Recommended by William Triplett

  • Kalispell
    14 May. 2024
    This play has so many nice surprises in it. While the setting is familiar enough -- a holiday gathering of family members who could not be more different, with all the hopes and disappointments you might expect -- the story quickly takes unexpected turns, laying bare more disappointment and hurt than some characters even knew they had. There are lots of laughs along the way, but they sharpen the poignance of what's happening. Great roles for actors, simple to produce, and deeply heartfelt -- a winning combination!
  • Ouroboros
    10 Apr. 2024
    An ingenious piece, full of wit, heart, and more than a little poignance. How many plays have you read or seen that can be performed/read backward as well as forward -- and have an impact either way? But this is far more than just clever structuring. There's a story about real people and real hurts and joys, no matter what order you take it in. Simple to stage, packed with fat roles for actors, and a lot to think about after you reach either end. Quite an achievement!
  • To Love Alone
    29 Dec. 2023
    A charming, whimsical, and very poignant two-hander here full of subtext about loneliness and disappointments of the heart. I found myself smiling at the repartee and the skewering of a manufactured holiday, but I also felt sympathy for the two nicely etched characters and their respective senses of isolation. This really should be part of any Valentine's Day themed festival, but it can also stand on its own as a story of two people looking for a connection. Well done!
  • The Girl in the Mirror
    30 Oct. 2023
    The suspense in this short play builds creepily, and just when I thought I felt sure I knew where it was going, Rachel spins things and hits me with an ending that is both a surprise and entirely fitting! No easy feat, to be sure. This would be perfect for a Halloween or horror-themed festival, but it also could stand alone as a wonderful drama that's also a scary take on morality tales. Would love to see this staged!
  • Not Like Us (a ten minute play)
    10 Oct. 2023
    This little hand grenade of a play is a powerful look at how technology -- especially digital tech -- may advance seemingly at light-speed, becoming more sophisticated every day, but human nature doesn't evolve. In fact, in may devolve. I was torn between laughing at the absurd abuse depicted here and covering my eyes and ears out of fear during a reading at the 2023 Midwest Dramatists Conference. And the ending will stay with you -- uncomfortably so. Easy to stage, great roles -- should be produced!
  • Leave It
    10 Oct. 2023
    An iconic TV show from the 1950s featuring a kid, his older brother, and his all-American suburban family meets the shattering impacts of the Vietnam War. A more dramatic loss of innocence is hard to imagine. Doesn't take long to figure out who the characters are, but this powerful piece is about more than that -- much more. William J. Goodwin asks big questions here -- Was there a "right" side to the war? What did so many deaths mean? The play offers no answers, showing us instead the ongoing human toll. Beautifully done.
  • The Record Don't Stop Spinnin' for Robby Ray Robinson
    9 Oct. 2023
    Okay, language lovers with a taste for the absurd, the fantastical, and the hilarious, be advised: If you aren't prepared to be wowed by stylized dialogue that mesmerizes while telling a story that makes you laugh out loud and simultaneously tugs at your heart-strings, then you read this at your own peril. I discovered this gem at the 2023 Midwest Dramatists Conference, where it was a hit -- and it still has me smiling thinking back on some of its many masterful moments. So well done!
  • Ever After
    9 Oct. 2023
    This is the story of a fairy tale marriage -- the princess and her frog -- as maybe the Mad Hatter might have imagined it. Who knows, that may be Michael Waterson's alter ego :-). They're in counseling, and their therapist -- none other than Mother Goose herself -- is doing all she can, making us all wonder, "Can this insane marriage be saved?" Enormously fun and hugely funny! One of my favorites at the 2023 Midwest Dramatists Conference.
  • Sputnik
    9 Oct. 2023
    Who knew a pro wrestler had a big hand in the Civil Rights movement in Tennessee in the early 1960s? This romp of a play weaves a lot of history into the narrative of a truly larger-than-life character who happens to have been real, Roscoe "Sputnik" Monroe. Everett Robert uses a sort of kaleidoscopic structure -- perfect for this story -- to shine a light on a truly strange but true life that will have you smiling as much as thinking and reflecting. Great job!
  • Brian's Poems
    9 Oct. 2023
    This is one of those emotionally intense plays done in real time -- rare, in my experience -- and it hooks you from the start. What seems to be a near-futile attempt to retrieve a missed opportunity for love evokes sympathy and understanding, not to mention some wonderfully placed laughs. Caught a reading of this at the 2023 Midwest Dramatists Conference, and feel very lucky I did. Larry Rinkel knows how to find the humanity in loss. Really enjoyed this.