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The best plays in the world; From Shakespeare’s classic stories to contemporary works with a social approach

Study guide

Play (Theater Writing) is a series of conversations between several characters. The play is written both in the form of a book in the form of continuous dialogues and in the form of a play. Some book lovers and moviegoers are interested in reading plays. In fact, reading plays also has its proponents. That is why in today’s article we intend to introduce you to a collection of the best plays in the world. In this list, we tried to consider the variety of genres as well as the year of writing of each play and introduce you to influential plays.

1. Cloud number nine

The play “Cloud Nine” is by Caryl Churchill. This play was written in 1979. Caryl Churchill has created more than 50 works of art. In this play, Churchill challenges racial and gender policies. The whole play is a combination of humor, kindness and reference to the basic needs of human beings. This is a two-act play. The first part takes place in Africa and the Victorian era, and the second part takes place in a park in London. In the first part of this play, a form of coercion and colonialism is shown. In the second scene, humor and comedy enter the story and show the audience how life would go without colonialism.

2. Macbeth

The play

The play “Macbeth” is by William Shakespeare. Written between 1599 and 1603, it is the shortest and most popular William Shakespearean tragedy. The story is about the power and greed of the brave and trusted nobles of the King of Scotland. Although the play is more than 3 centuries old, it is still unique and at its peak. The theme and feel of this play is so beautiful that after all these years it is still popular with fans of reading plays.

3. Iranians

The play

The play “The Persians” is the work of “Aeschylus (Achilles)”. This play was written in 472 BC (66 Aryans). This work narrates Xerxes’ invasion of Greece. The Achaemenid emperor summoned the gods to conquer Greece with their cooperation. Athosa, Queen Mother and Xerxes are the most prominent characters in this play. This play is one of the best tragedy plays in the world with its antiquity and has been translated many times and shown in different countries.

4. sour cherry orchard


The play “The Cherry Orchard” by Anton Chekhov is one of the most influential Russian writers. This play was written in 1903. The play, Chekhov’s latest work, became famous in a very short time. This comedy show is about aristocratic families who go bankrupt and are forced to give their beautiful cherry orchard to the bank due to financial pressure. Bozorg Alavi and Simin Daneshvar are among the prominent translators who have translated this work into Persian.

5. After all, whose life is this?

Performance of

The play “After all, whose life is this?” (? Whose Life Is It Anyway) by Brian Clark. This play was written in 1972. This is a powerful story about those who one day have to choose between survival and death. A bitter but true narrative that the audience enjoys reading as well as seeing. This popular play can be recommended to all lovers of this genre (tragedy / philosophical play).

6. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf) by Edward Albie, written in 1962. This beautiful play narrates a nightclub in which an elderly couple talks to a young couple. In this dialogue, the work of the two sides becomes tense and controversial, and this is the beginning of the revelation of inaccuracies between them. This play is also one of the most famous plays in the world.

7. Doll House

Performance of

The play “A Doll’s House” is by Henrik Ibsen. This play was written in 1879. The story is about the rebellion of a woman named Nora in a patriarchal world. Nora’s personality transition process is the main focus of this story. The play is taught in art schools in many countries.

8. Uncle Vanya


Chekhov was not only proficient in writing novels and short stories, he also wrote powerful plays. The play “Uncle Vanya” is another work by “Anton Chekhov” in this list. The play, written in 1899, tells the story of a family with many romantic and economic challenges. In this play, two different forms of life, realism, empathy and tolerance, are confronted with vulgarity and inattention. Uncle Vanya is one of the best contemporary plays with family and romantic genres.

9. Dr. Faustus, The Story of the Fall

Performance of

“Dr. Faustus, The Story of the Fall” (Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus) is by Christopher Marlowe. This play was written between 1589 and 1592. In this fascinating tragedy, we encounter unexpected adventures. Heroes have a different destiny and life is at a level where everyday life no longer matters. Due to its different nature, this work has attracted the attention of many audiences and is still at its peak and on display over time.

10. Romeo and Juliet


The play “Romeo and Juliet” by the immortal William Shakespeare was written in 1597. An incredibly beautiful show and a love story that the audience does not get tired of seeing or reading! This Shakespeare masterpiece throws you into a world of emotions. Romeo and Juliet has been translated and performed many times in different countries. A girl and a boy who fall in love with each other and have no chance of realizing their dreams due to tribal differences. In this play, we encounter so many unpredictable events that we can not stop following the story for even a moment!

۱۱. Twelfth night


The play “Twelfth Night”, also known as “What You Will”, is another work by “William Shakespeare”. This play was written in 1602. In this comedy, like other Shakespearean works, the lovable characters tell a different story. The love and life of a girl in a man’s disguise is one of the elements of this play. If you are a fan of reading plays, be sure to read The Twelfth Night.

۱۲. Angels in America


The play “Angels in America” ​​is by Tony Kouchner. This play was written in 1991. By writing this play, Kouchner touched on taboos: AIDS and living in a situation that society as a whole does not accept. This is a theme that is well portrayed in the play Angels in America and has been performed over and over again.

13. مِده‌آ


The play “Medea” by Euripides was written in 431 BC. The play has had the most performances among the tragedies of ancient Greece in the twentieth century: a historical tragedy in ancient Greece, again love, betrayal and the difficult path of love. If you want to spend some time enjoying the play, Madha is a great choice.

