Recommended by Mark Rigney

  • Holy and Unruly
    13 May. 2020
    The notion of a face-to-face meeting between Elizabeth I and an actual pirate would be a delicious recipe under any circumstances, but when that pirate is both female and an Irish rebel, the whole thing becomes just irresistible. A great many historical plays get bogged down in the language, but Beardsley gives us antique stylings that remain light on their feet and completely comprehensible. Verbal fencing leads to physical swordplay, but note that it's the men who resort to violence. Waiting in the wings are two haunts from Gloriana's past, the theatrical icing on this holy, unruly cake.
  • Never Again
    5 Aug. 2019
    Shirley Jackson lives! What could have become a very staid, hidebound piece (plays about writing and writers are so often word-heavy) becomes neatly, theatrically three-dimensional with the addition of, among other key props, a typewriter and a number of dangerous rocks. The one with the black mark at the end is especially on-point. "It isn't fair!" And yes, we should still be frightened––deeply, in our innermost selves––by "The Lottery."
  • The Ones That Flutter
    6 Mar. 2019
    I'd never heard of either playwright or play, but, for whatever reason, I chose to read this one. Words on a page rarely summon emotion; it's quite the trick. Sylvia Reed manages that and more. If you're looking for something with impact, you're in the right place.
  • Daisy Violet the Bitch Beast King
    8 Oct. 2018
    I had the great pleasure of seeing this piece on its feet at the Ground and Field Festival (Davis, CA), and the journey it describes––from sorcery and vital female rage to an organic, integrated sacrament at its close––was wonderful to witness. What works on paper doesn't always fly in three dimensions, but DAISY VIOLET most certainly takes wing. If there is justice in the universe, this one will get more attention and additional productions. Plus, it's funny. What more can we ask for?
  • Silent Sky
    9 Apr. 2018
    It's such a great pleasure to watch a play, as it comes to a close, rise up and gather itself and deliver a serious emotional punch. SILENT SKY does that and more, providing laughs, connection, and the solid common sense to treat the audience as intelligent enough to follow both the science and human relationships. A delightful piece, and I'm so glad to have discovered it.
  • Human Terrain
    3 Dec. 2015
    A dash of science, a dash of war. The world we actually live in, dramatized. Who says current events don't make for good plays? Who says women can't hold down leading roles, with specialties, skills, and terrible conflicts to boot? If you've got a gap in your season (and especially if you've got an interest in the politics of intervention), you need to read this play.