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Plays About Disability, Disease or Sickness

A character in these plays has a disability, disease or other illness. We could be shown how it affects their life and how they deal with it, as well as how it affects those around them.

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (7 Scenes)

Tom and Laura, young adults, live with their mother, Amanda. She is critical of Tom, and worried that Amanda cannot support herself and doesn’t have any gentleman callers. She wants Tom to bring home a young man from work.

Children of a Lesser God by Mark Medoff (3 Acts)

James works at a school for the deaf as a speech teacher. He begins a relationship with Sarah, the cleaning woman, who is deaf. Sarah and James struggle to live in both the hearing and deaf worlds.

The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance (21 Scenes)

Dr. Treves is the new lecturer of anatomy at London Hospital. He becomes aware of John Merrick, a man with severe deformities. He pays the manager of the freak show, Ross, to study Merrick for a while. After a problem with his employment, Merrick becomes reacquainted with Treves.

Wit by Margaret Edson

Vivian Bearing, a professor of English Literature, is in the hospital dying of ovarian cancer. We see her attitude through her diagnosis and treatment, as well as how others react to her. She has a love of language and deals with her diagnosis intellectually.

Marvin’s Room by Scott McPherson

Bessie has been caring for her bed-ridden father after he suffered a stroke. She also takes care of her eccentric Aunt Ruth. When Bessie is diagnosed with Leukemia, her estranged sister, Lee, comes to be tested as a bone marrow donor. She brings along her two troubled sons. The sisters navigate their strained relationship under these new circumstances.

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