Recommended by Toby Malone

  • the most brave girl in the whole wide world
    14 Jul. 2020
    A piece of theatre brimming with heartache and loss, Mabey skilfully navigates through the temptations to over-tell, and instead allows the history between William and Sister Agatha to coax the details to the surface. Sister Agatha is tough yet loving, a mentor that we all wish we had at some point in our lives. Even though William is at his lowest ebb and doesn't want to admit it, we are sure that with Sister Agatha in his life he is going to be okay.
  • /ärt/
    14 Jul. 2020
    A riot of a short play that cranks up the drama and the stakes for judging an art contest where the concept of taste and personal preference are brought under scrutiny, only to realize that the people involved with creating the art aren't really all that concerned. A lovely little salve to remind us about how we might just chill out a little bit when expressing our opinions on art. But not in this recommendation! Read on and enjoy.
  • The Vengeance Room
    14 Jul. 2020
    A taut, tense thriller that bottles nameless figures with untold crimes together in a room with weapons and only one rule: last one standing gets to leave. I really appreciated how Michael Hagins doesn't give in to the temptation to over-explain or resolve the mystery, but lets the situation do the talking. Excellent stuff.
    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.