The Play’s the Thing

It's easy to pretend you like the theater. All you have to do is complain about what's popular. But if you don't have the time or money to appreciate the theater in person, the library has plenty of ways to marvel at the stage.

L.A. Theatre Works shrinks popular and classic plays into a radio-friendly format, and a boatload of them are available as digital downloads on Overdrive. I'm a fan of Proof and True West, but there are plenty to choose from.

We also have access to more Shakespeare on audio than my brain can handle. It's one thing to be forced to read a play in class, and it's yet another thing to watch an actor chew up all the scenery to get you to understand his interpretation, but it's something of a joy to listen to good voice work making its magic with the writings of a classic wordsmith. For my money, you can't go wrong with King Lear, but Shakespeare has a little bit for everybody.

But maybe you've caught the acting bug and would like to work your moves on some juicy dialogue. You can walk into any branch and have a decent chance of finding a book of monologues to help you hone your skills. (Quick tip: Try the nonfiction around PN 2080.) We even have a book about how to find the right monologue for you.

Who needs going to the theater with all this at your disposal? I don't even need to go outside anymore, or talk to people or look them in the eye. There is just that much within easy reach.

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