Recommended by Larry Rinkel

  • Fences
    24 Jul. 2022
    What seems to be a sweet, tentatively developing relationship between a somewhat rough teenage boy and a very proper home-schooled teenage girl seems to reach a breaking point when it is suggested that the girl has been beaten by her over-protective, violent father. But the ending of this cleverly designed short introduces a twist that casts doubt on all the earlier proceedings. I won't spoil the ending here, but it will leave you wondering about all you have been seeing. Good work, Rachel Feeny-Williams.
  • NO TWO SNOWFLAKES (one-act)
    19 Jul. 2022
    Although described by its author as "dark comedy and horror," the overall tone here is charming and light in this deftly realized spoof of a precocious young scientist, her clueless mother, and Big Brother from the Canadian government. Why Canada? well, you need a supercold environment for Veronica's possibly unintentional experiments to work. You can't help rooting for young Veronica in this short piece, which I saw well-produced at the Secret Theatre in Queens, NY, July 18, 2022.
  • This is the 74th Cover Letter I've Written this Month Please for the Love of God Hire ME
    18 Jun. 2022
    Less a play in the traditional sense than a kind of quadruple monologue, Cole Dzubak captures the agony and frustration of a job search by using rhythmic, overlapping parallel phrasing to show how each of the job-seekers is both different and alike. The piece doesn't overstay its welcome, and comes to a head with the mind-numbingly impersonal identical hypocritical boilerplate response sent by the corporation to each of the applicants. (Now what does that remind me of?) Don't overlook the cri de coeur in the title, either.

    Best of luck in your job search, Cole.
  • Last Ship to Proxima Centauri
    19 Apr. 2022
    Previous comments have focused on the implied critique of American imperialism and white supremacy that doubtless forms an essential element in Greg Lam's powerful vision of apocalypse. However, the Chinese-speaking community now ascendant on Proxima Centauri is morally no superior or even different, as exemplified by the vicious Pax who kills two of the white Americans whose misfortune is to arrive at the outpost 165 years late. Only the complacent Japanese-American Henry is allowed to survive from the newcomers, but there's something heroic in Addie Russell's unwavering devotion to American ideals in the face of imminent death.
  • The Zebra (one-minute play)
    14 Apr. 2022
    Funny, and not least because of Aunt Mildred.
  • Romero and Juliet (from the THE WRINKLE RANCH AND OTHER PLAYS ABOUT GROWING OLD collection)
    2 Apr. 2022
    A lovely short play that proceeds purely by exposition and gradual revelation. You may hear overtones of "Cyrano di Bergerac" or Lynn Nottage's "Intimate Apparel," as this epistolary memory play keeps blurring the edges between truth and lies, fantasy and reality, wishes and fulfillment.
  • Personal Belief
    2 Apr. 2022
    Why do we believe, what do we belief, and in whom? And are our most private actions being seen by God, or even by the ghost of grandma? What starts in Debra Cole's apparently serious play is a witty turn at the end that you won't expect. Well done.
  • Sugar
    23 Mar. 2022
    The cliché of asking to borrow a cup of sugar turns into a more charged encounter between an abused woman and a caring savior. While from the start Jaden appears to be a nosy nuisance and Lilia understandably peeved at her invaded privacy, the reality is otherwise in this tightly written short piece. Keep an eye out for other unseen characters; perhaps they matter, perhaps not.
  • An Invocation To His Muse
    21 Mar. 2022
    "I paint. He’s the painter. I gave that title up when I became his wife." Not the first time we have heard of talented women subordinating themselves to the domineering males in their lives. Gustav Mahler's widow Alma comes to mind, as does Felix Mendelssohn's sister Fanny. Aly Kantor has created here a lovely short meditation on the nature of art and the uneasy relationship between artist and muse. The real surprise is when the identities of both characters are revealed. This piece would play very well, but reads well too, not least for the stage directions.
  • Last Laugh
    18 Mar. 2022
    Just when you're midway through and wondering if there's anything left to develop, Morey finds an unexpected twist that shifts the entire premise of his play and opens it up to something completely new. Beneath the comic surface, the plays asks whether talent is inherited, and what it means to succeed or fail. One thing is for sure, Morey Norkin most definitely succeeds here, and not least with any number of clever one-liners.