Recommended by Nick Malakhow

  • monster SLAYer
    23 Jul. 2022
    A nuanced and complex rendering of a family processing grief while also looking forward to a transition of new life emerging. Isabella and Jaiden's sibling relationship and their relationships with their mom are all real and specific and full of the humor and tension that only come with family. Johnson avoids unnecessary theatrics in the plot and instead focuses on more powerful, smaller, seismic shifts. A beautifully rendered and fully-realized theatrical world.
  • Our Tempest
    22 Jul. 2022
    This piece is so incredibly hilarious and poignant. It so very much captures the existential dread of creating art both at the particular socio-cultural and socio-political moment of Spring 2021, as well as in general. The ensemble is a dynamite collection of diverse individuals that actors would sink their teeth into. The intersection of magic and Shakespeare and satire and politics is totally unique. I'd love to see this in production!
  • Welcome to the Wedding of Vincent and Gina
    22 Jul. 2022
    In this play, Hehir so wonderfully captures the inelegant rhythms of realistic speech. She examines the the social and emotional rituals surrounding weddings with a sort of natural and irregular precision. Each character in the sizable ensemble is well rendered and brings nuance and shading to the group dynamic. That said, there is this finely focused thread woven throughout in the form of Lindsay that traces how such occasions can be complex gatherings shaped and colored by potent and lasting traumas and experiences. I'd love to experience this staged!
  • Salutations, I'm Creative Dave
    15 Jul. 2022
    Incredibly funny, clever, and unexpectedly poignant. Jake Brasch examines, messes with, and refracts back the form of the small-cast, dysfunctional family drama with absolutely hilarious results. I loved the cognitive dissonance of seeing real, relatable, complex truths about identity, family, connection, and happiness being illuminated through the comedically stilted, literal point of view of Creative Dave. Lots of stage images and moments here I won't forget! I'd love to see this produced.
  • If nobody does remarkable things
    6 Jul. 2022
    Such a beautiful, timely piece. I most appreciated Gibson's subtle but continuous world building--little details of this all too plausible speculative future were delivered at key moments throughout without ever feeling like exposition. Instead, the terrifying and complex realities of this world were made clear through the thorny relationships and internal/external conflicts portrayed onstage. June's poignant monologues punctuated the play gorgeously. I'd love to see this in performance!
  • Pearl Dust from a Gun
    4 Jul. 2022
    A genre-bending, effectively meta-theatrical piece that explores a family history and becomes much more complicated in the second half as it asks who has ownership over the telling of that history. This is also a great ensemble piece with nuanced roles actors would enjoy sinking their teeth into. I'm eager to follow its development trajectory and would love to see it on its feet in production!
  • Teen Girl FANtasies
    4 Jul. 2022
    Such a well-rendered portrait of teenage energy, emotion, fandom, and friendship. Belflower and Tabaque do such a wonderful job of creating six dynamic, different, nuanced, and well-rendered characters who we all root for. The interplay between their online group dynamic, their solo suffering in their respective home lives, and the various constellations of connections they have with one another in smaller scenes is brilliant and would be delightfully theatrical to watch. I so appreciated how each character changed and deepened without being thrust into artificial theatrics/events for the sake of "theatrics." I'd love to see it fully realized.
  • Teen Girl FANtasies (co-written with Megan Tabaque)
    4 Jul. 2022
    Such a well-rendered portrait of teenage energy, emotion, fandom, and friendship. Belflower and Tabaque do such a wonderful job of creating six dynamic, different, nuanced, and well-rendered characters who we all root for. The interplay between their online group dynamic, their solo suffering in their respective home lives, and the various constellations of connections they have with one another in smaller scenes is brilliant and would be delightfully theatrical to watch. I so appreciated how each character changed and deepened without being thrust into artificial theatrics/events for the sake of "theatrics." I'd love to see it fully realized.
  • Riverwood
    2 Jul. 2022
    A beautiful theatrical mosaic that captures the relationships and connections between an eclectic and well-defined group of Black folks dealing with gentrification. I so loved the approach to this play--illustrating how outside societal and economic pressures impact people through several potent and naturalistically drawn scenes that center people vs issues. You feel all of the little seismic shifts in relationships and within characters without feeling manipulated by artificial theatrics. Such huge themes--displacement, community, dreams of leaving home, college, colorism, and more--are portrayed here with a deft and nuanced hand. I'd love to see this onstage!
  • Cassandra
    30 Jun. 2022
    A tightly-written and compelling iteration of Cassandra's narrative. I so appreciated that Jess takes Cassandra, plucks her out of the "heroes fighting heroes" narrative of Aeschylus' "Agamemnon" that she's merely used as a prop in, and explores her frustrations, hopes, dreams, and tragedies as full and three dimensional. Lots of great space here for interesting movement work and the utilization of the chorus!

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