Recommended by Toby Malone

  • KING NOW
    13 Jul. 2020
    Oh! A heartbreaking glimpse in on the doomed princes in the Tower, easily the saddest victims in the canon. Cross loads these poor tykes up with all the weight of our knowledge of what's to come and then drops it on us like a sledgehammer. Even for a Richard III apologist like myself, this one got me.
  • The Banishment Room
    13 Jul. 2020
    A great, quippy piece that feels so familiar and real because the idea of a company setting aside a purgatory room for people to go as punishment to avoid the cost of firing them is just delightful, and there's so much to love about Amy, the Banishment Room lifer who knows how to play the game. I'd love to see a whole series in that room as Diane's pregnancy carries on and the two of them while away the days! Great work.
  • for the (im)possibility of california
    13 Jul. 2020
    A beautiful, poetic meditation on dread, on fellowship, on love, on loss, navigating a crisis without the tolls to do so. Samantha Mueller negotiates themes and structure and form so beautifully that it feels disingenuous to call these phrases stream of consciousness: everything feels necessary and true. To have a playwright who trusts in their words enough to invite actors to perform them in any way they can think possible, including non-verbally, is wonderful. I look forward to reading more of this vital voice.
  • Pandemic Speed Dating
    13 Jul. 2020
    A witty, timely play that plumbs the depths of the anxiety that's so common when trying to cultivate new relationships online during this weird time. I loved that all of the names and gender pronouns were gender-neutral to encourage multiple versions of the pairings!
  • It's A Wonderful Satan
    13 Jul. 2020
    A jaunty, cheerful reminder that evil's everywhere in the world, even if Satan's not feeling as malignant as he might. Thank goodness for the relentless Clarence to remind Satan of just how bad life really is. The final twist is a delight. C'mon, someone stage this for the coming Christmas season!
  • unquiet American dreams
    13 Jul. 2020
    Raw, angry, and urgent, Bates offers a cry to the helplessness allies can feel when confronted with injustices that feel so far, yet so near. I love the idea that this could be performed by a collective group in chorus. Vital thoughts that need to be heard.
  • Frida Sofia Is Not Dead
    12 Jul. 2020
    A taut, unsettling piece set in the aftermath of an unspeakable tragedy, and focused on the ways that messaging can change depending on the priorities of the reporter. A school wing collapses and a survivor is fabricated for the sake of ratings, since that's a hell of a lot sexier than bringing shoddy construction practices to the fore. You'll feel the impotent rage that settles on us all when we realize we're only tiny cogs in a machine we can't control.
  • Ask Me Anything and Other Short Plays
    12 Jul. 2020
    A delightful collection of character-driven (in a couple of cases, literally!) plays which run the gamut in scenarios but always maintain a great sense of humanity and purpose. Each of these plays are taut and well structured, and many of these pieces are so rich they beg for expansion and exploration, but the wonderful thing here is that Philip Middleton Williams trusts his form and hears his characters so clearly that he knows what they need, and never labors the point. Read the plays individually, but also enjoy the chance to bounce through this collection too.
  • To Change a Tampon: How It Is, and How It Should Be
    11 Jul. 2020
    Hilarious, savage, and pulling no punches, Hageman skewers the very fact that a natural process that happens every single month to just about half the planet is still an area of discomfort. Aware, funny, and ruthless.
  • Hamlet: Abridged (and Possibly Improved?)
    3 Jul. 2020
    An absolute blast of an adaptation that is very well aware of how iconic the source material is, but also just how silly it is too. With a rebellious Ophelia and some clueless Rosencrantz and Guildensterns, a healthy dose of meta humor where the genuinely hilarious is effortlessly interspersed with so many dad-joke groaners that they too become hilarious, 'Hamlet: Abridged (and Possibly Improved?)' would be perfect for young audiences and even those who take Shakespeare way too seriously. Read it, right now. It'll revive your long-forgotten ambition to play a hearty game of Curtain Ghost.

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