• Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List



  • Jillian Blevins:
    11 Nov. 2023
    What makes a good person? Vince Gatton’s darkly comic existential road trip play doesn’t offer easy answers, but it does one better: it allows us to wonder.

    YOU HAVE EARNED BONUS STARS is most powerful in its theatrical dream sequences, revealing its protagonist’s repressed shame and self-recrimination alongside a+ visual punchlines (a priest, a rabbi and an imam walk onto a plane…).

    Surviving violence—or not—doesn’t erase your past or wipe clean your karmic slate. The beauty of YHEBS is in how it not only contends with nuance and moral ambiguity, it revels in it.
  • Christian Flynn:
    1 Oct. 2023
    Conventions of good taste in theatre would tell you you shouldn't make a play this plotty. They'd say plays that have this many twists and turns are tedious and would work better on the screen. Pay those "well-made-play" rules no mind. Upon reading "You Have Earned Bonus Stars", the reader's glad they're being pulled along through a journey rather than sitting through another living room or debate play. It forces the actors, and director to take chances, make decisions. The play snakes into dark places—places darker than one would expect. But I like that kind of thing.
  • Nora Louise Syran:
    9 Apr. 2023
    What a road trip! Gatton pulls us along through this nightmare of gun violence and the heaviness of being human and the weight of the moral obligation of a debt to be repaid. These are beautifully crafted, complex characters; Morrison's "Love is never better than the lover” came to mind. Gatton wraps us up in the nightmares so much so you'll need to take a deep breath at the end of each and every one.
  • Dave Osmundsen:
    5 Feb. 2023
    "Razor-sharp" feels insufficient to describe this darkly hysterical satire. From the shocking opening moments, this play establishes a VERY specific tone, and miraculously maintains it throughout this delectably wild road-trip of a play. The story takes the concept of "Do we REALLY know who are co-workers are?" and turns it on its head, slaps it on its side, and rotates it around and around, remaining thrilling, unpredictable, and devilishly entertaining. Gatton has written some KILLER monologues in here, as well as juicy roles that allow actors to be broadly comedic and incredibly vulnerable. Brilliant work!
  • Mildred Inez Lewis:
    5 Feb. 2023
    What a rich, vibrant world, artfully realized. This play doesn't just take on the "issue" of workplace violence, although there is nothing wrong with that. It searches our souls at work where so much of life happens.

    From the opening that captures the chaos of the aftermath to the powerful ending focused on Danielle, there are many well earned surprises. We rocket through the absurd to the surreal to the theater of cruelty. When Ed ends an encomium to the victims with "Danielle, who is, of course, a whore." I almost leapt out of my chair. Excellent stuff.
  • Jacquelyn Floyd-Priskorn:
    19 Dec. 2022
    Wow. This play is so many wonderful and terrifying things at once! The characters are distinct and strong and actors will likely be up for awards playing these parts. I won't be able to stop thinking about this play and it's comedy through tragedy in such an elegant and powerful way. If they ever produce it near me, I will be fighting to be cast in this piece!
  • Christopher Soucy:
    19 Dec. 2022
    This play is both hard to read and impossible to put down. Vince Gatton beautifully navigates the chaos and trauma of an all too familiar tragedy. Haunting and revelatory, YOU HAVE EARNED BONUS STARS is a tour de force of theatricality. I strongly recommend reading it and even more strongly advocate producing it.
  • Paul Donnelly:
    21 Jun. 2022
    In the aftermath of a horrific workplace shooting, survivors experience a complex set of responses and are revealed to have complex histories. This is a gripping play. full of surprising twists and revelations. It is also vividly theatrical. I was drained, in the good way, as the story drew to a close.
  • Daniel Prillaman:
    26 Apr. 2022
    There's a (newer?) word, sonder. It means a sudden realization that everyone around us, down to the random pedestrians we pass on the street, is living a vast life, just as full of the complexities and layers and traumas that make up our own. Lucky enough to watch Gatton's beautiful script, that's the word I kept coming back to. Sometimes we don't wake up to the infinities inside others (or ourselves) until something terrible reminds us we're all human, and that we don't know when we might suddenly cease. A tremendous play full of nightmares, hilarity, hope, breath, and blood.
  • Alli Hartley-Kong:
    14 Apr. 2022
    This play is a stunning play that leaves you gasping for air, as well as crying and laughing. The characters we see onstage are so stunningly drawn, but so also is Jimmy, who never appears alive but haunts the entire work. The central theme of the play- how can one be a better person than they were before- is beautifully drawn out. I hope to see this play live one day.