Recommended by David Hansen

  • 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!
  • The Space Between Her Legs
    19 Apr. 2018
    To state this play is a metaphor for women's power and the extent to which men will go to control that power is almost entirely beside the point, because "The Space Between Your Legs" is outrageous and hysterical, with the best worst date monologue I have ever read (ladies, here's your next audition piece.) Antone has a knack for hip, intelligent dialogue and a brilliant sense of comic timing. Highly recommended!
  • The Guilt Mongers or Los Traficantes de Culpa (for those not willing to submit to the Anglicization of our people)
    18 Apr. 2018
    "You are on some self-loathing shit," comments a nurse, which could be said about almost any one of the family members in this outstanding deathbed drama. They bounce off each other like satellites, their pain played out in the open, bitterness graced with tremendous humor, with love and the need for acceptance and forgiveness riding just beneath the surface.

    When the moment arrives, the release can't be called happiness, and even relief doesn't sound right. But it is a familiar feeling and through his words and characters Christopher communicates this experience of exhalation with rightness and compassion.
  • Neighborhood Watch
    17 Apr. 2018
    Mirza has tremendous skill with knowing, witty dialogue. The piece plays like a sit-com, featuring a put-upon young woman who has a walking Dad Joke for a father and a hapless, conspiracy nut for a neighbor. But when a Muslim moves in next door, look out -- hilarity ensues!

    That’s the set-up, but the world we live in often does not work that way, which is insightfully reflected here. Mirza's script is meaningful and relevant, highlighting daily microaggressions and compassionate lip-service with humor, and exposing underlying fears and mistrust with cunning and clarity. It's brilliant!
  • Making Some Noise
    16 Apr. 2018
    A trio of sisters whose mother perished in one of the towers. Each copes with the trauma of their mother's death in different ways; fetishization, obsession, denial. The question on the table is how long must we grieve? What is appropriate? Spending time with these women, even as they wrestle with the point of their self-made holiday, I was happy for them because whatever disagreements these unique and engaging characters might have, this day has continued to bring them together under one roof. Haas creates a touching, witty and memorable drama of ritual, remembrance, and acceptance.