Recommended by Daniel Hirsch

  • Maybe
    29 Aug. 2019
    This play crackles with some very funny, sharply observed dialogue. Pappas brilliantly captures the inelegance and awkwardness of people navigating a highly specific, socially awkward situation— in this case being trapped outside a friend's apartment in full on murder mystery drag. It was a real pleasure to read!
  • The Dark
    29 Aug. 2019
    This play was simply thrilling. It perfectly captures the abject horror of adolescence and that of an actually haunted basement. When I wasn't laughing, or cringe-laughing, I was white-knuckling my armrests in total terror. The production I saw at the 2019 Samuel French Off Off Broadway was elegantly and simply staged and I could see future productions doing great things with THE DARK.
  • Winner
    28 Aug. 2019
    I saw this play at the 2019 Samuel French Off Off and laughed out loud through all of it. But it was the kind of laugh that was rooted in an uncomfortable knowledge that a work of art is holding up a mirror to a community so that it may better see its worts. WINNER examines the nature of creative competition, racial politics, and asks what kind of art should be valued in "the current climate." It does so brilliantly, hilariously, and...winningly.
  • PARTNER OF —
    28 Aug. 2019
    This short play packs a powerful punch that left me feeling haunted and troubled by an often untold moment of American history. I had the honor to encounter Carnes's work through the 2019 Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival and I'm so glad I did. PARTNER OF is masterfully constructed and probing in its examination of race, history, power, and trauma.
  • ROUND
    25 Aug. 2019
    I saw this play at the 2019 Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival and found it to be a deeply engaging, provocative piece of theater. It made me think about race and power and desire and how our objects of desire can so often harms us. That a short play can illicit thinking on all those themes says a lot about what Lloyd has put into this play. It's also bitingly funny and well-observed about the way gay men can talk to each other in transactional world of dating and sex apps.
  • Webster's Bitch
    25 Aug. 2019
    I saw this play at the 2019 Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival and it made we want to both hoot "Yesss bitch!" at the top of my lungs AND deeply interrogate the gendered and political valance of such a phrase. A play that makes one want to do both those things at the same time is a real gem. Bircher has created something that is deeply funny, intelligent, and political all at once.
  • After Eternity
    23 May. 2018
    In this surreal, dreamy play, we watch the the entire arch of relationship unfold—full of joy, claustrophobia, and revelations. Eugenie Carabatsos has created a simple, yet imaginative framework, to explore what is most elemental about being human. I would love to a see a production of this play and think it would be very fun to work on.
  • Umbrellas for Everyone
    14 May. 2018
    In a country where every week there seems to a be another Pulse or a Parkland shooting, this ever-relevant play is a satirical gut punch that will make you laugh, cringe, and then haunt you for sometime after you've seen it. I saw it at CMU's Playground Festival where it was staged in a public space and the gathered crowd was mesmerized, shocked, and ultimately very moved.
  • GIANT SLALOM
    14 May. 2018
    A perfect example of how to find universal in the specific. "Giant Slalom" tells a story of teenage female competitive skiers—and does so with incredible authority and humor— but also one about the utterly complex and fraught dynamics of competition, friendship, and growing up. Whether or not you've ever taken a chairlift to the top of a mountain, this is a play that will grab you and move you in ways you may not expect.
  • The Trouble With Dead Boyfriends
    14 May. 2018
    This wickedly funny, sharply satirical musical comedy had me humming dastardly catchy music and thinking about the toxic patriarchal archetypes of teen fantasy fiction for weeks after I saw it at a workshop production in CMU's Playground Festival. Every scene and song crackles with Pulsipher's wit. The vampire-slaying, tap-dancing, feminist heroines of this story should make Buffy think real hard about sharpening her stake.

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