Recommended by David Beardsley

  • A House by the Side of the Road
    24 Oct. 2021
    On the surface, this is a nostalgia play about baseball and a father passing down his love for the game to his sons. But there’s also a lot more to it than that. It’s a play that celebrates being in the moment, and making emotional connections that allow you to share that moment fully with the people you care most about. I look forward to reading more of the plays in this series.
    19 Oct. 2021
    Reading this play was one of the most visceral theatre experiences I've had. It's remarkably funny at times and darkly disturbing at others. I would love to see it performed and can only imagine how powerful it would be on stage. Pascal shows us what happens when people are pushed to extremes; she shows us the effort they'll make to retain their humanity when others try brutally to erase it. It's a moving play, and I hope it's produced soon and often.
  • Even Flowers Bloom in Hell, Sometimes
    19 Oct. 2021
    Franky Gonzalez doesn't just write plays. He writes experiences. The theatrical and immersive nature of this show pulls you in, and once he's got you, Gonzalez doesn't let you go. From the pre-show moments collecting your "visitor pass" and watching guards subdue an "escaping prisoner" to the time-bending transitions between scenes, the theatricality of Even Flowers Bloom in Hell, Sometimes amplifies the power of this unflinching examination of the U.S. Injustice System and the dehumanizing effects of incarceration. As with so many of his plays, the complexity of family relationships fuel the moments of deepest pain and greatest hope.
  • Firewater
    16 Oct. 2021
    This is an intriguing reimagining of the Prometheus myth. A family is paralyzed by a dangerous secret and the suffocating need to protect it. Fascinating play.
    1 Sep. 2021
    All of Emma Goldman-Sherman’s skills as a playwright are in display here: great dialogue; her feel for humor, especially dark humor; her fearless willingness to be honest and tackle gut wrenching subject matter; her theatricality; and her ability to skillfully play with structure and form. I watched the Equity Library of New York stream and was laughing out loud, then cringing, and, ultimately, smiling in wonder. It was one of those experiences that left me thinking, “I wish I’d written that play.”
  • THE EQUIVALENT OF SENSATION, full-length play for 5 Women
    24 Jul. 2021
    The Equivalent of Sensation is a moving memory play that chronicles a woman's awakening, through art, to sexuality and self-confidence. As the story flows through time, we see Etta Cone emerge from a shell of repression, inspired by the Modernist art she collects and her love for Gertrude Stein to literally shed her stifling Victorian garments and reveal the "color beneath the black and white." This play was a joy to read, and I suspect it would be even more affecting on stage. It should produced again and again.
    14 Jun. 2021
    Emma Goldman-Sherman has written a powerful, funny, poignant, ultimately heartbreaking play that challenges many common narratives about Israel and Palestine, and that refuses to let us ignore the human cost of the choices, actions, and events that shape life in the occupied territories. Abraham's Daughters is simultaneously intimate and epic; it humanizes a topic that is often presented in abstract and dangerously dehumanizing ways. It illustrates just how much the choices of individuals--our choices--matter. This play is full of heart. It is joyful and gut-wrenching, and so, so timely. And the last line is like a dagger. Produce this play!
  • Calling Hours
    8 Jun. 2021
    The heart wrenching tragedy of pandemic wakes and funerals over Zoom takes a hilarious, and ultimately heartwarming, turn in the capable hands of William Ivers. A daughter mourns her father in isolation, at least until her Uncle Mitch joins with a bad Zoom connection and a worse poem he’s written just for the occasion. Then her sister joins—from prison! Sibling rivalry and hurt feelings give way to a reconciliation of sorts, reminding us that funerals and wakes are intended more for the living than the dead, even on Zoom. This is a terrific short play.
  • Maytag Virgin
    31 May. 2021
    I loved this play. It's written with such fearless honesty, and with such a sure sense of craft. Cefaly resists any hint of triteness and takes her characters, and her audiences, on a deeply satisfying emotional journey. MAYTAG VIRGIN is not a straightforward rom-com, not even remotely. Jack and Lizzy are dealing with complex feelings of longing and grief, and there's an element of sacrifice in the way they come together. Ultimately, each can only be reborn when they decide surrender a part of themselves to the other. This is a beautiful play that deserves all the attention it's getting.
  • A Complicated Hope
    19 May. 2021
    This is a moving play about grief, loss, and forgiveness. It’s efficiently and beautifully written, with richly drawn characters and an intricate, non-linear structure that could easily have become clumsy without Mabey’s light touch and careful plotting.