50 Inclusive Plays to Help You Produce a Diverse Season

Our Curated List of Diversity-Friendly Plays

There are many ways to promote inclusive theater. As a theater company, one way to do this is to select plays that allow for a diverse cast. With this goal in mind, Theater Artist Monica Bowker has shared with us her list of recommended stage plays.

Because these plays remain ambiguous regarding characters’ race and ethnicity, they give theater companies even more space to select a diverse cast. Although some of these dramas have been cast certain ways historically, the scripts and stories themselves are especially well-suited for inclusive casting.

Whether you choose to give a fresh voice to a 17th century drama, or you bring to life a more recent work, we recommend these plays as solid options for anyone looking to support more inclusive theater.

Our List of Inclusive Plays

  • The Rover - Aphra Behn 1677

  • The Balcony - Jean Genet 1957

  • Polaroid Stories - Naomi Iizuka 1997

  • Language of Angels - Naomi Iizuka 2000

  • The Language Archive - Julia Cho 2009

  • Machinal - Sophie Treadwell 1928

  • Trifles - Susan Glaspell 1916

  • Mnemonic - Complicite 1999

  • Tartuffe - Molière 1664

  • Ubu Roi - Alfred Jarry 1896

  • Endgame - Samuel Beckett 1957

  • Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett 1953

  • Venus in Fur - David Ives 2010

  • The Exonerated - Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen 2000

  • Enron - Lucy Prebble 2009

  • The Nether - Jennifer Haley 2013

  • Living Dead in Denmark - Qui Nguyen 2008

  • She Kills Monsters - Qui Nguyen 2011

  • Bloomsday - Steven Dietz 2015

  • Private Eyes - Steven Dietz 1996

  • Inventing Van Gogh - Steven Dietz 2004

  • Metamorphosis - Mary Zimmerman 1996

  • Argonautika - Mary Zimmerman 2006

  • Crave - Sarah Kane 1998

  • Blasted - Sarah Kane 1995

  • On the Verge - Eric Overmyer 1985

  • Twelve Ophelias - Caridad Svich 2004

  • 1984 - Robert Icke 2013

  • The Valley of Astonishment - Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne 2014

  • Eurydice - Sarah Ruhl 2004

  • Dead Man’s Cell Phone - Sarah Ruhl 2007

  • Hamletmachine - Heiner Müller 1977

  • Frankenstein - Nick Dear 2011

  • The Beaux Stratagem - George Farquhar 1707

  • The Cherry Orchard - Anton Checkhov 1904

  • The Pillowman - Martin McDonough 2003

  • An Empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boeuf - Micheal Hollinger 2000

  • Arcadia - Tom Stoppard 1993

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead - Tom Stoppard 1966

  • The House of Blue Leaves - John Guarre 1966

  • Mr. Marmalade - Noah Haidle 2004

  • Equas - Peter Shaffer 1973

  • Cowboy Mouth - Sam Shepard 1971

  • Life Sucks - Aaron Posner 2018

  • Stupid F****** Bird - Aaron Posner 2013

  • This Is Our Youth - Kenneth Lonergan 1996

  • Punk Rock - Simon Stephens 2009

  • Woyzeck - George Buchner 1913

  • Gruesome Playground Injuries - Rajiv Joseph 2012

  • The Lacy Project - Alena Smith 2017

We hope this list serves as a practical resource for theater companies and directors who are looking for ways to make theater more inclusive. Our goal is to help theater companies find plays—old and new—that provide the flexibility to produce a more diverse theater season.

Monica BowkerAbout the Curator- Monica Bowker

Monica Bowker is a Theatre Artist with a primary focus in Lighting Design. Monica was born and raised in Southern California but she now considers Chico, California her home. She got her BA in Theatre Arts at California State University, Chico, and is currently working on her MFA in Lighting Design at Western Illinois University where she will graduate in May 2023. Monica has produced lighting designs for shows such as Living Dead in Denmark, Avenue Q, The Glass Menagerie, Measure for Measure, Bloomsday, and more. Once Monica has completed her MFA, she plans to teach theatre design at a collegiate level as well as start collaborating with fellow artists on a diversity-minded theatre production company.

50 Inclusive Plays

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