Recommended by Dave Osmundsen

  • That Must Be the Entrance to Heaven or, The Dawn Behind the Black Hole
    19 Feb. 2022
    Spectacular, poetic, devastating, thrilling, gut-wrenching, moving. These are only a few adjectives I can use to describe this incredible play. Centering on four boxers all fighting for their version of the American dream, this hard-hitting play asks what dreams are worth fighting, striving, and ultimately dying for. Intersecting bloodsport with cosmology, this play aims high and smashes its target. This play also contains some of my favorite monologues from any contemporary play—the poetry contained in them will stun you. Bravo!
  • The Part of Me
    19 Feb. 2022
    A dark, spirally, and heavily theatrical odyssey exploring one woman’s journey in coming to terms with her sexuality, Neurodiversity, and identity. The fantastical elements are a blast, heightening the theatricality of the play while giving you insight into the protagonist’s mental state. This isn’t always a pleasant play to read, but it will put you back together in the most satisfying manner after putting you and it’s protagonist through the ringer (and there is plenty of brilliant dark humor along the way!).
  • Cleaning Gravestones
    19 Jan. 2022
    What a lovely, lovely play! Cathro gives us a believable father/daughter dynamic. Amanda and her father don't have a contentious relationship, exactly, but there's the question of how much they're willing to give each other, and their conversation here compellingly explores that disparity. Cathro doesn't condemn Amanda for being less giving. Much like Dad, he is very sympathetic to the child who may not be aware of how selfish she's acting. You're left with the possibility that both of these characters can learn and grow from each other, and the play ends on a hopeful note.
  • Ashes of the Revolution
    8 Jan. 2022
    Very charming, very silly, and ultimately very sweet play about two siblings who will protect each other at all costs. Bray gives a few stray clues as to what their right-wing environment is like, and it's clear how much this environment of fear and paranoia has impacted the two children. Despite this, Bray keeps the piece lighthearted, and it's easy to fall in love with these two characters. Sweet play!
  • The Bad in Each Other
    16 Nov. 2021
    A fascinating pas de deux between two characters, both of whom want justice in the world but want to achieve it in two completely different ways. Should they each stay in their lane, or be more radical in their response to social injustices? Perez skewers SJWs and sellouts alike, and portrays a couple who, as their relationship unfolds over several years, can't live with or without each other. You know that these two probably shouldn't be together, but it's devilishly fun to watch them turn on (and to (and on)) each other.
  • Occupy Prescott
    12 Nov. 2021
    How do we define what we want out of a movement while holding onto our personal beliefs, and how do those beliefs contrast and confront one another? In this wonderfully engaging and bittersweet dramedy, Boyd gives us five well-rounded and believable characters who each want to see a change in their country--but are the changes they want to see compatible? In less than 70 pages, Boyd gives a complex and comprehensive exploration of why revolutions are so difficult. Highly political without being didactic, this play is deeply emotional and deeply human. Great work!
  • Randy's Dandy Coaster Castle
    29 Aug. 2021
    I was fortunate enough to see this play at IRT. A warm-hearted, slyly funny, and deeply human story, this slice-of-life takes us into the lives of a group of employees at a scrappy amusement park and explores not only their dreams and desires, but why they choose to stay in a less-than-ideal working environment. Many scenes took me back to grunt jobs I used to work, specifically the scheduling conflicts. The final scenes are a devastating exercise in dramatic irony, especially because you’ve come to care about these characters so much. Wonderful play!
  • Young Men & Recovery
    22 Aug. 2021
    In "Young Men & Recovery," Scanlan eschews many of the inspirational tropes of high school football narratives (such as "Varsity Blues" and "Friday Night Lights") and explores the harm that toxic masculinity in athletics can have on the players. Most of the play is a slice-of-life depiction of a weigh-in and football practice, but towards the end, the play takes a devastating turn that forces the audience to reconsider everything they saw up until that point. Your heart can't help but break for these young men whose lives are irrevocably changed by the sport.
  • ?HUH?
    20 Aug. 2021
    An absurdist look into a couple travelling to take the next step in their relationship, Goldman-Sherman expertly captures the isolation one often feels with the person they're supposedly the most intimate with. The supporting characters are delightfully eccentric and poignant in their own ways, underpinning the existential longing and anxieties that the central couple faces--they've lost each other, but can they really live with each other? Clever, poignant, and hilarious, I can't wait to see this piece staged!
  • Morning After the Mêlée
    14 Aug. 2021
    It’s one thing to fight the dragon and think you’ve defeated it. It’s another to deal with the emotional aftermath of the dragon not being completely vanquished. Here, Sickles gives us two characters who are flawed, hilarious, and compassionate. They drive each other up the wall at times, but are ultimately there for each other in the best possible way. This will also be a blast for sound and set designers—I found it exciting to imagine to blood-soaked stage and the sounds of Astaroth! Hilarious and moving work.