April is almost here, and Reading the Theatre will be back!

A few years ago, during the pandemic when attending performances in person was not possible, I decided to celebrate spring with a month of “Reading the Theatre”–all kinds of theatre-and-music-related fiction and nonfiction, along with reading plays and watching films or videos.

Even though not many have chosen to join in with the project, I really enjoy doing it and have looked forward to this time all year. April seems an appropriate month, with Shakespeare’s birthday and all.

For 2024, as my Ozathon readalong project continues, I intend to reread Gregory Maguire’s novel as well as a book about the production.

I saw the show on Broadway years ago and wasn’t that enamored of it, but I’m still interested to know what went into its creation. And a long-awaited film version is due to come out in the fall, apparently part I of II — a daring choice, as if the first part flops the second is unlikely to be made…

Other than that, I’m going to let serendipity be my guide, as it usually leads me to some wonderful surprises.

What would you recommend to read or watch for a month of Reading the Theatre?

stadium with empty chairs
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16 thoughts on “April is almost here, and Reading the Theatre will be back!

  1. Have you ever watched any of the many good film versions of Othello? There’s a great South African one, directed by Janet Suzman. I also like the Kenneth Branagh one (he plays Iago). When it first came out I loved Stage Beauty, with Billy Crudup and Claire Danes.
    There’s a 2001 British film that doesn’t use Shakespeare’s words but features Christopher Eccleston as a really disturbing Iago. Similarly, the 2001 O is about basketball players rather than soldiers so doesn’t use the script but tells the story in an interesting and updated way.

  2. Thanks for this reminder – I knew there was an event in April I wanted to participate in! I have a couple of possibles – Ben Jonson’s satiric Jacobean comedy Volpone and Eva Ibbotson’s Magic Flutes, set backstage at the Viennese Opera House between the wars. I’ll try to read both but I’ll see how it goes!

  3. April is already going to be a busy month of reading for me, but I’ll see if I have anything suitable for this. I hope you enjoy whatever you decide to read!

  4. My absolute favourite theatre related film is The Dresser (based on David Harewood’s stage play). The 1983 version with Tom Courtney is far superior to the more recent version with Anthony Hopkins

  5. If your son has not seen The Importance of Being Earnest, that would be a fun one to watch, read and write about.

    I would also recommend The Whalebone Theatre, which I loved.

    Hmm, I will have to think of something suitable for myself.

  6. I don’t know much about theatre, but I did see The Phantom of the Opera the first time I went to New York, because I thought I should see a Broadway show. I fell in love with it, so I would go with the original novel as my recommendation for a month of reading the theatre.

      1. And just in case you haven’t, the Blue Door books by Pamela Brown are very good too, a group of children (they grow over the series) set up a repertory theatre.

  7. I’ve read a few books set in the theatre or about a play recently, including Tom Lake, The Performance by Claire Thomas, Station Eleven, Hagseed, Actress by Anne Enright, The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries by Emma Thompson, and I’m currently reading Tipping the Velvet.

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