First Semester Reading at Iowa’s Playwrights Workshop

booksI love taking count. Hanging out with my four-year-old nephew for the past week reminded me of the joy involved. Counting is a way to track and notice. As the New Year begins, I like to see what’s happened before and how it will change. So in that spirit, here is everything I read beginning August 22, 2016 and ending December 31, 2016. A (*) signifies joy reading as opposed to assigned reading for a class. A (^) signifies that this was not my first time reading it, and/or that I read it multiple times this semester.  Not counted here are cohort plays listened to/read in Workshop or Structure. Also not counted are the numerous online articles I read for fun, research, or procrastination surfing.  Also not counted are the five or six books I’ve started but haven’t quite finished yet. I tend to read a lot of books at the same time, which means I might be reading them for a while. (The classes I took were on Chekhov, Structure, and of course, Workshop. I also TA’d a History of Drama course.)


  1. The Poetics by Aristotle (translated by Butcher) ^
  2. Cleaning Augean Stables by Leon Katz
  3. Script into Performance by Richard Hornby
  4. How Plays Work by David Edgar
  5. New Playwriting Strategies by Paul Castagona
  6. Strategies of Drama by Oscar Brownstein
  7. Backwards and Forwards by William Ball ^
  8. Dramatic Writers Companion by William Dunne ^
  9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling *^
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  by JK Rowling*^ 
  11. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling*^
  12. American Gods by Neil Gaiman*
  13. Oral History of The Daily Show Told by Jon Stewart , the Correspondents, Staff, and Guests *


  1. Phaedra by Jean Racine ^
  2. Ivanov  by Chekhov ^
  3. Woyzeck by Buchner ^
  4. The Seagull  by Chekhov ^
  5. A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen ^
  6. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde ^
  7. Three Sisters by Chekhov ^
  8. The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov ^
  9. Uncle Vanya by Chekhov ^
  10. Machinal  by Sophie Treadwell ^
  11. Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello
  12. Mother Courage by Bertolt Brecht ^
  13. Endgame by Samuel Beckett ^
  14. Fences  by August Wilson ^
  15. Los Vendidos by Luis Valdez
  16. M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang ^
  17. Angels in America  by Tony Kushner ^
  18. Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deavere Smith
  19. Phaedra’s Love by Sarah Kane *
  20. 10 of 12  by Anne Washburn *
  21. Demon Baby  by Erin Courtney ^
  22. Ajax (por nobody) by Alice Tuan *
  23. Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks

Excerpts, Short Stories, & Articles

  1. “Waiting for Recognition: An Aristotle for Non-Aristotelian Drama” by Elinor Fuchs from Modern Drama 
  2. “Feminism and the Narrative Structures of Aristotle’s Poetics” by Angela Curran from Feminist Interpretations of the Poetics 
  3. Selections from Hamburg Dramaturgy by Gotthold Lessing
  4. Selections from Dramatic Technique by George Pierce Baker
  5. Selections from New Play Development by Lenora Inez Brown
  6. Selections from Technique of Drama by Gustav Freytag
  7. Selections from The Idea of Theatre  by Francis Fergusson
  8. Selections from Interpreting the Play Script by Anne Fliostos

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