Recommended by Steven G. Martin

  • Emily Dickinson Talks to God, Now (A Monologue)
    27 Oct. 2018
    Lee Lawing's insights into love, writing, silence and loneliness flow like water in this monologue. They quench the audience and his character, 50-something Fredricka Barnes. Lawing has insights into loss, too, and regrets as well as coming to terms with those regrets and that loss. Barnes is a marvelous character, certain about many things as a woman that she had been uncertain about as a teenager. That knowledge is worth everything. This is a lovely script.
  • Three Women and an Onion
    27 Oct. 2018
    Ryan Bultrowicz presents Absurdity as Nightmare in this dark one-act comedy. A mundane scenario -- an onion is discovered on a kitchen table -- spins into the macabre as three roommates "what if" themselves into believing the onion has a malevolent personality and an agenda. Kudos to Bultrowicz for pushing the action and stakes from real to spooky, and, finally, for not explaining away the mystery.
  • 11:50
    23 Sep. 2018
    Finley's 11:50 is bittersweet, romantic, ironic, theatrical and leaves audiences with more questions than answers about the characters and their relationships. A well-constructed, emotional script.
  • Suspense
    23 Sep. 2018
    Selfish, illicit lovers. Ice-cold bon mots. Murder plots even Rube Goldberg would find labyrinthine. Vocabulary that rises to dizzying heights of sophistication. A 4-year-old boy played by a life-sized doll. And a bunch of bananas. Finley's short farcical mystery/suspense script offers so many gifts for audiences and performers alike.
  • Billy's Got Issues
    9 Sep. 2018
    This comedic short script nicely tweaks the drama that comes when relationships turn more serious, and expectations of absolute honesty are made. Kirk Shimano plays up some of the silliness -- an X-ray makes for a funny and unusual prop and plot point -- but he also understands that such honesty can be painful. We feel for Paul regarding his past relationships, and we hope Billy makes good on his claims. Well-written, especially the ending action and reaction.
  • Act With 14 Words
    3 Sep. 2018
    Alex and Trip, two men in their 20's and 30's, show genuine camaraderie and affection for one another in Blaisdell's Act with 14 Words. She skillfully shows that these are intimate, private moments that both men enjoy -- their actions are that well defined.

    But with fourteen words, Blaisdell turns everything on its head, and the audience realizes we didn't know what we we thought we did. Questions abound and concerns arise for these men and their relationship. Well done.
  • I Love You
    1 Sep. 2018
    What isn't said is what matters in Nina Ki's short drama I Love You. Dad can't bring himself to say "I love you" to Charles, his son, but Ki's writing provides hints that there is a lot more that Dad is unable to say. How much has the cycle of "Be a man, be tough, don't let your feelings show" damaged the males in that family tree, and how much has Dad lost? But Ki provides a final straw of hope for Charles. Emotional, restrained and heartbreaking.
  • 2 B or Nah: Sexting Hamlet: A 10-Minute Play
    30 Aug. 2018
    For all the well-deserved praise Latham has received for her dialogue in 2 B or Nah: Sexting Hamlet -- and it is very well-deserved -- the highlight of this short, comedic play for me is Ophelia and Gertrude taking the lead in their own lives and moving on from Hamlet and Claudius. This script is hilarious, yes, but it also casts a gaze at empowerment. As Claudius might say, "Yass, Queen!"
  • Broken English
    30 Aug. 2018
    Nina Ki's Broken English is an emotional short play about barriers disrupting and endangering empathy. Kyle and his mother face barriers of culture, family legacy and expectations, the generation gap, the need for independence, and expressions of sexuality. But Ki also shows how language can create an equally hazardous barrier, not only between the characters but the characters and the audience. Audience members who understand Korean might have a stronger sense of understanding and empathy for Mother, who speaks Korean almost exclusively, perhaps even more than Kyle feels, who speaks English almost exclusively.
  • The Aloha Life
    30 Aug. 2018
    Credit Jean Koppen for taking a real-life situation with negative implications -- the false alert about a missile set to hit Hawai'i in January 2018 -- and using it to shine a thoughtful, romantic light on marriage. Anna and Jack complement one another so completely, even in the face of looming disaster and a huge lifestyle change. The Aloha Life would be a sweet, heartfelt entry for any festival.

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