Recommended by Eli Effinger-Weintraub

    20 Oct. 2018
    In an era that too often tries to use Jefferson’s “relationship” with Sally Hemings to “prove” that our founding fathers weren’t rampant racists, Carnes’ work unflinchingly yet lyrically reminds us of the power imbalance inherent in their interactions. There is such beauty in the language of all three characters, and in their silences. Three terrific roles for performers to sink their teeth into. This play feels both timely and timeless.
  • Cake for Winter
    19 Oct. 2018
    Bleakly beautiful. The language is as lyrical as the scenario is grim, and the exploration of the lengths (both heartwarming and horrifying) that human beings will go to stay alive, and keep each other alive, will keep you rooting for these characters through the bitter end, no matter how unbearable the choices they have to make.
  • The Jinx
    19 Oct. 2018
    An absolute comedic gem that will keep you laughing whether you bleed baseball or don't know a thing about it. The characters have a refreshing earnestness, and the humor is as nonstop as it is big-hearted. (Unless you're a Yankees fan. And really, why would you?)
  • Some Specter
    19 Oct. 2018
    I don't know how Adams manages to imbue the absurdity of a Hardy Boys/Boxcar Children/Scooby Doo/Encyclopedia Brown satire with so danged much *heart,* but there you have it. The two main characters read like very real teenage boys dealing with very real challenges and feelings. The clash of real-world problems with goofy small-town mysteries hits all the feels buttons at once.
  • Dead Zone
    19 Oct. 2018
    A sly and powerful work that drops you in the (literal) deep end of environmental justice before you even realize it. The play works as both a metaphor for racism in America and a literal examination of environmental degradation, all shown through the lens of very real and relatable characters and never preachy.
  • High Holidays
    19 Oct. 2018
    I absolutely could not stop laughing the entire time. Fox turns many of the best-loved "tense family holiday" tropes on their ears by making them about Chanukah. The humor is wry and relentless, and the characters are instantly relatable, full of love and rough edges and all trying so darned hard, in their ways. A family I would enjoy spending a lot more time with.
  • The Thought Doesn't Count
    19 Oct. 2018
    A moving play about a still too rarely spoken of topic, by turns heartbreaking and subtly hilarious. Hageman's characters convey so much in what they leave unsaid, and in the places where they almost, but don't *quite* connect, until the glorious moment when they do, finally allowing themselves to be fully vulnerable and present with each other. Not only a wonderful work of theater, but also a not half bad guide for functional communication in relationships.
  • Interventions
    19 Oct. 2018
    I love well done time travel plays, and this one hits all the best tropes (while still feeling fresh), keeps the brain engaged (while still giving enough breath room to keep up), and is packed with laughs (while always falling on the right side of the too far/just far enough comedic line).
  • M and The Water Man
    19 Oct. 2018
    A spare and beautiful piece that uses silences as eloquently as speech to paint a vibrant picture of a bleak reality. A dystopian drama that is by turns harrowing, all too believable, and surprisingly hopeful, all anchored in a pair of characters who we connect to easily, even if we haven't suffered what they've suffered.