I love plays. I love love love plays. Straight plays, musicals, reading scripts, watching shows, being involved in the production or watching one acts. If I could be anything, besides a wizard, I would be a play write.
Why you ask? I think it’s amazing that with little more than dialogue, and way less pages then a novel, a script can tell an entire story from start to finish. I’d never read a single play until freshman year of high school when I auditioned to be a part of the fall musical. I did it because my older sister had been involved in the program and I wanted to be cool, not because I was a talented performer, and soon realized I belonged with the techies. And we are all better off for it.
After that first read through I started picking up scripts for fun; from the black box or the library, I raided my parent’s bookshelves, bought some from Barns and Nobel, really anywhere I could get my hands on them. And while I won’t continue to gush over them here, I will say one of the first scripts I picked up, and absolutely loved, was Night of the Iguana. Don’t ask me why I read that one before Streetcar, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, or Glass Menagerie (those all came later) but it did and I loved it. And while I’ve now read what, in my opinion, is a rather extensive collection of scripts I still love Williams.
This collection, Mister Paradise and Other One-Act Plays, was a wonderful example of Williams’ story telling ability. Some of these plays are less then ten pages long but all of them have an emotional impact. I could probably write a post for each one but no one wants to hear me talk that much so I’ll give little blurbs of my favorites instead!
Mister Paradise: Loved it. Can’t do existentialist/realist/modernist stuff in novels but for some reason I eat it up in plays (to be further examined at a later time). There’s tons of emotion and disillusionment and then you’re left feeling a little wrecked. But you’re also thankful for that college girl.
These Are The Stairs You Got To Watch: Wow, this one got out of hand real quick. You think it’s about a young nervous movie theater attendant but suddenly said theater and it’s manager are the reason a different guy’s life has been bad. And we’re left asking how much of that is real. And there’s a weirdo girl who seems like a prostitute in training so what else could you want!
The Palooka: I knew something was up but this one hurt my heart. Two wrestlers having a conversation about a genius accomplished old wrestler and speculates on what he’s doing. Fun fact, one of those guys was the genius/accomplished guy except know everyone thinks he’s washed up. Shout out to the glory days.
The Pink Bedroom: This one was a little annoying. Mistress argues and complains until homeboy decides he can’t stand her and leaves. Mistress’ other homeboy comes out of hiding and she apologizes that it took the OG homeboy so long to leave. Why don’t you just break it off with OG homeboy instead of starting an emotional war? And why did I feel bad for a guy who’s cheating on his wife?
Why Do You Smoke So Much Lily?: This one was also emotionally painful. Is Lily going crazy under the weight of her mother’s failed expectations or is she being dramatic? How much money is she spending on cigarettes if she puts them out after one puff then immediately lights another?
We’ll wrap it up there but I hope by each little blurb you can feel how much emotion was in each story. And like that old quote goes, if art makes you feel then it did it’s job. Williams was very good at doing his job.
Also I’m just now finishing season three of Peaky Blinders. If you need me I’ll be staring at pictures of Cillian Murphy in a super non creepy way.