Recommended by Peter Fenton

  • Let Me Know If I Hurt You
    29 May. 2024
    This solo show is a gut-punch. powerful exploration of heartbreak and identity. I especially love how Osmundsen illustrates Bob’s exact thought process through the monologue and leveraged those words well to illustrate Bob’s relationship with four other characters named in the script. I also appreciate the unique framing of this play being a story told 10+ years removed from the incident—young enough that it still hurts but old enough to develop perspective. Looking forward to seeing it at Rogue Theater Festival!
  • With Bated Breath
    17 May. 2024
    WITH BATED BREATH is a seductive, hilariously absurd dark comedy from Mark-Eugene Garcia. This play had me on premise alone and the execution had me laughing out loud! A whole religious town of quirky characters and a sex pill factory opening nearby… what could possibly go wrong? (Answer: Everything) This is a play I’d love to hear out loud, or better yet, fully staged! Excellent work.
  • The Polycule: A Comedy of Manners
    22 Apr. 2024
    On concept alone, Jillian Blevins had me with THE POLYCULE. This one is a conceptually super contemporary scenario but written with such a deliberate, "old timey" rhyme scheme that could stand with the best of Shakespeare and Wilde, which added such whimsy and comedy to the whole scenario. The unique formatting on the page helps the reader (and thus, directors and actors) get a sense of the pace of the dialogue which Blevins executed her structure superbly. Not to mention... this play is just so damn funny! ("bless this gig economy")
  • Bouquet of Violets
    21 Apr. 2024
    I always enjoy Debra Cole’s particular brand of snark and feistiness, and seeing it placed within the art world of 1800’s Paris is certainly a treat. You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Something BOUQUET OF VIOLETS does especially well is letting the visuals do the talking (the paintings used throughout paint an especially vivid motif), and much like an impressionist painting, so much rich subtext is laden in the dialogue. A beautiful work of art!
  • Before You Go, a monologue
    19 Apr. 2024
    We all could use a mom like Tonya. Damn. This monologue by Sam Heyman hits home in all the best ways and says so much without saying the word "gay" or "queer"—I'm all for any opportunity for there to be more love in the world and this monologue works in that way to great effect.
  • Just An Old-Fashioned Love Song
    19 Apr. 2024
    I love a good scenario where actors get to play inanimate objects, and Philip Middleton Williams' JUST AN OLD FASHIONED LOVE SONG is a fun ten-minute piece evoking sort of a snarky "Toy Story"-like existential crisis for this banjo clock, old loveseat, and grand piano. Philip has captured pretty much exactly how I would picture these types of objects talking, too. Fun and well-drawn!
  • FERTILE GROUND
    15 Apr. 2024
    Wow! This was a bone-rattling, incredibly brutal family drama with no clear winners and no clear losers. Jennifer O'Grady's FERTILE GROUND is a tightly-written tragedy exploring motherhood and filicide and a classically Machiavellian "ends justifying the means" story that just leaves you gutted. The dialogue and characters are grounded in such a way that hits way too close to home in all the best ways. It's easy to see how this play was a semifinalist for the O'Neill and I highly recommend any black box theater take a serious look at this one.
  • Stork Patrol
    15 Apr. 2024
    Excellent. Debra A. Cole's 10-minute STORK PATROL illustrates exactly what is/was on the line with Roe's reversal and what the quiet part may be when some people say they "value life". While labeled a drama, I had many a dark laugh, because if I don't laugh, I know I'll cry. Can't wait to read more from Deb Cole!
  • A Telling of Job
    4 Apr. 2024
    I recall the Biblical narrative of Job being inherently a bit dramatic, and I believe Lisa Corrado has drawn out that drama from the ancient book onto the page. "A Telling of Job" is a tight, faithful adaptation of the text that's easy for young performers to pick up and will be a great option for Christian or Sunday school drama programs hoping to perform a Bible story.
  • a seussified grindr date
    3 Apr. 2024
    And here I thought I had the worst luck on Grindr. Poor Sam. This 10-minute two-hander taps into the familiar dichotomy and mismanaged expectations between guys who are eager and ready to impress and put on a show (represented deftly in Sam, who has put on a Seussian rhyme scheme) and those people who hurt them (represented by Guy). Anyone with any familiarity with Grindr will understand and appreciate the dynamics of this absurd short comedy!

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