Recommended by Philip Middleton Williams

  • The Fundamentals of Throwing a Curveball
    11 Aug. 2022
    I like baseball. I never played on a team; just pick-up games with friends and at school, and I never learned how to pitch. What I did learn and one reason I love the game is that it's not about raw athleticism like football or basketball; it is about teamwork and friendship. Cole Hunter Dzubak's team shows that the game isn't just about the fundamentals of throwing a curveball but making the connections that last long after the game is over. He places his story in the past, but it could be today or tomorrow. Batter up.
  • Bronze Buddha - A Monologue
    4 Aug. 2022
    We collect things. Look around and you will see something that means nothing to someone else but has meaning. Perhaps it is a souvenir of a trip or something given to you by a relative from a trip they took, and with it come the memories of that trip or that person. Perhaps you wonder why they chose that piece; what did it mean to them? Why did they choose it for you? In this spare but powerful monologue that is part of a story, Andi connects with Frankie, long lost, but finds something worth holding and collecting: a life.
  • R/Eject
    4 Aug. 2022
    When I read the premise, I was going to say "what playwright hasn't had this happen to them in the middle of the night?" But Robert Weibezahl stays away from the tropes of arguing with yourself and really does get to what keeps writers staring at the ceiling wondering why IT'S JUST NOT WORKING? This short and very smart piece catches the essence of the simple fact that those of us who fear rejection and dread the fragility of creation are drawn inexorably to it. It is the curse -- but also the blessing -- of art.
  • The Wedding Recessional I Imagine My Parents Had in 1971 (2 minutes)
    15 Jul. 2022
    Dead-on accurate, and skates really close to at least one couple I know really well who made it last for almost 72 years...
  • Boardwalk Concessions
    29 Jun. 2022
    It could only happen in a play by Scott Sickles wherein two very different people who have, frankly, very little to brag about in terms of positive personal interaction skills could be friends... and breathtakingly co-dependent. Yet Vesper and Kaden have that kind of relationship that makes this moment of human comedy work so well. And one can only imagine what the jilted Vesper must be like to attract the now-departed lover Mace in the first place. No matter; it all works, and these two people need each other in the same way we need to share their story.
  • Water and Blood
    20 Jun. 2022
    The power of the story of these brothers and their connection isn't in just what has happened -- or will happen. It is in the honest and plain-spoken monologues that comes from these characters that envelop you slowly until you realize you are fully pulled in. Then comes the revelation, and only then do you see the craft that Jan Probst has wrought in this short but powerful play.
  • The Poet, The Spy, and the Dark Lady
    17 Jun. 2022
    We have heard this story before: who really inspired and wrote Shakespeare's plays? Many theories abound: some are outlandish (the Klingons), some are dryly scholarly; maybe it was just Shakespeare alone. That doesn't mean that a stylish and well-crafted tale with intriguing and fully-drawn characters can't be told. Emily McClain's deft, witty, and fast-paced drama with true consideration for both history and informed speculation -- not to mention a certain amount of sex appeal -- makes the case that another shadowy figure had a hand in them. In the reading at Valdez, it was a fun and heartfelt play.
  • The Macbethest Christmas Pageant Spectaculathon...Ever!
    16 Jun. 2022
    This lightning-paced mash-up/send-up/take-off on the Scottish play and the legends of Santa Claus has everything you want and some moments that will leave you breathless with laughter. Imagine William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, C. Clement Moore and Edgar Allan Poe doing tequila shooters at a dive bar on Christmas Eve and coming up with a last-minute Christmas show for the Addams family. Ho ho augh!
  • Radio Ghosts
    16 Jun. 2022
    Even in the setting of a reading in a conference center such as the Valdez Theatre Conference, the ethereal and mesmerizing atmosphere comes through. The characters grow and change -- literally -- as we listen to the moments and the echoes of words and sounds that make this a tale of lyrical beauty. Written with the music of Mike Vernusky, this would be a thrilling production on stage, and I hope to be there when it comes to full life.
  • SHRINES
    16 Jun. 2022
    The way we grieve tells a lot about how we see ourselves in relation to our loved ones: those still with us, and those we mourn. In "Shrines," Ashley Rose Wellman shows us how one family clings to the memory of a lost child and does it in a touching, often humorous, and at times creepy way, yet we never lose sight of the loss each character feels and how it has changed them over the years.

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