Recommended by Nick Malakhow

  • A Danger to Yourself and Others
    18 Mar. 2023
    An immensely fun read that combines the breeziness of a caper comedy with the twistiness of a clever mystery and a more grounded heart that explores anxiety, mental health, and trust. I loved the plot-related surprises along the way and felt sympathetic for and taken in by Eddie as a central nucleus throughout as his night went from bad to worse. I also appreciated the inroads he made in his own anxiety struggles even as his life was very concretely falling apart! A fun and very producible small cast farce.
    20 Feb. 2023
    A powerful, vulnerable solo show that grapples with body image and eating disorders from a lens rarely focused on. I was taken aback by the balance of specificity and universality. Herrera tells one specific narrative with nuance and particularity, but tells it in a way that addresses broader cultural conversations about mental health, self and body image, gender, masculinity, and the intersection of those things with racial and ethnic identity. If you read this while the run of this is still happening in New York (and streamed online!), I hope you take the chance to see it.
  • Things With Friends
    12 Feb. 2023
    An unsettling, darkly comedic piece that lives in the world of allegory and absurd while not losing a level of specificity and nuance in its characters. It inhabits and toys with the "guests coming to dinner and instigate a reckoning" genre of theater that echoes "A Delicate Balance" but reflecting our current societal concerns and fears. Diaz looks at the intersection of friendship with the existential crises of late stage capitalism, consumption, and environmental disaster. The visceral use of food props was striking. I'd love to see this on its feet!
  • #NewSlaves
    7 Feb. 2023
    This astounding play is as epic in scope as it is intimate. It manages to illuminate the lives of several individuals--historical and contemporary--with deft and multi-faceted brushstrokes while also zooming out and illuminating several harmful systems the United States was built on and runs on: the enslavement of Black people, policing and incarceration, and professional sports. The links it makes between those three oppressive structures are potent and bold and startling while also being tackled in a nuanced manner. A huge, theatrical masterpiece that threads important connections and provokes necessary conversations.
  • Pink Man
    3 Jan. 2023
    A complex and super theatrical exploration of identity, home, and feeling like you exist in a liminal space with regards to both of those things. I've read several drafts of this as part of a playwright's group and I've loved seeing its developmental journey. The theatrical tools used to communicate the story have become so much more focused and potent, as has the central arc of the Pink Man. Clever usage of chorus, a compelling trickster story facilitator, and lots of opportunity for community engagement and unconventional use of theatrical space are just a few additional strengths.
  • The Creature
    26 Dec. 2022
    Endlessly intriguing speculative piece that both looks ahead and looks to our present and the ways we're harming ourselves and our environment and how we might try to escape the consequences with dubious, ethically complicated methods. The fascinating final third of the play, a series of scenes that look far ahead to the future populated by various groups/flocks of creatures, humans, and beings, is a theatrically compelling climax. I'd be excited to see this on its feet.
  • PSYCHOPSYCHOTIC, or, everyone at yale is a goddamn sociopath !!!
    26 Dec. 2022
    An unsettling, darkly humorous, and razor sharp exploration of college rape culture and the ways schools consistently fail women and femme folk and oftentimes even pit women against one another. The genre-bending mash up of horror, absurdism, and satire serves the story and theme well, putting into stark relief the absolute absurdism of these systematic failings and harms. I'd be excited to see this in production!
    26 Dec. 2022
    A tightly written, propulsively-paced family drama that unfolds secrets and surprises with judicious pacing. New information always comes to light just when you think you've stabilized your sense of who these people are and who they are/what they do for one another. I also appreciated the deeply intersectional lens, so that we were able to get to know and love not just a "neutral" (re... "White") "everyfamily," but one whose particular identity intersections within its members clearly informed their trajectories, anxieties, concerns, and dreams. I'd love to see this on its feet!
    23 Dec. 2022
    This is such a lovely, intimate triplet of a play that delicately explores the intersection of coming of age, queerness, and social expectations. The way the relationships between all three characters evolve slowly but surely feels organic keeps you reading with little moments of suspense and with their poignantly blossoming social and love connections. These characters speak with the "inelegance meets profundity" of real teens--Gina captures the impulsivity and deep yearning and thoughtfulness of the high school years. I'd so love to see this performed!
  • This Is Just a Box
    23 Dec. 2022
    A complex and thorny play that looks at the terrifying intersection of capitalism, assisted suicide, and mental health. I really enjoyed the use of simultaneous scenes, which helped illuminate character and plot shifts in one another in a clever and suspenseful fashion. I also really appreciated the subtle and clear world building that slowly but surely paints a portrait of a dreadful, dystopian world ravaged by even harsher economic disparities than our own. I'm eager to follow this play's development trajectory and would love to see it on its feet!