Recommended by Britt A Willis

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shady Grove to Glenmont
    23 Jul. 2018
    In Shady Grove to Glenmont Johnson recreates the Red Line in DC, evoking visuals and moments I recognize and am drawn to in my own commutes. For me, this is a play that feels like home. Johnson employs dialogue well, the lines a mix of poetry and prose that evoke the cadence of humanity and, specifically, humanity in DC. Visually I love the idea of using characters looking through train windows as a type of interior thought.
  • Take
    10 Jul. 2018
    A great read - Grays' lyricism in dialogue is moving on its own; I can imagine hearing these two women speak over and around and at and beside each other. The eventual context brought to light reframes so much of the beginning of the play. I especially love seeing LGBTQ+ characters in situations that have nothing to do with coming out and everything to do with the overbearing weight of just being human.
  • Ariadne on the Island
    6 Jul. 2018
    McNickle deftly handles the exploration of complicity, agency, and a fight against fascism in 'Ariadne on the Island', and does so with lyrical dialogue and stage directions. McNickle's stage directions are refreshing - as interested in evoking a mood as giving us a literal description. I can't get 'Via dances...like a thing growing up from the ground trying to grab fistfuls of sky' out of my head. Choosing to start the play after the 'action' of the escape allows for a deeper exploration of each character and their relationships/interactions with each other and the off screen characters.
  • MUSEUM 2040
    5 Jul. 2018
    Our National Museum... asks what truths are uncovered and deliberately hidden or softened in the curation of our national stories in museums. Like many of America's history, the instigating massacre that inspires this museum is born of our nation itself, a self-caused problem reflective of the many times America has harmed itself on its path to destroy others. The dog display (and uncomfortable call out) is perfect, as is setting the play in an immersive museum/environment. Calarco also explores an eerie example of how, especially for the marginalized, aligning ourselves with people in power will not protect us.
  • the cowboy is dying
    5 Jul. 2018
    A coming-of-age and coming out play equal parts melancholy, joyous, mighty, and vulnerable. Grays captures characters' interiority skillfully through Bulldagger's musical interstitials and Donnetta's narration. I especially loved Donnetta's relationship with power and control, her desperation to control nature, and laughing at God before feeling called by God. I'd love to see this performed; it's a one-actor show that gives many opportunities for clever and moving designs, direction, and performance.
  • Dee
    3 Jul. 2018
    I was lucky enough to see DEE at Live Art in a Day 2017 (the very day after this play was written!) DEE confronts the often basic and dehumanizing understanding of a marginalized person's agency by others, even in progressive spaces with people who consider themselves friends. The use of the closing of Dee's Mancala game as a scene change and moment of introspection for Dee works so well on stage AND on the page.
  • Coop in the Yard
    3 Jul. 2018
    A lovely short play that evokes feelings of distance, melancholy, and joyful discovery. I really enjoy the way Thembi employs stage directions and movement to say as much (and more!) than just dialogue - especially the juxtaposition of Cooper and Ms. Thompson dancing while the Sgt yells silently and the Marines cheerfully destroy themselves in the background.

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