Recommended by John Minigan

  • Hallmark Doesn't Make Cards for Us (10 minute play)
    14 Jun. 2019
    I think it's really hard to build a believable and nuanced relationship in a ten minute play, but Jackie Martin does exactly that, exploring the warts-and-all connection between Jenna and Maggie. There is a quiet beauty in the way this mother and daughter pair goes from assuming every comment is meant to reopen old wounds to a subtle closing moment that acknowledges past pain and begins to find hope for their future. Program this play in your short play festival!
  • Uncle Tom's Nephews
    3 Jun. 2019
    Uncle Tom's Nephews is a rich, complex, layered, and sometimes devastatingly powerful play. The tracking of actors through roles over several generations in the life of one family adds to the sense that times may change, but history repeats. Turner fills the world of the play with complex characters who choose to look directly at or away from the past. His final act dredges up traumas that shape the characters and their world, and shows the ways in which we do and must carry the past with us. Brilliant and unforgettable.
  • Art & Class
    3 Jun. 2019
    It's rare to find a play that has throws totally compelling characters into intense social/political issues -- and keeps the focus clearly on both the lives of the characters AND the issues. The personal IS the political in this play. It's riveting and nuanced, with no easy answers. And its movement over the course of the story is filled with hilarious moments, gut-wrenching moments, and surprises that complicate and deepen the characters and the issues. It's a feast of a play.
  • Wikipedia Jones Takes The Case
    21 Apr. 2019
    This is a wild, hilarious, spin on the kid crime-buster genre. Tightly structured, fast-moving, and way more than laugh-a-minute. I'd love to see this on stage. (It's a little R-rated, so the kids the audience should probably also be played by adults)
  • Bully Dance
    20 Apr. 2019
    This astonishing play uses ritual, time, and the presence and pain of both victims and assailant to confront the impossibility of understanding violent tragedy for all who experience it. The play moves us to something beyond understanding--there is grace in the writing and structure and the possibility of grace for these characters after and maybe because of their pain. Powerful and compelling.
  • Turndown Service
    16 Apr. 2019
    Such a funny piece! The inciting incident for this farce is cleverly placed before the curtain rises, so we're wrapped in the same mystery as poor Betty, and the situation her fiance Adam and their "friend" Cameron find themselves in overtakes her, the room itself, and maybe her marriage. Shades of Joe Orton and Hitchcock here--as death, farce, and relationships tumble into unexpected territories. Rollicking and delightfully wild.
  • Really Adult
    13 Apr. 2019
    This is an absolutely lovely play. Clear and compelling characters on a journey that you think you can predict, but which surprises you in the way it surprises the characters--which is exactly how their lives have surprised them as they've reached adulthood. There is a finely wrought blend of joy and heartbreak in this piece, and two characters you care about and root for romantically, and then care about even more deeply as their "targets" shift during their Target shift. Precise and heartfelt work.
  • Chaplin & Keaton on the Set of Limelight
    13 Apr. 2019
    This play captures not just a moment in movie history and a meeting of two of the great artists of the last century, it also poses essential questions about the nature of the artistic impulse and the importance of art in the world. Is it imperative to do more than entertain, especially in the face of crisis and hatred? And where will fulfillment come from for an artist? Highly theatrical storytelling, with "silent" sequences that give us the creative world of these geniuses as they work through their differences. Compelling and remarkable.
  • Feminist Valhalla
    8 Apr. 2019
    This is a brilliant short play, starting with wit and humor and building into something that is both high energy farce and important political/social commentary on where we are and on how easy it is to take an empowering movement in completely the wrong direction. From Valhalla to Ragnarok in about ten minutes. Also, I'm sure, an absolute joy for performers.
  • Kith and Tell
    3 Apr. 2019
    This play spirals from what seems like a farcical opening into some deep and terrifying reflections on where we are and where we could be headed. The humor of the opening language work presents what looks like a farce about the breakdown of language in the age of online communication, but it gets to a scarier and compelling examination of whether we or our machines (and their communication) define "normal." A surprising, resonant twist in a completely engaging piece.

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