Recommended by Daniel Prillaman

  • juice
    21 Apr. 2022
    Kirkman refers to her play as a tool. As a tool, it is a blueprint for a story that no matter how you stage it (and you could in MANY ways, this is an enthralling playground) comes back to one question, "would you take pain if it meant your neighbor took less?" The journey is a funny, disturbing character study with echoes of morality and ethics that rival "The Good Place," but replaces its zaniness with a wry, claustrophobic terror. A deeply unsettling ending puts everything that came before into perspective, and I can't wait to keep "digesting" it.
  • Spotting Thermals
    20 Apr. 2022
    Humanity has a knack for putting a unique balance of beauty and ugliness into the world. Corona's sharp, brisk thriller is nothing short of a stunning portrait of this. As a series of bizarre murders rocks the town of the protagonists, "Spotting Thermals" poetically submerges itself in (or ascends into?) the murkiness of mental health, delusion, hope, maladaptive coping, and everything in-between. It's a fantastic change of pace to see a play tap from the world of crime procedurals, and the complex web of characters is deftly drawn and richly realized. Hell of a play.
  • Please Seat Yourself
    12 Apr. 2022
    Bear with me, but I feel a "O.O" is appropriate here. A stellar short piece that understands how to let the audience do the work, Kahng's play is just absolutely terrifying. Sometimes, the horror of the horror diner isn't the establishment itself, sometimes...it's the people we meet inside them, and our own pasts. I would say more, but I don't want to spoil it. Just check it out.
  • The Zebra (one-minute play)
    10 Apr. 2022
    Move over, Ionesco. Weaver builds a whole history here, we just only get to see a small part of it. The physical comedy part. Well...actually, like Esther...we also just missed it.
  • Things Didn't Cost As Much Then (Beauregard and Zeke #5)
    10 Apr. 2022
    Masterfully done. Simple, beautiful, innocent, heart-wrenching, I don’t think I have to tell anybody at this point just how fucking good Scott Sickles is, but I’ll say it again. “Scott Sickles is so fucking good.” He is an amazing playwright, always knowing how much to say, and how much to leave unsaid. He trusts the audience, and in the case of this chapter of Beauregard and Zeke, weaves a tender tale of love through the generations. We’ve sadly still far to go, but we have also come so far.
  • Rotten
    7 Apr. 2022
    Heyman's short is just absolutely wonderful. Not only is it a beautiful tale of a rekindling friendship, but a piece that dives into the effects of aggressions in the school system, and how those affected might cope. In the case of Yaoi manga, Heyman plays not just with the trope of "forbidden love," but pure love, unspoiled by real life. Healthy or unhealthy, the romanticization of romance is examined on both ends of the spectrum, and leaves us with a lot to think about.
  • Alpha Omega Incorporated
    7 Apr. 2022
    Fun and thought-provoking, Swenson brings the laughs as its time for God to get fired, but then leaves us with some divine (forgive me) commentary on religion, worship, and belief, how they all intertwine, and how they change over time. It’s always lovely to see pieces that deal with faith in a way that doesn’t feel like propaganda, but it’s particularly lovely to see a piece that addresses religious extremism’s place in war, and how much of that extremism comes about from folks simply unwilling to keep an open mind.
  • The Letter G
    6 Apr. 2022
    Unfortunately more timely than ever, McShane thoughtfully dives into the question, "How dare we tell kids gay people exist?" The Mr. Rogers archetype is used to the hilt (also providing a huge amount of fun with puppets and set design), but tenderly raises questions not just about love (familial and of humanity), but how much the reasons we keep things from kids or teach them certain things has so much to do with ourselves instead of them. Sometimes for good, sometimes because we don't know what to say, and sometimes...well, sometimes because people fear anyone who's different. Lovely piece.
  • Getting Her Exorcise
    6 Apr. 2022
    No one is safe. Pulling inspiration from "The Omen," "Rosemary's Baby," "The Exorcist," and every film in-between, Busser fills this fun Mother's Day piece with what is actually one of the greatest trope reversals I've ever seen. How has no one thought of this yet?! I dare not spoil it, but rest assured this short play is absolutely hilarious. Devilishly so. I cannot imagine any festival or production in which it does not bring down the house. It would be so much fun to act in this, or watch it. For now, reading must suffice.
  • Seaside Tragedies
    21 Mar. 2022
    As a Pisces with ADHD who loves coffee, I'm perhaps wired at a base level to adore this play. Tishk's "brain faffing" (real term, look it up) is remarkably written. I cannot overstate how excellently Sickles translates ADHD brain to the stage. He NAILS it. The thought cycles, the imagined scenarios and blurring of memories, the anxiety. I'm so excited to see the trajectory of this play, because it already feels timeless, looking forward, while back at the past at the same time, struggling to find peace in a terrifying now. Brilliantly structured, layered, and heart-wrenching. The Sea, indeed.

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