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The play is a common literary form[?], usually consisting chiefly of dialog between characters, and usually intended for performance rather than reading. However, many scholars study plays in this more academic manner, particularly classical plays such as those of Shakespeare. (rare authors (notably George Bernard Shaw) have had little preference whether their plays were performed or read.) The term play refers both to the written works of dramatists and to the complete theatrical performances of such.

Plays are generally performed in a theatre, by actors. To better communicate a unified interpretation of the text in question, productions are usually overseen by a director, who often puts their own unqiue interpretation on the production. (see theatre and related topics for more detailed information on the process of producing plays for performance).

The interpretive nature of drama is what makes it so appealing to so many performers and audience members alike—because a playwright is incapable of presenting the play in its intended format (a performance) without the aid of the actors and a director (though he may choose to take any of these roles himself—Molière, for example, often acted in his own plays), a play is by definition undergoing constant rebirth and renewal as new experiences and interpretations are brought by new contributors.

See also: List of plays[?], List of playwrights

Play, or the act of playing refers to the act of engaging in unrestrained, amusing interaction with people or things, often in the context of learning. It is equally a common and a behavioural science[?] term, and the act of playing has, in recent decades, come into light as essential behaviour of species' environmental and social adaptation processes (such as in learning basic hunting skills.). Playing tools are toys.
To play is also the verb used for the activity of musicians creating music from musical instruments, and for performing as an actor (see above). None the less, these activities can be as much demanding work as any other skilled profession.
Play is also the name of a specific play, written by Samuel Beckett; see Play (play).
Play is also a new pop group from Norway, composed of four 12 year old girls. In 2002, the group toured the United States, and they have been on the covers of such teen magazines as Blast![?], amongst others.

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