Recommended by Steven G. Martin

  • Out of Body/On a Train
    4 Dec. 2022
    Stunning premise. Brilliant execution. Intense story. Erin Moughon has written an unforgettable short drama that will leave audiences speechless.
  • On the Roof at Midnight
    3 Dec. 2022
    I love how Colette Murphy adjusts the tone of this one-minute play from playful comedy to tender romance. Joan's and Henry's voices are clear especially when they change course and perspective: hers is slightly more strident, his is slightly more conciliatory. They balance well.

    "On the Roof at Midnight" would be a delight to watch.
  • All Things Considered, It Was Probably the Most Productive Meeting The Escondido Unified School District PTA Ever Had
    1 Dec. 2022
    A.J. Ditty has written three fantastic, funny characters in this short comedy. They're all rich -- and there's an especially terrific monologue during which we see one of them completely unravel.

    But for all the comedy in "All Things Considered, It Was Probably the Most Productive Meeting the Escondido Unified School District PTA Ever Had" -- and there is a lot, including the perfect title -- I most loved the Ditty's ending that places everything into a more somber context.

    This is a terrific play for contemporary times.
  • Careless People
    29 Nov. 2022
    This one-act drama is a finely written expansion of the lives of Jordan Baker and Nick Carraway a year after the ending of "The Great Gatsby."

    Emily McClain grounds her play in the characters Fitzgerald created -- self-centered, charming New Yorker Jordan and milquetoast, humble Midwesterner Nick -- with those traits being the keys to this story of being seen, of living versus hibernating, of facades and messy lives.

    McClain writes so well that readers and audiences will feel strongly they know how the characters will live after the curtain goes down. It's a beautifully realized story.
  • Space Laser, In Space!
    29 Nov. 2022
    "Space Laser, In Space!" is a lovely, layered, hilarious, thought-provoking short play. Jillian Blevins begins with a sci-fi premise that mocks anti-Semitic rhetoric, echoes "Dr. Strangelove; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb," examines cultural gatekeeping about what it means to be Jewish, and leaves an audience with an ending that feels remarkably like "The Lady or the Tiger?"

    There is a lot packed into this short play, and it's wonderful. Audiences will discuss "Space Laser, In Space!" long after a performance ends.
  • How To Get Away With The Mystery of Edwin Drood
    29 Nov. 2022
    This short play is genuinely chilling.

    Ashley Lauren Rogers pulls in the audience will the initial comic overtones -- a possibly drunken actor doing line work, a frustrated director, an at-risk performance. But then Rogers leaves the slightest trail of details and an audience will put them together to figure out not only what happened, but how and why. And it's all understated.

    "How to Get Away with the Mystery of Edwin Drood" is chilling. Funny, yet chilling.
  • The [C]Han[n]uk[k]a[h] Play
    28 Nov. 2022
    I came to "The [C]Han[n]uk[k]a[h] Play" for its title and stayed for the kink appreciation.

    David Lipschutz has written a laugh-out-loud holiday comedy about families that audiences will love. They'll root for Dane during their introduction to the Bartlebaums, they'll be on the edge of their seats with the characters' openness, and they'll erupt in laughter at the climax.

    Fun, brisk, "Did-I-Hear-What-I-Thought-I-Heard" comic joy.
  • A Lifetime of Adventure
    28 Nov. 2022
    Lee Lawing's dramatic 10-minute play "A Lifetime of Adventure" is the type of historic fiction I love, focused on everyday people's lives in context of the times and mores.

    Lawing has provided a strong sense of time and location in just the briefest of scripts, and we see George and William develop throughout.
  • Beverly
    26 Nov. 2022
    This monologue is a perfect little pinprick of comic criticism against an all-too-common practice.

    All hail Beverly the character, queen of Milk Duds, beer quaffing and sotto voce judgements. All hail "Beverly," a perfect short monologue for an older female actor.
  • Flat Meat Society
    25 Nov. 2022
    The roadkill jokes in this monologue will pull in an audience. The on-stage action and commentary will keep them engaged. But what I love most about Tom Coash's "Flat Meat Society" is Dee's journey from having lost a lot -- relationships, health, pride -- to being able to create better opportunities for herself through her own work, perseverance and passion.

    It's a terrific monologue, both funny and heartfelt. I'd love to see it in performance.