Recommended by David Hansen

  • To the Orchard
    3 May. 2018
    I am charmed by this story, focuses on the relationship between parents and adult children, and the ghosts of things unspoken. Or not yet spoken. The intense relationship between parents and children, the importance of mentors and lovers, and lovers who are mentors. A must-read.
  • Trust
    2 May. 2018
    Like one of those caper films in which an ordinary, seemingly blameless white guy gets sucked into a world of crime and intrigue, only to emerge by the final reel safe and sound, a bit wiser but confident in his place of privilege, Schulman's script is a seriously dark comedy in which our protagonist is hardly blameless, and his successful passage through the underworld unearned and undeserved. We are all aware that the drug war unfairly punishes people of color, and this is a damning, hilarious, and fast-paced illustration.
  • The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin
    1 May. 2018
    Mysterious and magical, this is fabulous tale is at once universal and uniquely American, about how we cope with the ghosts, those literal and imagined, from the counties we left behind. A delightful and haunting read.
  • Fairfield
    30 Apr. 2018
    Coble has an incomparable way of taking difficult contemporary issues to outrageously hilarious extremes, and "Fairfield" is a classic example of this. He explodes modern conversations about race, while still presenting engaging and (with one obvious exception) sympathetic, well-meaning, occasionally delusional characters who truly want to do the right thing, even if they only help make everything spin more wildly out of control. As one of the parents whose children attend Fairfield might say, Eric Coble knows how to "use his words!"
  • BIG NOSE
    29 Apr. 2018
    They used to say that in America you could be anything you want, but what do you want do be? Our ideas of beauty and sex are so troubled and messed up, we spend time and money harming ourselves to please others instead of accepting who we truly are.

    Osei-Kuffour’s script is close to the heart, but the playwright also has such skill with awkward conversations, misunderstandings and malaprops, physical timing and magical absurdity that I kept laughing out loud. This play is hilarious, poignant, and sweet. A must-read!
  • Living Creatures
    28 Apr. 2018
    Wellman has composed a chilling fable about the helplessness of parenthood. Having a child means that every day, every moment, is an opportunity for them to die. Part ghost story, part aching lament, the playwright taps into the primal fear of child loss, creating a contemporary mythology, not to explain the afterlife, but rather what happens to the living when someone they have put their heart into is gone. It is a creepy, painful, glorious work of love.
  • Barceló On The Rocks
    27 Apr. 2018
    Rodriguez's tale is a memory play of the Dominican Republic, centering on one man who has betrayed as much as he has been betrayed. Caught between nations, abandoning his home and not yet embracing America, he burdens his sons with his shame, disappointment, and sadness. This script is rich and layered, a tension of regret and fear from the old country haunting the otherwise everyday setting of an apartment in Washington Heights. The final moments, of honesty, confession and acceptance, are a welcome release and promise hope for the future. Highly recommended!
  • Provenance
    26 Apr. 2018
    Two women at cross-purposes meet in a library, and the reluctant search for a rare book is on. Wilder's crackling dialogue is positively Beckettian, expressing frustration and futility with knowing wit and absurdity. This is a magical tale about the things we keep, the tasks left undone, and the fear of making connection with those best-suited to take the journey with us. An outstanding four-person piece and highly recommended!
  • The Fear Out There
    25 Apr. 2018
    Van Der Horn-Gibson's play delves into complicated issues which trouble children and which they may not entirely understand, issues of bullying, or the illness or death of a parent. The playwright tells this story, however, with playfulness, color and humor, seeing the world through the eyes of a six year-old girl as she explores her backyard with a troupe of unique and diverse imaginary animal friends. The best children's plays are those which are smart and open-hearted, appealing to an audience of all ages, and this is one of those.
  • The Return of the Shrew
    24 Apr. 2018
    Poole has crafted a light and frisky vaudeville, exploring the unseen aftereffects of Katherina's notorious closing speech Utilizing slapstick, groan-worthy puns and absurdly authentic plot devices, he conveys a much more realistic and satisfying approach to love and relationships than is found in Shakespeare's original. A swift and silly sequel -- Huzzah!

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