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Plays With Symbolism

Of course, there are symbols in lots of plays. The ones here have more obvious or larger symbols.

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.

The Advertisement by Natalia Ginzburg (3 Acts)

Teresa, who is separated from her husband, rents out a spare room to Elena, a college student. Teresa tells Elena her story, focusing on her childhood and tumultuous relationship with her husband, Lorenzo, including the incident that finally ended things.

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.

Seascape by Edward Albee (2 Acts)

An older couple nearing retirement, Nancy and Charlie, are at the beach. Nancy would like to travel and have adventures. Charlie wants to stay home. There’s some tension about their past, and they argue about how they should spend their time. Leslie and Sarah, human-sized lizards, approach the couple.

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