURNEY shouldn't be left out.


The Zoo Story
Death of a Salesman
A Long Day's Journey into Night
A Streetcar Named Desire
The Bald Soprano
A Raisin in the Sun
The Homecoming
What about a little Noel Coward? Like Private Lives?
Or Neil Simon? He was influential, even if television sitcoms made some of his work dated.

Aaron Leichter

Here's my nine:

A Dream Play
Cherry Orchard
Six Characters in Search of an Author
Threepenny Opera
Long Day's Journey Into Night
The Good Person of Sezchuan
A Streetcar Named Desire


Our Town





Our Town
Blood Wedding

Paul Rekk

No fun. Nine most influential plays of THIS century. And... go!

Mark Schultz

I'd do--

Cherry Orchard
Waiting for Godot
Look Back in Anger
Streetcar Named Desire
The Homecoming
Long Day's Journey into Night
Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf?
Death of a Salesman

Not necessarily my favorite plays (although some of them are in there), but I think they're influential. I'd love to make room for a Tony Kushner, a Caryl Churchill, a Sarah Kane, an August Wilson, an Adrienne Kennedy and more, but (for a variety of reasons) I think that their influence is more keenly felt *now*, not so much in the last century, mostly because of their influence on the writers who grew up in and since the 80's. But I could just be reading too much into the question. Or too little. Or answering a different question entirely. Which is very very very possible.



Our Town
Cherry Orchard
Streetcar Named Desire
Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf?
Death of a Salesman
Laramie Project
A Raisin in the Sun
The Crucible

Malachy Walsh

Glad someone mentioned SAVED.

Sarah Kane was born in that play.

Alec D.

THIS century (American):
Dead City
Thom Pain
I am my own wife
August: Osage County
365 Plays - Suzan-Lori Parks
The Internationalist



Have you only been seeing plays for the last 5 years?


No, his response was for 21st century plays, which paul rekk had challenged commenters to do (that's why it says THIS century all in caps)


The Nine:
Waiting for Godot
The Homecoming
Death of a Salesman
Streetcar Named Desire
The Cherry Orchard
Angels in America
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Look Back in Anger

The just-missed:
Bald Soprano
Six Characters in Search of An Author
Blood Knot
Raisin in the Sun
Mother Courage and Her Children


ah, well, then... it's still early.

The Lieutenant of Inishmore
Urinetown, the Musical
The Producers
August: Osage County
Elliott: A Soldier's Story
I Am My Own Wife
Take Me Out

dani n.

How I Learned To Drive
The Seagull
Calm Down Mother
Night Mother
American Buffalo
The Dutchman
Master Harold and The boys
(of course Brecht, Mamet, Shepard, Albee, O'Neill, Williams,Miller)
Hurly Burly
(the plays produced by The Wooster Group with Spalding Gray, Ron Vawter, Joan MacIntosh, and Richard Scheckner_

dani n.

Just want to clarify. The Wooster group was The Performance Group and Elizabeth LeCompte was part of that work (and of course still is) She was major to Spalding Gray's development of many his monologue's and solo work. Let us not forget the heavy influence too of The Open Theater, The Living Theater,and Jerzy Growtowski.

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