Recommended by Jo Brisbane

  • In The Jar (a ten minute play)
    11 Jun. 2020
    If Tennessee Williams collaborated with Mark Harvey Levine on a play about insects, it might sound something like "In The Jar". This very funny play (um...) fleshes out an assortment of imprisoned bugs through crisp and delicious dialogue that ponders many things, including death, justice, murder, and escape.
    11 Jun. 2020
    "GARDEN STATE" is an evocative and poetic place, in the hands of playwright Sam Hamashima. There is magic and a quality of music in his insect characters' voices. Lessons about prejudice and hearsay are gently meted out in this very charming play, a play that would be a pleasure to produce for audiences of all ages.
  • Captain Cockroach
    11 Jun. 2020
    Charlie and Ray would seem to be in cockroach heaven, living as they are in a Krispy Kreme doughnut franchise. Playwright Ryan M. Bultrowicz gives the situation an even darker comedic twist as his characters create their own petty hell, arguing over titles, entitlement, and the ever-changing fine print on the company clipboard. What an inventive play with a who-knew lesson or two about mandibles!
  • The Bee's Knees
    11 Jun. 2020
    Matthew Weaver's delightful dialogue and the imaginative physicality of a single bee, well, bedazzles the reader. As other bee-related characters come and go, their shared challenges and perseverance give us a quick biology lesson. Gentle messages about the environmental impact of humans (on bee populations) are skillfully woven into this clever play.
  • A Lady Who Collects Spiders Meets A Gentleman Who Collects Snakes
    11 Jun. 2020
    John Weagly brings together two misfits in this unusual romance. A Lady and A Gentleman discover their shared passion for nature's scariest creatures. Creepy and crawly in a good way, this short play delivers a surprise ending that could be a lot of fun to stage (especially for youth theatre).
  • Edie and Mae
    29 Mar. 2020
    "Edie and Mae" is distinctly theatrical, and a welcome shock to our current (and predictable) playwriting malaise. Goldfinger's poetic sensibility, coupled with her plotline's absurdist situation, gives us a play of great imagination. In its short span, the play delivers a lovely love story, wrapped inside of a world doomed by drought.
  • Verboten
    28 Mar. 2020
    "Verboten" delves into the intolerance of 1936 Germany, where any self, artistic, or religious expression is quickly becoming suspicious. The young people of Rossi's musical play are dimensional, never falling into stereotype, due to his thorough research and deft portrayals. The music and lyrics of his writing partner John Rorhkemper underscore this excellent play. A wonderful read -- easy to envision "Verboten" onstage. Well done, Tyler Joseph Rossi.
  • Storm on Storm
    28 Mar. 2020
    The initial premise of this ten-minute gem -- a twice-struck man, banished from his daughter's wedding as "weather-provoking" -- rumbles forward like a prairie thunderstorm. In the play's short space, we learn much about the parents of the bride, as they both inflict damage and heal themselves. Barbs are flung between them, and yet the play delivers a sweet and simple, and unexpected happy ending.
  • Snowman of Vengeance
    22 Feb. 2020
    What a silly, scary play! I would love to stage this violent and pleasantly short tale of romance, drug deals, justice, and the stuff of bad dreams. Seeing actors in whiteface onstage would be a bonus, and of course, seeing a snowman dance.
  • The Place That Made You
    22 Feb. 2020
    A challenging read in which the playwright has created a sometimes detailed, sometimes impressionistic rendering of a/the trans experience. There are many, many layers here that speak to 30-somethings in particular -- those bearing heavy debt, those dying in the endless wars, those who have endured an abusive partner and buried that partner. At times the play is both surreal and hyper-surreal, dipping in and out of the poetry of Ferlinghetti, as well as the mythical-biblical tale of Jonah and the Whale.