The Wright Play

Find a Play

Plays About Class Conflict or Distinctions

These plays have characters from different social classes interacting. This usually results in a clash of values and expectations.

Ring Around the Moon (Invitation to the Castle) by Jean Anouilh (3 Acts)

Hugo is a confident, popular man. His identical twin brother, Frederic, is unsure of himself. Frederic fawns over Diana, his fiancee, but she really loves Hugo instead. Frederic is from new money while Diana is from new money, her father being a self-made businessman. Hugo plots to redirect his brother’s attentions.

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (5 Acts)

After a show one night, Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering have a run in with a Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle. Higgins is a phonetics expert; he claims that with three months of tutoring he could pass that girl off as a member of high society. The next day Liza shows up at Higgins’ place to begin.

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (11 Scenes)

Stanley and Stella Kowalski live in a low-end district of New Orleans. They are visited by Stella’s sister Blanche, who has more genteel tastes. She is a widow, and has lost the family property, Belle Reve. She and Stanley clash. Stanley decides to look into Blanche’s past.

The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neil (8 Scenes)

Fireroom workers on a large ship are off-duty, talking and drinking. Yank, a strong, aggressive man dismissed talk about Capitalists, believing in his own strength. On the upper deck, Mildred, the daughter of the chairman of the ship line, relaxes with her aunt. Mildred wants the lower-class experience and arranges to visit the lower deck. Her presence angers Yank.

Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw (3 Acts)

It’s November 1885, the time of the Serbo-Bulgarian War. Raina, a young Bulgarian woman, gets news that her fiancé is the hero of a battle. With fighting nearby, Raina and her mother secure the house. Despite this, a Serbian officer manages to get in through the shutters. Raina hides him and covers when soldiers question her.

The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux

Shortly after WWII, the President and the Baron meet in a Paris café. The President grew up in poverty, but worked his way up through counterfeiting and drugs, and now runs many businesses. The Baron is on the board of directors of one of these companies, although no one knows what the company does. They’re soon joined by the Prospector, who has a plan to drill for oil under Chaillot, even if that mean destroying the area.

Scroll to top