Recommended by Bethany Dickens

  • Hedda the Hopper
    7 Nov. 2019
    During a reading of this piece at the Midwest Dramatists Center, I was in the unfamiliar but pleasing position of being totally bewildered and taken off guard by its deliciously strange style. Two months later, I am extremely excited to report that I still don't know what I make of it, which is absolutely wonderful. Munter has a strong and surefooted style and I greatly appreciated getting to know her voice.
  • ROUGH WATERS
    7 Nov. 2019
    Lovely, subtle, and yet unflinchingly grounded in the world of familiar sorrows, Rough Waters is a thoughtful piece that accomplishes so much in ten short minutes. The audience is bestowed a rare opportunity to see a true-to-life relationship begin and develop in that time, with all its specifics and awkward moments. Silence plays a key role in the piece, providing plenty of opportunities for audiences to sink into O'Neill-Butler's gorgeous dialogue.
  • A Life Enriching Community
    7 Nov. 2019
    Delicate, sweet, and deeply meaningful, Williams is a master at drawing realistic dialogue that actually tells and reveals so much more than the words themselves. The relationship between the two men is both familiar and specific and slowly opens up to reach the audience in a profound way. It certainly got dusty in the room when I heard the piece at the Midwest Dramatists Convention.
  • VALERIE: A COSPLAY MONOLOGUE
    7 Nov. 2019
    Visceral and unflinching, this monologue is capable of reaching insane heights of drama and passion. Wyndham has clearly researched every bit of the world of cosplay and its all on display here: lovers of anime and superheroes will be further drawn in, while the rest of us will feel the emotional bombardment of this culture, either of which plays a role in elevating the narrative. It's a physical experience and one that the audience will be talking about long after the blackout.
  • Lost, yet Forever Here
    7 Nov. 2019
    A fascinating theatrical concept - which opens up wonderful possibilities for staging - balanced with real warmth and compassion. Esposito's dialogue is smart and grounded but allows itself to grow into key moments of lyrical beauty. Sure to be a conversation-starter about the presence of the past.
  • Overqualified
    7 Nov. 2019
    Imaginative, theatrical, and very, very fun, Vansant utilizes a strong concept to describe the a search for a job (and, perhaps, oneself). While this woeful tale is particularly relevant to the millennial generation, the belief that a job should define who we are is an inter-generational paradigm that deserves more attention. A lovely and worthy addition to any short play festival.
  • Saga
    7 Nov. 2019
    Marvelously theatrical and witty, Cohen has tapped directly into the confusion and existential agonies of millennial feminism. References to 90s- and early 2000s-culture abound, but there are enough questions about lived experiences to reach - and amuse - any audience; particularly: what does it mean to be 'strong?' What has modernity lost in redefining concepts of adventure and womanhood? And what do we owe to the world, anyway?
  • Silenced Night
    7 Nov. 2019
    This play deserves praise from every quarter, but the dialogue is so pointed, incisive, and arresting that I had to mention it first. Kess deftly designs a structure that surprises, challenges, and enrages, without ever being direct or preachy. The character of Jay, in particular, is an astonishing achievement: early in the piece, I found myself making excuses for him out of compassion for this well-drawn character, and was subsequently indicted and pained by his true nature - a lived experience for many women who encounter monsters.
  • Mission
    7 Nov. 2019
    Writing two gender-neutral characters is tricky, and Weibezahl does it well in this bittersweet piece. In addition to the gender of the characters, the piece provides is a lot of lovely room for a director to bring in their interpretation, while also maintaining the specifics that define a relationship. The smartly-drawn, ethereal setting further adds layers to the deep bitterness between the two characters.
  • Women Wear White
    7 Nov. 2019
    Interesting and exciting: I was on the edge of my seat, pleased that I had no idea where this piece would go next. As a white woman, I appreciated that this piece directly indicted me without pulling any punches. An excellent and polished piece of theatre.

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