Recommended by Jo Brisbane

  • WATER MUSIC, a ten-minute drama
    15 Feb. 2020
    There is a transfer of wisdom and compassion between women of two generations in this compact play. Playwright Arianna Rose deftly compresses two very different tales of pain and loss as the characters of Lada and Meredith become both lost and found. Elements of memory and water further enhance the play's messages.
  • HisStory
    9 Feb. 2020
    Hilary Bluestein-Lyons poses the tough question about whether a future world will need men (biologically speaking) and if that future world will be a flourishing and peaceful society (due to the absence of violence and war resulting from endless patriarchy). "HisStory" takes place far into the future where only a handful of old men remain, living as hermits. As the all-female characters gather together at a dinner party (held to announce the birth of a child), unwelcome news about the child's gender is revealed. Crisp and concise dialogue moves the story along to its surprising ending.
  • Phillie's Trilogy
    9 Feb. 2020
    Doug DeVita has constructed a multi-layered experience in "Phillie's Trilogy" taking us on a journey of one boy's life, beginning in the 1970s. The 1970s seems an ideal starting place to revisit the real and difficult issues of the day (priest sexual abuse, abortion rights, rigid gender roles, sexual experimentation) and the effects on one suburban family. Much like the plays of the Irish canon, DeVita's play takes on multiple dense, humorous, and sad secrets -- secrets that knit together shared yet separate lives.
  • Static: Blinded
    29 Dec. 2019
    "Static: Blinded" by Isaac Otterman takes the reader into the blinding static of a Montana blizzard. The relentless onstage noise accompanies an intense examination of human violence, infidelities, illness and injustices. The reader, the actors and the director will be challenged by Otterman's script, as it knits together historic events that include Guglielmo Marconi's radio invention and The Children's Blizzard of 1888. There are many levels to this play.
  • Not Worth A Whistle
    13 Dec. 2019
    Mark V Jones has set his chilling play "Not Worth A Whistle" within the few days that follow Emmett Till's lynching in 1955 Mississippi. The play's two characters must continue to live in the very town of the lynching, Money, Mississippi. The language of this play is a deep vernacular, which is deeply sad on many levels, ultimately serving as the armour that is a protective shield for men of color in the deep South of 1955. Righteous vengeance comes in the shape of an explosive secret, hidden in a shoeshine box.
    6 Dec. 2019
    Donna Hoke takes on the hypocrisy of the "sugar daddy/sugar baby" phenomenon in "Brilliant Works of Art". She broadens the meaning (beyond the core theme of trading sex for tuition money), to encompass the art world and its collector-artist relationships. This is a taut, well-constructed play that fleshes out human greed and arrogance, on several levels. Brava, Donna Hoke.
    13 Apr. 2019
    "Amerikin" navigates the dangerous waters of hate groups and isolated communities, deftly weaving in other themes (from postpartum depression, to racial revelations of DNA testing, to entrenched racism). Most of the characters are laughable and repulsive and yet their stories are believable, even when their actions are unforgivable.
    13 Apr. 2019
    Crisp and witty dialogue drives this one-act. In this skewering of reality tv shows, Christine Toy Johnson has constructed a very playful play, brimming with wordplay. Character dialogue clearly defines each person in this all-female (well, technically not quite all-female) play.
  • Conjoyned
    13 Apr. 2019
    A perversely compelling play that presents conjoined twins as joyful plumbers. The plumbers' energy is infectious as they dash around Essie's home. A fun, bizarre little play.
  • Jack Pork
    12 Apr. 2019
    Hilarious take-down of sleazy writers, clueless directors and willing actors as they manufacture a television show (yes, it's like sausage-making in this play). Double entendres and full frontal fun abound in this ten-minute gem.