Recommended by Maury Zeff

  • Bird Girl and the Hammer
    15 Aug. 2021
    If this play wasn't about the world being destroyed by a massive killer squid and the fact the two main characters are superheroes, it would still work as a really sweet moment between two people who care for each other a lot and who have unresolved feelings. But the good news is, we get the killer squid and the superheroes as a bonus, making this warm, emotionally honest play also hilarious and slightly absurdist to boot. Lots of fun!
  • Bridge to Reality, Come in Reality
    15 Aug. 2021
    The set-up of two teens working through complicated (and not so complicated) emotions while on air on a public access TV station is brilliant. The creepy callers with their odd opinions and questions build to a wonderful late reveal. This play would work well in a longer form. I was totally absorbed in the evolving dynamic between Delia and Bekah. I also love the pre-internet/pre-social media setting that still shows the weirdness and nastiness of people when given a platform.
  • Second Look (10 minute excerpt of SEEING EYE)
    15 Aug. 2021
    I love that this play takes us into a familiar set-up and then adds an element that not only turns the situation on its ear, but becomes an engine of storytelling. Depending upon how an actor plays it, Jason's false starts could be played for laughs or pathos, until the reveal of his blindness. Some great laugh-out-loud lines in here too. My favorite: "I'm not a...bloodhound or whatever."
    15 Aug. 2021
    I really loved so many things about this play-- the naturalistic dialogue (particularly the playwright's mastery of children's speech, so convincing), the use of time as a storytelling mechanism, and the gradual way we come to know these characters. Visualizing this play as I read, I think it would be interesting to see it performed with just two actors, as described in the casting note.
  • Perfect
    7 Aug. 2021
    It's really hard to write a play about scientific and societal concepts in a way that is dramatically interesting. Yet Jonathan Luskin succeeds with his gripping play PERFECT. The three compelling, interlinked stories in the play use the backdrop of gene editing technologies to explore what it means to be human as we ease into a complicated near-future. Our society's very recognizable characteristics of deep parental anxiety, hyper-competitiveness, and, of course, capitalism all influence the choices these characters make. This play left my mind buzzing with questions about where CRISPR will lead us.
  • 7 Secrets of Teaching Online
    6 Aug. 2021
    "7 Secrets of Teaching Online" is a play borne of the Zoom age that somehow delightfully transcends the Zoom age. This play is one of the few 'Zoom plays' I've seen that manages to use Zoom to enhance the storytelling. Using the wickedly funny (and wildly meta) setup of university professors taking an online class on how to teach online, the play then veers into the interpersonal lives of its characters in a way that makes it both hilarious and deeply affecting.
  • An Untitled New Play By Justin Timberlake
    28 Jul. 2021
    This play has so many smart/funny/painful things to say about the politics of theater. Every beat brings a new delight. I love that Beth has a stream of jokes that makes the audience laugh, but not her fellow characters. My favorite line: "Turn left at the bronze bust of Lin Manuel Miranda."