Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Plays About Business

A few days ago, my student Gregory Cohan (to be seen in the Gallery Players' upcoming Lend Me a Tenor) asked me to suggest plays about business for him to read, since he's writing one himself.  Since then, my friend James Robinson and I have had a great time assembling the list.  One or both of us has seen or read each of these plays.  I think one of my favorites is Pinter's Trouble in the Works.  Very short, and hilarious.

Plays About Business, or set primarily in a workplace

What Price Glory?  Maxwell Anderson & Lawrence Stallings-  World War I Marines.  1924.
Tea and Sympathy.  Robert Anderson.  Prep school.  1953.
The History Boys.  Alan Bennett.  Prep school.  2004.
The Three Penny Opera.  Brecht & Weill.  (Mack’s crime gang and Peacham’s beggar syndicate).  1928.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Abe Burrows, Frank Loesser & 3 other guys. 1961.
R.U.R.  (Rossum’s Universal Robots). Karel Capek.  1920.
Serious Money.  Caryl Churchill.- London stock exchange.  1987.
Offices.  Ethan Coen. 2009.- offices
Anna in the Tropics.  Nilo Cruz.  2004.-  cigar factory
Butley.  Simon Gray.  Academia in London.  1971.
New York Actor.”  John Guare.  1992.  –actor/waiter
Steel Magnolias.  Robert Harling.  1987.-  beauty shop
The Dresser.  Ronald Harwood.  1982.-  theatre
The Memorandum.  Vaclav Havel.  1965.
Pravda. David Hare & Howard Brenton-  basically about Rupert Murdoch and the press.  1985.
Racing Demon.  David Hare.  1996.- Anglican clergy 
Mr. Roberts.  John Heegan & Josh Logan.  About the Navy, in an entrepreneurial way.  1948.
They Knew What They Wanted.  Sidney Howard.-  California vineyard.  1924. 
Once in a Lifetime.  Kaufman & Hart.- Hollywood. 1930.
The Cocoanuts.  Kaufman & Ryskind- the Florida land boom in the 1920s.  1925.
Parfumerie. Miklos Laszlo. (if you can't find it in English, rent the movie "The Shop Around the Corner").  1940?
Side Man.  Warren Leight. 1999. – the jazz world
American Buffalo.  Mamet.  1975.- small time business
Glengarry Glen Ross.  Mamet.  1984.-  real estate
Speed-the-Plow.  Mamet.  1988.- Hollywood
Little Shop of Horrors.  Menken & Ashman.  1982.- florists
All My Sons.  Miller.  1947.- weapons manufacturing
Death of a Salesman.  Miller.  1949.- sales
Waiting for Lefty.  Odets.  1935.- cab drivers
 Body Shop.” Phelan. 2003.  In  Best Ten-Minute Plays for Three or More Actors
2006. Smith & Kraus.- replacement parts
It’s Called Development.”  2005. The Best 10-Minute Plays for 3 or More Actors,
Smith & Kraus.  2007.-  philanthropy
Our Dolls.”  Phelan. 2010.  In Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2011.  Smith & Kraus.-  doll factory
They All Know Me.” Phelan. 2012.-  overseas employment agency 
The Hothouse.  Pinter- mental institution.  1958.
Trouble in the Works.”  Pinter.  1959.- factory
Enron. Lucy Prebble.  2009.- Enron
The Winslow Boy.  Terrence Rattigan. Military school.  1946.
The Adding Machine.  Elmer Rice.  1923.- the corporate world
Working.  Stephen Schwartz & Nina Faso.  1977.- combo
Doubt:  A Parable.  John Patrick Shanley.  Parochial school.  2004.
Four Dogs and a Bone.  John Patrick Shanley. 1993.-  Hollywood
Major Barbara (Shaw)- munitions.  1905. 
Other People's Money (Jerry Sterner)- corporate takeover 
“Interview” (part of America, Hurrah!).  Jean-Claude van Itallie.  1964.-  the hiring process
Fiorello!  Jerome Weidman & George Abbot.  NY politics.  1959.
Jitney.  August Wilson. 1979.- cab drivers

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