Recommended by Benjamin Benne

  • #NewSlaves
    28 Jun. 2021
    The level of vision and craft here is astounding. The play ties threads from the past to the present -- using the choreography of bodies as well as characters speaking to each other through time (and clever "time out" asides) -- that make the work's scope some of the greatest in magnitude that I've encountered while also delicately and precisely allowing its web of characters to be depicted in an intimate and multifaceted manner. The dialogue is fantastic, the characters are complicated, and its ideas about legacy sharply drawn. A tour-de-force!
  • CRH (or, the placenta play)
    5 May. 2021
    An intimate portrait of three couples that form a web of friendships -- each grappling with the staying power of their romantic relationships and the next steps in deepening them. The events are assembled to have a clear engine through the story while the spectacular dialogue around them is a skillfully crafted dance of naturalism. Honestly, the premise is unlike anything I've encountered before -- and the resistance to tie the various threads of this play up in a neat resolution is to be applauded. Life is messy and complicated and I appreciate that truth is reflected in the form.
  • shadow/land
    28 Apr. 2021
    I saw a Zoom reading of this play with The New Group last year and was immediately absorbed by this vivid, intimate portrait of a mother and daughter. The dialogue was stunning, the images were evocative, and the world atmospheric. Easily the best Zoom reading I've seen -- and I'm hoping that I get to experience it again fully realized in space. Brilliant, bold, beautiful...and heartbreaking. I honestly can't sing its praises enough.
  • English
    27 Jan. 2021
    This was one of those rare plays that had me engrossed from scene one and did not let up. Being a fly on the wall of these classroom interactions brought recognition, laughs, and insight. Each character is drawn so beautifully as having a unique and specific relationship to the English language. Toossi's hand is gentle and deft.
  • You Will Get Sick
    22 May. 2020
    A poetic and darkly comic piece that explores what it means to live in a distinct body, and the inevitable decline in health of that body. The brilliant character arc shows deterioration through pliable limbs becoming rigid hay and the metaphor of death is ever present with circling prehistoric birds waiting to snatch up the humans below. The play also deftly depicts the decline of empathy within our society and the commodification of healthcare and care-taking. I can't think of a more relevant play in the time of COVID-19. Also, it's laugh out loud hilarious. A real stunner. Bravo, Noah!
  • Another Kind of Silence
    26 Feb. 2020
    The standout at Denver Center's New Play Summit this year. It's language is jawdropping gorgeous and the relationships are some of the most delicate and sophisticated I've seen on stage in a while. The overall form, that pulls from Greek conventions and myth to invoke a chorus and an Orpheus/Eurydice parallel, is so innovative and brilliant. The play reaches beyond mere thought or emotion to a spiritual plane that made me think about the limits of language and how much weight and meaning a silence can hold. It's so achingly beautiful; I was holding my breath at the end.
  • Dark Play or Stories for Boys
    30 Oct. 2019
    A brilliantly constructed play of two strands that continue braiding with persistent mystery, yummy repetition of language and images, and steady, satisfying reveals. There are also pops of humor, violence, and poetry in unexpected and thrilling measure. Utilizing Nick's narration as the lens into the story allows for a expressionistic framework and the brilliant premise of: who's side of a story can you really trust?
    12 Jul. 2019
    This play's characters and world are magnetic. Reminiscent of the world as we might recognize it but with an absurdist hint that makes it a little slippery, hard to pin down, and laugh out loud funny. I love the images of the world being on fire as these two people keep drinking and drinking -- but will they connect before everything goes up in flames? Also, the use of the abstract gestures in this play was one of the most influential theatrical devices to me as a young writer.
  • Lunch Bunch
    11 Jul. 2019
    I adore Sarah's body of work, but this is truly a standout amongst her accomplished, delectable creations. The rhythm and pacing launch you right into this vividly constructed world inhabited by a beautifully drawn ensemble. The language throughout is as delicious as the descriptions of the food consumed by the characters. And the play's many plot threads weave together in expertly crafted fashion for a final scene that is both sweet and satisfying.
  • Endlings
    6 Oct. 2018
    A standout play at the O'Neill this summer. It's a rarity in how expansive it is - going from an island in Korea to the island of Manhattan and spanning the underwater terrain in between. It reminds me of Aristophanes in its scope: HUGE and hilarious. Also, highly imaginative and fearless. The play looks at real estate and a person's skin and confronts some uncomfortable truths about POC in the theatrical profession. It's a play that will always stay with me and I can't wait to see it with the women actually diving at ART this coming season!