Recommended by David Beardsley

  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    31 Oct. 2022
    What a fun and funny adaptation, which must be a joy to perform for actors with the chops to pull it off. A one-actor show with about 20 characters and voices, some wonderful, challenging movement sequences, and a timely message about the perils of misinformation. It’s perfect for Halloween, but would be a worthy addition to theatrical seasons all year long!
  • George Orwell’s 1989: A “Swift” 10 Minute Adaptation
    2 Jul. 2022
    A clever variation on Orwell’s 1984 in which Taylor Swift, AKA Big Sister, controls minds and playlists. A fun and funny satire!
  • Ben's Key
    20 May. 2022
    I am a fan of plays that play with history, and I often wonder what historic figured would think if they were somehow transported to the current day. I generally imagine them being amazed and then disappointed. All these advances and yet so little progress or enlightenment. Mr. Kurtz seems to feel the same way. He has a lot of fun pulling Ben Franklin out of 1752 and into a 2020 that, for all its slick gadgets, leaves ol’ Ben wondering what has become of the country he helped create. Fun play!
  • There's an Order to These Things (Beauregard and Zeke #1)
    20 May. 2022
    This play feels so authentic, two young, gay men—one pretty confident in his sexual identity, one far from confident and hiding behind the toxic, male viewpoints that can be so damaging and hurtful. But there’s a courage and poignancy behind Zeke’s words that only become fully apparent in the play’s final line, and that literally stop Beauregard in his tracks. Sickles does a masterful job of portraying a young man’s tentative and terrifying first efforts to acknowledge and accept himself.
  • Children's Letters To Satan
    20 May. 2022
    This is one of the most clever “holiday?” plays I’ve read. Busser captures the kids’ voices so well, and the typos and misspellings are classic. What makes this more than a comedy sketch though are the life details that the letters reveal; every now and then, they stop you in your tracks—sometimes in really uncomfortable ways. And Busser is pretty fearless with his adult-themed naughtiness. This may not be a children’s holiday special, but it’s a darn good one that’s sure to bring down the house at any festival of holiday shorts.
  • The Brink
    18 May. 2022
    I am a fan of Eugenie Carabatsos’ work generally, and The Brink is no exception. She brings her distinctive voice and gift for theatricality to this play, breaking down barriers between past and present to tell a powerful story about two people trying to process a horrible and traumatic event and finding each other along the way. I really enjoyed this play!
  • Queen of Sad Mischance
    15 May. 2022
    This is a gorgeous play. The writing is so tight. The story is so well structured. The parallels between Queen Margaret and Beverly are so compelling. And, as heartbreaking as the story is, there's something uplifting about the fact that Kym seems poised to avoid the "scorpion's nest" that trapped the other women. The cycle is broken and it seems like maybe there are better days ahead. The fact that this play is not being produced all over the country is a shame. People should see it.
  • She's Blown Away
    21 Mar. 2022
    I love plays that seem to be going one direction but deftly take an unexpected turn and end up somewhere unexpected and unsettling. It can be a risky strategy and, in the wrong hands, comes off as contrived. Done well, though, the shift increases the emotional wallop. Gatton’s play is a great example of this approach being done well. It seems like a straightforward play about teenage crushes but becomes something very different and dark. She’s Blown Away is ultimately about male entitlement, and it approaches this theme with a impressive subtlety and nuance.
  • Obstacle
    21 Mar. 2022
    This is a moving play that reveals the tragic insanity of trying to prevent school shootings by arming teachers and adding more guns to the mix. What seems like a fairly straightforward story about a teacher who finds himself in an impossible situation takes an unexpected twist at the end that makes it even more devastating. In the hands of a strong actor, this is a powerful, powerful play.
  • Angel
    29 Dec. 2021
    This is a terrific send up of men who write what they imagine to be strong, three-dimensional female characters when what they are really writing are two-dimensional male fantasies—women who think they are, as Angel says, “all that and a bag chips” until they need a guy to save them. The final twist, and the ending itself, make it all clear: time’s up, fellas. Well done. I’d love to watch an audience react to this wonderfully conceived short play.