Recommended by Dave Osmundsen

  • The Flight Patterns of Migratory Birds
    21 Sep. 2023
    A lovely story about small town life, body image, and self-acceptance. Boyd displays a fine ear for dialogue and character dynamics. I thoroughly enjoyed following the evolving shapes the characters’ relationships took throughout the play, and yearned that they would all find their places in the world by the end.

    The birds also present a fun challenge for designers—I would love to see how they’re represented in different productions!
  • John Proctor is the Villain
    10 Jul. 2023
    This play has been hyped up like nobody's business. I'm pleased to report that it lives up to the hype, and then some.

    At once a feminist critique of "The Crucible," a coming-of-age story centering a group of teenage girls, and a rallying cry for change, this play features fast-paced dialogue and intriguing dynamics that believably shift over the course of the play. Each character feels flawed, human, and real. And the final monologue is one of the most beautiful and galvanizing in contemporary theatre.

    If I ever teach "The Crucible," I will happily teach this play alongside it.
  • No Present Like the Time
    8 Jul. 2023
    A play that transcends time and space to explore the kinetically contradictory memories of a mother and her son, this is a story about love misplaced within a family—a son who craves his father’s acceptance, a mother who wants her son to see and value her, and how both cope with a tragedy perhaps a long time in the making. So much is left unsaid in this play, but Ollett gives you just enough information to pull off a disturbing, horrifying conclusion. Fantastic work!
  • The Dog
    8 Jul. 2023
    Two unnamed characters (referred to only as A and B) dance around the questions that most, if not all, couples are forced to confront about their loyalty to one another and what both are willing to sacrifice for each other. Their avoidance, captured with fast-paced, artfully inarticulate dialogue, is aggravated when A's dog violently attacks B. In addition to the back and forth between these two, there are razor-sharp monologues about love and devotion--the monologues to the dog are particularly strong, as well as the opening monologue. A messy play about messy, flawed people.
  • Triptych - A Love Story in Three Acts
    16 Jun. 2023
    An unconventional love story with a touch of whimsy, Sam Heyman has given us a trio of endearing yet complex characters who believably fall in love with each other over the course of three acts. I had so much fun bouncing around time with these characters, and was engaged in their burgeoning exploration of polyamory. A narrator adds a lovely and delightful tone to the story. Wonderful work!
    16 Jun. 2023
    This slow-burn thriller encompasses grief, loss, and cults. At its core, however, it’s about three parents—one grieving the loss of their child, one trying to reunite with their child, and another trying to keep her family together—grappling with their roles in their children’s lives. Gibson treats her characters with grace and empathy, even while they do horrific things to each other. The pacing of the story is deliberate, the revelations shocking the audience without overwhelming them, building to a high-stakes climax and a revelation more sinister than imaginable.
  • Simon Says
    16 Jun. 2023
    Holy Eff! What starts as a slightly kooky comedy quickly becomes disturbingly dark and bleak. One of the most frightening and effective short horror plays I’ve seen in a long time, this play brings to mind movies such as “Speak No Evil.” I’m legitimately shooketh by this play.
  • Shake the Disease
    15 Jun. 2023
    I was lucky enough to see this incredible play at the Valdez Theatre Conference. This play is a potent example of Gay Gothic, seamlessly and surprisingly transitioning from old-fashioned gay play to ghoulish, ghostly horror. It taps into a horrifying and disturbing mythology (an imprint of the devastating legacy of AIDS) and manages to stay two steps ahead of its audience. By the time the play draws you in with its involving characters, it has already taken you to the edge of a dark abyss. And best of all? It feels no need to explain yourself. Fantastic play!
  • The Bed Trick
    13 Jun. 2023
    What starts off as a hysterical satire of contemporary sexual mores becomes a heartbreakingly piquant and sad exploration of two flawed people whose relationship could never work out. Blevins’s dialogue is sharp and specific, and she has a keen-eyed yet unsentimental perspective of her characters. This is not a play that will make you comfortable. It’s not supposed to. It succeeds in making you contemplate the role of sex and intimacy in our lives.
  • Rocket Yourself to the Moon
    12 Jun. 2023
    A wild, wacky, icy satire of corporate subservience and what happens when a company moves far away from its mission and its origins. Wildly hilarious one minute and devastating the next, often simultaneously!