Text given living, breathing form gives stage drama its palpable power. These plays published in 2015 (some for the first time, some reprinted) have covers that not only match that impact, but also squarely place the plays in the world of pop culture. These images tell us about the story inside as well as connecting the plays to art in the same vein.
On the cover of Chef by Sabrina Mahfouz, we see a vibrant woman already spellbinding us with a hilarious tale. She also happens to be an ex-convict. So, this tells me I’m in for some first-rate, OITNB-style, female-driven storytelling, with times good and bad making her into a whole person.
We get flashy girl-group duds and a garbage bag from The Flannelettes by Richard Cameron. With that juxtaposition my mind jumps straight to The Commitments. Both stories use music to escape everyday desperation even as those joyful songs and glittery costumes make the surroundings that much plainer.
Snoo Wilson’s Lovesong of the Electric Bear puts subject Alan Turing’s head in a candy-colored collage. It shows him to be not just a math genius, but a man outside of convention, the person whose work led to a world where Virtual Light and Valis came to be.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance by Jethro Compton has an obvious pop-culture connection in its title: it’s based on the movie of the same name. But look again at that cowboy – although his own history is Wayne and Stewart, that stance makes him a spiritual partner of El Mariachi.