Recommended by Sheila Cowley

  • TOOTH AND NAIL
    29 Sep. 2016
    What at first seems like yet another pair of bickering hit men quickly becomes a fast-paced dark and physical torrent of emotion - exploring gay men, Catholicism, bleak realities and redemption. Three surprising, strong characters, an unpredictable plot and slowly unraveling truths force their way to a shattering end.
  • The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin
    29 Sep. 2016
    A compelling exploration of the dark side of Chinese immigration. Layered conversations mix memory and present, Chinese mythology, ghosts and the living. Challenging impressionistic sets, props and soundscapes would give designers rich material to grapple with. And it all revolves around delicious Chinese cooking - the script would make a beautiful production.
  • Br'er Cotton
    14 Sep. 2016
    Biting, potent and deliciously poetic. Riveting characters all fighting their own battles in a vivid surrealist tragedy rooted in Br’er Rabbit’s struggles to get into heaven. Deserves to be alive onstage, with impressionistic staging and an electrifying spoken and unspoken story.
  • INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH
    12 Sep. 2016
    A rollicking road trip inspired by The Magnificent Seven, to bring seven good men back to Mexico to save their town. A plucky young woman and her friends run up against racism, homophobia, Homeland Security and misguided missionaries - but complete their quest with joyous rebellion, absurdist humor and sheer determination. Terrific characters on a rousing quest for change.
  • Swimming While Drowning
    1 Sep. 2016
    The poems within this beautiful script are striking, sharp and truthful - sublime moments in the ebb and flow of difficult negotiations in a shared room. The heart of the play can be found in these lines: "But fixing is not the same / as un-breaking. And un-breaking is not the same / as never having been broken at all."

    It’s not a happy ending, but an ending with a mix of realistic hope and grief.
  • Dog Act
    28 Aug. 2016
    This is a shockingly good play, bold and glorious. The language is visceral and delicious. The story is brutally beautiful, unfolding through tremors of truth in the half-remembered plays and backstage slang of the wandering vaudevillians. Rich material for actors, audiences and creative teams.
  • TRANSMISSION
    27 Aug. 2016
    I’m seduced by the imaginative, deftly-crafted sound design that's essential to the words in this script. This deceptively gentle but devastatingly astute play asks knife-sharp questions about things we take for granted - books, recordings, the Bible, stories, voice, disease - and all the habits and beliefs we clutch and never question. A beautiful, provocative and profound play I'd love to experience in performance.
  • Magellanica
    20 May. 2016
    An absorbing, imaginative epic of climate change, science and Antarctic winter - with a complex, often comic and very human group of people. Moments of beauty and magic and song, and a wonderful setting for sound, lighting and set designers to stretch their skills. Sure look forward to seeing this onstage, and talking about it afterwards.
  • The Gun Show
    26 Jan. 2016
    So honest about the lure and danger of guns, so truthful about mixed feelings that aren't on one side or the other of a polarizing question. It's a wonderful realization that everyone, including extremists on both sides, just wants to feel safe. The choice of having a masculine man voice a woman's perspective is a beautiful dichotomy that resonates throughout the play. A powerful play, beautifully written.
  • Johnny 10 Beers' Daughter
    20 Jan. 2016
    A vividly specific story of an Iraq War Marine whose daughter becomes a Marine in the same war. The play resonates with emotional devastation in the aftermath of combat. The snapshots of their years together beside a flowing river are haunting and prickly and human. That she grows into an honorable soldier who can defend herself and others makes the story's end all the more heartbreaking. A beautiful and wrenching play.

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