Recommended by Daniel Prillaman

  • Your First Pet and the Street You Grew Up On
    30 Sep. 2020
    This a powerhouse gem of a play. My favorite stories are the ones that make us laugh, then make us stop. They make us go "woah." They make us think. And then they go one step further than we ever imagined. Without spoiling any of the twists in Cathro’s astounding play, I will simply say it is worthy of your attention. It demands it. It is funny, it is heart-wrenching, it is timely, and it’s a hell of an accomplishment in just under ten minutes. The title is also perfect. Highly recommend.
  • Labelmaker
    25 Sep. 2020
    How do we end toxic friendships? How do we even realize we’re in them? Hendricks’ play tackles these questions and gives us a fascinating, uncomfortable, real-time depiction of a friendship deteriorating before our eyes. As an audience, we certainly (and obviously will) take sides, but are never asked to take any particular one, a stroke of skill that makes the reality of the situation all the more tragic. Hate and inconsiderate behavior exists in people everywhere, and everybody has their line for tolerance of it. We have to live with those consequences. Well done.
  • Programming (T)error
    25 Sep. 2020
    Invoking glorious memories of the President’s infamous phone call to Dimitri, Busser’s short piece is a masterclass in comedic build. A simple, genius premise gives us some stakes, and slowly takes them to extremes with horror terrifying to imagine, but oh so hilarious to listen to, and it provides the actor playing Kasey a rare opportunity to take total command of the stage. Such a fun, mischievous piece. Even the sound designers get a playground here. Highly recommend.
  • The Graveyard Shift (A One-Act Radio Play)
    19 Sep. 2020
    An unexpectedly funny radio play grounded in some nostalgic sci-fi horror. Bauldree walks the difficult line of horror and comedy with ease (I literally laughed out loud and gasped in shock), providing moments of hilarity and dread in equal measure. The sound effects here are visceral on the page, and I can only imagine the monstrosity a designer would be able to create. This would be the perfect addition to any radio festival, or perhaps a nighttime drive down a secluded highway. Well done.
  • 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.

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