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Plays About Authority or Dictatorships: Individual Vs Society

These plays have characters who are in conflict with an authority figure or the entire system.

In The Pipeline by Gary Owen (1 Act)

The residents of a village get a letter saying a gas plant is being built nearby. The pipeline linking it to the main grid is going to run through their area. We get some perspective on the situation from three villagers—Andrew, Dai and Joan.

This play was originally written as a radio play. The characters’ parts are all monologues. The whole play can be read in the preview of Gary Owen: Collected Plays(9% in)

Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee (3 Acts)

A teacher in Tennessee is going to trial for teaching evolution. His defense attorney is the famous Henry Drummond, while the prosecutor is the widely-known Bible expert Matthew Harrison Brady. The town is religious, and there is much excitement over the proceedings.

Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman (3 Acts)

The dictatorship has ended and a democratic government now rules. A married couple, Paulina and Gerardo, are living at their beach house. Late one night, Gerardo’s car gets a flat and he gets a ride home from a passing motorist, Miranda. He returns later to talk. Paulina thinks she recognizes him from the old regime.

Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo (2 Acts)

Inspector Bertozzo is interviewing the Maniac, a man who’s been arrested multiple times for impersonation. Bertozzo tries to corner the Maniac into admitting to some wrongdoing, but he’s evasive. Betozzo has to release him. The Maniac sneaks back into the empty office and goes through the files. He destroys some of them. He finds documents related to a case in the public consciousness, about an anarchist who died while in police custody.

Blood Wedding by Federico Garcia Lorca (3 Acts)

The Bridegroom’s wedding to the Bride is approaching. His father and brother were killed by the Felix family. The Bride’s first love is a man named Leonardo, a member of the Felix family. Leonardo, now married with a child, hears that the Bride is getting married and gets upset. He has also been spotted lately near the Bride’s home.

The Memorandum by Vaclav Havel (12 Scenes)

Josef Gross, an office manager, receives an unreadable memorandum. It’s not in English. It’s in Ptydepe, a new office language authorized by his deputy director, Ballas, that is supposed to be more efficient. Josef tries to get to the bottom of this change and get his memo translated.

Sleep Deprivation Chamber by Adrienne Kennedy & Adam P. Kennedy (3 Scenes)

A young African-American man, Teddy, was severely beaten by a police officer during a stop over a broken taillight. He was then arrested and charged with assault and battery. He and his family cope with the situation and legal proceedings. There are several dream sequences.

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