THE LAST MATCH Audience Guide
Hoping to dig deeper into the world of The Last Match? You've come to the right place.
Whether you are a seasoned tennis pro or you don't know your forehand from your foot faults, you are sure to get something out of our comprehensive audience engagement guide.
This Audience Engagement Guide was curated by Director of New Work & Dramaturgy Bobby Kennedy, who also served as Dramaturg for this production.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
BEFORE YOU WATCH
Here are two things to check out before you sit down to watch The Last Match:
- Read an interview with playwright Anna Ziegler and director Keira Fromm. Get to know these two incredible artists as well as the inspiration for the play and how a stage production was adapted to a film experience.
- A beginner's guide to tennis. Learn about the basics of the sport's rules, tournaments and professional players.
- View or download the interactive Powerpoint presentation here!
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AFTER YOU WATCH
Once you've had a chance to view The Last Match, here are a few ways to discuss and explore the play further:
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LOOKING FOR MORE?
Here’s a bounty of other things to delve into:
Read more of playwright Anna Ziegler’s work:
Watch an episode of The Green Room interview series featuring playwright Anna Ziegler:
Read an article about plays that depict sports on stage:
check out these other great plays:
Watch some of these films and documentaries about tennis:
- Battle of the Sexes – a 2017 dramatization of the 1973 exhibition match in which Billie Jean King (played by Emma Stone) defeated Bobby Riggs (played by Steve Carrell).
- Borg vs McEnroe – a 2017 dramatization of the rivalry between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe at the 1980 Wimbledon Championships.
- Strokes of Genius – a 2018 documentary about the careers and rivalry of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and their epic match in the finals of the 2008 Wimbledon Championships.
- Venus and Serena – a 2012 documentary about the life and careers of the Williams sisters.
- Andy Murray: Resurfacing – a 2019 documentary about the British tennis star’s struggles with injury as he tries to return to the professional tour.
- 7 Days in Hell – a comedy about the longest tennis match ever starring Andy Samberg and Kit Harrington (Inspired by the 2010 Wimbledon match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes over the course of 3 days).
- Wimbledon – a 2004 romantic comedy about the relationship between an aging British player (played by Paul Bettany) and an up-and-coming American (played by Kirsten Dunst).
- Strangers on a Train – a 1951 Hitchcock thriller about a tennis star who crosses paths with a psychopath while travelling.
Read more books and articles about tennis:
- On tennis generally:
- On Roger Federer, his very Tim-like career, and the gossip about whether he should retire:
- On Sergei-like players with great promise looking for a breakthrough:
Explore issues of racial and gender inequality in tennis:
- On inequality generally:
- Althea Gibson – the first Black person to play (in 1950) and win (in 1956) a Grand Slam tournament.
- “Althea” – a 2015 episode of the PBS documentary series American Masters
- “An Unlikely Champion” by Robert Mcg. Thomas Jr. – The New York Times (September 2003)
- Arthur Ashe – the first Black male player to win (in 1968) a Grand Slam tournament and whose name now graces the center court stadium at the US Open.
- Billie Jean King – a superstar of the game who advocated for women’s equality in tennis throughout her career and founded the Women’s Tennis Association which now runs the professional women’s tour. She won 39 Grand Slam singles titles (12 in singles, 27 in doubles) during her career.
- Serena and Venus Williams – sisters who have had two of the most successful tennis careers of all time. Serena has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player (regardless of gender) in the Open Era. Elder sister Venus became the first Black woman to be ranked #1 in the Open Era and has won 7 Grand Slam titles.
Watch professional tennis on TV:
- Three major tournaments happen during the run of The Last Match:
- The Mutua Madrid Open will be played May 2nd through 9th
- The Internazionali BNL d’Italia will be played May 9th through 16th
- The French Open (also known as Roland-Garros), one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, will be played May 31st through June 13th
- The Tennis Channel will broadcast matches from all three tournaments, and significant French Open matches will air on NBC and NBCSN.
Go out and play tennis yourself!
- The Glencoe Park District has five parks with outdoor tennis courts: Lakefront Park, Melvin Berlin Park, Shelton Park, Watts Park and West Park.
- The Chicago Park District has hundreds of outdoor tennis courts all over the city, and indoor courts at McFetridge Sports Center.
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