Recommended by Tira Palmquist

  • What You Wish For (short)
    16 Nov. 2023
    Fans of Hilder won’t be at all surprised by this witty, sexy, trenchant take on Rumplestiltskin — and in this modern version, gold is also spun out of a kind of straw. But getting out of this impossible situation requires an equally impossible, equally painful bargain. The ending is dark, painful — still, in a very Hilder way, very darkly funny. You’ll want to read this one.
  • Electric, I
    14 Mar. 2023
    Electric, I is a giddy, wild exploration into the magic of film (or other media) -- what this "electric eye" captures. I was lucky enough to see this play develop this past year in the Road Theater's Under Construction group, and every iteration of the play was more satisfying than the last, every time Eastin digs, she uncovers something surprising and wonderful. While I love the play's dreamlike qualities, the surreality is grounded in essential questions: what does the camera see? what of us is captured there? what do we become, once captured? I have to see this produced!
  • Feast
    4 Mar. 2023
    What a great ride! What I love about this play is that Howard weaves the present and the past so masterfully -- and, in fact, present and past colliding both metaphorically and dramatically. Jack and Dexter (in France for Dexter's wedding) embark on a road trip inspired by Fitzgerald and Hemingway -- Jack, in the hopes of securing some long lost Hemingway manuscripts, Dexter, to ensure his friends safety and sanity. The themes of loss, of legacy, of identity are rich and resonant.
  • unconformity
    4 Mar. 2023
    I watched Unconformity take shape this past year in The Road Theater’s playwrights group, and I admire this play so much — in particular, the way science and grief intersects with such beautiful specificity. An unconformity in geology is a break in time in an otherwise continuous rock record (a thing I did not know until this play!), and there’s a break in Christine’s life as well with the loss of Ari. The struggle (and failure) to repair that break, to answer unanswerable questions, drives her - and that drive is poignant and relatable.
    15 Feb. 2020
    A Witness is a sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking story of what it means to be show up for the people in our lives. One of the things I loved in the play is how we understand why Billie, an end-of-life nurse, has fashioned such thick emotional armor, why she behaves in ways that makes it almost impossible for anyone to get close. There are moments of real sweetness in the play, where we see how people find comfort, solace -- how preparing for death means showing up for life, and what it takes to do that.
  • Clippings
    30 Jan. 2020
    Clippings pulls no punches. Telling the story of three women who have experienced violence and trauma, Shiree unflinchingly takes us right to the heart of their experiences, and dares us not to look away. There is a starkness (and yet a poetry) to the storytelling here: monologues, music, movement -- centering us on the story that matters: LEXI, AFRIKA and THIS WOMAN are, in the end, survivors. Their survival wasn't easy -- nor was it inevitable, or without costs -- and their strength and heart and ability to love themselves despite everything is the real story.
    4 Nov. 2019
    I was lucky enough to see this gorgeous play at Antaeus in Los Angeles this past month, and it is a beautiful gut-punch of a play. For many Americans, this is likely their first introduction to The Abuelas, and the children murdered, the grandchildren abducted by a despotic administration. But beyond that, it's a heartbreaking portrait of what it means when your identity (or, what you thought was your identity) is shaken to its core. An important and visceral play.
  • Those Days Are Over
    2 Sep. 2019
    I have been a fan of David Hilder's work for years, and this piece lives up to everything I admire about his plays: fierce, quick wit, unflinching portraits of what is worst (and, sometimes, best) in us, almost magical pacing. What moves me most is how we see these sisters cope (often badly) with the loss of their mother, with what happens next, now that, as the titles says, those days are gone. Selfishly, I wanted to play all of these women, and with a cast of 7 women, actors will have many fantastic choices. Produce this play!
  • Hyannis
    12 Apr. 2019
    This play is a heartbreaking, gut-punch about the costs -- financial, emotional and physical -- of addiction. The choices that these characters make aren't easy, and the ripple effects of their decisions impact their relationships, their livelihoods, their homes. Just when we think that the characters are on solid ground, the play reminds us that, no, addiction's not like that. Like I said, a gut-punch. I'd love to see this play produced immediately.
  • Babel
    13 Aug. 2018
    BABEL lives at the intersection of what we can and can't control about genes, our children, their future. Goldfinger has situated these thorny questions in a near-future world -- far enough away that this genetic tweaking seems possible, near enough that we still see ourselves in this perilous landscape. This is a funny, quick-witted, tense and nimble play that explores what we'd do in the name of safety, what it would feel like to play God, what happens when playing God ends up being just as difficult and messy as you'd guessed. We'd like to be sure: we can't.