Recommended by Donald E. Baker

  • Syd
    30 Apr. 2021
    Too many people interpret "made in God's image" as "God hates the same people we do." Almost half a century later there are still parents who reject their children, believing that is what God would have them do, and children who are forced to separate themselves from those who should love them. Craig Houk explores these family dynamics in a dramatic and relatable way that will prompt audiences to reconsider their own relationships. The play reads well and would be impactful on stage. Highly recommended.
  • Sherlock Holmes Vs. Godzilla
    12 Apr. 2021
    Talk about theater of the absurd! Nineteenth-century Sherlock Holmes battles early twentieth-century Dr. Fu Manchu (who controls a fictional gigantic midcentury sea lizard and is abetted by a squadron of Stepford-ish androids). And powdered donuts are an essential prop. It's a farce. Or maybe a spoof. Or perhaps a parody. Whatever it is, it constantly makes fun of itself, is thoroughly enjoyable in the reading, and would be hilarious on stage.
  • The Fierce Urgency Of Now
    5 Apr. 2021
    A radio adaptation of this play was broadcast by the Fresh Fruit Festival. Radio’s ability to compress scene changes facilitates a fast-paced script that takes protagonist Kyle on a journey from passive to active participant in his own life. Because his job consumes him 24/7, all of Kyle’s relationships, sexual and social, involve people at the office. But the ad agency where he works is the corporate equivalent of Survivor. When someone “has your back” it is to decide exactly where to stick the knife. The environment is toxic, but DeVita’s crackling dialogue makes the visit a pleasure.
  • 10 Pin Alley
    25 Mar. 2021
    I don't know how many times I've stood facing ten pins down the length of an alley, never considering they might have hopes (of keeping my score under 100--they often succeed), fears (white pins/black ball--constuct your own metaphor), and individual personalities, genders, and sexual orientations. All this has occurred to Gene Kato, and from that material he has produced a smashingly funny and oddly thought-provoking play.
  • Phillie's Trilogy
    25 Mar. 2021
    Betrayals are awful, and betrayals by family and friends with good, if selfish, intentions can change one's view of his whole life. "Phillie's Trilogy" is a master class on how to make three short plays feel like one integrated whole. Incidents in one become significant memories in the next. Seeming throw-away leitmotivs such as a recurring jar of olives become important. A great read that would play beautifully.
  • Etched in Stone
    14 Mar. 2021
    "With every bed of roses, you're bound to find a few thorns under the mattress." So Fanny tells her new friend Peter after they meet at the gravesites of their respective spouses. Aided by commemorative wine and margaritas, and with the help of their younger selves, they explore their memories of their marriages, thorns and all, but with occasional flashes of humor. There's a lot of emotion here, nicely wrought.
  • Solitaire Six Pack: Porn Star
    10 Mar. 2021
    We've all known someone who tries to impress people by talking about his own wealth and good looks, but for most of us that person wasn't an aging gay porn star. In this case the bragging hides insecurities as big as the gentleman's principal attribute. This funny stream of consciousness monologue shows us who the actor was and is and leaves us wondering what will become of him when age takes its inevitable toll.
  • Coming Back To Life
    8 Mar. 2021
    Recently widowed at 83, Morris checks into assisted living, his "last new home." There he discovers his roommate Jack is determined to find sexual adventure among the women of the establishment. Morris is skeptical about the prospects, considering the female population is all over 90. But then an attractive physical therapist enters his life. Will they maybe get physical after the therapy is over? A sweet play that poses the question, is there life in assisted living.
  • Release the Karen!
    3 Mar. 2021
    Who needs catapults or shield walls when you have The Karen in your arsenal? Alexander the Great releases the very personification of privilege against Tyre and the city's Assistus Managemus doesn't stand a chance. A fun read full of humor high and low--mostly low. I laughed all through it.
  • All Together Now
    22 Feb. 2021
    You can make a baby, even if it requires the help of a turkey (or maybe tofurky?) baster. But how do you make a family? Three generations try to work that out in this lovely, lovely play full of heart and affectionate one-liners that will leave you a little misty-eyed by the end.

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