Recommended by Britt A Willis

  • Pillowtalk & Other Parts of Speech
    5 Mar. 2020
    In Pillowtalk, Natalie weaves a variety of characters and relationships around a central image - the bed (which also happens to make it incredibly easy to produce). The vignettes are primarily funny and charming, but some are deeply moving, heart-wrenching, and difficult in the ways theatre should be. I like that Natalie leaves all characters open to many identities across gender, race, type, and sexuality, creating room for varied representation and interpretation. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see this staged!
  • Camp Mannuppia: An Alt-Masc Comedy
    2 Mar. 2020
    Camp Mannuppia, like all of John's plays, is a great concept full of clever turns and witty humor. The play-within-a-play structure is just plain fun and especially allows the campers' personalities and relationships to shine and introducing two campers actually interested in masculinity camp allows us to dive into gender presentation, roles, and stereotypes in a more nuanced and complete way. As a playwright John continues to explore complex and often difficult topics with joy and humor. I know I'll always have a laugh, an "awww," and something to discuss afterwards.
  • Theatre: A Love Story
    10 Dec. 2019
    A play about theatre and storytelling in the face of everything. Svich's dialogue is, as always, a skillful blend of the poetic and naturalistic and I personally love a piece that plays with creation in ruin. Delightfully direct, funny, worrisome, questioning, spontaneous, and expressive (often all at once), Theatre: A Love Story feels like an ode and an admonishment. 'We cannot stand to see one more sofa. Our hearts sink at the thought of one.'
    1 Sep. 2019
    I feel drawn to plays that inherently must be plays and taveras delivers so well on the premise of live performance. Basquiat's art cleverly announces and responds to the characters, an internal flirtation with the external happenings. "i've heard most young kings get their heads cut off, anyway" is SUCH a great line, it's stuck with me. A great read and I hope I can see it produced one day. Made my (hesitantly titled) New Queer Theatre list on NPX's front page.
    1 Sep. 2019
    A beautiful play exploring climate change, gender, and how people build (and break) a family together when they're all that's available. The dialogue is strong and structurally this piece is everything I look for in a play - surprising, nonlinear, and expresses the internal as much as the literal. I highly recommend reading and I'd love to see it one day. Made my (hesitantly titled) New Queer Theatre list on NPX's front page.
  • The Wind Cries Mary
    20 May. 2019
    A weighty play about the inconsistencies of memory and pitfalls of nostalgia. The Wind Cries Mary embraces what I would consider New Queer Theatre, not just offering representation in the form of a queer, possibly non-binary, disabled character, but also in the very narrative structure itself. Moving and quick read!
  • The Lord Of Wealth
    1 Mar. 2019
    A thoughtful investigation of how American capitalism and corporations negatively affect the workers who are their very foundation and the ways we try to cope or fight back. Hariharan gives us a kind depiction of Sam's hesitation and what motivates it, even when the choice might seem clear. The mix of charm and humor in the midst of struggle makes a satisfying balance. Workers unite!
  • Threat Level: Cream
    28 Jul. 2018
    I enjoy hyperlocal stories and Threat Level: Cream is a quintessential DC and Metrorail story, from recognizable characters to the very train announcements and posters. However, Bavoso makes this piece accessible to more than just Washingtonians, using DC scaffolding to talk about general American self-obsession and suspicions. Some great quips in here as well, which I've come to expect in Bavoso's work.
  • A Knee That Can Bend
    26 Jul. 2018
    I find Goidel's sense of the flexibility of time and space in this play so exciting - at moments it even felt like talking about someone invokes them, like a story about someone else shouldn't be told without their presence. A Knee... offers complicated depictions of queer women, specifically confronting the ways in which white American liberals tend to perpetuate racism and impose American ideals on others. Goidel also explores the ways internalized homophobia painfully springs up, and how we can perpetuate our own pain and abuse our queer siblings - like denying them agency or starting a mob.
  • Have You Been to the New Harris Teeter?
    23 Jul. 2018
    A great read and a piece clearly written for its medium. Flynn uses repetition as change. A live performer can't perform the same moment multiple times without some difference and Flynn leans into this theatricality, allowing a punch we know happened to instead fall in its final repetition. Danielle's explanations of the context read so human and true. I identified so strongly with the whole 'I know I SHOULDn't feel this way, but it's not that bad, and hey you know I'm kind of right actually, but also I knoooow it's kinda wrong' aesthetic.