Recommended by Sarah Bowden

  • Dark King Kills Unicorn
    6 Feb. 2018
    Read this play as part of the "Best American Plays 2012-2013" anthology, and its examination of good and evil, optimism and cynicism, in the middle of an awesome man-on-unicorn sword fight marks it worthy of multiple productions. A real winner that makes you think!
  • The Light
    6 Feb. 2018
    Saw THE LIGHT in production only a month or so ago, and I can't get Webb's beautiful love story out of my mind. Sitting at the heart of this play are questions of connection and willingness to see from your partner's point of view. A wonderful examination of two good people struggling with how to support one another in a dangerous and deeply flawed world.
  • Robin Hood and the Secret of Sherwood
    26 Oct. 2017
    Robin Hood as a superhero-type mantle is such a clever idea, and it is well-employed by Jeremy Sony in an examination of duty and identity. This play is a rollicking good time, and packs an unexpected emotional wallop about three-quarters of the way through. Great for all variety of theatre companies.
  • American Beauty Shop
    26 Oct. 2017
    A searing play about the difficulties of achieving one's dreams in a society with few safety nets and even fewer options for aspiring entrepreneurs. Dana Lynn Formby gives her characters blind spots and points of pride that vibrate with realism, while her language reaches poetic heights. A great examination of how tough it is to make it in America.
  • In the Shadow of his Language
    26 Oct. 2017
    An aching play about identity and the cost of high achievement within academic. Full of sharp theatrical devices and incisive character work. Didi's parents are particularly well drawn, as are moments involving class clashes -- from small things like shoes and laptops to larger questions about poise, presentation, and accents. An insightful play with a hell of a perception shift smuggled in at the end.
  • Battle Cry
    26 Oct. 2017
    A beautiful play that tells the hard truth about those who are lost in the shuffle of history, usually for not fitting in to society's definition of perfection and purity. Bianca Sam creates vivid characters with vibrant inner lives, and weaves a story that feels less like history, and more like what people struggle with every single day.
  • Chekhov's Date (10 min)
    26 Oct. 2017
    A wonderfully smart short. Chekhov lends himself so well to the ambiguity of modern romance, since most of his plays deal in unfulfilled desire. So taking types from his work and stranding at the end of a maybe-date makes for hilariously existential and formal conversation around a subject that should be simple to discuss. Very funny, very sharp writing!
  • This is Grand
    26 Oct. 2017
    A short and sweet meet-cute on the el. An everyday occurrence becomes something magical, as Seidelman uses silence and gesture to communicate an intense connection between two passengers. Very enjoyable. And I cheered at the ending!
  • That's All Folks
    26 Oct. 2017
    Stories dealing with autism rarely depict close sibling relationships, so Barbara Lhota captures something unique in "That's All Folks." Neither judgmental nor strident, this ten-minute humanely portrays how communication and empathy can break down under strained circumstances. The language shared between brother and sister here starts as a burden, but becomes a gift by the end of the script, in a down-to-earth but reconciled ending.
  • Attachment Disorder
    26 Oct. 2017
    There is a baby named Oregano in Hallie Palladino's sharp satire of the societal expectations placed on mothers. That is just one of many pitch-perfect details about the bind her heroine is placed in by fellow mothers, her boss, and her best friend. This play is a cry into the void about avoiding larger systematic problems by distracting yourself with tiny, proscribed, peer pressure problems, and it's funny, smart, and ultimately, sweet-minded.

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