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August 5, 2022

Notable Bibliophile Characters


Books are a perfect way to expand one’s horizon and escape from the everyday world. Here are some beloved characters from the Concord Theatricals catalog who love reading and share their passion with other friends and family members.

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff and James Roose-Evans (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4f, 3m)

Bibliophile character: Helene Hanff, a young struggling writer; and Frank Doel, the chief buyer for an antiquarian bookstore.

This celebrated hit is a dramatization of the correspondence between a young struggling writer in New York and the buyer for an antiquarian book store in London. In a sense, these are also love letters expressing the love of good literature. The play takes place over a 20-year period, beginning in 1949 when Helene Hanff first writes Marks & Co., and ending in 1969 with the death of Frank Doel, the delightfully dusty supplier of so many old volumes to Helen, who has shown her gratitude through the years by sending “care packages” to the staff of Marks & Co.

after all the terrible things I do by A. Rey Pamatmat (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 1f, 1m)

Bibliophile character: Linda, a Fillipina bookstore owner in her late 40s.

Returning to his Midwestern hometown after college, Daniel, a young gay writer, takes a job at the local bookstore he knew as a child. After he and Linda, the Filipina bookstore owner, begin working together, they discover they share a dark connection that goes much deeper than a love of literature. This gripping and intimate new play explores the dark side of ordinary people, second chances and the price of forgiveness.

Alexandria Municipal Reading Library by Saragail Katzman (US)
(Full-Length Musical / 2f, 3m)

Bibliophile character: George, who loves to read and adores books and their heroes.

What do you do when you’re a kid and your family moves to a town with no library? That’s the bleak prospect facing George, who moves from Chicago to Alexandria, Nebraska. His friends from his books urge him to start a new library, and George carries through with his dream, winning new friends in the process. Saaragail Katzman’s musical is a terrifically fun, whimsical show with a message that never intrudes on the sheer delight of the story.

Books by Stuart Kaminsky (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 5m)

Bibliophile character: Christopher, a lover of books who can’t help stealing them.

After robbing a savings and loan, Brian takes refuge in a down-and-out used book store run by Maddy and Betty. A suspicious cop has the shop surrounded. After bullets fly during a comic siege, the robbers’ plan to share the stolen money soon goes awry.

The Boundary by Tom Stoppard and Clive Exton (US/UK)
(Short Play, Comedy / 1f, 4m)

Bibliophile character: Johnson, a lover of words and language who works on a dictionary.

Arriving at the library to continue work on his dictionary, Johnson is horrified to discover that the place has been ransacked. Paper is everywhere, so much that the body of his wife, Brenda, is hidden from view. Johnson and his collaborator conclude that the vandalism is the work of Brenda, who was scorned for her lack of talent as a lexicographer. The true explanation is outside the window and beyond, when the significance of the cricketer becomes clear.

Defiled by Lee Kalcheim (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 1f, 3m)

Bibliophile character: Harry Mendelssohn, a librarian who struggles with technology.

A nerdy, technophobic librarian clutches in his sweaty hands the detonator that will obliterate the library if his beloved card catalog is carted away. He is pitted against a harried police negotiator in this fast-paced debate on society’s obsession with computers.

Little Women by Peter Clapham and Louisa May Alcott (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 7f, 5m)

Bibliophile character: Jo, a dreamer and a scribbler often absorbed in reading or writing.

The story of Little Women, Louisa M. Alcott’s famous novel, is brilliantly dramatized by Peter Clapham. The structure of the play faithfully covers that of the novel, interweaving the lives of aspiring writer and fabulist Jo March, her sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, and Laurie, the boy next door, as they grow up happily together – yet the action is contained neatly in one set.

Middletown by Will Eno (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 6f, 6m)

Bibliophile character: Librarian, a woman in her 50s-60s.

Middletown is a deeply moving and funny play exploring the universe of a small American town. As a friendship develops between longtime resident John Dodge and new arrival Mary Swanson, the lives of the inhabitants of Middletown intersect in strange and poignant ways in a journey that takes them from the local library to outer space and points between.

The Novelist by Theresa Rebeck (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3f, 3m)

Bibliophile character: Paul, an aging book writer.

A family of artists are both cruelly destructive and fiercely protective of each other. Paul, a Nobel-winning novelist suffering from writer’s block, his elegant but feisty wife, two sons – an actor and an antique dealer – and the actor’s girlfriend are together for the first time in ages. Enter Paul’s new assistant, a talented and passionate writing student. Bitter, funny chaos ensues.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Helen Jerome (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 16f, 10m)

Bibliophile character: Elizabeth Bennett, a great reader who specifically enjoys reading novels.

Mrs. Bennett is determined to get her daughters married. Jane, Elizabeth and Lydia are likely-looking girls in a period when a woman’s one possible career is matrimony. To be a wife was success. Anything else was failure. Jane and her Mr. Bingley and Lydia with her Mr. Wickham are quite content with things as they are, but not Elizabeth.

Seminar by Theresa Rebeck (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 2f, 3m)

Bibliophile character: Leonard, a fierce, brilliant and internationally celebrated writer.

Four aspiring young novelists sign up for private writing classes with Leonard, an international literary figure. Under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon, and hearts are unmoored. The wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this biting Broadway comedy.

Discover more great plays and musicals! Visit Concord Theatricals in the US or UK.

Header Image: 2011 Broadway production of Seminar (Jeremy Daniel)