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Plays About Betrayal

These plays have characters who betray people, institutions or ideals.

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A Soldier’s Play by Charles H. Fuller (2 Acts)

A drunken Sergeant Waters, a black man, is killed by an anonymous shooter. A black investigator, Davenport, arrives to interview the men. He is warned that his authority won’t be respected.

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (3 Acts)

Nora comes home after some shopping. Her husband, Torvald, a bank manager, scolds her over her spending. Nora had secured a loan years earlier by forging her father’s signature. She has been secretly paying it back but is finding it difficult. Krogstad, a man who works for her husband, knows Nora’s secret and threatens her when he runs into some problems.

Tartuffe by Moliere (3 Acts)

Orgon is a wealthy Parisian who lives with his family and various other guests. He invites Tartuffe into his home, offering everything he has to the man. He is impressed by Tartuffe’s piety, and wants his daughter to marry him. Other people view Tartuffe as a hypocrite, and his daughter is intent on marrying someone else.

Buried Child by Sam Shepard (3 Acts)

Dodge and Halie, an elderly couple, live on an unproductive farm. They have two sons—Tilden and Bradley and are visited by their grandson (Tilden’s son), Vince, and his girlfriend, Shelly. Another son, Ansel, was murdered years ago. Vince’s family doesn’t recognize him. There’s a terrible family secret that they’ve had to live with.

The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman (3 Acts)

In a small town in the Deep South, there’s a gathering at the Giddens house. The family has just made a deal with Mr. Marshall, a Chicago businessman, to build and run a cotton mill. The arrangement will make them all wealthy. The Giddens siblings—Regina, Oscar and Ben—are present, along with other family. Regina’s husband, Horace, is in Baltimore due to a heart condition. The siblings have big plans for the money and want as large a share as possible.

A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller (2 Acts)

Alfieri, an Italian-American lawyer, tells the story of Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman. He lives with his wife, Beatrice, and her orphan niece, Catherine, who’s almost eighteen. Eddie is becoming increasingly attracted to Catherine. Two of Beatrice’s cousins, Marco and Rodolpho, arrive as illegal immigrants, and stay with the family. Catherine and Rodolpho start dating, causing tension with Eddie.

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