The Play's the Thing is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Brooke Friendly/Chris Sackett (website) in 2007 and published in Impropriety Vol. 2. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars. It is in the key: G major.
In the open draw poussette people face the center of the set rather than partner, the motion is basically half a circle.
The instructions in the book claim the tune has 32 bars, while Bare Necessities says 16. Presumably they know what music they played.
The tune is a traditional Irish slip-jig. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album Mrs. Beveridge's Triumph. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.
The animation plays at 117 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily (no music plays during this slow set). Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color, however the border of each dancer indicates what role they currently play so the border color may change each time through the minor set.
The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), figure eight, draw poussette, hey, rights and lefts (and probably others).
If you find what you believe to be a mistake in this animation, please leave a comment on youtube explaining what you believe to be wrong. If I agree with you I shall do my best to fix it.
The dance is copyright © 2007 by Brooke Friendly/Chris Sackett. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2021 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This website is copyright © 2021,2022 by George W. Williams V
My work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Most of the dances have more restrictive licensing, see my notes on copyright, the individual dance pages should mention when some rights are waived.