Recommended by Toby Malone

  • A Minute Past Midnight on Valentine's Day, or, the Untold Truth about Romantics [a 1-minute play]
    6 Mar. 2023
    An efficient, impactful short that unpacks an entire relationship of unrequited friendship-turned-love in only a few sentences. Steven Martin does an impressive job of telling us just enough to start jumping to conclusions, only to break our hearts with a wordless conclusion. Excellent work.
  • They Always Kill the Creature
    24 Feb. 2023
    In this one-person short, Lee R. Lawing takes a familiar trope (the Universal monster) and asks two questions: why do we always kill the creature to end a story, and can that narrative be avoided? The nobility of the gesture is inevitably undercut by the world. We'll never know whether there was any hope for the creature.
  • Sisyphus Works From Home
    24 Feb. 2023
    Anastasia West is fearless. I've watched this play grow from its first draft to its recent state as KCACTF regional finalist and every time I read it, I'm stunned by Anastasia West's fearlessness. The work that Anastasia generates is as if Sarah Ruhl wrote Artaud's 'Jet of Blood,' with heart and daring and not giving a damn about the problems she lays for future directors, because the thing that has to be written has to be written. This is a play about longing, isolation, terror, hope. It'll go a long way eventually and I am enjoying the ride.
    24 Feb. 2023
    A master class in seasonal Shakespeare-nerd punning, with in-jokes galore and enough references to make any Macb*** (don't say it! Monica Cross never does...) fan happy, 'Lady M's Christmas' is a relentless cavalcade of wit as the King and Queen of Scotland, one beset by ghosts and the other seeking a spot (for the Christmas tree), negotiate a Christmas feast. This one's a winner for any Shakespeare lover looking for a bit of fun, with intellectualisms going toe-to-toe with dad joke groaners. Great stuff.
    24 Feb. 2023
    The trick about one-minute plays is the ability to jam an entire narrative, backstory, and heart into two pages, which means you're asking the audience to do a ton of work, and the unsaid to do most of the saying. Adam Richter's Reparations speaks to White guilt and an attempt to undo the sins of the past through a gesture for the future. And while "it doesn't work like that," it's the small gesture that has the potential to add to other small gestures to create something bigger. The final moment is particularly striking. Nice work.
  • Period Dragon
    24 Feb. 2023
    As the father of an 11-year-old girl, this one hit me in all the best ways: the fears and misconceptions and uncertainties about growing up, particularly among a group of tight-knit friends all on their various paths, is a big thing to encompass. Karina Cochran personifies puberty in the Period Dragon, which only Sylvia can sense, while her friend Jane fantasises about a version of the world that once felt relevant before the Dragon's arrival. A winning short play with plenty of potential for staging, and with real heart.
  • Indoor Cats
    21 Feb. 2023
    I had the very great privilege of seeing Indoor Cats develop over the period of a year, and from draft to draft, was delighted with the care and love Mora Harris put into the world of Panda the Cat and Jules, Panda's human. I love the setting, and the depth of relationship between all of these characters. This isn't a play where Panda is the main attraction, but is so much more intricate than that. Please read this play and produce it often: it's a complete delight.
  • The Rotary Phone
    21 Feb. 2023
    It's amazing the things we all took for granted in the past: what better way to expose the ridiculousness of what we tolerated but by seeing it through the eyes of three young people from the future, who interrogate the logistics of the rotary phone. If that wasn't enough, the phone connects the trio back to Ruthie, a figure from the 1970s who just deepens the confusion. A really fun piece!
  • Kicking
    20 Feb. 2023
    I've always appreciated a short play with a concept that has the potential to tend toward the obvious outcome, yet is written by a playwright unafraid to delve deeper. In 'Kicking', Karina Cochran establishes us on a pillowy set designed to evoke the inside of the womb, and introduces Harold and Frank, two comfortable foetuses awaiting... something. As they ponder the changes they have witnessed and discuss this rising sense that something will change, Cochran skilfully guides the audience through philosophical questions, existential thoughts, and fearless dramaturgical choices. Funny, heartfelt, and stageable, this one is a real winner.
  • Gwinnie
    13 Feb. 2023
    I have installed myself as Anastasia West's biggest fan, so when I saw that she had written this ten minute play, filled with menace and anger and the brilliant streams of consciousness West is so brilliant at, I was delighted. Here, from the moment two drunken strangers, one married, the other not, stumble into a hotel room, you know that there is trouble brewing. In Opie, West creates a furious, intelligent, inherently watchable character who is completely in control. Jump on board the Anastasia West fanclub train, so you can say you bought in early. Great work.