Recommended by Michael C. O'Day

  • Elijah
    18 Nov. 2022
    What a nifty metaphor for our squabbling, fractured nation Leora has constructed here. Its protagonist is trapped in a literal and figurative hurricane, and surrounded by a hilarious, vivid cross section of America's humanity - who try as they might, ultimately have no more of a way for her to lay her demons to rest (which are of course their demons as well) than they have a way to calm the storm outside.
    18 Nov. 2022
    Hutton's evocation of a bygone era, and these two delightful young people making their way in it, is so wistful and charming that at first you don't notice the darkness of their world, the way their choices are hemmed in by forces and conditions they barely understand (and that the people around them barely understand). How they come to recognize and deal with that darkness makes for a lovely piece of drama - and a wonderful workout for two young actors.
  • In A Darkroom, The Lord Knows
    20 Oct. 2022
    Adolescence and sexuality are already pretty damn terrifying. Caitlin Turnage knows this and knows that we know it, making it all the more brutal as she shows how contemporary religion makes things exponentially worse, both in the dangerous external power relations it imposes and the way it warps its two protagonists' own sense of self. Sharply observed and powerful. (And "Pantyhose Rice Babies" is my new band name.)
  • The Ones Who Adapt
    20 Oct. 2022
    Who better to comment on the tragic follies of humanity than the parasitic space monsters who've been sent here to destroy us? How better to make a pointed analysis of our grim political situation than with hot alien sex? Greg Lam is well versed in science fiction tropes, and has a lot of fun deploying them even as he mourns the catastrophic decisions and behavior of real-life human monsters.
  • The Other Side: A Chicken Play
    23 Sep. 2022
    Every once in a great while, a playwright happens upon a perfect metaphor for the human condition - here, it's three caged factory chickens, trying to fill the time as they await the inevitable and inventing much of human (or chicken) civilization in the process. You can try describing it - Samuel Beckett meets The Far Side, perhaps? - but there's no way to do justice to the scope of its vision or the humanity of its characters. Who are chickens. In any event, this needs to be produced now, widely, and often.
    2 Jul. 2022
    The intersection of race, gender, religion, and class is a fraught place for any playwright to navigate, but Yolanda WIlkinson's dishy drama - with five friends playing a drinking game whose revelations become more and more explosive - maneuvers these choppy waters with ease and style. Don't be fooled by the short length - this is a rich feast for actresses.
    25 Jun. 2022
    We are awash in stories in this culture, told to us since childhood, with the capacity to cause incredible harm if we don't stop and examine them; it's easy for "enlightened" theatre folk to think that their stories are somehow exempt from the issues of religious stories (and vice versa). Joanna Castle Miller knows better, and her own story, by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, is an unsparing look at the myths we tell ourselves, how they can curdle into delusion, and how to bring honesty back into our lives. Vivid and visceral.
  • If nobody does remarkable things
    25 Jun. 2022
    A poetic and penetrating examination of a tragic truth - the great movements that we'll need to save this planet are dependent upon fallible, fragile, squabbling, messed-up human beings. Gibson is somehow able to find hope amidst the heartbreak, suggesting that our ability to heal ourselves and forgive each other might be the path forward for all of us.
  • The Day I Turned Into A Bird
    25 Jun. 2022
    A lyrical and melancholy meditation on one of the great paradoxes; that the very things that make us human - our intellect, our rationality, our ambitions - are the things that screw up our ability to make human connections. Vividly theatrical - each of the three roles is an actor's dream, in either human or animal form.
  • On Any Given Day in America...
    24 Jun. 2022
    In a Florida shopping mall - and what's more quintessentially American than that? - we track a cross section of our fellow citizens on what seems to be an ordinary day, until we realize that we're tracking the progress of a mass-shooter, getting ever closer to his horrific act. Spiess has pulled off the impressive feat of a play that lives up to the ambitions of its title, its howl of rage grounded in profound empathy for all its characters and a wonderful, crackerjack sense of construction.