What are the best contemporary plays?

asked by Anonymous
145 contributors
19 solutions
  1. 27

    #1August: Osage County

    August: Osage County
    August: Osage County is Tracy Letts' Pulitzer-winning dramatic play that depicted the image of the Weston family, a typical dysfunctional American clan, and the unraveling of secrets long buried in the past.

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    Eugene Rios
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "If you like to watch plays or read about them this is for you. It explains the trials and tribulations of a dysfunctional American clan."
  2. 23



    Winner of a Tony Award, this play explores the true meaning of art, which gets the form of a solid white painting. This work of art is also used to investigate the meaning of the friendship between the man who has bought the painting and his two friends who go to see it. 


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    Terry Gonzalez
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "Looks like an interesting read. A book about art and friendship, probably some hidden gems held within."
  3. 17

    #3Proof: A Play

    Proof: A Play

    Proof by David Auburn is a Pulitzer-winning dramatic play about the death of a brilliant math professor and its effects on her daughters Catherine and Claire, and his student, Hal.


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    Tyler Andrews
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "Im a huge fan of broadway and performance Arts so i decided i would read up more on the subject. I came across this book from a suggestion of a close friend. It was very engaging and i would highly reccommend it to anyone who loves plays as I do."
  1. 16

    #4The History Boys

    The History Boys

    The History Boys is a classic play written by Alan Bennett which tells the tale of the rivalry within a staff room as they question each other about the history and the way they teach. 


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    Howard Ortiz
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "I had never heard about The History Boys but I'm glad I found out about it. The play really explores how humans form rivalries among each other."
  2. 13

    #5True West

    True West
    Divided in two acts, this book narrates the story of Austin and Lee, two estranged brothers who reunite after many years without seeing each other and will try to succeed at their lives: one of them as an actor and the other as a thief. 


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    Ann Oliver
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This is a very thought provoking play. It explores the family dynamic and how those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I look forward to exploring more of the playwright's work."
  3. 12

    #6Lost in Yonkers

    Lost in Yonkers
    This book is the story of two brothers that, after their mother's death, are sent to live with their grandmother, a German widow known for her coldness. There they will stay with their aunt Bella, who will join them in confronting her. 

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    Randy Matthews
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "This is without doubt one of the best known contemporary plays. Lost in Yonkers won multiple Tony Awards, including Best Play, as well as the Pulitzer Prize. It is New York, 1942. After the death of their mother, two young brothers are sent to stay with their grandmother for the longest ten months of their lives. "
  4. 9


    This funny book is a portrait of many men and women who only share one thing: they all tried to assassinate the President of the United States at any point of their lives. 


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    Benjamin Richards
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "Good play and an easy read. I always enjoy Sondheim's plays."
  5. 7

    #8Buried Child

    Buried Child

    The winner of the 1979 Pullitzer Prize for Drama is the story of a family living in the rural America, and whose members are full of problems and unable to recognize Vincent, the protagonist of the book that arrives there as the book begins. 


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    Helen Edwards
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "For anybody looking for a great drama this book is it. It is a woeful tale that is remarkably spun by the author. This book definitely brings out a array of human emotions."
  6. 2



    Arcadia is a classic play written by Tom Stoppard which is set between the 19th and 20th century discussing the difference between the Classical and the Romantic temperament, as well as the influence of sex. 


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    Henry Rice
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "im not a huge stage play person honestly. this looks and sounds like tis good but its just not something i would more than likely view"
  7. 0

    #10Arsenic and Old Lace

    Arsenic and Old Lace

    Arsenic and Old Lace is Joseph Kesselring's 1939 black comedy play about Mortimer Brewster and his homicidal family. His aunts are poisoning old men with arsenic and cyanide, while one of his brothers thinks he is Theodore Roosevelt. 


