Recommended by Nick Malakhow

  • Clara Thomas Bailey
    26 Sep. 2021
    Stunning and super compelling and inventive meditation on the lingering hum of anxiety and existential dread of being alive...though it manages to be that in a propulsive and theatrical and exciting fashion! This really does capture a mood or atmosphere of the current moment, though the themes of contemporary urban loneliness and alienation, cycles and relationships, and physical and mental self care feel eternally relevant. I also thought this piece was very aesthetically coherent and distinct, while leaving incredibly generous room for a production team to leave its mark on it.
  • Ciertas astillas/Certain Shards
    26 Sep. 2021
    A beautiful piece that has the vulnerability and lyricism of a solo show with the bold, brazen theatricality of a piece meant to be fully inhabited by multiple virtuosic actors. This potent piece defies genres and treads much comedic ground even as it illuminates wrenching truths about family and memory, and as it explores liminality, identity, place/home, inheritance, and the weight of family legacy. If you have time, you should see Two River's beautiful digital reading of this--I'd be thrilled to see it realized onstage!
  • Gorgeous
    24 Sep. 2021
    An awesome two-hander that managers to be propulsive, funny, nuanced, and delicate in its exploration of its characters all at once. Keiko has crafted two amazing roles in Jenny and Bernie and uses them to explore, with an intersectional lens looking at gender and race, grief and growth and self-actualization and the ways we cannot disentangle our identities from our relationships with others. Gorgeous the dog is a perfect central extended metaphor to explore the journey of these two women and the lingering presence of a troubling man in their lives. The monologues within this are architectural marvels!
  • Sullen Girl
    20 Sep. 2021
    A deeply vulnerable, unsettling, and sharp look at the way trauma and abuse shapes one's identity in an indelible fashion. The way MacLean toys with chronology is engaging and, even as the story winds back and forth through time, propulsive for the plot and Gen's journey. I appreciated the moments of human connection and the scattered victories that punctuated the piece, evocatively illustrating the few and far between relationships and inner strength that often must keep survivors of trauma moving forward through life.
  • Anton
    17 Sep. 2021
    This piece combines the lyricism and weight of Greek tragedy with everyday and contemporary explorations of identity and power in relationships. The use of dream imagery, the theatricality of the Fates, and more provide bold and memorable stage images that I would so love to see realized! Anton and Hadrian's relationship is nuanced, complex, and at once tender and unsettling in a way that definitely doesn't undercut the imbalanced power dynamics at play. A good read for lovers of queer theater, Greeks, and more!
  • Swirl
    16 Sep. 2021
    An intersectionally rich intimate comedy that elevates the world of small, character-driven relationship stories by fully mining and exploring the varied identities of its characters. I enjoyed seeing all of the different "constellations" of characters interacting throughout; these interactions always steered things in unexpected ways. Funny and truthful. I'd be interested in seeing this staged and hope to follow its development trajectory.
  • h*llo k*tty syndrome
    16 Sep. 2021
    A mindbending piece with images, ideas, and language that I will be thinking about for a long time. The world Dang creates here is so cohesive in its eclecticism, and they ways they explore liminality and the societal structures in place that impede living one's truth for many who exist at the alleged "margins" are brilliant! Absolutely hilarious and absurd moments coexist with beautiful and lyrical poetry and raw vulnerability. The piece is aesthetically unified, and yet it leaves room for a production company to truly make its mark on it. I'd love to see it staged multiple times!
  • This Vessel Is A Fragile Thing
    9 Sep. 2021
    A gorgeous play that combines lyrical poetry with moments of human naturalism. I also loved the way Willis uses dreams as a structural element. The dreams--both in content and in form--help mirror the Body's external and internal negotiations and conflicts in a potent and direct way. I'll definitely be thinking for a long while about the stage images and creative theatricality of this piece, as well as its human, poignant ending that captures both the melancholy and feelings of liminality the Body is experiencing in the moment while they also look forward as well.
  • Ivories
    7 Sep. 2021
    Wonderful theatrical horror! Like all good horror, this is a compelling story in and of itself while also serving as a metaphor for important and intriguing issues like family trauma and what we do with it, dissatisfaction and specious "rot" within dysfunctional relationships, and more. I loved how the dread built throughout--starting with a general sense of unease and escalating throughout until some awesomely terrifying and theatrical grand gestures in the end. This play would work high or low tech--with an out of this world budget/production "value" or creative/more modest direction and design. Also appreciated the bi-visibility!
  • THE LAZARUS CLUB
    6 Sep. 2021
    An original, warmly human, funny, and atmospheric piece that explores huge existential questions in an interesting manner. Hoke has assembled an eclectic, rich ensemble that is populated by real and fully developed humans who are also representative of larger ideas and questions in a fascinating way. Most potent to me was the examination of whether or not it is "enough" for life to be made up of compelling experiences, or if one needs other humans to truly be fulfilled. It also has unique audio/visual and design potential and a clever structure; I'm excited to follow its development trajectory!

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