Recommended by Peter Fenton

  • NAIL SPA : A ten minute play
    18 Nov. 2023
    I've been a server long enough to know how you treat a service worker says a lot about you, and what I appreciate Paige Chung has done in 10 minutes in NAIL SPA is set up this classic scenario of an entitled customer mistreating her service worker, but throws a little twist on it--the service worker has a side of the story, too. There is no black and white morality in this piece, but three shades of grey.
  • Don't Feed Dead Roses your Drinking Water
    18 Nov. 2023
    This piece is so different than what I typically gravitate toward, but Ozzy Wagner really delivers a beautifully lyrical piece that explores a depth of emotion that I don't think a more straightforward theatrical presentation would illustrate with justice. With tight choreography and deliberate, stylized delivery this can and will be an extremely powerful piece, hitting like a poignant spoken word poem.
  • The Penance - 10 Minute Play
    18 Nov. 2023
    This is only the second piece from Ryan Kaminski I've read, but I can already tell Kaminski is a writer who is a master of giving a setup for a twist, but can execute it in such a way nobody in the audience sees coming--and still, it's the very best ending for the specific story being told. I love the bookends with the soft joke about the first and second confessor of the day, too! A wonderful thriller for the lapsed Catholic in all of us.
  • The Sunset Train - 10 Minute Play
    18 Nov. 2023
    I was genuinely surprised by the ending of this 10-minute piece! I'm a sucker for a stylized period Western and even when I thought I knew where the piece was going, I was enjoying every step of the way. Kaminski's subversion work was both surprising and enhanced the piece. Great work!
  • Impossible Theories Of Us
    18 Nov. 2023
    There's a charming Black Mirror aesthetic to IMPOSSIBLE THEORIES OF US by John Mabey, but Mabey goes deeper than that in their IMPOSSIBLE THEORIES. While a Black Mirror episode might leave the reader with a bleak overall feeling of "technology is bad", Mabey explores the ethics of AI as well as love, grief, and trans identity in a meaty, highly stylized full-length piece for two actors with an inventive narrative structure. A miracle? A tragedy? A rom-com? It's all of these things. Sounds impossible, but I have a theory John Mabey has pulled through for us.
  • Going There
    10 Nov. 2023
    It's funny how an entire lifetime can change in a moment with what seems like a small decision, and Philip Middleton Williams has illustrated this idea in just ten minutes. What I appreciate about this ten-minute two-hander is how Philip handled the ambitious time-jumping on stage between four unique scenes with cinematic ease--it made the screenwriter in me smile. Another well-written triumph in the Philip Middleton Williams collection. My only question left is: which of their futures is real? (and I think that was the entire point!)
  • Look Away
    10 Nov. 2023
    Morey Norkin, a playwright living in Japan, has just given this lifelong American Gentile a masterclass on a chapter in my country's own history! What's fascinating about this piece is the fact that Morey flies in the face of the stock writing advice "show don't tell" to great effect, by instead being very strategic about what he shows--and lets narration cover the rest. If the reader is paying proper attention, their brain will fill in the rest. A well-researched, educational, and gripping historical narrative about Antisemitism in America fit for any age.
  • My Kind Of Christmas
    9 Nov. 2023
    The battle every writer faces when creating a holiday play is: How do I write something that hasn't been done before and doesn't feel schlocky and manages to be a worthwhile work of art? To this writer, I say: look no further than Dana Hall's MY KIND OF CHRISTMAS! Dana is exactly the kind of writer up to this task, filling the pages with her trademark dry sense of humor, unabashed joy, and some unexpectedly pointed familial existentialism especially the commentary on the nature of traditions evolving. Highly recommended to become the newest perennial holiday favorite!
  • Postpartum
    26 Oct. 2023
    Horror is such a hard genre to tackle on stage, but Jillian Blevins never backs down from a challenge! Postpartum is a brilliant 15-minute piece bringing to life every parent’s primal fear—something is wrong with that baby.
  • Welcome to Matteson!
    25 Oct. 2023
    I had the pleasure of seeing this piece performed in its rolling world premiere at NJ Rep this past weekend! Inda Craig-Galván has written four well-rounded, nuanced characters colliding in an often funny, hard-hitting skewering of how classism and racism manifest within factions of the African-American community. This piece's strength is in its dialogue, and Patricia serves as an exceptionally human antagonist. I have no doubt this piece will become a standard in black box theaters across the country and world, deservedly so!

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