Recommended by Nick Malakhow

  • Cam Baby
    17 Sep. 2019
    Moss captures natural speech with an uncanny accuracy, highlighting the humor from the irregular timing and cadences of real conversations. An exceptionally interesting premise and wonderfully executed arc! This had me rolling around in stitches while also confronting some hard truths about intimacy and relationships.
    17 Sep. 2019
    As a career teacher, I love this piece. I can see where each adult character is coming from and how much they believe they're thinking in the interest of the child in question, when they so woefully miss the mark. When Michael speaks with his youthful honesty, naivete, and cynicism it's hard to see him as either the delinquent Celeste has made him out to be or the victim his mother has decided that he is. Love the combo of realism and heightened theatricality as well! Hope to see this produced soon.
  • Julio Ain't Goin' Down Like That
    13 Sep. 2019
    A fierce and brazenly theatrical exploration of not just the specific incident at the heart of the play, but of intersectionally-conscious queer identity. This piece had me alternatingly laughing at its genius, gutted by its tragedy, and sobered by its commentary. Through a clever balance of nuanced humans whose lives we were peering into and fourth-wall breaking self-aware characters, Christopher examines how this tragedy's roots are interlaced strands of hatred, misogyny, homophobia, racism, and classism. The exploration and meditation on the idea of community within the queer culture is potent and so articulately expressed as well.
  • The Volunteer
    13 Sep. 2019
    A chilling parable/"what if?" that so thoroughly explores the tendency towards dehumanizing one's enemies in exchange for survival and perpetuation of self-interest. Through her alternate reality, Rose effectively captures the fears and questions raised during the Cold War. The structure of the "guest lectures" gives a unique and theatrical framing to the piece without at all being didactic or obvious. On the contrary--this piece is subtle and full of humanity and nuance!
  • The Mermaids' Parade
    10 Sep. 2019
    The humans in this play are so exquisitely rendered with unique and distinct voices that I can practically hear all of their different cadences and rhythms in my head. The juxtaposition of Islande's and Biron's trauma is so beautifully navigated and sensitively handled, as wrenching and gutting as some moments are. The stage magic on display is also magnificently conceived of! What a joy to read such fantastical stage directions and actions that seem at once so far-fetched, but that evoke about 10 different possible staging iterations in my director-brain. It would be a pleasure to see this staged!
  • Bruise & Thorn
    9 Sep. 2019
    An extremely important and underrepresented example of pursuing "the American Dream." This play uses fierce humor and wrenching tragedy to illuminate the opportunities its central characters most desperately crave and deserve but are prevented from achieving at every turn. From ball culture to cockfighting to wild animals run loose, full throated and passionate theatricality is on display here. I would love to see how this lives off the page. I appreciate its transcendent and forward-looking ending.
    6 Sep. 2019
    What a privilege to read this piece. I appreciated how well-developed this large ensemble of characters was. Each human had a super distinct voice that made their relationships and personalities incredibly clear even on my first read-through. A nuanced look at mental health. In examining the theme through historical fiction, the progress and lack of progress in the treatment of those struggling with mental health issues is made potently and powerfully clear.
  • oh to be pure again
    4 Sep. 2019
    After seeing a reading of an early draft, I am floored as I read this updated version! What a beautiful and potent examination of faith, organized religion, how society commodifies women's bodies and virginity, and spaces where folks are able to rebel and ways those spaces are invaded by the oppressor in subtle ways. In lyrical and gorgeously irregular/natural scenes, Rockwell tackles the above themes through powerful and captivating young women. She writes teens so astutely, and always has an eye on her characters' intersectional identities. I hope to see this continually developed and produced soon!
  • Indelible
    3 Sep. 2019
    This is a witty and charming romantic comedy without falling in the trap of being too precious. What a treat! Bavoso has many wonderful one-liners in here, but always in service of the story, as he keeps the plot moving. Preston's "errand" from earlier in the day is a perfect metaphor for depicting the turning point in these two men's relationship. A pleasure to read and, I imagine, so very stageable and dynamic.
    3 Sep. 2019
    This piece provides a unique angle of looking at the fallout behind major mass tragedy. It raises fresh and original questions about how we cope and process in the wake of such tragedies and the ways in which events can haunt spaces other than the direct sites of impact. Silvia and Cat's central question about deciding to start a family provides a distinct and powerful axis around which these other characters (and their griefs that need outlets and processing) rotate. The piece is full of warm and tender humanity as well. Hope to see a production of this soon!