Recommended by Rachael Carnes

  • A Game
    22 Sep. 2020
    My heart, what a lovely conversation. Gallagher gets into the space between the generations, their disconnect, their community - What we have in common. This rolls along so gently, would be so sweet onstage. A marvelous exploration about life and loss and all the good that goes in the middle. Adore.
  • The Three Prayers Answered (adapted from Chaucer's Knight's Tale)
    16 Sep. 2020
    There's much to admire in this play from Rinkel - it's boundlessly imaginative, casting us to a new Civil War (Well, that's not THAT difficult to imagine...) but we find ourselves at Coit Tower in San Francisco, where Rinkel explores this linguistic world-building in a way that's both jaw-dropping in its stilted, rhyming language play, and totally compelling and immediate. It's a tightrope and Rinkel walks it beautifully.
  • The Damp, Dark Room Just Off the Parlor
    15 Sep. 2020
    This play is smart, funny, topical, irreverent, and just delicious. I can't even begin to imagine how much fun it would be to play up the campy/gothic vibes with costumes and props and hair and -- eyeliner -- the mind reels. Another gem from the inventive mind of John Adams, who transports us to other times and worlds with the greatest of ease. This was the best time I've spent all day - reading this. Glorious! Put it on your Halloween docket, stat.
  • You Have Earned Bonus Stars
    14 Sep. 2020
    See, this is what's bonkers about New Play Exchange. That you can be minding your own business and stumble upon a play this *good* - equal parts funny and dramatic - with a galloping plot and richly-hewn characters, and the super insane thing is why isn't this timely, relatable new piece performed all the time?? Gatton's writing style is a pleasure to read, witty and seemingly effortless, charming, theatrical, and moving. How many plays can get us to ask deep questions, without tipping over to the dark side, to treacle or maudlin? This one. This one's just ACES. Dang, Vince.
  • Blue Moon
    14 Sep. 2020
    Oh - This is so cool. Stevens' defies expectations and preconceived ideas about women's wrestling, plumbing the sport for its humor, and humanity. With language that's earthy and relatable, a set-up I could see in my head as inherently theatrical, bigger-than-life physical - I really want to see these women in the ring. Such an interesting dynamic, exploring the athlete mentor/protégé trope, with two women. Inventive and resonant, this piece would be so compelling onstage.
  • Shakespeare's Start (or Where There's a Will, There's a Way)
    10 Sep. 2020
    What a treasure! Rubin's play takes us to Shakespeare's humble beginnings, when the Bard's artist's heart is torn between his little family back home and his new role as a performer in London. Cracking dialogue brings history to the now, with complex, engaging characters (and a ton of 'em!), quick, lively pacing and a story that offers us a new window in a familiar theatre icon. Fresh and contemporary, this is a playground for a creative team. The staged reading I saw of it (via Zoom) was magnetic! Read, produce - have fun. A lovely new work.
  • Dino
    7 Sep. 2020
    Pithy and charming, Vovos' absurdist play skirts in and around human foibles with bright language and delightful good humor. Like many absurdist works, there's a bass note beneath, resonant and touching - expressing through this creative set up, the temporal, unknowable Now. This play's physicality, and dynamic characters, will create boundless choices for a team. I'd love to see this one onstage.
  • Wayfinding
    3 Sep. 2020
    A gripping tale, cellular and celestial, boundlessly imaginative yet so achingly *human* - Rowland's play unfolds like a mystery, each page asking questions and pulling me deeper into the world. There's a symphonic quality to what she pulls off here, the rise of tensions, the pace and reveals. It's spacious and close - The way, in the days and weeks and months (and years) after a loss, the world, the sky, the day, looks different. Just a beautiful piece.
  • Not at This Address
    2 Sep. 2020
    A wild romp through an absurdist landscape, Husson's work here balances bold physical theatricality, and all the charm and zaniness of the classic sitcom language of the 1950's. It's full-tilt from the get-go, and would be a fun workout for any creative team. I'm two for two on reading plays about the apocalypse in September, which seems more 'right' for 2020 than pumpkin spiced lattes.
  • The End of the World
    1 Sep. 2020
    If six months of the pandemic's got you down, read this, because poor Devin has it worse: Work sucks, family's brimming over with dysfunction - and (no spoilers) - their world's about to turn upside-down, in this fast-moving ensemble piece. Bright, crackling dialogue, evocative physicality and varied and inventive theatrical spaces encourage sound, lighting and set design, create a transporting vision at once humorous and heartfelt. Devin! I so get her. A relatable, funny new piece that would be a delight onstage.

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