Recommended by Vince Gatton

  • The Last King
    17 May. 2023
    Charlie O'Leary has a wonderful facility with young-people dialogue: utterly easy and natural, yet filled with poetry and tension. In The Last King, he uses that facility - along with the narrow students-and-teachers scope of his plot - to let the scifi/speculative fiction nature of his premise sneak up on you. As you follow his tantalizing breadcrumbs down unexpected paths, the vast scope of his ambitions become clear, and you're left with a big play with big ideas about what changes as cultures rise and fall...and what stays the same.
  • Eight Tales of Pedro
    7 May. 2023
    There’s wit and playfulness aplenty here, but this is not simple story-theater. Mark-Eugene Garcia’s gorgeous script continually brings us back to the storytellers themselves, and slowly and deftly lets us in on their longings, heartbreaks, challenges, and fears. The more we get to know their circumstances, the more each new Pedro story becomes a deeply moving act of courage, grace, and love. So much of this play is fun and funny, but what I will remember always is how incredibly moved I was, over and over again. Bravo.
  • Body Horror
    4 May. 2023
    I absolutely adore these two characters. 13-year-olds Rosemary and Mary Rose have a lot to figure out, but what a joy their journey of exploration and discovery is to witness. Aly Kantor's hilarious and charming play is loaded with clever choices, up to and including delicious supplemental materials (and their fonts). Fun, frank, and innocently erotic, Body Horror pushes all the right buttons.
  • Pit
    3 May. 2023
    I double-dog-dare you to find anyone better at the dystopian-nightmare-comedy genre than Daniel Prillaman. This absurdist three-hander set at the bottom of a deep, dark pit will give you all the Godot/Dumbwaiter vibes your heart desires, with Prillaman's own unique blend of humor, riddles, movie debates, and scatological references added in for flavor. Nothing this bleak should be this funny, nor this strangely charming...but that's what makes Prillaman Prillaman. Look on his works, ye mighty, and despair.

    ..Or don't. Despair, that is. You can always look for rocks.
  • A Minute Past Midnight on Valentine's Day, or, the Untold Truth about Romantics [a 1-minute play]
    21 Apr. 2023
    If you’re skeptical of the one-minute play form, you will find no better argument for it than the works of Steve Martin. Once again he delivers here, in a short but powerful emotional saga with a beginning, middle, and end, packed with secrets, longings, implied backstory, reveals, decision points, and consequences. A story of huge emotional stakes told with breathtaking economy.
  • The Last Spin Cycle
    20 Apr. 2023
    It's absurd, it's fantastical, it's unsettling, it's sad, and also very funny. You don't have to understand the world of this play to be entertained, amused, and moved by it. Who are these eccentrically-named and -costumed characters? How did they get here? And why? You won't find answers, but you will find high stakes, smartly-executed lazzi, and a tremendous lot of heart.
  • Slash
    11 Apr. 2023
    As a horror fan and once-upon-a-time gay teenager, this was right up my alley. de Forest gives us a “Scream”-esque, self-aware meta-slasher that plays with horror tropes even as it’s defining them - a conceit that could be handled lazily and for cheap laughs, but here is sharp, smart, and character-driven. What deepens this so satisfyingly beyond a sketch idea are the small beats that layer in genuine humor, warmth, romance, and humanity. And then there’s that perfect double-meaning of a title and deliciously ambiguous ending…
  • Crisis Exercise
    30 Mar. 2023
    I want to throw up.

    Not at Jillian Blevins' tense and moving script, but at the world we're living in that gave need for it. Three lively, distinct, and engaging kids grow up in a world where lockdown drills are a normal part of life; how that fact shapes and defines each of them over time shows up in Blevins' deft brush strokes and expertly calibrated escalations.

    Kudos for finding a new way to illuminate this maddeningly familiar reality. May it some day be regarded as a period piece.
  • Captain Flash & Major Bang (working title)
    10 Mar. 2023
    Did I smile? Did I giggle? Did I cheer? Did I get worried? Was I moved? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and YES. Yes to this endearing series of vignettes, a portrait of days in the life of two dogs: the chaos and the rituals, the habits and the adventures, the spark of something new and the comfort of what's always there. And as much as it's about dogs, it's of course also about us: how we play, and fear, and protect, and love. A charmer.
  • January 21
    2 Mar. 2023
    Oh, man. Sadie, I feel you. DC Cathro evokes the warm sense of comfort waiting to be found in the quiet, crisp cold. A lovely short piece about finding refuge when the world is too much with us.