Recommended by Donald E. Baker

  • Man's Revelation
    3 Apr. 2022
    Many people's expectations of Hell and its CEO are an unholy amalgamation of the Bible, Milton, Dante, Goethe, and generations of fire-breathing preachers. So imagine the surprise of the newly deceased individual in Cantrell's hilarious one-act play when he discovers Satan is a sympathetic and urbane being who presides over a well-stocked wet bar, and souls in Hell are only tortured if that's what they're into. Readers will either be appalled at the "blasphemy" or delighted by the satire. Count me among the latter. Great work!
  • NELL DASH, The Gruesomely Merry Adventures Of An Irrepressibly Sensible Capitalist With A Vengeance
    28 Mar. 2022
    I had great expectations for this play and it did not disappoint. It’s a tasty minced pie of a penny dreadful made up of ingredients ground together from large chunks of Dickens, smaller bits of Austen and Brecht, leavening by Sondheim and Bart, and a mysterious seasoning only revealed at the very end, all of it wrapped up in DeVita’s erudite, wicked, shameless sense of humor. There are lines that literally and literarily had me gasping in delight. Reader and audiences alike are sure to Lovett.
  • Marianas Trench (Part One of The Second World Trilogy)
    24 Mar. 2022
    In Sickles's dystopian vision, states have seceded and formed an extreme right-wing paradise where anyone who is not white, straight, and Christian is persecuted, and state surveillance to insure conformity extends even to analyzing and redacting pen-pal letters between children. A family with too many secrets is enmeshed in this nightmare, and their fate is the focus of this masterful, deeply unsettling play, part of a trilogy as chilling and addictive as "The Handmaid's Tale." Read it. Read it and weep.
  • Waitering for Godot
    12 Mar. 2022
    So just who was Godot? Turns out he was one of a food service worker's worst nightmares--a diner who monopolizes a table long after the meal was finished and the dishes have been cleared. Yes, the waiter who waited ON Godot is now waiting FOR Godot, to pay the check, to leave a meagre tip, and to get the heck out so he can turn his table. This is a wicked little masterpiece that parodies Beckett's tone perfectly.
  • Road Trip
    11 Mar. 2022
    Hilarious! What starts as the familiar trope of a controlling husband working on his wife's last nerve soon descends--ascends?--into a wonderfully absurd farce that heightens as other characters are brought on and attempt to jam themselves into a sort of clown car simply represented on stage by two chairs. Farce rarely reads as well as it plays, but the performance in my imagination had me chuckling, then laughing out loud, then cheering at the perfect ending. Fortunate indeed the performers who get to play it live and the audience who get to experience it. Brava!
  • Action Figures
    8 Mar. 2022
    The shortest of plays with the simplest of stories. A mother gives one child a Batman figure and the other gets Wonder Woman. But the gifts turn out to be life changing and a new super hero is identified. This one-page play couldn't be more sweet, more satisfying, or more well done.
  • Sisyphus's Interview (A One-Minute Play)
    8 Mar. 2022
    Who knew Hades had an HR department headed up by Minos? Or that Sisyphus was a writer who wasn't willing to take any sort of job opening that might drain him of his creativity? We playwrights can certainly relate. The conceit is delightful, the play even more so.
  • Incoming Male
    7 Mar. 2022
    What gay man, bullied as a teen, hasn't wondered what he would do if he met one of the tormentors as an adult? When the opportunity unexpectedly presents itself--and the former bully reveals he himself is gay and begs forgiveness--Daniel has decisions to make: Forgive? Forget? Deny him shelter? Pay him back in kind? I hope Daniel's choices satisfied him as much as they satisfied me reading this well-written and very relatable play. It would make a fine addition to any festival of short plays, gay or otherwise.
  • Tucumcari Tonite!
    7 Mar. 2022
    New Mexico is the "Land of Enchantment" and "Tucumcari" has the sound of a shaman's incantation. To the two men who have chosen to sleep rough out in the desert its magic would be manifest as soft beds and hot showers in the town's selection of 1200 motel rooms. Well, since they are handcuffed together and one man has a gun, the choice to sleep out wasn't necessarily unanimous. Their conversation as the sun slowly rises reveals two very human guys caught up in an unusual and dangerous situation. Another fine play by Williams.
  • Tennessee Wet Rub
    1 Mar. 2022
    Important plays like this one bring cosmic issues down to a human level. Here five people marooned overnight in a dilapidated restaurant must figure out how to maintain their individual integrity while dealing with the constraints of society, religion, and the law and the vital question of how properly to prepare barbecued ribs. As the storm outside abates, it is obvious that some dreams will be shattered while on other fronts there is considerable hope for the future. A very satisfying, beautifully written play with memorable characters whose voices will long linger in the mind's ear.

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