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Fight off cabin fever with theatrical fun! Come read plays online with members of Acme Theatre Company on Saturday, Oct 10th! Sign-up for a reading slot in one of our four themed reading rooms - Shakespeare, Kick-Ass Women, Drama, or Swashbuckling Adventure - or cheer on the readers by donating to Acme and watching the marathon unfold via livestream on our website. See you there!

 

The Plays:

A Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

Half tragedy, half comedy: this play brings love, betrayal, hijinx, infuriating stubbornness, and a happy ending. This is one of Shakespeare’s less-performed plays: maybe because of the abrupt change in tone about half-way through. Nevertheless, it contains piles of verse as well as quite a bit of Shakespeare’s goofy banter, young people falling in love, and several meaty (male and female) characters with powerful speeches. Plus, of course, the famous “Exit, pursued by a bear” stage direction.

 

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Delve into witches and murder in Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy. This play set in Scotland is considered by some to be haunted. It splashes (sometimes literally) in evil, and how that evil can haunt our souls; plus it brings lots of sword fights, witches’ spells, and famous pieces of Shakespeare.

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens

This script is about the beauty, messiness, and complications of being a human who loves other humans. Centered on a 15-year-old young man named Christopher with an unusual brain, we see the world through his eyes and watch as the adults around him try to help Christopher become an adult himself while navigating their own (sometimes significant) flaws. Poignant, funny, and with a magical quality; this is a perfect play for anyone interested in the nuances and dramas at the heart of our lives.

 

Richard III by William Shakespeare

This is the original evil, hunchbacked English king. Richard III tells the story of how Richard, Duke of Gloucester, a fourth son, came to be crowned King of England through murder and deceit. Though historians contest this narrative, Shakespeare’s version shows a man who is twisted soul and body, but brilliant and fascinating. Power, murder, and seduction are at the heart of this story that also contains some of Shakespeare’s best lines. This is generally considered the best story of Shakespeare’s War of the Roses plays.

 

Treasure Island by Ken Ludwig

Get ready for a romp of hilarious, swashbuckling, grandiose proportions. Ken Ludwig’s delightful wordplay and quirky characters combine for an utterly wonderful adaptation of this classic story. Pirates, sword fights, buried treasure, and some fun poetry thrown in: this script is a joy to read from start to finish.

Or, by Liz Duffy Adams

Or, takes place (mostly) during one night in the life of Aphra Behn, poet, spy, and soon to be  first professional female playwright. Sprung from debtors’ prison after a disastrous overseas mission, Aphra is desperate to get out of the spy trade. She has a shot at a production at one of only two London companies, if she can only finish her play by morning despite interruptions from sudden new love, actress Nell Gwynne; complicated royal love, King Charles II; and very dodgy ex-love, double-agent William Scott—who may be in on a plot to murder the king in the morning. Can Aphra save Charles’ life, win William a pardon, resist Nell’s charms, and launch her career, all in one night?


King John by William Shakespeare

Welcome to one of Shakespeare’s wackier plays. Rarely performed because it’s a little difficult to figure out the point, it is nonetheless one of Betsy Raymond’s favorites. It features a prince disguised as a shepherd who acts more like a jester, some nasty verbal fights between queens and dowagers, the most hilarious attempted eye-gouging scene in the canon, and a final third that’s pretty bloody and tragic. This play is loosely based on the true reign of King John Plantagenet, brother of Richard the Lionheart. Today, John is best known as the evil king in the Robin Hood stories and for inspiring the creation of the Magna Carta due to his poor kingdom management.

 

Just Like Us by Karen Zacarias

This documentary-style play follows four Latina teenage girls in Denver—two of whom are documented and two who are not—through young adulthood. Their close-knit friendships begin to unravel when immigration status dictates the girls’ opportunities, or lack thereof. When a political firestorm arises, each girl’s future becomes increasingly complicated. Just Like Us poses difficult, yet essential questions about what makes us American.

 

The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson

Four beautiful, badass women lose their heads in this irreverent, girl-powered comedy set during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Playwright Olympe de Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen (and fan of ribbons) Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle hang out, murder Marat, and try to beat back the extremist insanity in 1793 Paris. This grand and dream-tweaked comedy is about violence and legacy, art and activism, feminism and terrorism, compatriots and chosen sisters, and how we actually go about changing the world. It’s a true story. Or total fiction. Or a play about a play. Or a raucous resurrection…that ends in a song and a scaffold.

 

Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them by A. Rey Pamatmat

Three kids — Kenny, his sister Edith, and their friend Benji — are all but abandoned on a farm in remotest Middle America. With little adult supervision, they feed and care for each other, making up the rules as they go. But when Kenny's and Benji's relationship becomes more than friendship, and Edith shoots something she really shouldn't shoot, the formerly indifferent outside world comes barging in whether they want it to or not.

 

Sovereignty by Mary Kathryn Nagle

Sovereignty unfolds over two parallel timelines. In present-day Oklahoma, a young Cherokee lawyer, Sarah Ridge Polson, and her colleague Jim Ross defend the inherent jurisdiction of Cherokee Nation in the U.S. Supreme Court when a non-Indian defendant challenges the Nation’s authority to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence. Their collaboration is juxtaposed with scenes from 1835, when Cherokee Nation was eight hundred miles to the east in the southern Appalachians. That year, Sarah’s and Jim’s ancestors, historic Cherokee rivals, were bitterly divided over a proposed treaty with the administration of Andrew Jackson, the Treaty of New Echota, which led to the nation’s removal to Oklahoma on the infamous Trail of Tears. 


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