Recommended by David Hansen

  • People of the Book
    5 Apr. 2018
    Taken literally, El Guindi's play is about deception, professional and personal jealousy, and the effect of American wars in the Middle East. It's a great read, with playful and cutting dialogue, and it is also a metaphor for how American has played itself, chaining our fate to the region. Each of the four central characters reflect a different point of view, about art and writing, the war and its worth, and what responsibility the United States has yet to take for its actions. And each of them had my (shifting) sympathy. Highly recommended!
  • I Go Somewhere Else
    4 Apr. 2018
    Our narrator, as a child, asks, "Aren't we supposed to love everybody? No matter what they've done to hurt us in the past?" When someone we love hurts us, we assume it is something we have done to deserve it. Even a blameless child thinks this. In this moving and insightful play, the playwright deftly lays out the story of a troubling mother-figure, leaving it squarely at our feet to understand her and to forgive her, as we strive to understand and forgive our own mothers. The way we hope our children may one day understand and forgive us.
  • The Tallest Building in the World
    3 Apr. 2018
    Schatz tells an expansive story with great economy, utilizing a small number of interesting characters who debate and kvetch with wit and passion to build a dream for the future. The tragedy as they see it is the predetermined ephemera of architecture. As the playwright points out, "architecture might be the only art form where the art is destroyed as a means of progress." We are sadly aware of the flaws in the logic of their design, and how the techniques employed to make the thing possible are also elements which will contribute to its eventual destruction. Highly recommended.
  • Monsters Are Made
    2 Apr. 2018
    "You know you're a rapist but you don't even know what rape means." To what extent should we understand the assailant, the rapist? What do you do with a perpetrator who demands his own punishment, when doing so is merely another form of control, dominance, and presence?

    This is a strong two-hander, currently in development, one that poses difficult questions, with violence and humor, but openly searching for a true and honest path to justice and redemption.
  • Before Evening Comes
    1 Apr. 2018
    A Dystopian parable, set in a near-future where all African-American men are legal bound to make a very specific sacrifice to maintain their own survival. In days past, those enslaved told of people who could fly (and escape their captors) and that story is wound up in this, a moving and lyric tale of the men who are complicit in the system and the women who sacrifice everything to save their children from it. Highly recommend.
  • The Family Claxon
    16 Dec. 2017
    Relentlessly funny, delightfully grotesque, and an extremely timely allegory for 21st century America, this fast-paced disaster play pits one quintessentially fatuous modern family against the forces of entropy which currently envelop our society. And there's cake!
  • Zamboni Godot
    6 Oct. 2017
    Halliday's protagonists wait everywhere -- in the emergency room, at the amusement park, at the BMV -- highlighting modern issues and anxieties in this hilarious, absurdist deconstruction of Beckett's classic text. The original is merely a template for the playwright's spare and insightful examination of every contemporary indignity. Very, very funny, and "100% Bechdel Test Approved!"
  • The Wayward Bunny
    25 Sep. 2017
    A brilliant existentialist thriller which leaves the reader on-edge and uncertain until the last moment ... and beyond. A compact company of diverse ages makes this an eminently producible play; strongly recommended!
    25 Sep. 2017
    The Ultimate Millennial Road Trip Play! Exciting, youthful, shrewd and challenging, this is an inspiring, forward-leaning work. We must believe the Rains and Zoes are going to save the world.
  • Waiting For Waiting For Godot
    24 Sep. 2017
    An absurd and hilarious rumination on the existential anxiety of life in the theater, faithful to its inspirational source but uniquely original. I am not recommending my own work, I am spelled differently.