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Which is the Most Famous One-Act Play Ever Written?

Many of the great dramatists wrote wonderful one-act plays in addition to their full-length plays. It has proved difficult to point to which single one-act play is the "most" famous, but certainly the following one-act plays are excellent contenders:

You will seldom hear anyone talkng about one-act plays without mentioning Anton Chekhov, whose hugely popular one-act farces include The Wedding Proposal, The Anniversary, and The Boor (also known as The Bear).

Tennesee Williams (famous for writing A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) wrote an astonishing number of of one-act plays. Suddenly, Last Summer is probably the most famous, notably because it was made into a popular film in 1959. (Tennesse himself considered The Frosted Glass Coffin to be one of the best.) To see a full listing of his one-act plays on Wikipedia, click here.

One of my favorite one-act plays is The Dumb Waiter by the fabulous English playwright Harold Pinter, who also wrote The Room, A Night Out and The Lover. For a full list of his works, click here.

Tom Stoppard's very famous and Tony-winning play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead was developed from an earlier one-act play called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Meet King Lear.

Samuel Beckett - perhaps most famous for Waiting for Godot - wrote a very famous one-act play called Endgame, now considered one of his most important works. To find out more, click here.

Edward Albee (best known for his full-length drama, Who's Afraid of Virginnia Wolf), wrote The American Dream, The Zoo Story and The Sandbox. For a full list of his plays, click here.

Arthur Miller, an award-winning playwright, wrote A Memory of Two Mondays, and A View From The Bridge (which was later expanded into a full-length play). To see a full listing of his one act plays, click here.


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