Recommended by Francisco Mendoza

  • All Eight
    13 Aug. 2021
    I heard someone describe it as "the first Title IX play" at its reading in New York and it certainly fits the bill: ALL EIGHT is a nuanced, equal parts horrific and funny exploration of the experiences of young women in collegiate sports. While it tackles the Big Subject of sexual harrasment, it keeps the focus squarely on the women (we never see the coach or other men), and it never lets us off the hook: heroes can be selfish, victims can be complicit, and winning the race always comes at a price.
  • not-for-profit (or the equity, diversity and inclusion play)
    25 Apr. 2021
    This is a savagely funny, all-too-real play, and the rare one that kept me watching even though I saw it on Zoom! Francisca deftly balances the caricature and human sides of each of her characters, pointing out the ridiculous contradictions between the non-profit sector's lofty aspirations and its depressing realities, at the core of which there's a bunch of people who just really, really need a drink. It contains the line "LaCroix doesn't see color" and I can't think of a higher endorsement than that.
  • Kidnapping Jane Doe
    9 Jan. 2021
    I saw this play as part of The Public's EWG presentations, and it had me crying with laughter - David's comedic chops are both universally funny and sharply observed, as characters of different social and racial backgrounds collide in a crazy 24 hours that more or less define the future of The Bronx. The comedy of each moment, as the characters progress in a down-to-Earth hero's journey through the borough, does not detract from the overall message, but rather makes the ending all the more wrenching: when laughing is the only way to get through the day, something is broken.
  • The Allies
    14 Mar. 2020
    I haven't quite wrapped my head around how Charlie's play can be both so laugh-out-loud funny and bone-chilling scary. He opens with a quote about shame never quite leaving gay men even after coming out, but every character's erratic (and hilarious) behavior seems to come from that same place, even as they all seem on the surface to be pleased with their choices. A sort of ticking bomb building to an inevitable climax, it had me laughing (almost) every step of the way.
  • The Antelope Party
    14 Mar. 2020
    I had the pleasure of sharing the slate of The Lark's 2017 Playwrights Week with Eric's brilliant play, and I'm still thinking about it. The concept is both hilarious and scary: a group of cosplayers of the show My Little Pony finds their dynamic disrupted by a neighborhood watch that keeps intruding into their politics and forcing them to choose sides. The play never loses its comedy even as it grows darker and builds to a chilling ending, one which I cannot wait to see on the stage!
  • DREAM HOU$E
    14 Mar. 2020
    I saw this play staged at Ars Nova's ANTFest in 2019 in a Checkmark production helmed by director Cristina Angeles, and was immediately charmed by its whip-smart blend of a home-makeover reality show and a painful (in some moments, literally) exploration of gentrification. But if at any point I felt I knew where this was going, Eliana kept pulling the rug from under me by refusing to portray any of the characters in simplistic, villains-and-heroes terms. I felt simultaneously seen and called out, and this play still has me thinking about it almost a year later!