Recommended by Vince Gatton

  • Strangers Off a Train
    17 Jul. 2024
    When Charlie approaches Chris on a subway platform, is it a meet-cute, or something more threatening? Or might it be something else entirely? This is a play about the dangers inherent in being a woman in the world, but also about cities, strangers, connections, and community.Tense and charming, all at once.
    17 Jul. 2024
    A wry, tender, and witty love story about burnout and the weight of empathy. Aly Kantor endows Nicky with a magical gift, but it's via a mechanism that requires constant, raw emotional vulnerability to make it work...and the well is running dry. Activists, primary caregivers, nurses, social workers, and anyone whose vocation is caring for others will see themselves here -- as will those who love them, as they watch Dylan's escalating efforts to encourage, cajole, problem-solve, and protect. "Tikkun olam" takes a toll, Kantor seems to tell us: no one can do it alone. Lovely.
  • Pilloried
    28 Jun. 2024
    The setting may be medieval, but the insights and lessons here about public shaming ring loud and clear in our 21st-Century digital age. It's also just a full-on hoot: bawdy, uncomfortable, and joyful. The characters may be literally locked in place, but the actors will find wide room to play in the agonized Wilkin and magnificently trashy Doxy. Brava.
  • gotta get me some strange
    27 Jun. 2024
    This old-fashioned, rapid-fire, door-slamming sex farce steeped in Christian Flynn's modern, sweaty, grimy, flat-broke queer aesthetic makes for something fresh, over-the-top, and irresistible. We're firmly in the land of the ridiculous - blackouts! vibrators! goofball accents! ignorant stereotypes and the people who love them! - but it's anchored by a trio with a genuine desire to connect -- or at least bang the hell out of each other. And isn't that what we root for in a comedy? A delightfully-calibrated hot mess.
  • Southies
    27 Jun. 2024
    I love storytelling as a dramatic action -- see Conor MacPherson's The Weir -- and its virtues are on beautiful display here. A good ghost story is its own reward, of course, but a smart dramatist understands that that's not enough -- there has to be a reason the teller is relating the story, and something they're trying to achieve by doing so. Jeffrey James Keyes is in fact a smart dramatist, so this seemingly casual stem-winding exercise proves to be something far more purposeful than it first appears. A little spooky, a lot humane, Southies is a cozy-creepy pleasure.
  • Let Me Know If I Hurt You
    26 Jun. 2024
    The details of autistic teen Bob's relationship to (and with) his Broadway idol are specific and unique; the longing, elation, euphoria, doubt, and heartbreak that flow from it are universal and deeply relatable. This sordid tale of adulation, exploitation, and rejection is told with the gift of hindsight, but also through the twin lenses of the main character's youth and autism - his relationships to his parents and his alleged best friend Chloe make for complicated dramas in their own right. Wittily fictionalized but feeling gut-churningly real, the engaging LET ME KNOW IF I HURT YOU leaves a mark.
  • The Lingering Scent of Oranges
    16 Jun. 2024
    A no-longer-so-young woman in a swimsuit in a winter living room is the striking opening image of this lovely meditation on time, late middle-age, and choices. Melinda's newfound lack of fucks to give is a joy to witness, as she firmly parries the shaming thrusts her older sister Robin dishes out. The lifelong bonds and deep differences between siblings are laid bare in this encounter, one that's either joyful or heartbreaking, depending on which of the two you ask. Great roles for women, especially the newly-unapologetic but still-loving Melinda. May her frequent flyer miles never expire.
  • Generic Roommate Drama
    23 May. 2024
    I laughed repeatedly while reading Generic Roommate Drama, but each chuckle kept getting choked off by the sick feeling in my stomach. Michael O’Day’s satire cuts painfully close to the bone in this desperately consequential year of 2024: the central metaphor is potent and apt, the stakes deeply felt, and the priorities desperately misplaced. Actable as hell, funny, and infuriating, this urgent black comedy screams to be performed NOW.
    5 May. 2024
    Among the many things I love about this short is the sheer ballsiness of its opening pages. What writer does that? Craig Houk, that's who. With a deliciously Tennessee Williams-esque sense of Southern Gothic, the intriguing encounter that follows keeps you on your toes all the way to its absolutely yummy conclusion. Get this in the hands of your favorite senior actress, because Francine is a gem they'll be itching to play.
  • Give Me Your Skin
    5 May. 2024
    The Twilight Zone meets D&D in this intriguing, moody encounter between two figures in an otherwise-empty bar. As these strangers from different worlds get to know each other, secrets are of course revealed, leading to shockingly high stakes and surprisingly emotional payoff. Prillaman's fantasy set-up is the hook, but it's his charming-as-hell way with dialogue and deep empathy of character that make this terrific story stick. Bravo.