Recommended by Benjamin Benne

  • peerless (aka untitled high school macbeth, hsmb)
    26 Aug. 2019
    The rhythm and pacing of this play is truly remarkable. The flow of the dialogue (particularly M&L's) pulls me right into the world, then the action unfolds so that my attention is consistently held. The rising stakes are so well calibrated (and bravely executed), and the surprising reversals have kept this work on my mind long after I finished reading.
  • TENDER ROUGH ROUGH TENDER
    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.
  • Welcome to Fear City
    11 Jan. 2019
    Beautifully rendered relationships in a wonderfully paced play whose world unfolds with many layers of reality; and yet, it all feels cohesive. It is a work that is uniquely and essentially theatrical. Also, the rat.
  • 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!
  • good friday
    17 Jan. 2018
    I'm a huge fan of Kristiana's poetic and unrelenting voice. Also, as a reader, I appreciate how she embraces the plasticity of the page in a way that is entirely her own. This play in particular gripped me from the start and I couldn't look away. The stakes start high and keep escalating through reveals and reversals that are sure to keep anyone on their toes. It unfolds in a frenetic yet organic way that makes it impossible to know what will happen next.
  • No More Sad Things
    4 Jan. 2018
    A play full of remarkable images and gorgeous language. The device of the GUIDEBOOK as a narrator allows this piece to move fluidly in unexpected directions; the play's structure is one of the most innovative and exciting that I've encountered. It's also one of those rare plays that is so masterfully paced that it pulled me right through every twist and turn from beginning to end without a single lull in its action. Also, the Black Rock image reversal in the latter half of the play is pure genius.
  • Cost of Living
    3 Jan. 2018
    I don't say this lightly: this is one of the most stunning plays I've read. It's characters and situations are so clear and seemingly simple - but are revealed to have true emotional depth and complexity. There's a striking sensitivity and sensuality to the writing. I particularly love the scenes where Jess is shaving John and Eddie is "playing piano" on Ani. Also, that bathtub scene between Eddie and Ani made me audibly gasp; it's one of the most brilliant scenes I've encountered...like, ever. It's a breathtaking work that left me thinking about it for days after.
  • "Daddy"
    15 Apr. 2017
    This play is seriously next level. Set infinity poolside, Harris uses it as a symbol of decadence and desire but then morphs it into a place of baptism and exorcism. Over the course of the play, we track Franklin's descent to an infantile state as he goes from doing blow to sucking on a Blow Pop to the comfort of his thumb (all with effective innuendo at play, as well). But the play dives even deeper into questions of identity: racial, sexual, familial. It's a daring work of rare beauty. Few plays have stayed with me like this one has.