Recommended by Audrey Lang

  • The Jersey Devil Doesn't Exist.
    23 Feb. 2021
    In The Jersey Devil Doesn't Exist., Jess Honovich blurs the lines of fantasy and reality, of possibility and impossibility, in a thrilling way. What makes this play feel especially authentic to the teenage girl experience, to me, is the fact that just as the characters don't totally know what happened, neither do we, the audience members or readers. The uncertainty and mystery make me lean in and hang on every page, every word.
  • GIANT SLALOM
    17 Feb. 2021
    In "Giant Slalom," Jess Honovich drops us into a hyper-competitive world with specifics that most people might not know, but the circumstances are instantly clear through her sharp dialogue and exciting characters. Each plot twist was thrilling as I didn't see it coming, but as soon as it had happened, it made total sense. The play also uses place in such an interesting way, even with its very specific setting. I would love to see a production of this play!
  • form of a girl unknown
    16 Feb. 2021
    This is the second play of Charly Evon Simpson's that I've read (in 24 hours... I got a little excited), and I love how much respect she gives her young teen/tween characters, a demographic that so often feels ignored, brushed off, or not written/depicted as real people onstage. Amali is daring, deep, and determined, a fabulously nuanced character that an actor would be so lucky to play.
  • or what she will
    16 Feb. 2021
    This is the play about childhood trauma that needs to be known. It speaks to me both as a survivor of a similar type of trauma and as someone who has spent hours on the phone or on the kitchen floor or in Facebook messages with friends who have. I have been Willa, Faulkner, and Julie, in some way or another, and they are painful, gripping, and realistic. I could not stop reading, could not take my eyes off the page, and I would move mountains to see a production of this play.
  • RAIN AND ZOE SAVE THE WORLD
    15 Feb. 2021
    "Rain and Zoe Save the World" is an inspiring play that is hopeful amidst hopeless circumstances. As focused as it may be on the two title characters and their stories, both together and apart, its world is expansive and exciting. As a piece about global warming and the politicization of science, I appreciate how well those themes are woven into the emotional arc - as a reader, I emerge with an awareness of the gravity of the situation and an impetus to make change, but not at the cost of a deeply moving story.
  • OUT OF ORBIT
    13 Feb. 2021
    The two different time zones that Sara and Lis live in, even as they may be right next to each other, create a powerful metaphor for two people who keep missing each other, not just figuratively, but literally, too. This play is a wonderful depiction of both a complex mother-daughter relationship, and the challenges of being a working mother in a demanding dream career.
  • UFO (this world is for the frat bros)
    13 Feb. 2021
    This play is daring, dramatic, and as relatable as it is out of this world. I am so impressed by the depths of both Chloe Xtina's imagination and her characters'. I have a burning desire to see a production of this play - more than anything, I want to know which of the awesome stage pictures I've envisioned "correctly" (whatever that means), and which might be interpreted wholly differently. One of the most truly, mindbogglingly unique plays I've ever read.
  • < 3
    29 Jan. 2021
    Alongside a compelling story, with several threads that get weaved together in the most intriguing yet inevitable way, "< 3" has an incredible sense of pace that kept me constantly engaged. The young characters feel authentically young even as they are trying to grow up faster than they should have to. I would love to see this play performed.
  • Man of God
    27 Jan. 2021
    This play speaks truth in a striking way that feels like a gut punch. I couldn't take my eyes off the page and actually had to make myself slow down while reading so that I didn't miss anything - though what I really wanted was to take it all in as quickly as I could. I will be thinking about "Man of God" for a long time.
  • For Leonora, or, Companions
    26 Jan. 2021
    A lot of plays have magic, but few truly feel magical even in the moments that are part of "reality." Hayley St. James's "For Leonora, or, Companions" depicts and discusses two kinds of spectrums - I also love the way they used that parallel terminology - but it's the development of a relationship and the exploration of imagination that is really the focus of the story arc. I appreciate that St. James's queer autistic characters are allowed to express and explore their identities in a play that is, at its core, about finding your person.

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