Recommended by Scott Sickles

  • The Adventures of Pat the Exterminator: The Laboratory
    26 Oct. 2023
    Oh what a pleasure this is for actors! For mad scientist Victor… it’s a lot but all things considered he takes it in stride. For instance, it’s vexing when you’re on the verge of a major world changing ethics-committee-rebuke-worthy achievement only to find that someone else already does it as a hobby… and probably better. The nesting dolls, though… a propmaster’s dream. The Laboratory is comedy alchemy.
  • Irony
    15 Oct. 2023
    All it's missing is a death row pardon two minutes too late!

    An epic tale of a really crappy work day when even the best moments crash and burn as they reach their zenith. Fun and funny!
  • Taste The Categories
    15 Oct. 2023
    I also sort my M&Ms. I don't know why. Forman's monologue comes closer to explaining that tendency more than anything I've encountered. Of course, there's more going on here than sorting candy. Contrasting Skittles and M&Ms is apt, emphasizing how we're all different and all the same, how some things can be either/or and others simply can't.

    But it's the personal stories about different generations of very young people and how they define themselves. Profound and simple, this is necessary reading, especially for anyone who "doesn't get the nonbinary/pronouns thing."

    This will help you learn.
  • Amongst the Stars
    15 Oct. 2023
    When you know you don't have much time, it's hard not to keep track of it as it slips away. It can really put a strain on romance. Jamie's having none of that nonsense and neither is Feeny-Williams, though she keeps upping the ante while closing their window. Lovely moments cross a bleak yet beautiful storyscape like shooting stars traversing the night sky.
  • When He was Young and Pretty
    15 Oct. 2023
    A fascinating game of one...downmanship? Two gay hustlers, at least two generations apart, engage in a "who's had it worse" competition while they're waiting for meat to rest. (Not like that! Naughty...) Smith uses queer history sharply, revealing character and life experiences in ways that intimately represent how things have changed and remained the same, especially in how each generation dismisses the experiences of the other. Matter-of-fact in tone and surprisingly unsentimental - the characters and the play itself - it's a stark portrait of a dangerous profession in ever-and-always precarious times.
  • Scott versus the Siberian Death Worm
    15 Oct. 2023
    Soucy has created not only my favorite protagonist ever, but the GREATEST PROTAGONIST OF ALL TIME!!!

    ME!!!

    O, I wish this Scott were me! Or I him. Either way, he’s a much better nerd and a much cooler guy. (Hey! Reverse Cool is still cool!) I never would’ve fared so well at dear Miskatonic U.

    The perfect foil to my idealized doppelgänger’s bouncy cheer is the blithely eeeeevilllll Dr. Fract, whom I read with an English accent found only in the best B horror films! Deliciously wicked!

    And then there are… the worms!!!

    A disgusting delight!
  • The Uninvited
    5 Oct. 2023
    What elegant vitriol!

    If mental illness is a street fight, then depression is a cage match. And even though our protagonist is taken unawares by this latest onslaught, they are a fighter, a warrior! Their fists are calloused and they know every inch of this cage.

    Plumridge also captures depression as contagion. It affects others, how they feel in addition to how we feel about them. It shows you the ugly in the beautiful and the hollow illusion of love. Doesn't matter if it's real. Doesn't matter if you know that.

    At this point, the fight is everything!
  • 23 and Bree (from the THE WRINKLE RANCH AND OTHER PLAYS ABOUT GROWING OLD collection)
    5 Oct. 2023
    A great contemporary spin on a classic trope! Indeed, genetic tests and genealogy sites have resulted in many surprises! And not all of them are happy. If they were, we wouldn't be writing plays about them.

    Deb Cole has written a play!!! A perfect trio of characters: a mom with a fading memory is confronted by a drama princess daughter demanding to know more, and a sister/aunt who calls things as she sees them.

    Funny and surprising, with a well-earned resolution and a lovely (and maybe slightly unsettling, at least for Bree) ending.
  • Crisis Exercise
    4 Oct. 2023
    This play made me happy about three things: I’ll never be in primary education again, I’m not in it now, and I got to experience this stunning play!

    On the surface, we see conversational snippets between three kids (likely boys) from kindergarten thru senior year. Blevins captures each age perfectly: as personalities evolve, power dynamics become increasingly unsettling.

    BTW, each vignette is set during a lockdown drill! We learn what goes into these drills as the kids do, watching helplessly as they’re desensitized and traumatized over time. Extraordinarily powerful, the ending is a jawdropper!
  • EMERGENCY ATTORNEY: A MONOLOGUE
    2 Oct. 2023
    Absolutely sickening! It's political theater like this that should inspire outraged mobs to rally for an actually just cause!

    Wyndham has been on fire lately with monologues on infringements against women's autonomy with ULLA and SISTER CONSTANCE... With EMERGENCY ATTORNEY, he takes things to a new level, a new low even, with one of the most contemptible characters anyone has ever created. It's one thing to follow objectionable laws, it's another to do so with such indifference to humanity. That it's all not only believable but undeniably accurate is horrifying.

    You won't read anything more terrifying this October.

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