Hello, class! I’m sorry I’ve been so late getting the ISP information up this weekend. Below are the plays that you may choose from for your independent study project. Please take a moment to read about each play. Once you have read about each play, please use the form below to tell me your top 3 choices. I will do my best to give you your first choice!
The Plays (a star * indicates a Canadian play)
Doubt, by John Patrick Shanley
The play focuses on three main characters at a Catholic school: the priest (Father Flynn), an older nun (Sister Aloysius), and a new, young nun (Sister James). Sister Aloysius begins to suspect that Father Flynn is not behaving appropriately with the boys at the school. Sister Aloysius wants to find the truth, and Sister James wants to believe that Father Flynn is innocent, but they find that it is hard to escape their doubts.
*The Drawer Boy, by Michael Healey
A young actor, Miles, visits a farm to do research for a play. He stays with the farm’s two residents: Angus, a man who lost his memory in the war, and Morgan, the stubborn man who takes care of him. As Miles learns their life stories, he begins to realize that the history they are telling him is not true, and that the truth could destroy their friendship.
The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde
Jack has invented a fake brother named Ernest whom he can “visit” when he wants an excuse to go away for a few days. When he goes into the city, Jack pretends that he is Ernest. Back in the country, Jack’s pretty goddaughter, Cecily, is very interested in Ernest… so Jack’s best friend Algernon comes to visit, and pretends that he is Ernest. With all these fake “Ernests”, everything soon becomes mixed up!
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
This play is based on the Salem Witch Trials which happened in the United States, when many people were put on trial and killed for being suspected of witchcraft. When a group of teenage girls are caught dancing in the forest with one of the local slaves, rumors of witchcraft spread through the town. As the adults get more upset, the girls begin telling wilder stories, and naming people from the town as witches. Things begin to get out of control. Are the girls telling the truth? And if they’re not… what will happen to the “witches” they’ve named?
A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen
When her husband became sick, Nora borrowed a lot of money from a shady man named Krogstad. The problem is, her husband doesn’t know and would not approve of what she did. When Krogstad shows up at Nora’s house and tries to blackmail her with threats of telling her husband about the loan, Nora’s relationship is endangered, and she must make some difficult decisions.
Our Town, by Thornton Wilder
Our Town tells the story of George and Emily, two young people growing up in an idyllic small town. The scenes jump forward and backward in their lives, showing their progression from young children to a happy family. As the scenes unfold, we see the joys and difficulties of their lives, and the characters learn how brief and changing life can be.
Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller
Willy Loman has been successful in his life as a traveling salesman, but now he is struggling. He borrows money from his neighbor, but is too proud to accept his job offers. He is getting older, and more confused. The play deals with Willy’s reflections on his successes and failures in life, and how they eventually affect his relationships with his family and friends.
Master Harold … and the Boys, by Athol Fugard
During the period of apartheid in South Africa, a white teenager named Harold (“Hally”) has been spending a lot of time with two black servants, Sam and Willie. They are close, and Hally has always respected Sam and Willie; they have helped him through some difficult times. When Hally learns that his angry, intolerant father is coming back home after a period of time away, he strikes out at Sam and Willie, acting in ways that may ruin their relationships forever.
*Lilies, by Michel Marc Bouchard
Simon is in prison, and he wants to make a confession to his old friend, Bishop Bilodeau. When Bilodeau arrives, he is forced to watch a play that Simon and the other prisoners have prepared, acting out scenes from Simon and Bilodeau’s childhood. As the story develops on the prisoners’ stage, it becomes clear that Bilodeau is not as innocent as he seems, and Simon has brought him there for a reason.
Use the form below to submit your top 3 choices to read for the ISP