Recommended by Nick Malakhow

    26 Dec. 2022
    A tightly written, propulsively-paced family drama that unfolds secrets and surprises with judicious pacing. New information always comes to light just when you think you've stabilized your sense of who these people are and who they are/what they do for one another. I also appreciated the deeply intersectional lens, so that we were able to get to know and love not just a "neutral" (re... "White") "everyfamily," but one whose particular identity intersections within its members clearly informed their trajectories, anxieties, concerns, and dreams. I'd love to see this on its feet!
    23 Dec. 2022
    This is such a lovely, intimate triplet of a play that delicately explores the intersection of coming of age, queerness, and social expectations. The way the relationships between all three characters evolve slowly but surely feels organic keeps you reading with little moments of suspense and with their poignantly blossoming social and love connections. These characters speak with the "inelegance meets profundity" of real teens--Gina captures the impulsivity and deep yearning and thoughtfulness of the high school years. I'd so love to see this performed!
  • This Is Just a Box
    23 Dec. 2022
    A complex and thorny play that looks at the terrifying intersection of capitalism, assisted suicide, and mental health. I really enjoyed the use of simultaneous scenes, which helped illuminate character and plot shifts in one another in a clever and suspenseful fashion. I also really appreciated the subtle and clear world building that slowly but surely paints a portrait of a dreadful, dystopian world ravaged by even harsher economic disparities than our own. I'm eager to follow this play's development trajectory and would love to see it on its feet!
  • Covenant
    17 Dec. 2022
    An unsettling and tautly written exploration of a cult, and the multitudinous factors (desire to belong, ostracization, falling out of the bounds of "normal" society, and more) that might spur one to be vulnerable to manipulation. Structurally effective with enough surprising reveals to keep the audience on their toes even while giving them big, ponderous questions to think and talk about for many days. I'm excited to see how this piece develops!
  • SKIN
    17 Dec. 2022
    I loved the malleability of space and time in this piece and the ways Jeoly's and Zora's stories echo one another and intertwine in subtle and palpable ways. There is text that moves at a brisk and natural pace as well as words that lean into lyricism and some of the profound inner workings of these characters' minds. While the play deals with the traumas connected to being confronted with and having to confront white supremacy, it is all done in a gentle and intentional manner that honors but never exploits the pain of Zora, Nanay, Jeoly, or Judy.
  • Dodi & Diana
    25 Nov. 2022
    An intimate, compelling, and compassionately written two hander that looks at the ways people expand and contract in relationships and how those changes disrupt careful equilibria and unearth fissures that people desperately try to seal. Samira and Jason are both multi-dimensional, flawed, funny, loving humans and to see them struggle through this moment in their lives is, at turns, poignant, painful, and humorous. Some deep universal truths about love and partnership are shared here, but they are rendered with such a powerful and distinct eye for the characters' intersectional identities. I'd love to see a production of this!
  • Beheading Columbus
    24 Nov. 2022
    Sharply satirical piece that explores the multitudes within the Latinidad, the complexity of identity and ownership over it, thorny and often painful family conversations about love, self-worth, and beauty, and a lot more! Lana and Susi's parallel journeys are compelling to watch, from Susi grappling with the family inheritance that she believes will betray her health early to Lana's often amusing reunions with half-siblings and poignant reflections on the ways her own sense of self worth and success have been wrapped up in her perceived and then newly revealed heritage. I'd love to see a production of this soon!
  • and come apart
    20 Nov. 2022
    An original and theatrically compelling exploration of family, grief, and how those two very personal spheres of one's life are inextricably tied to larger cultural and political ones. I appreciated how it felt the play became more expansive and symbolic as it progressed, while still not losing its specific and familial core. I am absolutely obsessed with the theatrical conceit of the audience being blindfolded and I was excited at what the aural landscape of the play would be as I read. Eager to follow the developmental trajectory of this and to experience a performance of it!
  • Heart Stop or, The Obesity Play
    8 Nov. 2022
    An honest and unflinching exploration of mental health, therapy, and the bodily impact of major depression on one's physical, physiological, and emotional beings. Franky manages to capture such potent and wide reaching themes while telling this unique and specific and personal story. One of the things I find most compelling about it is how he illuminates and theatricalizes therapy in a way that is genuine and eschews any tropes of "dramatized therapy" one finds in media depictions of it. This piece should be produced far and wide and will be helpful for many people--myself included.
  • Greek Tragedy
    31 Oct. 2022
    A quick and compelling read that explores a lot in a compact space--influencer culture, the commodification of the lives and bodies of women, addiction, storytelling, and more. Romeo probes important explorations about how technology and obsession with celebrity and consumer culture destroys as quickly as it builds a person's self worth and livelihood. The storytelling tricks and reveals are all very clever here, particularly the poignant final moments. I'm interested in following this piece's developmental trajectory!