Recommended by David Hansen

  • 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!
  • Undead Anonymous
    23 Apr. 2018
    Femia's play is very funny, and a tremendous performance challenge; a monodrama through which one actor performs all of those attending a support group for "the undead." Through their monologues, memoirs and confessions, they share their fears, disappointments and anger at having been separated from humanity. These lost and lonely monsters eloquently describe their situation with wit and passion, each a unique example for the denial and acceptance of illness, addiction, difference in its many forms.

    We all strive for acceptance, and some come by it best through solidarity. "Undead Anonymous" is a lovely elegy of hope.
  • Inappropriate Relationship
    22 Apr. 2018
    A teenage girl is waiting outside her school in the cold after dark, and as in that old pop song about the pedophile teacher, "his car is warm and dry." The men who teach at Seaview High need to learn a thing or two about gossip in the break room but they are not alone, as every character from the administration on down has an opportunity to make a bad situation worse. Lovitch creates a gripping test-case in how not to handle an allegation. A highly compelling read!
  • My Uncle Javy
    21 Apr. 2018
    Rojas has composed a troubling family drama about the cycle of quiet abuse that happens when we abandon our dreams and reach for what is closest to us, and create a shameful, furtive reality. The playwright creates an absorbing, uncomfortable scenario, posing difficult questions. In the end, those who transgress are not punished, but we are left with the hope that Rosie, the girl, will be able to control her own destiny when everyone responsible for her has failed. A gripping read, and highly recommended.
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
    20 Apr. 2018
    Hoffman's script is sweetly smart romantic comedy (should I say "rom-com"?) about what movies mean to people, and why some folks obsess about discussing and debating them. It's about symbolism and sentiment, how we talk about movies to share secret knowledge and express secret feelings. With two complex and interesting leads, it deceptively explores and explodes storytelling tropes with wit and wisdom. Check it out!

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