Recommended by Nick Malakhow

  • Rastus and Hattie
    18 May. 2019
    This piece is so brilliant in the way it melds dark satire with both intellectually provocative sentiments and deeply emotional human truths. It incorporates multiple theatrical devices effortlessly. While all the characters were superbly drawn, Needra's journey in particular was navigated with a poignant and pointed metaphorical exploration of ingrained cultural trauma and identity formation. Highly theatrical in the best way!
  • Recent Unsettling Events
    16 May. 2019
    An incisive and wonderfully structured exploration of privilege and of the precarious divide between power and powerlessness that young adults feel as they navigate issues of social justice and identity. With a deeply intersectional cross-section of characters, many perspectives are given their due and equal weight in the thorny, well-drawn, and both humorous and tragic discussions.
  • delicacy of a puffin heart
    15 May. 2019
    This was a beautiful and surprising read. I loved the way it seamlessly navigated throughout time and space with poignant transitions that truly aided the storytelling. A turning point a little more than halfway through really surprised me in a fabulous way, and the characters' unique and distinct identities were so well drawn.
  • Man Boobs
    15 Apr. 2019
    So very intimate, beautiful, and specific. Like the best "micro-level" stories, it plumbs many universal truths--truths about body image, shame, desire, and overcoming adolescent trauma--from a distinct point of view. Sexy, funny, sad. I'd love to see this onstage!
  • Up the Ladder, Down the Slide
    13 Apr. 2019
    A poignant and deeply intersectional look at family relationships, caretaking, grieving, and loss. Like all of my favorite plays in this sphere, plenty of very human laughs came along with the lyrical language, beautifully described stage pictures, and heartbreaking moments. Would love to see and experience this onstage, as the described visuals and sounds are vivid and distinct.
  • WHITE HISTORY
    13 Apr. 2019
    Was privileged to see a staged reading of this. By turns brutal, beautiful, horrifying, and hilarious. Provocative in the best possible way. Raises questions and reveals insights about race in America using visceral gut punches paired with eloquent discourse and genius metaphors. The subtle stylistic progression throughout and, especially, at the end is organic and brilliant! I'm eager to see this on stages in the near future.
  • Ripped
    6 Apr. 2019
    I just loved how this was structured. Up until the very end, we're discovering new information that adds layer upon layer to the characters and circumstances! Loved the use of the dress and its condition as a way of telling time and making sense of the chronology. The hazy and irregular transitions in time echo the irregularity of Lucy piecing together the events. All in all, a really thoughtful and complex exploration of an extraordinarily difficult topic.
  • Black Super Hero Magic Mama
    3 Apr. 2019
    Wow! What an amazing piece. I can't believe how effortlessly it travels from warm human realism to razor-sharp satire to gutting tragedy to magical realism and back again. This piece manages all of those tones, styles, motifs, etc. while feeling like a beautifully unified piece of art. A dangerous read on public transit, as I vacillated many times between raucously laughing aloud to crying openly. I'm so grateful to have read it and can't wait to experience a production.
  • Eureka Day
    19 Mar. 2019
    As a former teacher from a Quaker school, this satirizing of the "well-meaning-liberal-agenda gone astray" is so very on point. The group chat gone awry is one of the funniest scenes I've read in a long time, and it had me laughing uncontrollably to myself on a quiet plane. I'd love to see what that looked like in production! This is a fresh and novel group of people rendered onstage, and Spector shifts effortlessly between hilarity and poignant personal tragedy.
  • Trees in their youth
    18 Mar. 2019
    This piece uses line breaks in a truly wonderful way, capturing a somewhat lyrical, but also natural rhythm of speech effortlessly. I also loved the amplified and heightened world of the piece. While high school coming of age stories tend to be full of oft-used tropes, the characters rendered here were recognizable, but also fresh, unique, and distinct. This piece captures with theatricality, music, and rhythm what disingenuous teen movies fail to capture onscreen. Wonderful on the page, and would be even more kinetic onstage!

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