Recommended by David Beardsley

  • The Bergerac Simulation
    18 May. 2021
    This is a wonderful adaptation of the classic Cyrano De Bergerac story that does a great job of retaining the spirit of the original while also finding ways to be absolutely original and contemporary. I loved the use of virtual reality. The language is beautiful and the dialogue is often laugh-out-loud funny. Sara (no h!!!) is an irresistible character. Her refusal to be anything except "herself" is what makes this play about authenticity and friendship work so well.
  • THE LAZARUS CLUB
    9 May. 2021
    A group of very different people come together seeking to understand their near-death experiences, but the connections they forge ultimately demonstrate that what you do with your here-and-now is more important than what might be coming “after”. I enjoyed this play! Hoke’s dialogue is so sharp. Her characters have such clear voices and points of view, but they never become annoying archetypes. This is a topic that could easily get bogged down in philosophy, but it avoids those traps without sacrificing the big ideas. It’s a play that deserves attention.
  • The Age of Understanding or, The Character of Dad
    5 Feb. 2021
    I could have sworn I’d already recommended this piece. I saw it live almost a year ago at the Mid-America Theatre Conference, and it knocked my socks off with its raw honesty. I’ve since come to realize that “raw honesty” is what defines Franky Gonzalez as a writer. He never looks away, or backs down, or flinches. And this short play is no exception. It is a brave exploration of the terror and uncertainty that all new parents feel. It won’t feel more certain as a parent, but it might make you feel less alone.
  • AFFINITY LUNCH MINUTES
    27 Dec. 2020
    This is one of the most nuanced and eye-opening plays about systemic racism, white privilege, and white guilt that I've come across. Nothing is straightforward as Malakhow shows how intersectionality and power dynamics shape identity and community in subtle, often-corrosive ways. Two black educators seek, with little genuine support from white colleagues, to bring more diversity, tolerance, equity, and awareness to a tradition-rich, overwhelmingly white Quaker school where discussions of race rarely advance beyond virtue signaling and serve ultimately as a shield for privilege rather than a starting point for change.
  • Friday Drinks
    16 Dec. 2020
    This is a genuinely moving short play about two people making a real human connection by sharing and listening. How can something that sounds so simple be so difficult—and not just in real life; it’s hard to pull it off as a writer, too. The lure of snappy dialogue, one liners, high drama, and big finishes can be so strong, and it can easily derail one’s effort to create something that feels real. And this feels so real. I just loved it.
  • Christmas on Strike - Ten Minute Play
    16 Dec. 2020
    I happened to catch the Tiny Theatre reading of this monologue, and it knocked my Christmas stockings off. What a hilarious short piece! Adams brings just the right balance of allusion, cliché, and genuine emotion to create a mini Christmas miracle. Here’s hoping her piece has a long life in holiday festivals everywhere, and that Santa finally stops exploiting elven workers. It just ain’t right, y’all!
  • Twisted Sister
    12 Dec. 2020
    A touching look at two sisters, one on the cusp of adulthood and anxious about what's to come, the other just over that cusp and deceptively confident about what it all means. Taube has written a psychologically complex coming of age piece that would be a fun challenge for two young actors and a strong addition to any short play festival.
  • Until Sunrise or, When Blue Hours Turn Golden
    11 Dec. 2020
    Franky Gonzalez is one of the most open and honest writers I’ve come across. He doesn’t flinch, ever—whether he’s writing about something immensely painful or lifting our spirits with a prayer of hope, as he’s doing here. He writes with a fearlessness that feels like a challenge, as if he were saying, “Here it is, the truth. I believe you can handle the truth.”
  • Come 'n Go
    10 Dec. 2020
    This is a poignant and funny romantic comedy that would be a blast to see on stage. Three women, tired of being burned by false love, go looking for clues to help them better understand men. In the end, they wind up understanding themselves, and that makes all the difference. This plays is has razor-sharp dialogue and fun theatricality, but it's the sincerity and warmth at its core that makes Come 'N Go so inviting.
  • No Regrets
    8 Dec. 2020
    All of John Minigan’s skills as a playwright are on display in this beautifully structured, efficiently delivered, utterly hilarious short play. There is an empathy at the core of the humor that that turns what could be a biting or deflating comedy into one of the more charming and endearing scripts I have read. No Regrets is a gem.

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