Play Reading SIG

Do you love reading plays?  Our SIG gives participants a chance to read aloud and analyze scenes and characters from prize-winning plays. 

We meet once or twice per month for two hours, usually on a Friday afternoon, so as not to conflict with other OLLI courses.  During the year we are open to suggestions as to which plays to read, while in the summer, when hopefully theatres will resume performances, we choose plays that we can both read and view. 

We encourage our members to prepare and lead discussions on plays that interest them.  Thriving on group participation, we allow two sessions to cover each one.  Particular editions are selected that can be  ordered online or from the Lenox Bookstore.

In the past our meetings have been in person but this year our group has been very successful on Zoom.  We hope to see you there!

Please contact  Alice RothBarbara Waldinger or Karel Fisher for more details or additional information about the Play Reading SIG.

Schedule of Forthcoming Play Reading Events


Feb. 16:  (Facilitator: Don Roth) Tartuffe by Moliere (translation by Richard Wilbur).  Moliere, France’s leading 17th century playwright, is known for his social satire and comedic wit.  The play was first performed in 1664 and, shortly afterwards, it was banned by Louis XIV, possibly because the archbishop of Paris disapproved.  In the play, Orgon, a wealthy man, takes Tartuffe into his household to provide religious and moral instruction for his family.  Orgon and his mother believe strongly in Tartuffe and cannot act without his advice.  However, Tartuffe is a hypocrite who only pretends to be pious.  The rest of the family is not fooled and devise a trap for Tartuffe.

Mar. 15 & 22:  (Facilitator: Paul Kaplan-Reiss) All My Sons by Arthur Miller.  This play by leading American playwright Arthur Miller opened on Broadway in 1947, in a production directed by Elia Kazan.  The show won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and two Tonys.  The play was inspired by a true story about a business that conspired with army inspection officers to get defective aircraft engines approved for military use.  From the Ghent Playhouse website:  "How far would a man go to protect his family, his interests, and his legacy?  In this classic drama, Arthur Miller creates a post-war American family in a tragic downfall of lies, greed, love and loss.”

April 12 & 26:  (Facilitator: Peter Podol)  Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley.  The dramatist John Patrick Shanley grew up in an Irish-American family in the Bronx.  Doubt won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as the Tony Award for Best Play.  The play is set at a Catholic school in the Bronx in 1964 and deals with moral uncertainty.  The school’s conservative principal Sister Aloysius clashes with Father Flynn, a popular and progressive priest.  When Aloysius accuses Flynn of sexual misconduct, a crisis is set in motion.

Getting the Scripts

We will be reading from the editions listed below. 

Tartuffe by Moliere.  Any edition is fine as long as the translator is Richard Wilbur.  Click here for an edition that is available on Amazon.   Or find a copy through your local library.

All My Sons by Arthur Miller (Penguin, 2016).  See Amazon here for the paperback at $16.00 or for the Kindle edition at $9.99.  Less expensive used copies are also available.

Doubt by John Patrick Shanley (Theatre Communications Group, 2005).  See Amazon here for copies of the paperback.  New copies are available at $14.35 and used copies at $2.00 and up.

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