Recommended by Toby Malone

  • A Seed
    16 Jun. 2020
    A charming, surprising speculative fiction short, where the innocence of discovery yields hope for a ravaged future.
  • Second Look (10 minute excerpt of SEEING EYE)
    14 Jun. 2020
    Having already enjoyed the full-length 'SEEING EYE', I was happy to see that this scenario exists in another format, in this beautifully self-contained short. This ten-minute play does what all great short plays should do: draws us in quickly, sets up the scenario, and leaves us wanting to hear more. While this does resolve in 'SEEING EYE', it also stands nicely on its own, with its tone of hope, good humor, and familiarity setting Jason and Robbie up as a wonderfully human pair. Read it, then read 'SEEING EYE'!
    14 Jun. 2020
    In a historical moment where the past politics of those who have erected statues comes to the fore, Espinoza is prescient in her approach to university bureaucracy and racial bias. The playwright compellingly explores the act of translating and the challenges adding to a Homeric canon through the lens of the black student's place in the racially-charged environments of higher education. Strong work.
    12 Jun. 2020
    What happens when you break up but you can't move out? TJ Young gives us a typically human take on a lived experience of having to pretend you're a couple for the sake of appearances while nursing the wounds of what they've been through. A quick, fun, vibrant read from a playwright you're all going to know a lot more of in the coming years.
  • Brian the Comet
    12 Jun. 2020
    Ordinarily, you see a one-act play with up to thirty characters, set in a hospital, and one character plays a vending machine, you expect to pass swiftly by. Emily Hageman, however, works with good humor, grace, and sensitivity in crafting a story that is both irreverent and touching, where the crowded ensemble work serves to exacerbate the way Jude is isolated in the world until she finds Brian. Lovely stuff.
  • Queen Of
    12 Jun. 2020
    Historical drama can often fall into a turgid pit of exposition and pointed touchstone gesturing, but Tyler Joseph Rossi shows us an exciting glimpse of how form can enliven stories well known to most students of history. Rossi brings versions of some of the great women of the Elizabethan era alive in an intertwined, never-dull format, teasing timelines, aging, and achievement within the lives of Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and Grace O'Malley. I will watch out for further drafts.
    11 Jun. 2020
    An affecting, intimate, vibrant play about layers of trauma and how we manage to go forward. Jason is a character we want so badly to make a breakthrough, and it's not until late that it's clear that Jason doesn't need our pity, our support, our accommodations: he carries a strength borne from trauma that Robbie struggles to understand. Malakhow's exploration of a simple premise - which could be as simple as 'how do gay men who are blind manage to date' but is more complex than that - is impactful and true. Thanks forthe recommendation, NPX Featured List!
  • Sperm Donor Wanted (or, The Unnamed Baby Play)
    22 May. 2020
    'The Unnamed Baby Play' is a work that in less skilled hands would turn into a kitschy, broad, gag-fest sitcom. Thank God TJ Young is the one taking on the challenge: the story of a lesbian couple attempting to conceive a child with a gay couple they met on Craigslist is one rife with pitfalls and challenges, but Young handles them with aplomb, bringing humanity, charm, and impeccable structural talent to the fore. Layered, complex, heartfelt, but always beautifully real, 'The Unnamed Baby Play' is one you're going to see a lot of in the coming years.
  • Lyon's Den
    21 May. 2020
    How do you find your voice when everything you loved has evaporated before your eyes? 'Lyon's Den' is a heartfelt, passionate meditation on the life of Q, a young African American man on the cusp of greatness unable to properly express the poetry in his soul. Dealing with family tragedy, misplaced anger, and the power of the unspoken, 'Lyon's Den' uses memory, spoken word, and collective grief to explore the path it takes to move forward after the unspeakable.
  • Grenadine
    21 May. 2020
    This remains one of my favorite plays ever: Neil's incredible feel for dialogue, humor, and intellectual engagement make this the kind of work that just isn't seen very much anymore. Heartfelt, hilarious, impactful. This is an absurdist masterpiece that should be read alongside Albee, Pinter, and Beckett.