Recommended by Larry Rinkel

  • What to Expect When You're Expecting Our Lord and Savior
    3 Oct. 2022
    I just saw this charming and often hilarious short piece (extremely well-performed) at a 1-act festival in Long Beach, Long Island, NY. With overtones of "Angels in America," Garcia's play plays with concepts of faith, relationships, and mental illness, with a sly wink at the idea that men can get pregnant too. Is Marcus truly pregnant, or is he just self-deluded? After all, if God can do anything. . . .
    14 Aug. 2022
    Kate McLeod has written a lovely and quietly humorous play about a marriage on the rocks between an American man and an East Indian woman. Mark's idea about using an Internet questionnaire to help save the marriage is resisted on all points by his estranged wife Mittie, and yet at the end there is a suggestion that all is not lost between them. Mittie's sardonic witticisms are a high point in this insightful marital drama, which I saw well acted at the Secret Theatre in Queens, NY, in August 2022.
  • Penance:
    8 Aug. 2022
    The sexually corrupt Confessor-Priest and their Penitent is not an unknown device in drama or other literature, but Hodges gives it new life through the intensity of his dialogue, as well as the relentlessly accusatory tone taken by the Penitent towards the Confessor who apparently abused the Penitent's brother. Who's really the Confessor here, who the Penitent? I'm reminded of Melville's line: "Who's to doom, when the judge himself is dragged to the bar?" Powerful stuff here, as the Confessor at the end is left with nothing but rationalization for his sins.
  • Prior Engagement (or the Stairwell Death Play)
    2 Aug. 2022
    Don't concern yourself overmuch about all the plot details; the situation is somewhat surreal, even dreamlike, and the characters (all named for flowers) and their dialogue are what's most compelling in this quietly understated one-acter. A lovely piece, and I look forward to reading more from DeFrates.
  • GOING - A Play On Some Phobias...
    2 Aug. 2022
    Fast-paced and with lively dialogue, MB Knight's Suzee (or Cally in the draft I read) gets by on witticisms and cleverness, while trying to deal with her numerous phobias. An entertaining short play with a challenging female lead.
  • Take Our Picture (a ten minute play)
    28 Jul. 2022
    A commonplace request by a couple to a stranger ("take our picture") starts as innocuously as possible, but then culminates in a three-way fight as all the participants start to realize how truly a photograph captures their inner nature. Watch how Mark Levine masterfully accelerates the tempo over the course of this short play, as what should have been an insigniicant event turns into a mini-battle. Well done.
  • Vagabond
    28 Jul. 2022
    An itinerant guitar player who can't stay in one place, and a small-town grade-school teacher who can't leave her Kentucky home. You can sort of see what's coming in Ethan Homeyer's touching, sensitively paced 1-acter, but the end provides a twist that lifts the plot from cliché. Anna and Jacob will likely never see each other again, but their encounter suggests the possibility of change for at least one of them. The bartender is introduced too at appropriate moments to enhance the atmosphere. A nice piece of playwriting here from Mr. Homeyer.
  • MJX
    28 Jul. 2022
    Vibrant, well-crafted dialogue distinguishes this short play from D.C. Cathro - which you may feel is largely another age-old debate on whether an artist's personal life should color our perception of their art. That is until the ending, which puts a whole new spin on the dialogue and causes you to rethink whatever you thought you just heard. Another solid piece from Mr. Cathro here.
  • Human Aggression #12 and 35
    27 Jul. 2022
    An intense, Kafkaesque portrait of a man subjected to brutality and aggression from a "social engineer," and then blames for aggression by the very people attacking him. The last line is particularly effective. Caution if you produce this short piece: there is a lot of violence which you'll have to consider.
  • Burying Elephants (15 min.)
    27 Jul. 2022
    Compelling, taut, even aggressive dialogue dominates this well-crafted short play about two female lovers, one of whom (Colby) insists on breaking off their affair when she finds herself pregnant by her husband. But even though Colby asks Jennifer for one last night together, there are hints throughout (one likes Puccini, the other jazz; one eats meat, the other doesn't) that the relationship may not survive in any case.