Recommended by Matt Minnicino

  • Janie Wants A Dog
    26 Nov. 2021
    I'd love to describe this play as "raw" or some similar word that communicates how it cuts to the bone both in theme and dialogue -- but I feel like that betrays how tender and effortlessly funny it is, bringing a deft, bitingly-real humor to a narrative about pained people in a painful time. Its characters are in a constant war between the messiness of the real and that desperate hope for an ordered, safe world that makes sense -- and Rosenberg gets to the heart of that conflict with each line and interaction. Anyway, somebody do the play please.
  • at the very bottom of a body of water
    24 Nov. 2021
    you won't find someone who writes better plays about how making food is like making love is like living life is like finding joy is like grieving is like being -- there's an Elysian magic to every little shimmer and gleam of language (in several tongues) on each page, as the audience is sweetly shepherded into the warm, ebbing and flowing waters of Marina's journey and the characters around her. there are so many fish in the vast ocean, but I'd spend my time with these sublime swimmers all day and beyond.
  • Dog
    24 Nov. 2021
    This play is like a bullet that's hit you in the skull and is slowly burrowing its way towards your brain, hitting different receptors as it wiggles through. The tension is thick and the realization of both the subtle and unsubtle weaponry of familial abuse is superb. The central metaphor and its transformative (literally) effect on the characters is one of the best and simplest-yet-most-tangible expressions of how gaslighting derails our perceptions, challenging the audience to feel as unsteady as Alice while the world shifts beneath her feet.
  • GEN
    24 Nov. 2021
    Mak's plays are like trees, with the playwright as an ingenious gardener-slash-ecologist, wary of both the depth of the roots into an ancient soil and the height of the branches, while also caring for each individual leaf. This play is rife with poetry, detail, vibrant texture and haunting, melodic themes of generational abuse and the power of wounds to stitch us together or pull us apart and into our own elliptical worlds. Every family story is a ghost story and Mak realizes that exquisitely onstage.
  • The Colony
    24 Nov. 2021
    The thing about "historical drama" is it has a tendency to buckle under the weight of its own details, seldom sure whether it has anything to say or if it's just a preservation of interesting past events. Gina's play never has that problem, thrumming with prescience, care, and far-reaching relevance while also reevaluating and destabilizing our sense of history as it intersects with medical science, family, race, psychology, and legacy. After reading this piece years ago, its stirring heart and poignant drama keeps coming back to me.
  • The Experiment
    24 Nov. 2021
    Reality breaks in this play the same way it does when your world is shattered by certain unfathomable truths -- Serena's assured hand guides us into a nightmare of painful grey in between the binaries, holding us gently as we move further into that miasma but never going too easy on us. The subject matter is tough to say the least but the author's care is palpable, leaving us questioning rather than brutalized, leaving the play with a heightened awareness of what -- and who -- is around us.
  • Three Anne Franks
    24 Nov. 2021
    This play is a beautiful little conundrum, a vicious but not unkind indictment of the most baked-in toxicity of art -- how our feelings of urgency and necessity often blind to the stark realities of what we represent, how and why. The humor is knife-sharp in its careful, pitch-black absurdity, but the heart of this piece is deeply human, challenging us to think with more nuance and less protective gear about for whom our stories are told.
  • Études
    24 Nov. 2021
    In the pantheon of "plays about burgeoning womanhood," Serena's always feel so sublimely structured, playing with form in a delicate dance that more accurately reflects the fractured, unsatisfying, wandering, wistful, even dangerous pace of adolescence. I saw a reading of this play ages ago and many of its striking moments of quiet, fraught with awkwardness and sadness and risk and pain, lingered in my heart for years after. Less a thesis and more an anthology of big concepts distilled into moments of excruciating intimacy -- and a boon to any ensemble of actors.
    24 Nov. 2021
    I was recommended this play years ago and it shot right up to being one of my favorite texts I've never seen -- a brutal/tender collision of epic and intimate, a future-oriented explosion of the Western genre into its most human parts then carefully reconstructed into a wide-ranging ensemble drama dripping with magic, character, grit, and yearning. This is one of those plays you'd write sign ten petitions and call your congressman to see performed. A script that really soars.
  • Anything That Bleeds
    23 Nov. 2021
    Elly Irwin never created a character she didn't love. She respects and cares for each one, acknowledging the jubilance of their daily lives, honoring that they are flawed and capable of anything, at all times careful to evoke their personalities and upbringings and deep-rooted beliefs in every throwaway line and interaction. She creates textured worlds that feel more slice-of-life than any slice-of-life playwright who came before, and this play is no exception. Often painful as you see where it's going, but never manipulative or melodramatic: a play about people and situations and what we take from them.