Recommended by Larry Rinkel

  • Can You Hear Me Now?
    18 Mar. 2022
    Morey Norkin's concise and able play strikes just the right farcical tone to depict two clueless scientists groping towards what will become the essential invention of our age. A nice short piece for any science-oriented festival of short plays.
  • Nothing Got
    15 Mar. 2022
    Charming and light, Rushing's play hits all the nuances involved in acting and understanding the classic play where nothing ever happens and nothing seems to mean anything. It's a lovely short piece which would serve as a perfect encore to a performance of Waiting for Godot, whether in English or French.
  • The Grout Fairy
    5 Mar. 2022
    A charming and light-hearted twist on the Faust legend, told with engaging dialogue. I won't give the ending away, but if bathroom humor is your thing, then Connie Schwindewolf's little scherzo is for you.
  • The Opus
    3 Mar. 2022
    It may be a challenge to find actors who can play all the stringed instruments required. But that's not insurmountable (a soundtrack can be used), and what matters most is Andy Truschinski's ability to create a touching and unpretentious story about family, love, and music surviving the horrors of the concentration camps. The growth in understanding between grandmother Livana and her initially clueless grandson Michael is particularly well-handled, as is the use of just 5-6 actors to play multiple roles. Really a lovely play.
  • Stop Laughing Without Me
    3 Mar. 2022
    Do we achieve our intentions when writing a play? Does the reader get what we expected, or do they respond more truly than we realize to what we actually wrote? Maybe Claude Balz's (Balls?) play is funnier than he thinks he is, or maybe producer Sid just doesn't get the intended serious meaning. Who knows. Either way, Philip's delightful short reminds me of Oscar Wilde's classic line about Dickens's "Old Curiosity Shop": “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.”
    30 Jan. 2022
  • NELL DASH, The Gruesomely Merry Adventures Of An Irrepressibly Sensible Capitalist With A Vengeance
    1 Jan. 2022
    In "Nell Dash," Doug DeVita mashes up "Sweeney Todd," "Oliver Twist," "Great Expectations," "The Beggar's Opera," and doubtless more to create a dazzlingly intricate, rapidly paced melodrama-cum-farce centered around the exploits of its irrepressible eponymous heroine. Do you need to know all these allusions to enjoy the work? Not really, since what matters most is the legerdemain of DeVita's plotting and comic timing, something all theatergoers will find a source of delight.
  • The Happiest Days
    8 Jul. 2021
    A nicely paced and touching short play that in only a few pages traces the beginning, middle, and end of an apparently too-happy but really not very happy marriage. The piece works both because of its natural pacing, and because it leaves so much unsaid for the audience to fill in. It could be performed by the two visible silent actors with live voiceovers from offstage, or the voiceovers could be recorded while only the two live actors participate.
  • A Bevin Boy's Progress
    6 Jul. 2021
    Not so much a plotted play as a short dramatic documentary, "Progress" commemorates the often-forgotten and sometimes reviled Bevin Boys who worked in the coal mines as their part in the war effort during WW2. Concentrated on the main character Tom, this short vignette powerfully evokes the misery and danger these young men experienced to help maintain the nation's fuel supply.
  • A Frozen Window
    4 Jul. 2021
    An intense play that doesn't let up from start to finish, and shows no chance of reconciliation or forgiveness from the roommate who's been sexually betrayed. Both young men have legitimate grounds for complaint, but it's Evan who's the greater scoundrel. The frozen window no doubt has all kinds of metaphoric associations.