Recommended by Tristan B Willis

  • Arrow of Time
    6 Feb. 2023
    Structurally Arrow of Time is a great feat, and supported by such strong moment to moment writing that the structure never feels like a gimmick. So many moments around art and health and how we experience time and bills and work felt so recognizable, while the characters are still very specific and fully lived in. Dwyer's written a moving audio play and I'm grateful to have spent some time with these characters. Highly, highly recommend watching or listening to the audio play production of this piece!
  • Nosferatu, The Vampyr: A Palimpsest
    18 Jul. 2022
    I love how queer and trans this play is beyond representation - the mix of body horror, monsters, queer sex vibes, and queer people congregating. Nosferatu plays well with its source material, making the trans energy in monster stories overt in clever and funny ways.
  • Greetings from the Red Planet
    10 Dec. 2021
    In Greetings... Valentine deftly explores loss and the impossibility of running from our flaws and internal struggles - they follow you even into space. The play shifts nonlinearly from a pod hurtling through space to past scenes on Earth; I'd love to see a production team vibing with those shifts.

    From the start I was fully invested in Arin and their family, believing Arin's words implicitly. As the piece continues, Valentine repeats scenes, introducing clever perspective shifts that work and tug and prod, while still keeping me invested and caring - we love a flawed queer character.
  • Antigone / we are the rebels asking for the storm
    7 Sep. 2021
    A moving read I'd love to see performed. Minnicino's use of the chorus is excellent - I especially enjoyed the speechwriter/staffer scenes.

    This line from Tiresias will stick with me a long while: "how do you say what you know you are going to say / in a way that makes him say some thing different?"
  • Dear Helena
    29 Apr. 2021
    I read this play after receiving a message from an ex I hadn't spoken to in 4+ years, somehow the perfect mood to dive in with. Lynett handles adaptation so deftly - if you know the source material you feel in on a secret, but foreknowledge isn't at all necessary to understanding the play or characters. As the friends recounted their tales of love and trauma, I felt invited to the table, cake in my fist. '...I think we all deserve so much better than what we’ve been handed. No. That’s not it. More than what we've accepted.’
  • The Republic of Janet & Arthur
    27 Apr. 2021
    Wild and ridiculous and a ton of fun, The Republic of Janet & Arthur starts as a familiar dysfunctional relationship comedy set at the dinner table and quickly ramps up to an absurd investigation of capitalism's many failures and how some people somehow just keep falling up while everything goes to hell around them. I never knew where it'd go next and I cackled at the cheeky move to have Janet run for president. 'If you give them just enough, they’ll tolerate some bootstrapping.'
  • 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.