Scenes and Monologues of Spiritual Experience From the Best Contemporary Plays
edited by Roger Ellis
Applause Acting Series
Excerpting is a difficult vocation. Not only must the excerpter know the many writings of his subject(s) but he must be vigilant against any kind of personal bias which might make him pick and choose in a dishonest, non-representative or inappropriate way. Excerpting such topics as religion or politics can make the job even more difficult.
The collection is an excellent one, consisting of works which show playwrights from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism but which also shows traditional religion, culture intermixed with religion, and "modern" religion. Ellis writes seemingly from ignorance and both is introduction and the works he includes are profoundly smug idea relying on the belief that the playwrights are more enlightened than more traditional religious thinkers
The book contains an introduction and then is divided into Scenes for a man and a woman, scenes for two women, scenes for two men, monologues for women, and monologues for men. The scenes display a range of emotions for all actors involved and the monologues have movement and depth to them.
The plays achieve their purpose, and feel like propaganda about “contemporary,” secular (so-called) spirituality. Recommended --with a large caveat-- for spritual discussion groups and for theaters.