Recommended by Maximillian Gill

  • /ärt/
    3 Dec. 2023
    I'm very late to the party for giving this play the appreciation it so richly deserves. Full of wonderful skewering satire on the pretensions of art gatekeepers. The hilarity hits a whole other level when the two finalists enter. Ripe roles for actors to go broad with their comedic chops and kill the room (as occurred at the production I saw).
  • Any Second Now
    3 Dec. 2023
    A sharply satirical and wonderfully packed short piece infused with the writer's trademark wit. With one of those endings that I should've seen coming but didn't, the best kind in my opinion.
  • Fruit of the Banyan Tree
    27 Sep. 2023
    Eickmeyer pulls off something incredible in this tightly written piece. I always love a work that could really only work as theater, and this play absolutely qualifies. A character's journey through therapy is realized in a uniquely theatrical way that would not be as effective in another medium. The contrast between a traumatic scene and a calming, safe space keeps the tension tight throughout. The experience is so involving and compelling that I am astonished at how short the play is. This one begs to be staged, multiple times.
  • Artificial Sunset
    27 Sep. 2023
    A fascinating and tight character study that contains so much more than it initially seems to. Kennel uses dialogue to both directly convey and glance at meaning in constantly interesting ways. The dance sequences add textural layers to relationships that are at times tender and other times chilling. The casino setting acts as an appropriate central metaphor: Every word we exchange and every moment we spend with another person is a gamble. The play offers no easy answers on whether the risk is worth it. Compelling work.
  • The Body Play
    27 Aug. 2023
    This compact piece has so much to say about the often fraught relationship between our bodies and our inner selves, the incompetence and sexism of a medical system that specifically denies women's accounts of their own lived experience, and the challenges faced by people with undefinable conditions. The use of the Body as a separate character is an inventive theatrical device that expresses what so many people feel in a brilliant fashion and yields surprisingly poignant moments. With all that, it is also often laugh-out-loud funny.
  • Coming to the Surface
    21 Jul. 2023
    An insightful and intimate look at the ravages of addiction. Gordon's play is clear-eyed about both the seductive and destructive qualities of substance abuse. What I find especially compelling is the connection between the two sisters. The bond is fully realized and a powerful axis around which the other events revolve. There are no easy answers here, but the questions are numerous and compellingly expressed.
  • The Bad Shepherd
    14 Jul. 2023
    This caustic, witty, unique, wonderfully strange play had me in a blissful LMAO state, and then the character named Belkov showed up and kicked everything up a notch. I truly admire Prillaman's ability to sustain a high pitch of absurdity with characters who operate from real, understandable motivations even as they exist in a world just a little stranger than our own (but not by much). I have always enjoyed Prillaman's original spins on genre conventions. Here the writer takes the elements of a classic family farce to some incredible places. Would love to see this one staged!
  • everyone in new york is beautiful
    4 Jul. 2023
    The pursuit of joy and an authentic self is complicated, and this play explores the rich texture of those complications. The characters are not one-dimensional; indeed, their many dimensions would be too much for less assured hands, but Flynn shows an astonishing ability to let them fully explore their complexities while always controlling the overall narrative. They are not always their best selves, but they are always likable and relatable. One stand-out moment is a monologue by the character Heather that needs to show up in a best monologue anthology, and this play needs to be produced. Wonderful work.
  • The Ambassador; or: the Disarmament of Nuclear Weapons
    27 Jun. 2023
    The dazzling absurdity in this play begins at the top and never lets up. Soltero-Brown's short piece has shades of Pinter but is ultimately a very specific and unique vision. The satire slyly hints that we are doomed as a species as we persist in reducing every situation to the basic needs of food and sex (represented here by some highly suggestive golf swings), but above all it is laugh-out loud, and I can imagine it coming alive in hilarious fashion with two committed actors.
  • Podunk
    19 Jun. 2023
    A wonderfully funny and wonderfully moving take on the country mouse/city mouse story. The play examines the crucial role that environment plays in how we express identity but ultimately emphasizes that environment need never hold us back from showing the world who we are. The central message is powerful, the journey of these characters is inspiring, and their relationship is deeply romantic and stunningly rendered.