Recommended by Michael C. O'Day

  • Sundown Town
    24 Jun. 2022
    A heartbreaking tale of two young men coping with life in this country today, or at least not very long ago - the pandemic, the never-ending tide of racism, and the educational structures that should offer a means of correcting these ills but somehow never manage to achieve that. It's grounded in two of the most vivid, detailed, and empathetic characterizations I've seen on stage in a good long while. Beautiful.
  • see in the dark
    23 Jun. 2022
    If things keep going the way they're going with our current civilization, then whoever comes after us is going to need some new (and hopefully better) myths of their own. Heidi Kraay's poetic and magnificently theatrical story - of a lost little girl in a vast future wasteland, with abilities that are both gifts and a terrible curse - fills that role nicely, spinning a tale of survival, of vengeance and forgiveness, of the limits of our blinkered individual mindsets and the crucial importance of community. Really marvelous.
  • Vortigern - A True Story
    7 Jun. 2022
    For those of us who love Shakespeare - and all of us English majors who identify with history's great Bardolaters just a liiiittle bit too much - Fardon's tale of William Ireland and his forgery of VORTIGERN is a romp full of historical delights. Look just below the surface, however, and you'll find an all-too-timely tale of the seductive power of deception, and how easy it is to manipulate our desire to turn our backs on objective reality, and live in the world as we wish it might be.
  • Kill Shelter
    7 Jun. 2022
    Heartbreaking, profound, and gorgeously written. Wellman has crafted a beautiful meditation on how we live with the choices we make, how even our best-intended actions can cause unimaginable pain, and the strange and paradoxical ways we can help each other through that pain.
  • A Thousand Natural Shocks
    7 Jun. 2022
    Beautiful. In the face of our culture's frighteningly cavalier attitude towards women's health and reproductive rights, Jacob Marx Rice offers this profound meditation on the joys, perils, and terrors - not simply of pregnancy, but of existence in general. Heady stuff that's grounded by a quintet of utterly lovable characters; in rooting for them, we can't help thinking life that might not be impossible after all.
  • The Poet, The Spy, and the Dark Lady
    4 Jun. 2022
    What a delight to encounter a script about Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Bassano which actually does justice to them - presenting them not as bland historical figures in some costume drama, or (shudder) as pawns in some ridiculous conspiracy, but as engaging, richly detailed, flesh-and-blood human beings. Which is not to say that this isn't a costume drama about a conspiracy - about several, actually, all of them doozies - but that everything stems naturally from these complicated, fully realized people. A blast.
  • No Encore?
    20 May. 2022
    Most of us working in the arts these days, with a half-dozen possible apocalypses hanging over our heads, wrestle with a deep worry that our efforts may all be for nothing. Speiss' dark and delightful comedy literalizes this fear in weirdly cathartic fashion, leading to a (literally) killer punchline.
  • Everything Indian
    28 Apr. 2022
    It's kinda hard for diversity and inclusivity initiatives to work when they're spearheaded by people as narcissistic as showbiz people, or as privileged as Broadway producers - a truth this play knows deep in its bones. Shenoy's glorious takedown is beautifully constructed, leading to a brutal punchline.
  • Rage Play
    19 Apr. 2022
    A dazzling, ferocious mix of RASHOMON, Ionesco, and Third-wave feminism. Shenoy isn't content just to comment on our culture of sexual violence, and our fumbling ways to come to terms with it. Instead, she takes on the narratives we tell ourselves to justify our actions, the narratives we use to conveniently judge others, and ultimately, the ethics of narrative itself - all without ever losing sight of the piece's moral core of anguished outrage. Funny, scary, and vital.
  • The Taste of Emeralds
    10 Apr. 2022
    As somebody who has private in-jokes with family members about our terrifying shared backstory - and who has pulled moldering doll parts out of said family's attic - I can attest to the underlying truth of Dellagiarino's marvelous, mordantly funny, genuinely scary ghost story. It keeps you guessing whether the central spectre is supernatural, a manifestation of mental illness, or of generational trauma - until you understand Dellagiagino's dark insight that there's ultimately not much difference between these.