Recommended by Bethany Dickens Assaf

  • Whirlpool
    31 Aug. 2023
    Once you start reading this play, it’s impossible to stop. The title here is apt: the accusations, power dynamics, and conflicting stories swirl at a frenetic pace, revealing how cases of sexual assault can obfuscate and revictimize women. An anguishing and complex play that wisely refrains from offering easy answers.
  • I Love New York
    15 Aug. 2023
    I so admire this play’s depth and insight into both a specific marriage and the meaning of marriage generally - in just a few short minutes! There aren’t easy answers here for this couple’s aching questions (nor should there be) but the piece is crafted with such compassion and understanding, the audience will find themselves empathizing with both characters and rooting for them to find happiness. What starts as a slice of life goes so much deeper - into lost dreams and what we owe to each other both as partners and humans. Highly recommended!
  • A Humble Path [a monologue]
    21 Apr. 2023
    In this pitch black and deeply compelling piece, Martin has created a character we can’t help but be riveted by, even if we can’t understand him. He’s as much of a puzzle box as the setting, and his stories, told in a compelling and naturalistic voice, deepen the mystery rather than provide rote or cloying backstory. The twist at the end is fascinating and will have the audience talking on the drive home.
    21 Apr. 2023
    A delicious holiday treat, particularly for those of us who love Shakespeare! Cross has imbued an ingenious premise with witty fun and clever references to the Scottish play - Mac entering to the horror of a tree in his castle was a particular favorite of mine. This play is sure to get big laughs and will be an audience favorite in any festival.
  • Don't Let Them See You
    20 Apr. 2023
    A gorgeous and heartbreaking monologue. The flow of the piece is excellent, and it ends on a bittersweet and compelling note. I was also impressed with how the character takes us on a complete journey through his past and present, revealing so much wisdom in a short amount of time.
  • Table for Thirteen
    20 Apr. 2023
    Clever! Loved the premise and the references - so many fun gems! I especially enjoyed the line about getting the beards right. Would be an amusing piece to see staged, and surely much talked about afterward!
  • Marianas Trench (Part One of The Second World Trilogy)
    20 Apr. 2023
    I’m this gorgeous and urgent play, Sickles seamlessly pairs a deeply felt love story with a troubling vision of a dystopian, divided America. The play unites these elements seamlessly, envying intelligent social commentary with pathos and humor. I was especially struck by Sickles’ extraordinary ability to capture and express the complex thoughts, dreams, and fears of his young characters through highly realistic dialogue. He makes playwriting looks absolutely effortless and yet there is so much mastery to be found in this outstanding play!
  • House Manager
    11 Jan. 2023
    I immensely admire this play's commitment to its ideals surrounding hope and belief - in a rather cynical world, Vovos' writing is a welcome tonic of sincerity. I also appreciated the numerous theatrical and writing references, which were well-integrated without becoming showy or distracting from the story. The 'hook' of a patron refusing to leave after a show is also effective and amusing; I was drawn in at once.
  • Elftopia
    23 Nov. 2022
    A hilarious and delightful holiday treat! The playwright has woven together a sweet - and extremely relatable tale - about corporate overreach, burnout, and office politics, with some seriously funny comedy woven in (I love the Christmas-themed substitutions for expletives!). Also features terrific comedic roles for three women. Sure to be a hit at any short play festival, regardless of the season!
  • A COLLECTIBLE SENSATION full-length musical for 12 Women (+optional additional ensemble) by Amy Engelhardt & Arianna Rose
    23 Nov. 2022
    There is so much to recommend this delightful, powerful musical. The framing of the work in the Baltimore Museum of Modern Art is theatrically exciting and lends itself to the play's questions of art and ownership, particularly when they intersect with gender. The four characters at the center of the story are expertly constructed (flawed, empathetic, compelling) and the period elements, including the musical arrangements, are employed with care and creativity without bogging down the work in historical details. The play in general balances this setting expertly with questions of great contemporary resonance, including gender, artistry, and sexuality. A triumph!