Recommended by Donald E. Baker

  • Child's Play
    15 Jul. 2021
    This play about the psychological effects of childhood trauma will stick with you. It has a wonderful role for a 10-year-old actress who can express her emotions without speaking, and it would be visually stunning as the dolls in her play therapy sessions come to life. It needs to be produced everywhere.
  • It's A Wonderful Satan
    5 Jul. 2021
    This diabolical little parody is the perfect antidote to an overdose of a certain classic holiday movie. Satan has had it with a world that insists on celebrating the birth of his archenemy and needs a demon named Clarence to buck him up by reminding him of all his inglorious achievements. Clarence is, of course, attempting to win his horns and in the end gets what’s coming to him. Nicely done. The satire is priceless. It must be great fun to produce.
  • Boys Night In
    5 Jul. 2021
    Part of the college experience is coping with disparate personalities thrown together in random living arrangements. Eugene is not coping well. He is careful, self-aware, and buttoned down. Wayne is careless, clueless, and gross. From the beginning we know what Wayne wants. But what does Eugene want? Guyton saves that answer until the last stage direction. Great, relatable work.
  • What's My Line?
    4 Jul. 2021
    I am old enough to remember both blacklisted poet Louis Untermeyer and the classic program "What's My Line?" where Untermeyer was one of the original panelists. But even if you don't share that history, you'll enjoy Josephs's conceit of embedding Untermeyer's self-serving confessional into TV game-show format. The idea is inspired and the execution well done. With the right actor it would be amazing.
  • Liner Notes
    4 Jul. 2021
    George is the forgotten member of a once-popular rock band with a charismatic lead singer. There's much about the experience he'd rather forget, but the quirky daughter of that now deceased front man barges in demanding answers and forcing George to confront his memories. This is a terrific inter-generational story embedded in a generous helping of rock history. With the right cast it might well be unforgettable.
  • The Other Side of the Sky
    2 Jul. 2021
    What is my place in the world? This play reminds us that we face some of life’s most important questions when we’re in our twenties. It is a perfect vehicle for college-age actors who might easily recognize themselves in these four characters. Ferguson handles their quests for answers with sensitivity and compassion. Audiences will care about these young people and dare to hope the decisions they make are the right ones for them. Oh, and be warned. If you see or read this play, you will want to go out for ice cream afterwards.
  • 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.

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