Recommended by Maggie Gallant

  • Into the Dark
    16 Apr. 2021
    I felt tense from the start reading this brilliant short. So horribly relatable, so disturbing, and it made me catch my breath with the escalation and revelations. This one has been hard to get out of my head and even though it's already had many recommendations I had to add my own. This is writing to aspire to.
  • A Bevin Boy's Progress
    4 Apr. 2021
    This powerful play stands as both an historical telling of the Bevin Boys who served as miners during WWII, and a personal narrative of a new conscript. Tom had dreamt of derring-do wartime adventures but instead finds himself in the cage at the top of the mine. The intense sensory descriptions of the cage and the drop are beautifully poetic but devastating. The addition of the Paul Robeson connection makes for an even more dramatic play. The Bevin Boys sacrifices went unrecognized for so long, so thank you Alice Josephs for this way to keep telling their stories.
  • Next Time On Spring Valley
    3 Apr. 2021
    As a Brit I'm always fascinated by American soaps because our ones are so gritty and depressing! I loved this play about the journey that Hazel, Mary, a reluctant Noah, and fellow passenger Owen take to confront lead soap actor Eric on the depiction of women in 'Spring Valley', none of whom would pass the Bechdel test. Can they save the show from itself? The scenes switch back and forth from the brilliantly soapy drama and all the tropes to the real-life journey via Amtrak (another fascination of mine). Funny, and sometimes farcical but with a lot of truth too.
  • Just Another Day in the Country
    30 Mar. 2021
    A great short. Starts out seeming like a typical fish out of water tale when skateboarding 'Mr. Steev' arrives from the future to Hapstead Hall, irritating the Countess and catching the eye of the Lady's Maids. But it gets darker and funnier as we learn more and start to figure out where all the men on staff have gone.
  • Just an Old Woman in a Rocking Chair
    30 Mar. 2021
    Working in a long-term care facility, I'm passionate about changing perceptions of older people. We should always remember that the person we see is not all that they are. They have lived a whole lifetime with stories and memories that deserve to be heard. This play exemplifies all of that. We get to see how the lives of best friends Edna and Margaret are shaped by their friendship, their secrets, and the choices they make. By working backwards we see how it all unfolded and it's written so beautifully and cleverly and without a coating of sentimentality.
  • Last Words for a Person
    6 Jan. 2021
    'What kind of person is ready, just always ready to say goodbye?' This one hit me hard, but in the best kind of way. A beautiful exploration of love and loss and what is left to say. Love that the gender/age fluid casting lets the reader paint their own picture of the relationship.

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