۱۴. Cats on a hot roof

A cat performance on a hot roof is one of the best plays in the world

The play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is by Tennessee Williams. This play was written in 1955. Williams received the Pulitzer Prize for Literature for his play. This is one of the best plays in the world, about an alcoholic youth who, while feeling guilty about the death of his best friend, has joined their family; A family that struggles with hypocrisy and greed.

۱۵. A school for disgrace


The play “The School for Scandal” by Richard Brinzley Sheridan was written in 1777. An old man on the verge of death, but very rich, is the main axis of this story. Someone who wants to divide his wealth between his two nephews, but the story is that one is very famous and the other is notorious. What is the fate of all that wealth? Which brothers are really your body?

۱۶. Man and gun

Performance of

The play “Arms and the Man” is by George Bernard Shaw. This work was written in 1894. The main purpose of this play is to show war and war in Eastern Europe in the form of comedy. This play has been staged in different countries and is very popular and influential. Man and Gun can truly be called one of the best plays in the world.

۱۷. Death of the seller


The play “Death of a Salesman” is by Arthur Miller, written in 1949. The play earned Miller the Pulitzer Prize for Literature and the Tony Award for Best Play. The death of the salesman is the story of the life of a man who is lost in time. Where are we? Now, the past or maybe the future… of this play that has been performed in many countries should be seen / read and enjoy its beautiful story.

۱۸. هدا گابلر


The play “Hedda Gabler” is another work by Henrik Ibsen, written in 1890. The Lawrence Oliver Award-winning play is about a woman who struggles with her circumstances and unwanted marriage. This work initially received a lot of negative feedback, but was gradually accepted and today is known as one of the best plays in the world.

19. هملت


The play “Hamlet” This famous play by William Shakespeare was written in 1602. One of Shakespeare’s tallest works, it is also called the most famous play in the history of world classical literature. A traveling prince notices the death of his father. When he returns to the palace, he is confronted with mysterious adventures, including his uncle sitting on the throne and his uncle marrying his mother! After discovering the secret of his father’s death and finding the criminals, the prince realizes that his mistress’s father is also among the criminals. The story is very complicated and strange and the audience stays excited until the last moment of absorbing the story.

20. The importance of being serious


The Importance of Being Earnest is by Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde. This play was written in 1895. The story of this work is about the importance of honesty and seriousness in life. But the characters in the story each challenge the value of honesty. Of course, its historicity cannot be ignored. Undoubtedly, the importance of being serious is one of the best plays in the world.

Other valuable plays that we better know

So far, we have introduced your article to 20 plays, and in the following, we will review the list of other famous plays:

  • “Tartoff” by Moliere;
  • “Women” by Claire Loos;
  • “John” by Annie Baker;
  • “Pichab” by Noel Quard;
  • “Wolpen” by Ben Johnson;
  • “Dutch” by Amiri Baraka;
  • “Destroyed” by Lynn Natij;
  • “Our City” by Thornton Wilder;
  • “Oedipus the Prince” by Sophocles;
  • “It Happens” by David Herr;
  • “Vitsk” by Georg Bushner;
  • “Candida” by George Bernard Shaw;
  • “Seagull” by Anton Chekhov;
  • “Pygmalion” by George Bernard Shaw;
  • “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett;
  • “Claiborne Park” by Bruce Norris;
  • “I am a butterfly.” By David Henry Huang;
  • “The Bald Singer” by Eugene UNESCO;
  • “Small Eyes” by Miguel Pinero;
  • “Homecoming” by Harold Pinter;
  • “Machine Life” by Sophie Trudwell;
  • “This is our youth” by Kenneth Lonergan;
  • “Remember R with Anger” by John James Osborne;
  • “Wake up and sing!” By Clifford Odets;
  • “What Did Mr. Butler See?” By Joe Everton;
  • “A Long Journey Through the Night” by Eugene O’Neill;
  • “Fefu and His Friends” by Maria Irene Forrence;
  • “Fefu and His Friends” by Maria Irene Forrence;
  • “The Glass Zoo” by Tennessee Williams;
  • “Mistakes of One Night” by Oliver Goldsmith;
  • “The Brave Grandmother and Her Children” by Bertolt Brecht;
  • “A Bus Called Desire” by Tennessee Williams;
  • “Upper Dog / Lower Dog” by Susan Lowry Parks;
  • “Unusual Women and Others” by Wendy Wasserstein;
  • “Rosenkrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead” by Tom Stoppard;
  • “Marital Minor Offenses” by Eric Emmanuel Schmidt;
  • “The Hero of the West” by John Millington Singh;
  • “Raisins in the Sun / Raisins in the Sun” by Lauren Hansbury;
  • “Harold Lord and Sons” by Harold Athol Lanigan Fogard.

You say

Which of the plays we introduced are you familiar with? Do you know another play that you find empty on our list? Please share your impression with us and the audience of the magazine in the “Post a Comment” section.




The best plays in the world; From Shakespeare's classic stories to contemporary works with a social approach

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Australian pronunciation October 14, 2021 at 9:56 am

    It’s hard to find educated people about this subject, but
    you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

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