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    Katherine Kelly
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This was not at all what I wanted. I wanted a book and received a screenplay. Not happy at all."
  8. 0

    #11Rabbit Hole

    Rabbit Hole
    Rabbit Hole is a classic play written by David Lindsay-Abaire which follows the story of a family trying to get on with their lives after their four-year-old child died. 

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    Marcela Peralta
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "Rabbit Hole is an interesting play that runs the gamut of emotions. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to see it again! It's also very unique, like nothing I've seen/read before."
  9. 0

    #12Take Me Out

    Take Me Out

    Take Me Out is a dramatic play with LGBT themes written by Richard Greenberg. Take Me Out was published on August 6, 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It was originally published in 2002.


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  10. 0

    #13Love! Valour! Compassion!

    Love! Valour! Compassion!

    Love! Valour! Compassion! is a dramatic play with LGBT themes written by Terrence McNally. Love! Valour! Compassion! was published on May 1, 1995 by Dramatists Play Service.


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    Judy Washington
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "Very interesting stage play. You should read the play before seeing it. You'll get a lot more out of it that way."
  11. 0

    #14The Sum of Us

    The Sum of Us

    The Sum of Us is a dramatic play with LGBT themes written by David Stevens. The Sum of Us was published on June 1, 1995 by Currency Press. This play won an AFI Award.


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    Wayne Morris
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "A book that looks into the dynamic relationship between a father and son and highlights their relationship. This book is a great read for those who enjoy books about LBGT in society. It is a nice comedy with great characters."
  12. 0

    #15Fifth of July

    Fifth of July

    Fifth of July is a dramatic play with LGBT themes written by Lanford Wilson. Fifth of July was published on March 12, 2011 by Dramatists Play Service. It was first published in 1978.


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    Jordan Vargas
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "Even though this is a old play with an old issue the messages still hold true in contemporary society. the overall plot and story is still interesting to me even after reading it multiple times. "
  13. 0

    #16M. Butterfly

    M. Butterfly
    M. Butterfly is a dramatic play with LGBT themes written by David Henry Hwang. M. Butterfly was published on June 1, 1995 by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. It was first published in 1986.

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    Alan Bates
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "So if you're looking into contemporary theater I can't recommend enough M. Butterfly. Premier in '88, this story covers the novel relationship between Frenchman Bernard Boursicot and opera singer Shi Pei Pu in China. I'm not going to spoil the twist, but it's totally worth it. "
  14. 0

    #17Beautiful Thing

    Beautiful Thing

    Beautiful Thing is a dramatic play with LGBT themes written by Jonathan Harvey. Beautiful Thing was published on July 1, 2003 by A&C Black. It was first published in 1996.


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    Billy Bryant
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "Beautiful Thing was an interesting play to read. The storyline was well paced and kept me coming back for more. "
  15. 0



    Antigone is a story written by ancient writer Sophocles about Antigone, the heroine who challenged the King of Thebes into a dangerous test of wills for the right to bury her brother. This version is translated and printed in 2005.


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    Julio Durán
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "Good book and good explanations included. The play is a classic."
  16. 0

    #19The Pillowman

    The Pillowman

    The Pillowman is a drama play written by Martin McDonagh which tells the story of an unnamed writer who is interrogated about the content of his short stories. 


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    Nicole Wells
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "The Pillowman is a drama about an author who writes telling tales. He lives in an authoritive state that decides he must know more than he should to write stories as he does. Stories about gruesome happenings in the state. He is interrogated by the authorities. Makes for an interesting read."


Best What are the best contemporary plays
1August: Osage CountyBooks 27 Paid
2ArtBooks 23 Paid
3Proof: A PlayBooks 17 Paid
4The History BoysBooks 16 Paid
5True WestBooks 13 Paid
6Lost in Yonkers Books 12 Paid
7AssassinsBooks 9 Paid
8Buried ChildBooks 7 Paid
9ArcadiaBooks 2 Paid
10Arsenic and Old LaceBooks 0 Paid

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