Recommended by David Beardsley

  • A Tragedy Of Owls
    30 Jun. 2023
    It only takes a few seconds for Mabey’s play to get to the line, “Even your wounds have wounds.” At that moment, I thought, okay; this one might hurt a little. And it did, in all the right ways. A Tragedy of Owls does what I think all good historical fiction does: It dramatizes real events and real people in ways that make those things personal, that erase the emotional distance of history and transform it from a chronicle of external events that happened elsewhere to others into something that makes us feel our own presence on the timeline.
  • Flight of Fancy
    2 May. 2023
    I watched the Tiny Theatre performance of Flight of Fancy and loved it. It is a delightful, funny, and ultimately moving play about the power of personal connection—I’d say “human” connection but, well… just check this play out. You’ll be glad you did.
  • TROUBLE (at the Vista View Mobile Home Estates)
    19 Mar. 2023
    This play is laugh-out-loud funny in so many places, but Cefaly brilliantly resists the tidy ending so common with comedies. There are no neatly tied bows here—even when the play seems poised to head in that direction. It’s messy, and funny, and poignant, and painful, and honest all the way through. A less sophisticated storyteller might have tried to save Euba in the end, or at least to soften her—to make her “see the light.” However, that would have discredited so much that came before. This kind of pain doesn’t resolve so easily.
  • Boulevard of Bold Dreams
    10 Mar. 2023
    Boulevard of Bold Dreams reminded me why I love plays that use history to tell stories. Hattie McDaniel, on what should a triumphant and celebratory night, the night she wins an Academy Award for her role in Gone With the Wind, finds herself in a hotel bar deciding whether to skip the ceremony. This lifelong-dream evening has turned into a nightmare of indignities, all because she is black. Like any powerful piece of historical fiction, the play isn’t a lesson or a lecture; it’s a moving story with roots in reality that make it even more powerful.
  • The Price of Fame
    8 Jan. 2023
    Well! That play took a left turn I wasn't expecting, and what a delightfully creepy turn it was, Ferny-Williams adds her name to the proud tradition of sell-your-soul-for-fame storytellers with this back-stage drama about the destructive "price of fame."
  • Mind of a Murderer
    8 Jan. 2023
    A powerful monologue that lures you in with its light-hearted premise and tone, but hits you with a final line that lands like a ton of truth-bricks.
  • Right Field of Dreams
    8 Jan. 2023
    In my experience, the very best sports stories aren’t really about sports; they’re about life, and sports functions as the lens the writer uses to reveal truths that register as powerfully off the field as on. Kaplan’s Right Field of Dreams certainly qualifies. A boy steps out of the shadow of a baseball-loving parent/coach to live life on his own terms with the hilarious help of a trailblazing ballplayer from the past. You can take me out to this ballgame any time!
  • Idemo!
    8 Jan. 2023
    This deliciously dark comedy about a kid’s birthday party gone way, way wrong would be a blast to see on stage. Uhter doesn’t pull any punches, and the result is a shockingly fun and funny short play that will delight the twisted super villain in us all.
  • The 4th Law Revisited
    28 Dec. 2022
    A heartbreaking play that raises interesting ethical questions about artificial intelligence and the point at which we lose the right (or ability) to control it.
  • Heroes of the Fourth Turning
    1 Nov. 2022
    In an art form that skews liberal, this play is an important and thoughtful presentation of conservative viewpoints—the kind of story that could help break down divisions because it finds humanity in people and views many of us (myself included) are inclined to demonize or reject outright. The characters are archetypes: the independent outdoorsman, the audience-seeking blogger, the committed activist, the tortured idealist. However, Arbery skillfully walks the line between presenting them as “types” but also as people who are damaged, flawed, and committed to ushering in a world I hope I never have to live in.