Recommended by Franky D. Gonzalez

  • WHEN THE EARTH MOVES, WE DANCE
    1 May. 2021
    An epic, a comedy, a tragedy, a reminder. Diaz-Marcano takes folk tales, history, Reggaeton, the Taíno people, natural disasters, mythology, children's stories, and social issues and a deep love for Puerto Rico and creates a new superhero canon worthy of its own series. It can at once be uproariously hilarious and devastatingly emotional in the same scene. It challenges cultural toxicity while reveling in cultural identity. It's heartwarming and philosophical. The play invites us to think about the nature of legacy and self-determination, of our yesterdays and our tomorrows. But more, it reminds us of family, given and found.
  • Keep The Music Going
    29 Apr. 2021
    Perfectly written for the Zoom medium, and realizing all of Zoom's dramatic potential, Steven Hayet creates a beautiful work about the nature of isolation and keeping hope alive in dire circumstances. You are quickly invested into Jessica's story and feel that ache of empathy so many of us must have, and may still feel in the midst of the global pandemic. And yet, despite a situation that could easily give way to gloom, Hayet is able to infuse joy and comedy into the long-distant friendship formed between Jessica and Lory. A beautiful play brimming with optimism despite such bleak times.
  • Zero Sum Game
    28 Apr. 2021
    It’s in the act of mercy that we are left with the deepest of questions. Questions about life, about death certainly, about war, about politics, about our place in the universe and our complicity in the worst aspects of the human condition, despite doing the best we can. In this deeply affecting monologue Philip Middleton Williams bring all of these questions up as a medic commits an act of immense philosophical and ethical import, but keeps grounded in the reality of a situation. A halting reminder that the real price of war may well be our humanity.
  • Define "Friend"
    27 Mar. 2021
    A one-act giving audiences a nuanced, messy, and intimate look into the life of middle-school relationships and dynamics. Jackson Castello has created in this play a real opportunity for young actors to not only participate in the theatre, but embody characters whose concerns mirror their own in so many ways. Don't let the fact that it's a one-act fool you. This play is filled with lots to think about and digest with each viewing.
  • What Happens When You Research Practically Anything In This Country
    18 Mar. 2021
    As poignant a play as any with any range of longer runtimes. Greg Lam’s economy of language gets to the point and drives the point home so directly you have to do a double-take. A remarkable minute play.
  • Stoo's Famous Martian American Gumbo
    24 Feb. 2021
    An inventive, immersive, and engaging way to explore immigration and diversity. Matt Barbot uses that connective tissue in all of our lives, food, to explore issues that adults love to overcomplicate. Best yet, he creates a world where everyone can take part in the wisdom this play imparts to children (and let's be honest, adults too). A fantastic play that will delight audiences everywhere. Barbot truly has a unique and creative mind and Stoo's Famous Martian American Gumb, that beautiful brainchild of his, is proof of that fact.
  • The Language of the Unheard (previously Inutil)
    24 Feb. 2021
    There have been so many beautiful things that have been said about The Language of the Unheard by the virtuosic Alisha Espinosa. It is timely (and sadly timeless). It explores trauma, the failed justice system, womanhood, black life, sexual assault and the great place of intersection for outrage and movement against all of the above: protest and art. Do not let the brevity deceive you. This play is packed full of commentary on so many social ills. You'll re-read it again and again and draw something new.
  • Coquito
    2 Feb. 2021
    Juan Ramirez Jr. is like an NYC Chekhov deftly taking us through the New Years drama, comedy, hopes, dreams, and romances of a single family drinking coquito. To be sure, there is plenty of misty-eyed moments in this wonderful play but what is rare and beautiful in this play is the exploration of Joy. In a world where so many Latinx stories are filled with trauma and sadness, Juan Ramirez gives us a respite, a moment, a drink of coquito made with mucho mucho mucho amor to give us relief in a world too often plagued by tragedy. A marvel.
  • Legends of Texas
    2 Feb. 2021
    Encapsulated in this battle over an inheritance are the major questions facing the Tejano border community today. If there were a play out there to undermine the idea of Latinx homogeneity in identity, beliefs, and ideals, this is the blueprint work. Equal parts serious, funny, melancholic, and heartbreaking. Nilsa Reyna invites us into the world of the Cruz family as a battle for the future is waged in the store turned into the legacy of a patriarch. There are no easy answers, but the most important of questions are asked here. Of tradition, of worldview, of our shared future.
  • The Jersey Devil Is a Papi Chulo
    1 Feb. 2021
    Part reality-television, part-prayer to the great Latinas of history, part camp, part survivalist nightmare, part buddy comedy, part cryptid mythology story, and the list can go on and on. But what makes this play special is its heart. Iraisa Ann Reilly creates a satire that lampoons the white savior trope for the mess it truly is while delivering laughs with nearly every line. An absolutely unforgettable marvel and a rare comedy about the pandemic in a world with so many dramas and tragedies on the subject. I hope that this play can find a home everywhere when theatre returns.

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