One of my favorite things about Neil Simon's 1965 play The Odd Couple is how timeless it is. The hilarious juxtaposition of the two main characters, Oscar and Felix, is relevant in any time period. Add to that the wit and humor of the dialogue and it's no wonder that every decade there is a new movie or tv show of The Odd Couple.
Your high school or advanced 8th grade students are sure to love this play; a fabulous choice for introducing your students to the world of play-writing and drama. I highly recommend having students volunteer to read for the various characters and read the play aloud in class as a reader's theatre. Reading plays silently can be quite confusing since they were meant to be performed. Have someone also volunteer to read the stage directions.
Reading this play with my 8th graders this past year was one of my all-time highlights in my teaching career. There were many instances during our reading of the play where the entire class (including myself) were caught up in fits of laughter where we couldn't stop. I will never forget when my co-teacher neighbor asked me one afternoon what we had been doing in class that day. When I told her we had been reading a play she seemed surprised and said "oh! My students and I thought you were having a party!" There is nothing as rewarding as watching all of your students so caught up in laughter that isn't because of a class distraction but is actually the result of enjoying the lesson or reading material! After we finished the play, my students were begging me to read more plays in class and several started writing their own just for fun!
Please note that this play does include several references of "hell" and the D-word. Also, there is some mild adult humor or very mild sexual content.
This product includes:
-3 creative playwriting prompts (a great way for your students to try their hand at playwriting for the first time!)
-3 expository prompts
-25 question end-of-play Comprehension Test (matching characters to descriptions and quotes, and multiple choice)