Recommended by Dave Osmundsen

  • 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!
  • sorry sorry okay sorry
    12 Jun. 2023
    I was lucky enough to see this play at the Valdez Theatre Conference. A razor-sharp comedy about the emotional inarticulateness surrounding intense emotions such as grief and anxiety, Everett springboards into a compassionate exploration of three people who don’t know how to reach each other in the ways they need to. With beautifully constructed dialogue and compelling characters, this dramatic comedy seamlessly shifts into a gut-punch in the last twenty minutes. Fantastic play!
  • The Polycule: A Comedy of Manners
    11 Jun. 2023
    What a mess! I don’t mean this delicious play, which is tightly and precisely structured with delightfully unforced rhymes and the snappy pace of a restoration comedy. I mean the characters Sampieri depicts with a generous yet lacerating eye, who enter into a polyamorous arrangement for the wrong reasons, and whose relationship issues won’t be solved by the involvement of outside parties. An insightful and incisive comedy about love, revenge, and how we fit into each other’s lives, this play is a blast to read and will surely be a blast to perform/watch!
  • Organized Chaos
    5 Jun. 2023
    One of the most complex and compelling and thorny explorations of activism I've ever read, this sprawling play tackles not only what rights we have as humans, but also what sacrifices and compromises are necessary to obtain those rights. Through Wilkins' humanistic and nuanced writing, we learn that compromise isn't evil or even complacent--it's a matter of picking your battles so that you can make the most positive impact on the world. It's a play that will leave you with more questions than answers, and will make you reflect on your place in the world. Highly recommended!
  • Sapience
    21 May. 2023
    “Sapience” is a boundlessly ambitious and sharply observed play about the intersections of science, neurodiversity, and the shortcomings of human communication. Burbano creates a compelling protagonist in Elsa, an Autistic primatologist whose struggles to teach an orangutan English are mirrored with her cousin Miri, whose non-speaking Autistic son also struggles to communicate. The final 35 pages are one gut punch after the next, as the metaphorical jungle Elsa creates for herself gradually overtakes the stage—a great challenge for designers. Finally, “Normal is a place to hide” may be one of my favorite lines in a contemporary play.
  • Romeo & Her Sister
    8 Apr. 2023
    What sets “Romeo & Her Sister” apart from other historical dramas is the compelling and complex dynamic between the legendary Charlotte Cushman and her sister Susan. Their relationship starts with animosity, but develops into a deeply felt relationship between two women with uniquely different relationships to the society around them—both of them are misfits in different ways. With this foundation, Blevins spins an engaging and thoroughly entertaining yarn. A feast for actors (especially those who identify as female) and audiences alike!
  • yo ho.
    14 Feb. 2023
    This swashbuckling play takes the audience to the edge of sex and violence--incisively and hilariously exploring gender roles, identity, and sexuality. The tension between Andy and Mark effortlessly draws in the audience, resulting in a couple the audience can't help but root for. SMJ manages to keep the stakes high and the emotional core hot throughout. An erotic and exhilarating scorcher of a play!