Recommended by David Hansen

  • 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 with 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.
  • Through Andrew's Eyes
    15 Apr. 2018
    Cabrera creates a family in a sympathetic hierarchy -- the younger sister, straining to be responsible, the older brother, who desperately wishes to abdicate his responsibility, the careworn mother, who has no choice but to be overbearing and firm -- all in the service of Andrew, unknowable, even perhaps to himself. Powerfully symbolic with graceful monologues on the indelible yet inconstant effects of memory, this is a truly affecting work on the enduring strength of familial commitment and love.
  • The Volunteer
    14 Apr. 2018
    The play begins as a "thought experiment" inspired by an op-ed piece which posed a simple question; what if the President had to murder someone with their bare hands in order to retrieve codes to launch a nuclear strike? Playwright Rose has a knack for witty dialogue, but she also knows how to make a strong, convincing argument. At first presentational and satiric, the narrative deftly morphs into an affecting drama with real-world parallels and consequences, at once mythic and intimate. I love plays like this.
  • Calling Puerto Rico
    13 Apr. 2018
    Remember when an historic natural disaster struck the United States and the American President did absolutely nothing? You would think that would be a national outrage.

    One of the best ways, sometimes to only way, to comprehend an epic tragedy is to focus on one compelling, intimate story. With this play, Ramirez elegantly paints a picture of isolation and despair, with pathos and humor, never forgetting that there are always those around us, some we cannot see and pretend not to see, who want to help us when we are in need. A powerful contemporary message.
  • Rubbish
    12 Apr. 2018
    The setting is modern Singapore, where a law has been established making the collection of trash for the purpose of sale illegal. There are so many words for trash; rubbish, yes, and garbage, waste, and refuse. This last seems best to communicate that which is worthless, discarded. It can be a verb; something turned away, refused. The protagonist, an eighty-eight year old woman for whom this law means the end to her livelihood, selling scavenged cans and cardboard. In the end, it is clear that people can be refuse, too. A surreal story told with humor and heart. Highly recommended!
  • Blowout
    11 Apr. 2018
    An elderly stylist in Del Carmen’s play comments on how everyone wants their hair to look like someone else's. "Lo general nadie está feliz como es," she says. No one is happy with the way things are. But I was delighted with this script (written in Spanish) about transition, change, and gentrification at one neighborhood salon, which includes a variety of charming women characters, great humor, beautiful monologues, and hope for the future.
  • The Big Fuckin' Giant
    10 Apr. 2018
    Bykowski creates a trio of men who are each sympathetic in their own way, and in turn each of their weaknesses are exposed by the others. Women are absent, a couple defined for us by these men, as types -- an African-American who is fetishized and feared, the aloof, white cuckolder. These collegiate athletes channel their aggression and practice their dominance on the women they cannot understand and lives they feel they cannot control on a blow-up doll, and on each other. It is an aggressively physical and painfully eloquent parable for our time, or for all times.

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