Recommended by Nick Malakhow

  • Shoe
    16 Aug. 2019
    I saw an excellent reading of SHOE at LTC's Carnaval last summer and was immediately brought in by this nuanced and well-rendered story. Marta is a compelling protagonist in and of herself, but she is well-supported by a large cast of equally three-dimensional and complex characters. Family dynamics, the different ways social forces and expectations trap us, and the search for escape are all depicted here with sensitivity and clarity. The ending is as satisfying as A DOLL'S HOUSE, and the lead up to it funny, human, and poignant.
  • Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally
    16 Aug. 2019
    I saw the beautiful reading of this at LTC'S Carnaval--a piece that feels at once like a grand parable or allegory, as well as an intimate slice of life. Absolutely hilarious and heartbreaking and boldly theatrical. Even in just hearing the evocative stage directions read aloud, I could imagine a unique, part cinematic-part uber-theatrical visual and aural world. So thrilled to see that this will be getting a production in Baltimore soon!
  • q u e r e n c i a: an imagined autobiography about forbidden fruits
    14 Aug. 2019
    A beautiful, hilarious, and gentle coming of age play. The intimacy so deftly depicted here is often incredibly hard to capture onstage, and this piece succeeds both as a highly theatrical read while also being one that explores some really nuanced and multi-dimensional characters. Milo is one of the most human and vividly realized protagonists I've had the privilege of getting to know, and it was also a delight feeling seen as a reader by his story. What a gift of a play that I hope to see a production of soon.
  • at the very bottom of a body of water
    14 Aug. 2019
    The deliberate and thoughtful pacing on this piece allows for the poetry and strength of the images to unfold organically and surprisingly. I was absolutely delighted by this play's central characters and the ways in which their nuanced relationship built throughout. All of the pieces I've read of Benne also read as amazingly theatrical and as if they would be aural and visual feasts, and this one is no exception! I would love to see a production of this someday very soon!
  • The Tasters
    14 Aug. 2019
    A fresh, darkly comedic, and terrifying allegory. In a prescient manner, this timely piece explores the dangers of complicity and the realities behind the self-interested choices people make when large swaths of society are in danger instead of being upstanders. From the complex heroes to the frighteningly misguided villains, I was captivated by the nuanced characters and inventive and succinct world building. I sincerely hope to see a production of this soon!
  • The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood
    10 Aug. 2019
    Through just a few deftly rendered and three dimensional characters, Rockwell paints a vivid world that so beautifully and heartbreakingly demonstrates the oppressive structures and institutions that young women continually encounter. Rather than miring the narrative in only the collective trauma of these women, this play brilliantly shows the ways people can come together to survive and heal in limiting circumstances. This nuanced piece explores each character's story with great tenderness, humor, and care. Hope to see a production of this soon!
  • FLEX
    10 Aug. 2019
    What a treat it was to read this play--each character was unique, compelling, and deftly realized. Jones' multi dimensional treatment of all of these women's narratives helps reinforce what the play says about team dynamics and friendship. Additionally, the irregular structure kept me super engaged and the high theatricality (of game/practice scenes, the ritual, the whole fourth quarter, etc) made me yearn to see this fully realized onstage. I hope to see it developed more and produced soon!
    8 Aug. 2019
    This monologues spends equal time tickling your funny bone and tugging on your heartstrings. A distinct and underrepresented identity intersection in contemporary theater makes this piece feel fresh. I so appreciate that this, like Wyndham's many other pieces, goes beyond defining a character by one aspect of their identity and seeks to illuminate the experiences of someone living at a unique identity crossroad.
    8 Aug. 2019
    An entertaining and creative piece where we see the de-evolution of a husband into a temper tantrum at his wife's lack of responsiveness to what he perceives is really putting himself out for her! Simple on the surface and with a great throughline to perform, the social commentary that emerges from this man's progression--commentary about gender roles, social expectations, adult masculinity--is the real treat to see unfolding!
  • Our Dear Dead Drug Lord
    4 Aug. 2019
    I saw a reading of this at the LTC Carnaval, the workshop in Boston, and now the WP Theatre production in New York, and each time I've been absolutely floored! What a compelling set of characters who speak with distinct and clear voices. The sacred space of the tree house, original characters and conflicts, the use of dance, ritual, and a surprising but super effective "Deus Ex" denouement make for play that is gutting, speaks terrifying and important truths...and is somehow also hilarious at times along the way. I hope this has a long life post premiere!