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Plays About Loneliness, Alienation or Isolation

Plays About Loneliness Alienation Isolation
Plays About Loneliness, Alienation or Isolation

These plays about loneliness have characters who are lonely, isolated or alienated from others. For a contrast, see:

Plays About Loneliness, Alienation or Isolation

The Swan Song by Anton Chekhov

Vasili, sixty-eight years old, walks onto a theatre stage. It’s late and everyone is gone. He fell asleep in the dressing-room. Earlier, he gave his final performance. Vasili laments his life.

This play can be read in the preview of Delphi Complete Works of Anton Chekhov. (43% in)

Trifles by Susan Glaspell (1 Act)

A small group has gathered at the Wright farm. John Wright was found murdered in his bed. The county attorney, Henderson, has been called to investigate and get the story. Also present is Henry Peters, the sheriff and Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale. The neighbor who found the body, Lewis Hale, explains what happened. The men take the lead in the investigation. The women look over the kitchen and gather a few things to take to Mrs. Wright, who’s being held on suspicion of the murder.

This play can be read in the preview of Plays by Susan Glaspell(Go into “Paperback” preview first, then select “Kindle”, 5% in)

Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov (4 Acts)

The Prozorov sisters live in a Russian provincial town. They used to live in Moscow and want to return. Irina is the youngest sister at twenty-years-old. She believes work is the solution to life’s problems. Masha, the middle sister, is married but is attracted to Vershinin. Olga, the oldest, finds it hard to cope with life.

The Family Reunion by T. S. Eliot (2 Parts)

Amy, a widow, is in her drawing room with her three sisters and two of their husbands. Amy’s son Harry is returning after being estranged for eight years. Harry’s wife died about a year ago when she was swept off a ship. When Harry arrives he expresses some opinions that concern his family, including a revelation about his wife’s death. His mental state is questionable. Amy hopes that Harry will continue the family estate.

Plays About Loneliness, Alienation or Isolation

Come Back, Little Sheba by William Inge (2 Acts)

Doc is a chiropractor and recovering alcoholic. His wife, Lola, is a former beauty but is now fat and untidy. They both long for the past. They have a boarder, Marie, who is engaged and also involved with another man.

Sorry, Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher (1 Act)

Mrs. Stevenson is a sickly woman who spends her time in bed. When she tries to call her husband, she is mistakenly connected to a wrong number. She overhears a plot to kill someone. She tries to trace the call and get help.

‘Night, Mother by Marsha Norman (1 Act)

Jessie Cates takes out her father’s gun and starts cleaning it. She tells her mother that she is going to kill herself. Her mother tries to change her mind. They talk about their history and Jessie reveals why she feels hopeless.

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.

Plays About Loneliness, Alienation or Isolation, Cont’d

Funnyhouse of a Negro by Adrienne Kennedy (1 Act)

Sarah, a young woman with a black father and white mother, lives in New York. She’s conflicted with her racial identity, with bad feelings toward her father and positive ones toward her mother. The play opens with a surreal sequence.

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.

Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett (1 Act)

Every year since he was twenty-four, Krapp has made a tape about his life. Now, at sixty-nine, he prepares to make another. First, he listens to a recording from thirty years ago in which he had just listened to one from about ten years prior. We learn of the decisions that have led him to his current state of isolation. He starts a new tape, assessing his younger self.

Tea Party by Betty Keller (1 Scene)

Two elderly women, Alma and Hester, decide where they’re going to sit in their living room. They’re trying to arrange things for their unnamed expected guest. They discuss the refreshments they’ll offer and the story they’ll tell.

I’ll keep adding plays about loneliness, alienation or isolation as I find more.

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