Recommended by Dave Osmundsen

  • Why the Hell is it so Hard to Write a Recommendation on NPX? A Monologue
    11 Aug. 2020
    The phrase that comes to mind after reading this outrageous, frustrated, all-too-relatable and hilarious monologue: "But actually though!"
  • Will Be Live
    10 Aug. 2020
    Micah Ariel Watson's potent use of language creates a theatrical tableaux that is at first light-hearted, but turns devastating on a dime. "Will Be Live" shows how three Black women deal with an encounter with an officer, and the tragic conclusion they all reach. A necessary play.
  • Our Black Death: Plagues, Turnips, and Other Romantic Gestures
    10 Aug. 2020
    A darkly funny, wildly entertaining, and delightfully menacing tale of love in the time of plague. Carpenter's characters are often manipulative and selfish, but they are consistently likable and sympathetic. I especially found Bit's yearning to learn more about the world beyond her poignant. Although frighteningly relevant to the current pandemic, this is a play that asks deeper questions about how our behavioral and moral codes alter when the world is on the verge of destruction, and how they intersect with gender and class. Well worth a read!
  • End Days
    3 Aug. 2020
    I love how this play starts with the broad "types"-- the fanatically religious mother, the absent-minded father, the droll and eye-rolling daughter, the quirky boy next door. But Lauder doesn't settle for types. She subverts the audience's expectations throughout the play by unveiling the depths of her characters. The character of Sylvia, the Evangelical mother, particularly stood out to me. Rather than a head shrieking fire-and-brimstone, Laufer poignantly depicts her as a woman desperate to believe in something larger than herself, and wants others to believe. A warm, funny, and unexpectedly thought-provoking play!
    1 Aug. 2020
    Adam Seidel’s intense portrayal of a man losing his grip on reality is riveting, devastating, and heartbreaking. Plenty of great dark humor, too, like the best of Seidel’s work. The second act in particular provides plenty of exciting theatrical opportunities. I can’t wait to see this piece performed, on Zoom or in person!
  • Limits
    22 Jul. 2020
    This is a relentlessly dark piece, and certainly not for the faint of heart. But DC Cathro has cleverly constructed this play almost like a mystery. You can't help but slowly lean into it as the story progresses. There are also a few neat, expected twists along the way. It also discusses the rape of a gay man, which is a topic we need to discuss more. Very powerful piece!
  • Captain Cockroach
    18 Jul. 2020
    It's rare to see absurdism done well, but Bultrowicz manages to pull it off hilariously here. A Kafka-ian "Waiting for Godot," this ten-minute play follows Charlie and Ray, two people who are mysteriously turned into cockroaches. They grapple for power in a senseless situation. They try to apply real-life rules to an absurd situation. They realize that the normal rules don't apply anymore and resign themselves to their uncertain fate. Whip-smart, clever and funny, "Captain Cockroach" is perfect for 10-minute play festivals, particularly those that emphasize comedy.
  • Commemorative Edition
    18 Jul. 2020
    I both enjoyed and related deeply (sometimes TOO deeply) to this touching coming-of-age story. In just twenty pages, this play covers adolescent awkwardness, sexual awakening, first crush, coming out, and growing up. And it's all executed in such a breezy, light manner that you can't help but go along for the ride. The final moments were also incredibly touching. I love this play!
  • Repossessed
    2 Jul. 2020
    I listened to this fascinating and thought-provoking play on the Parsnip Ship. I’m extremely intrigued by the world that Greg Lam has so carefully and cleverly constructed here. I also love the ethical questions and quandaries that Lam proposes with this play: Can science go too far in its attempts to improve humanity? Or are we humans responsible by turning to science to erase our flaws? Check this one out!
  • Masculinity Max
    30 Jun. 2020
    I caught this play when it streamed on Playbill's Pride Plays and loved it! Such a poignant, compelling, hilarious, and heartbreaking exploration of how its FTM protagonist, Max, defines his gender and how he expresses it. It also explores how he operates in the world based on what is true to himself, and what the world expects of him. Intelligent dialogue and a brilliant cast of supporting characters makes this play a must-produce!