Recommended by Hallie Palladino

    11 Feb. 2019
    I just saw the first preview of the Teatro Vista production of this play. It's a perfect companion to The Madres. It's urgently important storytelling. It's hard to reduce this deeply moving play to a brief description. But I will say it shows a woman in an impossible situation navigating her identity and figuring out what it means to be a daughter, mother, wife and artist. This play is relevant to this cultural moment for dozens of reasons.
    11 Feb. 2019
    I just saw the Broken Nose production in Chicago. It has simple, elegant storytelling, strong characters and it's exciting, engaging, funny and surprising. Spotswood does a beautiful job of connecting the process of training to be a fighter with the ongoing process of figuring out how to self-advocate in real life. He also shows characters who are fighting to get better, feel better and take better care of one another. This is a hopeful and thoughtfully written play.
  • Missed Opportunities
    11 Feb. 2019
    I just saw the world premiere of Missed Opportunities in Chicago, directed by Lexi Saunders, and loved Jillian's smart, faced paced dialogue and her incredibly charming characters. This play is funny, smart and heartwarming and it avoids the pitfalls of many romantic comedies in the best of ways. It's an antidote to played out tropes of the genre and it gives each character not just sharp wit but emotional complexity.
  • Black Santa
    3 Jan. 2019
    Mays cleverly skewers educated suburban white teachers who are irrationally attached to the notion of a "traditional" (ie white) Santa after a student asserts Santa is black (a factually sound statement since Santa is the parents, and parents come in every color). This play is a clever and biting send-up of the entrenched anti-blackness upheld by our educational system, a system which erases the lived experiences of children of color, punishing and silencing them. With a brilliantly funny face off between a black and white Santa each claiming to be "real " Mays exposes the weaponization of American cultural myths.
    8 May. 2018
    This play is stunningly beautiful. I saw a reading of the one character version last night at Jackalope. Svich captures a moment in childhood where dreams collide with future realities. The play is a devastating meditation on inequality, greed and consumer culture as seen through the eyes of a child grappling with the gulf between potential and opportunity. The story is dynamic, nuanced and beautifully layered. Svich's poetry and imagery are breathtaking.
  • ...And Eat It Too
    13 Mar. 2018
    This elegant play is a meditation on the heartbreaking tradeoffs that new mothers face and the way this transition can impact marriage, career and sense of self. It's so important to have stories about what really happens when women have children from the point of view of women. This play is creative and surprising and heartwrenching.
  • Locker Room
    13 Mar. 2018
    This ten minute play is smart and charming with a delightfully unexpected twist. It also says a lot about the way boys are pressured to perform their masculinity in competitive environments and it would be a great short piece for students since there are so many roles for young men.
  • Herland
    13 Mar. 2018
    This play brings together a young woman on the verge of adulthood with a group of women in their seventies who are trying to get empowered in a very deliberate way and find a place for themselves after lives spent as wives and mothers. This emotions this play creates are bittersweet because it's about how a desire to have more agency doesn't always mean we get to exercise it, at least not always in a grand way. The friendships between these women are beautiful and this all feels very real. These are stories of women we don't normally see.
  • The Squirrel Plays: Infestation, Compensation, Eradication
    1 Mar. 2018
    These absurdist comedies about squirrel problems are a hilarious metaphor for social issues ranging from class to race to gun violence. A timely dark comedy about middle class liberal hypocrisy.
  • Wisdom From Everything
    1 Mar. 2018
    A beautifully crafted, unflinching portrait of a family trying to survive in the upside down world of a refugee camp. Farzana is thrust into an unlikely marriage, gambling that she may just get an education. A complex and surprising family drama about loyalty and the lengths people are willing to go to in a time of crisis. This play is full of unexpected, highly specific characters and situations that bring to life a part of the world we rarely see on stage, and certainly if we do never like this.