Recommended by Steven G. Martin

  • Becky's Christmas Wish
    21 Sep. 2019
    Some anti-Christmas Christmas plays are merely snide or sarcastic. This is not one of them. Ashley Lauren Rogers has written a dark-as-the-inside-of-a-closed-coffin comedy.

    A naïve elf. A diabolical brat. An unbreakable promise. What could possibly go right? Rogers makes sure it all goes horribly wrong by the sixth line.
  • Annnd Scene (of the Crime)
    20 Sep. 2019
    Busser's short comedy is a brilliant spoof of police interrogations and their twists and turns (ding), it's a live-action primer of improvisational comedy and its foundations (ding), it's a tale of illicit love between a police officer and a murder suspect (ding), and it's a rollicking comedy that will leave audiences in stitches.

    "Annnd Scene (of the Crime)" is fast-paced and hilarious, and directors and comic actors will love it as much as audiences. A special shout-out to the nod to David Ives at the end; it's the perfect conclusion.
  • Interview With Freddie Mercury (one act)
    13 Sep. 2019
    In the 1980s, self-identifying as gay had wide-ranging, societal and familial, consequences.

    In fewer than 20 pages, Rose strongly and subtly defines two characters who are similar, yet completely at odds. One seeks privacy, the other wants to hear validation of who he is. One is uncertain how others will see him, the other doesn't give a damn. Reading "Interview with Freddie Mercury" is like seeing two sides of the same coin, with a couple decades of life experience joining the two.
  • Will Somebody Give Me a Sandwich
    12 Sep. 2019
    I respect how Gordon's immersive drama subtly touches on important details.

    First, larger conversations need to be held about the effects of mental illness and homelessness, but they need to include those who are affected so they have a voice. Notably, the other characters exclude Paul until the final moments of the play.

    Second, larger conversations do nothing to address immediate needs, like hunger. "Will Somebody Give Me a Sandwich?" is about immediate needs. Paul is a person, not a symbol for all social concerns. Well done, Gordon, for focusing on the person.
  • Everything in Between
    11 Sep. 2019
    Shannon Murdoch knows how exquisite people become when they're impatient. Layla and Franklin are impatient throughout "Everything in Between," and that need to have what they want right now, right there allows the audience to see clearly what those needs are and how they came to be.

    Murdoch uses physical action, staging, and flashback very well to tell Layla and Franklin's story, too. This is a really nice play.
  • Animals
    10 Sep. 2019
    Give me a monologue about sirloin, pork, and white cheddar any day, especially if it's written by Chad Eschman.

    Eschman tells the truth in this short comedy: the funniest infidelity is the dietary kind. Jerry and Dino are on their last nerves at the start of the play, and the action and conflict only spiral faster and faster. These are extreme characters and fun, frantic dialogue that actors and audiences alike will enjoy on stage.
  • A'nat Dittni
    8 Sep. 2019
    Chisholm shows the need for storytelling and oral history in "A'nat Dittni," which feels very much like a folktale. It's also the story of loss and the connections that sometimes deepen when we recognize loss will soon be upon us.
  • Winner of Seven Gold Medals
    8 Sep. 2019
    Green succeeds in the characterizations of Phillip and Mom in "Winner of Seven Gold Medals." The reader, audience, director, and actors will sense the common demeanor and history they share, as well as their emotional shorthand.
  • Chemistry
    7 Sep. 2019
    Have you ever felt an instant rapport with a passing stranger that lifted your spirits, even if the connection didn't last long? That's the situation Holbrook dramatizes in the short play "Chemistry." Jojo and Thad connect briefly, but deeply, which is magnificent because their connection begins with miscommunication.

    This is a heartwarming, feel-good story of affirmation and respect based simply upon the fact that we're all humans.
  • Inevitable
    6 Sep. 2019
    Puckett's absolute confidence in the story and themes of "Inevitable" begins with the character descriptions and ends with post-curtain call dialogue. This one-act play is about dying and how to live. It's about torn relationships and how to mend. It's magical realism whose magic may stem from any of several sources. And Puckett knows, controls, and artistically presents all of it oh so well.

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