Recommended by Michael C. O'Day

  • Kaylee and Adelyn
    30 Jul. 2023
    A heartrending little gem, Shannon does a terrific and poetic job depicting the richly intertwined emotional lives of twin sisters - which she then deploys to devastating effect in crafting the most original cry of outrage against our school shooting epidemic that I've seen in quite a while. Shannon is clearly a young writer to keep an eye on.
  • Monarchs
    30 Jun. 2023
    A great big boisterous epic, fusing a Jewish-American coming out story with Victorian melodrama - thanks to a Pan who's been holed up in Neverland reading Charles Dickens and Judith Butler - MONARCHS works wonderfully thanks to Frimer's immense heart and assured language. The language! She unleashes arias of anguished longing, turns family bickering into baroque fugues, and sprinkles just enough punning humor to serve as pixie dust - a gift for actors looking for a chance to pour out their souls.
  • The Prophecy of the Crows
    28 Jun. 2023
    As weirdly delightful a piece of agitprop - about impending climate catastrophe and mass extinction, no less - as you're ever likely to find. Probst's CROWS are a marvelous, chatty bunch, brimming with personality and strange avian mythology and off-beat humor - until their meeting of the minds turns deadly serious, and we realize just how serious the stakes are for all of us. Actors and costume designers, have at it!
    28 Jun. 2023
    There may be topical echoes of modern-day cults, but at its heart LUMIN is a tragic mystery in the grand American gothic tradition, and a damn good one. It has a wonderfully disturbing insight at its core: in our ever more hectic and disconnected world, communities like Lumin, and leaders like Ma (a terrifically sympathetic villain) seem all too right and reasonable - until the moment their beliefs bring down tragedy on all around them. Marvelously well crafted, and oh so satisfyingly sinister.
  • Echo & Narcissus Blast Third Eye Blind Outside a Diner in New Jersey at 2AM
    27 Jun. 2023
    We never stop being who we were in high school; no matter where our lives take us, or how drastically the world around us changes, we're still in perpetual thrall to the nascent, frequently worst version of ourselves, and still reliving the hurts (intentional or not) we inflict on others. Monokian has crafted a beautiful, poetic meditation on this theme, with sharply etched depictions of the ache of adolescence, the cruelties of the artistic life, and that sickening feeling you get when middle age is juuuust about to begin but nothing has fundamentally changed. Lovely work.
  • Founders, Keepers
    26 Jun. 2023
    With all the fantasy adolescent heroes who've risen up to save the world from fictional apocalypse, there's a tremendous kick in telling such a story for real - with five eleven year old girls tasked with rebuilding the government in the wake of an all-too-plausible catastrophe. To pull this off, of course, you have to understand our political realities and you have to understand adolescent girlhood - and Behlke depicts both just about perfectly. She's also an adept plotter, and FOUNDERS, KEEPERS has some of the best third-act twists I've seen in a good long while. Expertly done.
  • Don't Think About Elephants
    25 Jun. 2023
    They may only be off to the corner CVS and back, but Emily and Brittany's journey in DON'T THINK ABOUT ELEPHANTS is a classic American road trip, their seemingly mismatched souls' bickering gradually turning to fast friendship in the face of obstacles within and without. Rogers has a blast applying this classic structure to characters who've been too long relegated to the periphery. And she makes the brilliant choice to set the tale at the end of the COVID lockdown, with things returning to "normal" - which, as Rogers reminds us, is only what consenting, respectful adults decide it is.
  • A Tree Grows in Longmont
    23 Jun. 2023
    It seems heartbreakingly simple, at first - a man's mournful imagined conversation with his deceased partner. But then that man reveals himself to be a playwright, and casts himself and his lover's ghost as their fictionalized counterparts in an impromptu reading, and Williams reveals he's got something more complex in mind - a meditation on selective memory, and the ways we never say everything we need to say to one another in life, and yet those conversations still linger and continue when we're gone. A lovely pas de deux for two brave actors.
  • Worm Teeth
    21 Jun. 2023
    It defies all the laws of theatrical physics; how on earth has Sullivan combined questions of identity, mortality, self-acceptance, self-improvement, religious fanaticism, sadomasochism, the evils of capitalism, and the propensity of the class struggle to breed violence - and turned them into a happy little piece of (not exactly) children's theatre?! By staking out a hitherto undiscovered theatrical space lying somewhere between Dr. Seuss and David Cronenberg. Joyous, gleefully bonkers, and just begging to be staged.
  • The Manager
    20 Jun. 2023
    The troubles of fathers and sons may be familiar material, but if you think there's nothing new to be said on the subject then Gearhart's THE MANAGER will disabuse you of that notion in a hurry. Gearhart is a major Florida author in the making - up there with Hiaasen in many ways - and he approaches his story with a tremendous sense of place and detail, smart stagecraft, and profound empathy for his prickly characters. Beautifully done.