Theatre Database
Home | Ancient Theatre | Medieval Theatre | 16th Century | 17th Century | 18th Century | 19th Century | 20th Century


JEAN GENET: ESSENTIAL READING LIST

  • The Balcony - Influenced by the Theater of Cruelty, this play by Jean Genet is set inside the Grand Balcony bordello, a brothel and repository of illusion in a contemporary European city aflame with revolution. After the city's royal palace and rulers are destroyed, the bordello's costumed patrons impersonate the leaders of the city. As the masqueraders warm to their roles, they convince even the revolutionaries that the illusion created in the bordello is preferable to reality.
  • The Maids and Deathwatch - Genet portrays a ritualistic act of two maids who take turns acting as "Madame," abusing each other as either servant or employer. The ceremony reveals not only the maids' hatred of the Madame's authority, but also their hatred of themselves for participating in the hierarchy that oppresses them.
  • The Blacks - A troupe of colored actors, accused of the murder of a white, reenact the alleged murder before a jury of white-masked blacks.
  • The Screens - The last of Genet's plays to be produced during his lifetime, The Screens, is his comment on the Algerian revolution. Grotesque, sometimes bewildering, savage, and haunting.
  • If you like these plays, you may also like Three Plays of the Absurd

Back to Jean Genet Timeline