Recommended by Daniel Prillaman

  • THE ARIA OF JULIE D'AUBIGNY, the cross-dressing, sword-fighting, opera singer, wherein she seduces men and women alike, wins numerous duels, must be twice pardoned by the King, and eventually finds true love.
    18 Sep. 2020
    This is delightfully charismatic and masterful writing. I shall not commit the injustice of calling Lady d'Aubigny "sensational," but this play, in the most marvelous and praising sense, is. Cross has written an actor's (and costumer's) playground, and I cannot recommend it enough. The Gossips are especially brilliant, not only a clever device to fill in (and play with) the historical gaps, but a Chorus that transform the story into a Greek epic, elevating the cast of characters while also revealing the heroes within as truly human people, looking for a way through life like the rest of us. Amazing.
  • The Pineapple Line
    15 Sep. 2020
    I feel that putting a “O.O” into a recommendation is appropriate here. Hayet effortlessly brings about laughs and double takes in abundance with a piece that would make a great addition to any short festival. Grounded in an eternal debate (I, personally, am a Barry, come at me) that escalates to absurdity after absurdity, the comedy just gets darker and darker, and if you’ll pardon the pun, tasty! I honestly have to agree. Is there really any taboo truly worse than pineapple on pizza?
  • Unburied: A Queer Horror-Comedy
    14 Sep. 2020
    Deliciously witty, twisting, and bloody, Bavoso’s play is a perfect short for the spooky season. Come for the frights, stay for the articulate critique of tired, disrespectful tropes, and trust in the electrifying ride Bavoso’s penned. The ending, in particular, is a brilliant touch, genuinely surprising, but not so shocking as to feel unearned. Wonderful work.
  • A Little Piece Of You
    13 Sep. 2020
    “A Little Piece Of You” is my favorite kind of play. It’s poetic, tense, tender, bloody, you name it, Rosenberg has provided it in spades, but only just enough to let our minds cross the finish line. It is a true relief when playwrights (especially in horror) trust the audience to do their share of the work, and the result is a marvelous, alluring, and enchanting story of family and violence. The set itself feels like its own character, and strikes an imposing figure of nature that would delight designers. Lovely acting opportunities here as well. Highly recommend.
  • The Roommate
    10 Sep. 2020
    A paralyzing visual aid of contagion wrapped up in a hilarious comedy, Plummer’s play runs with a brilliant premise that has us laughing until we finally think about what’s really happening. Vida doesn’t care how you feel, what you do, or what preventative measures you take, she’s going to find a way in, and she's going to do it with a smile. A lovely, layered work with lots of stickers, “The Roommate” asks how reasonable (or possible) it is to always be on our guard. A treat for artists and audiences alike.
  • Guardian
    4 Sep. 2020
    No matter what, trust the dog. It’s probably for the best.

    Busser’s short play is a haunting, tragic piece filled with opportunities for some delicious physical work. It’s rare that we see a dog in a play that isn’t devoted to comedy, and it’s a real treat to see the depth Busser skillfully pulls out of the scenario. The ending, in particular, will stick with me for quite a while. Check this piece out.
  • Shelter
    4 Sep. 2020
    Gilbert’s play is a grand meditation on hope, acceptance, grief, and everything in between. Set in a future that feels all too plausible, we watch as Isabel Hicks gives a tour-de-force performance (an amazing opportunity for an actor to do the same) for her last show, struggling to hold on to her sanity and literally bearing the weight of the world on her shoulders. Provoking questions about not only what would we do to stay alive, but what that even means, “Shelter” was and is a hell of a show, and you need to tune in. Bravo.
  • Endowed: Or, The Play With The Butt-Plug
    28 Aug. 2020
    Far and away the most excellent play with a butt plug that I have ever encountered, Malone's tight, brilliantly paced farce is an absolute hoot. The titular sex toy is treated with reverence, almost taking on a life of its own. But moreover, the surrounding characters are layered and so honest throughout the absurdity of the situation, elevating the material to the best kind of comedy, not only deadly serious, but heartfelt and touching. Highly recommend. The stage direction here is also a huge treat for any reader. Hysterical.
  • Slaying Holofernes
    26 Aug. 2020
    READ THIS. McClain has painted an infuriating and heart-wrenching piece of theatre. It is masterfully composed, deftly telling in parallel the tales of two women separated by centuries but intimately connected by harassment and assault in the workplace. How far have we truly come since the 1600s? How far must we still go? While tragic, the play ultimately hardens our resolve and our spirit, and is a work that can simply not be ignored. This play deserves a long, long life on the stage, and it demands your attention.
  • Drain
    25 Aug. 2020

    I mean, that's it. That's the recommendation.

    I could talk about the malleable nature of power. I could talk about how disturbingly easy it is to erase history. I could talk about art inherently being political or how any proper call to action is a demand to make a choice. Are you for or against such a terrifying future coming to pass?

    But all I come back to is a single "Goddamn." Filled with shame, fear, regret, anger, anguish, and somewhere buried beneath it all, a hope that we can stop this from happening. Brutal, necessary work.