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Christopher Durang Volume I: 27 Short Plays Paperback – February 1, 1996


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Christopher Durang Volume I: 27 Short Plays + All in the Timing: Fourteen Plays
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 419 pages
  • Publisher: Smith & Kraus Pub Inc; First Edition edition (February 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188039989X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880399897
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Durang is probably best known for Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, which ignited storms of protest and played to sold-out houses wherever it was produced in the early 1980s Durang uses his absurd humor to challenge the rigidity of some religious beliefs, as well as homophobia, methods of psychoanalysis, marriage, and parenthood. He also has great fun satirizing other playwrights in such pieces as Desire, Desire, Desire and For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls. His plays may offend some, but they are always thought-provoking and entertaining. Many of the plays in this collection have never been published before, making this a useful addition to modern drama collections. Recommended for most public and academic libraries.?Howard E. Miller, Alliance Blue Cross Blue Shield Lib., St. Louis
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Christopher Durang had three plays in EST Marathons including For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You and Naomi in the Living Room. Other plays include Beyond Therapy, A History of American Film, and The Marriage of Bette and Boo. He performed with Julie Andrews in Sondheim's Putting It Together at Manhattan Theatre Club. He has acted in films including Housesitter, Butcher's Wife, and Mr. North. He is on the council of the Dramatists Guild.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Electra83 on August 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Christopher Durang was the playwright of choice for my high school speech team when it came to picking pieces for ensembles or duos. Many will most likely see why after reading some of the one-acts in this brilliant collection. These one-acts include:

A Stye of the Eye- Jake is a hillbilly in his thirties. He is, in the words of Durang, a "rage-a-holic". Infuriated by his actress wife's latest play, Agnes is Odd, where she plays an insane nun who babbles incoherently in Latin, he freaks out and supposedly kills her, only for his "good" brother Frankie to find out that she's not really dead, and then she falls in love with him. Jake finds out, explodes and kills his brother for cheating with his wife. The only catch is, Frankie and Jake are not really brothers, they are two sides of the same person.

Naomi in the Living Room- Naomi is an eccentric woman, who likes to give tours of her house, even to her son John, who used to live there, and his wife Johnna.

Business Lunch at the Russian Tea Room- Melissa is a Hollywood agent with a lot of outlandish ideas. She's heard from others that this guy named Chris is a great writer, and she tries to sell him on the idea of writing a screenplay, either a remake of Cruising/Bugsy Malone, or a story about a priest and a rabbi who fall in love, and then, both get sex changes, unbeknownst to each other.

DMV Tyrant- James Agnes' temporary license has expired so he must pay a visit to the Division of Motor Vehicles, where he comes face to face with a DMV lady from Hell.

Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All- Sister Mary is a crazy nun (insanity and eccentricity seem to be a running motif for Durang) who gives lectures on Heaven and Hell, and fires guns in church.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By beatrix on February 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. It is a wonderful collection of Durang's plays, though not my absolute favorites. I loved Beyond Therapy, and I think some of these plays could be worked into longer ones, though I'm not sure whether they'll be very funny then. If you liked this book, I also recommend Take Ten: New 10-Minute Plays, edited by Eric Lane. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
These plays are great for any type of speech or theatrical performance. " The Hardy Boys , and the mystery of where babies come from " is the BEST hilarious interpritation ( HI ) ever. " Funeral Parlor " was used on the Carol Brunet show and is one heck of a duet. All the pieces are funny beyond belief. I strongly encourage it. Buy It Now. Chances are any competitor will break.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
Christopher Durang is the reason I went into writing. He has a sense of humor that defies set up - punchline comedy. It is the characters who are innately funny in their oblivious insanity. He has found a way to be absurd without alienating his audience... basically he's the funniest playwright i have ever read. These 27 plays are a great introduction to a brilliant humorist. If you are a comic of any sort, you need to experience his style of humor.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a phenomenal book! Never has a book been so useful to me and my speech team (ours is bent from use). Every single play is a masterpiece and everyone who participates in the performing arts should consider this excellent compilation. ---Radford Speech Team Hawaii takes it all!!!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have read 27 short plays... And I have to say it is one of the funniest books I have ever read. The beginning starts with a cluster of hilarious short plays. "For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls" is witty and clever. "Business Lunch at the Russian Tea Room" is amazing with cute writing like "Sleeping eith the Enemy in Seattle" (a movie mix of Sleeping in Seattle and Psycho. Hilarious.) Unfortunately the middle is filled with some plays that don't even make any sense, but then the book recaptures it's charm and gives us great work like "An Actor's Nightmare" and "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You" to end with. A comic gem! Oh, by the way, "The Hardy Boys and the Mystery of Where Babies Come From" sent me into a fit of giggles.
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By Serena Cole on February 28, 2014
Format: Paperback
I really do love it. All of the short plays are great and they are all really well written and fun to be in.
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By PenguinMom on November 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clever playwright, parodying Tennesee Williams. His comments on the plays are very helpful and insightful for those studying acting and/or plays.
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