Recommended by John Patrick Bray

  • Mind Control (ZOOM/LGBTQ VERSION)
    18 May. 2021
    This is a very funny, sexy play that investigates the question "is it cheating if we just think about it?" I love that the characters explore sense memory for simple pleasures like donuts, cigarettes, and then...I don't want to spoil the ending! A solid piece for three female-identifying actors that have a gift for comedic timing and delivery.
  • Appetizers, or "On an Island Somewhere"
    14 May. 2021
    I had the pleasure of watching The Greenhouse Ensemble's Zoom production of this piece. This play is a telling and heartbreaking look at conversion therapy, featuring Sickles's blend of warmth and wit, reminding us that the political is always personal, and the personal is always political (shout it from the rooftops!). I should also mention that the production itself was wonderful! The Greenhouse Ensemble is a great troupe!
  • Study Group Hooray (A Pandemic Zoom Horror)
    4 May. 2021
    I had the pleasure of seeing this play as a Zoom production and I found it beguiling; it begins as a kind of Kevin Smith-esque relationship comedy and takes a turn towards Black Mirror territory. I appreciate the ending, which offers another twist. Richards uses the Zoom platform masterfully. He is a writer to keep an eye on. I recommend this play to college drama clubs and college-aged theatre troupes that wish to produce a piece written exclusively for Zoom theatre (would be great for Halloween!).
  • At The Crossroads
    17 Apr. 2021
    At the Croosroads is a haunting look at two generations torn apart by two World Wars. There are two excellent roles for women - Lady Gerald and Dora, who are paying the price for the "Lost Generation." Dora's recollection of her younger self is tender without being over-sentimental. Lady Gerald's dismissal of President Roosevelt and his notion of the four freedoms (Freedom of speech; Freedom of worship; Freedom from want; Freedom from fear) is palpable. Alice Josephs demonstrates an excellent command of dialogue, grounding the play in a dream-like realism reminiscent of Tennessee William's call for a "plastic theatre."
  • Children of War
    13 Apr. 2021
    A haunting play. From hilarious - images of kids and blanket forts and silly string - to absolute tragedy. It feels like the trajectory from childhood to adulthood for so many of the neighborhood kids growing up. We were playing GI Joe and next thing we knew, we were looking at two options: the military or college. Sums up childhood and young adulthood swiftly and honestly. I loved this piece.
  • Throwing Rocks (Short Play)
    13 Apr. 2021
    This is such a compelling piece; we can feel Molly's need for her husband, Jack, to return. We can feel Ellie's earnest wish to help her friend. I hope we encounter these characters again!
  • St. Francis
    13 Apr. 2021
    "A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows." - St. Francis of Assisi.
    In Miranda Jonte’s play St. Francis, that single sunbeam is Tessa, a complex and thoroughly engaging character who runs a no-kill animal shelter. The shelter is about to lose its space to a Starbucks, unless the miracle of humanity can pull through. I have had the pleasure of spending some time with this play and it ranks among my favorites. It is an excellent and engaging work, perfect for a team of committed actors (and animal lovers!).
  • The B Is For Bullsh!t
    13 Apr. 2021
    de Certeau once wrote: "Identity freezes the gesture of thinking." And in Wayne's World, Wayne Campbell attributes the quote "if you label me, you negate me" to Dick Van Patten. In B is For Bullsh!t, John Mabey questions how labels meant to liberate create another containment effect, erasing other possibilities to think and feel otherwise, negating the potential for new life and expressions. It is a gorgeous and earnest play. Mabey has a wonderful sense of humor that presents itself in a multitude of ways through their fully-realized characters, each with their own desires and fears.
  • Into the White
    13 Apr. 2021
    Part existential crisis, part language-based-play, Into the White feels like one has stepped into a forgotten 1930s film, where characters trapped on a train in the snow begin their journey as types and evolve into something more substantial and mysterious, as facades are dropped and secret truths and desires are revealed. Lawing's writing is lyrical and hypnotic. I highly recommend this play for fans of existential dramas and period pieces.
  • Faerie Ring
    12 Apr. 2021
    Joseph Campbell said, "Mythology is not a lie, mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical." In Faerie Ring, Jacquelyn Floyd-Priskorn uses the power of myth to unpack postpartum depression, the pain of abandonment, the (rarely spoken of/taboo) pain of motherhood, and the hope to break the cycle. The play is haunting. And it feels so real. This play also provides two excellent roles for women. I would love to see it produced.

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