Recommended by John Patrick Bray

  • Love and Gratitude
    2 Nov. 2022
    Poppin’ Fresh was a favorite mascot back in the day. His gentle “hee-hee” when poked was somehow reassuring to me, a fat kid. So, when Sickles makes him the center of a Macy’s Parade Love Story, complete with severed hand, bloody stump, and Robin Hood, he speaks to my seventh grade soul. Also, the play is one minute long and structurally perfect. Thank you. Scott!
  • Free! Powerful Muscles Fast!
    28 Jul. 2022
    Lately, folks have been ragging on Adam West’s Batman - he didn’t have the illustrated six (eight?) pack. What he had, though, was an athletic swimmer’s body. West could have *actually* been Batman. But he did not have the (ridiculous) muscles.
    Those Charles Atlas ads promised results in seven days. You could be Superman. But why couldn’t Superman just be…us?
    Mike is approachable, real. The play is about body dysmorphia amplified by unattainable bodies on splash pages, as well as a man’s discovery that he is gay and average. And that’s really okay.
  • Hold them Stunned
    6 Mar. 2022
    Hold Them Stunned begins as a normal dinner party, but takes a turn into a sort of "Love Potion Number 9" tale. During a reading I had the pleasure of listening to, the one "scent" the men in attendance seemed to have an issue with was burned rubber...but "sports" and "porn" were fair game! (Ha!) I love Feeny-Williams's writing - she has such a strong command of dialogue and a gift for creating rich and vivid characters.
  • Don't Flip Your Snood
    6 Mar. 2022
    This is such a fun piece about a forgiven sinner who has an apology to make....and it's the same apology to a number of "hens." A really humorous piece - I would love to see this produced (in particular, I want to see the costumes!).
  • Hocking Murray
    6 Mar. 2022
    Is it possible to get revenge on someone once they have shuffled off this mortal coil? The answer is surprisingly yes, in George Sapio's funny and somewhat dark play Hocking Murray, which I had the pleasure of hearing as part of the Literary Discourse Society. I would love to see this play fully produced!
  • Wooden Snowflakes
    18 Feb. 2022
    Wooden Snowflakes is a soulful, charming, heart-warming Christmas tale of two wounded people trapped together trying to make the most of an evening, of a life! I saw this produced at Barter Theatre a handful of years ago, and it was gorgeous. This is a great two-hander for those who love their Realism with a dash of Christmas Magic.
  • The Sugar Ridge Rag
    14 Feb. 2022
    Williams once again demonstrates his gift for Naturalism. The characters in this play perform a nuanced understanding of each other, resulting in a drama that is deceptively subtle and incredibly rich. I feel like I should mention that I’m a twin, and I feel like I should say whether Philip “got twins right.” I can’t answer that question: each set of twins share their own language and are co-archivists in a mostly shared autobiography (particularly in youth). I can say Williams got these particular twins absolutely right. I love this play and hope to see it produced.
  • The School Dance
    5 Feb. 2022
    Nora Louise Syran has woven together the collective memories of so many of us that have experienced the awkward h*ck that is a middle-school dance, but tinged it with the sweetness that we yearn for when we're too shy to peel ourselves off the wall. I adore this play and hope to see it fully staged, with all of its wonderful suggested choreography.
  • Welcome to Fourbucks
    5 Feb. 2022
    I was a bagel baker for six and a half years. We had someone that worked with us, Annie, a truly funny and warm personality, who always brought me coffee while I was baking. And in the six years we worked together, she never got it right. Not once. Black. I drink black coffee. This one-minute play hit so close to home! Thank you, Philip!
  • The Unjust Sound of Unseen Waves
    4 Feb. 2022
    The Minotaur of Scott Sickles's play is not ugly, not an abomination (as they believe they are). Rather, they are beautiful in the eyes of a kind human who can see through illusion. This is a powerful story about kindness - kindness to others and kindness to ourselves (the Minotaur feels like a metaphor for body dysmorphia, and other forms of self-loathing). Sickles has a gift for creating richly-textured characters and gorgeous dialogue that is both real and beautifully poetic. This play presents fun opportunities for designers and performers, and audiences will be certainly be moved.

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