Recommended by Nick Malakhow

  • The Sea
    28 Mar. 2023
    This delicate, wrenching duet begins as a disarming story of a relationship. It continues by exploring what we give of ourselves and take from others in relationships and the messy back and forth of that, examining addiction, and coping with the jarring moment of figuring out what to do when confronted with the unforgivable. I loved the nuance and specificity of Yoshiko and John as well as the mythic, heightened, fabulistic layer of the story that emerges towards the end. Lisa Sanaye Dring has such an ear for dialogue that is everyday, human, profound, and poetic all at once.
  • Kairos
    26 Mar. 2023
    Amazing piece that starts as an unassuming glimpse into the meeting and relationship of Gina and David and transforms into a poignant, lyrical meditation on mortality (and immortality), marriage, and connection. I really enjoyed the ways that the speculative fiction details were woven throughout the text and how an entire imagined reality for the future of our world was rendered with just two characters! Additionally, the visual and textual metaphors were rich, layered, and subtle. I'd so love to see this play in production.
  • The Ancestry Dot Com Play
    26 Mar. 2023
    A briskly moving, insightful play that is as funny as it is poignant. Haddad-Chin explores identity, assimilation, privilege, family, and much more. From Amy's satirically brazen brandishing of her "newfound identity" to Jasmine's nuanced and powerful discoveries to Samia's central journey through the liminal space of identity and unknown ancestry, there is a lot for production teams and audiences to sink their teeth into here. The central question explored here--what defines heritage and how does that impact your relationships with friends, family, and the world at large?--is so thoroughly dissected and powerfully illuminated. I'd love to see it produced!
  • 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!