Recommended by Ian August

  • Cold Spring
    19 Oct. 2018
    Mr. Lesniewski's COLD SPRING is a hard look at the impact of child sexual abuse on those who are indirectly affected by it. The dialogue is sharp, the characters are complex, and the takeaway is one in which everyone is found culpable, even as none of them are to blame.
  • [Un]Earthed
    16 Sep. 2018
    Ms Roberts has written a heartwarming play about a young girl's coming of age in a human refugee camp on a far off planet after the earth has been deemed uninhabitable by climate change. But rather than lean into the prominent sci-fi themes (which includes some quite compelling world building), Roberts has written a play about the things that makes us most human: the desire to learn, the history of the individual, the power of hope, and the bond between family and friends. It's a moving and lovely piece of writing.
  • The Behavior of Other Animals
    29 Jul. 2018
    A complex look at teenagers coping with grief and love and rejection and growing up, all the while asking the question: how do we protect the things that are most precious to us? The characters are nuanced, the dialogue is true, and the story is heartbreaking and heartwarming simultaneously.
  • Glassheart
    14 Jun. 2018
    Ms. Hardy does more than deliver a nimble reimagining of "Beauty and the Beast;" she sinks her teeth into the tale and tears out truths about the latent misogyny of fairy-tale narratives. Funny, poignant, and effective, GLASSHEART is one of the rare adaptations that will change the way you engage with the source material. This play is effervescent.
    24 May. 2018
    Ms. Skillman's play is heart-wrenching, topical, and complex. Her band of misfits struggle with the complicated narratives of the Syrian conflict and contemporary politics--just as they struggle with the complicated narratives of their own relationships. The most powerful question involves the legacy of trauma--how can we remember the moments in our lives that we would like most to forget? PULP VÉRITÉ is smart, lined with humor, and unafraid to hold us all accountable.
    28 Feb. 2018
    Brie Knight has crafted an dramatic experience that goes beyond purely historical fiction--this play resonates with a multitude of conversations we are having today--about appropriation, about privilege, about white fragility, about the evolving stereotypes of POC. Pancake Queen is sharp, it is emotional, and it is a love letter to the strength and the sacrifice of Black women. Read this play.
    14 Feb. 2018
    The portrait of a town becomes the portrait of the portraitist in this poignant and joyful and exquisitely designed one-act. A deceptively simple exploration of romance in many forms, but layered with true emotional complexity. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
  • Magellanica
    14 Feb. 2018
    It is a testament to the playwright that in a story about eight people who are trapped--by their inhospitable surroundings, by the limitations of the facilities, by their preconceptions about one another, and by their own feelings of inadequacy--Lewis finds a way to free each and every one of them. It is long, it is riveting, it is emotional, it is eye-opening. It is a masterpiece. Read this play. Produce this play. And if you happen to be somewhere it is playing, see this play.
    27 Dec. 2017
    FAWZIE is a veritable parfait of subversiveness--if you think you know this heroine, you don't. She is naughty, she is funny, she is lewd, she is pious. And despite her contradictions, and maybe also because of them, she is the the voice of contemporary liberalism, and she will not be silenced. FAWZIE is clever and emotional and moralizing and wild. It is a monologue that speaks to the pacifist and the anarchist at war within the American left. Goooood stuff.
    1 Sep. 2017
    Donna Hoke takes the conversation about hyper-sexualized super heroines and flips it on it's ear with ELEVATOR GIRL. This play addresses the misogyny that continues to define the world of comic books, while simultaneously exploring the feelings of fear and guilt that surround victims of sexual assault, and the inability of men to fully understand those feelings. ELEVATOR GIRL is revealing and affecting, a bravely clever way to address a subject that is becoming increasingly relevant in the world of comic book publishing.