Recommended by John Patrick Bray

  • A PLAN
    11 Apr. 2021
    Jeffrey Sweet tells his writing students that one of the best ways to learn about characters is to have them make future plans - any exposition will be earned and active. I believe Sweet should use A Plan as a perfect example. The stakes are high,
    the dialogue is crisp, and the resolution is a surprise. It also reminds me of a film I love, Family Business, which involves planning and executing a robbery (with much different results, of course). A Plan is a wonderful play with layered and textured characters actors would love to play.
  • The Waters of Her Noblest Rivers
    9 Apr. 2021
    A touching, theatrical, and visceral account of the toll man has had on the environment. However, the play is not a thesis - rather, a look into the lives of four very different, nuanced people tied together by common geography. A gorgeous piece of theatre that provides many wonderful moments for actors and designers alike. I would love to see this play staged.
  • A House by the Side of the Road
    9 Apr. 2021
    When my brother and I were in fourth grade our greatest hope was to become players for the New York Mets. It was 1986 and the world was perfect. A House by the Side of the Road takes me back to the days of playing baseball on the front lawn, dreaming of athletic stardom (that dream lasted only that year), and looking for approval from my Dad who was an encyclopedia of stats. This play has such earnest dialogue and characters plucked from every day life. I highly recommend this piece to anyone who wishes to reconnect with their youth.
  • Good Boy?
    9 Apr. 2021
    I love dogs. I love actors playing dogs almost as much as I love dogs. In this comedy, poor Greg has to match wits with Twinkle, a dog who confides in us that he is very much the master of his domain. Without giving away too much (I love where this play goes), Twinkle proves to us that he can outwit any man in order to make sure Jenny can be his and only his. This is a fantastic three-character play that would provide a lot of fun for three actors - especially the one who gets to play Twinkle!
  • The Mother of God Visits Hell
    9 Apr. 2021
    I had the privilege of hosting a reading of this fantastic play a few years back. As others have mentioned it is Shakespearean in scope, has wonderful word play and excellent monologue choices for actors. On top of that, Dan Guyton has one of the most vivid (and at times, twisted) imaginations out there, but he never goes off the rails; he is successful in threading the needle, never losing focus of the plot while bringing all of these characters to (new) life. Highly recommended!
  • Pee Hot, or The St. Agnes Fiasco
    9 Apr. 2021
    If Oscar Wilde, with his rapier wit, and Captain Beefheart, with his post-Dada sense of word play, were to have a baby, I am convinced they would write this play. It was so much fun to read. The pacing is excellent, the puns land, and a number of the lines will tickle, delight, or take you a beat to think about - like a joke grenade; pull the pin and wait 1-2-3-ha! Highly recommended for those who love absurdism.
    9 Apr. 2021
    I love this world of story. I used to be a car-swap driver, and ended up spending a lot of time in diners and truck stops asking for directions and getting a kick out of the local conversations coming from the booths and tables. It feels like this piece of Americana is all-but-forgotten, and yet it remains as vital as ever thanks to plays such as SUGAR PIE, a real slice-of-life that leaves you wanting to spend more time with these two people and the world in which they inhabit.
    9 Apr. 2021
    A sweet slice of life about a marriage that is coasting on fumes, V-Day reminds us when the only thing on the menu is fried bologna, it’s time to spice things up with champagne. (Plus, I’m a sucker for anything that references Lou Reed.)
  • Delete
    8 Apr. 2021
    Not many people can create a fully realized world and distinct characters in under eight pages; Jacquelyn Floyd-Priskorn does not suffer from this problem. Using a platform many can understand (those long conversations with a person in IT when we are desperately trying to retrieve an important file from our computer which only gives us the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH), Floyd-Priskorn unpacks gun violence(s) in a remarkably nuanced, theatrical, and heart-breaking way. I happened to listen to Dan Reeder's "Maybe" after reading this play; if I were directing it, that's how I'd close this thoughtful piece.
  • Masque of the Macabre
    5 Apr. 2021
    A delicious blend of theatre of the absurd, Punch and Judy, Victorian Music Hall, farce, and tragedy. Have you ever read a play and thought "dang, I wish I had written this?" That's exactly the way I felt about Masque of the Macabre - from its deceptively playful opening moments, to the final consequences, which echo the strongest moments in Sartre and Beckett (IMHO). I highly recommend this piece to those who love genre-blending theatricality with a sly wink, and a meditation on existential futility.