Recommended by Matthew Weaver

  • Things Get Better
    27 Jun. 2020
    Frank and unflinching. Canfield lets us in on a couple's most intimate moments, and it feels very important that we not look away.
    Everything in this play is so valuable; it honestly should be taught in health classes so that students know what they might be able to anticipate, and how to communicate what they're feeling. Middle school, high school and college campuses all would benefit from such a work. Share this with your educators who want their students to have all the information possible in order to prepare for their future.
    Some adults probably need a refresher, too.
  • Miracle and Her Minion
    13 Jun. 2020
    Sickles channels heartache and heartbreak but delivers more pointed points about love of self and fellow humans.
    Love the visual of Bud and Miracle both concocting their own love spells. Sickles is just as adept at writing deep YA characters as he is delving into some truly wicked characters (whose hearts are there, just usually buried DEEP), and in Miracle we are lucky enough to get a little bit of both.
    I got distinct John Bellairs (very much a compliment) vibes from this piece, full of magic and every day ordinariness, which is just as magic, if not more.
  • A House by the Side of the Road
    7 Jun. 2020
    A lovely, poetry-filled short play that's a tribute to baseball, sure, but even more so, it's a tribute to fathers and sons, and brothers, and summers spent listening to the radio and growing up. Williams' ability to pack all of this into 10 minutes and make it seem effortless (it's not) and light (it's not) is a rare gift.
  • Bridge of No Return
    2 Jun. 2020
    WOW. Sickles makes history come to life in this ... you know how for a while a lot of movie trailers included the word "taut"? THIS is a taut play.
    Sickles takes a truly horrific act and sets the stage for maximum impact by delivering it as matter-of-factly as possible, which makes it all the more compelling and bonechilling. He has a knack for this, a genuine damn talent.
    On second thought, he doesn't make history come to life so much as he literally revives it. The play you pick when you want your audience bent forward in their seats.
  • A Park For Children To Pretend In
    2 Jun. 2020
    "Stunning and important and chilling and chillingly relevant, especially with recent headlines." - alas, likely to be an evergreen recommendation.
    This play is heartbreaking and on the level of any of Rod Serling's finest TWILIGHT ZONE episodes. Pointed and telling, to the degree that any lines between satire and truth blur and then vanish.
    Add Durham to your list of playwrights to write/read/produce. Add this play to your festival/Zoom reading. Not just because it's timely and relevant, but because it's also just that damn good.
  • 16 Contestant Show Talent
    29 May. 2020
    Were I not already a keen Baughfman fan (Baughfmanite? Baughfmanketeer?), this play would have rendered me so. As it is, it renders me even more so!
    I have seen (and tackled myself) plays in reverse, but Baughfman delivers it so superbly and cleverly here, upping the game for playwrights and performers alike. Give this one to the secret weapon in your acting troupe, the performer everyone's been waiting to have just the right showcase: It has arrived.
    I particularly adore the extra layer of Contestant 16's first recitation of the alphabet. Baughfman takes the familiar and achieves a new sublime.
    27 May. 2020
    Mullen proves why he is so often selected and produced with this gem (which I first saw wonderfully performed through the Gi60 festival in 2019). Irresistible concept, easily recognized scenario I think we all can relate to, and a killer (slightly naughty) crescendo that packs an oomph. And all in a minute. One of my favorites of Mullen's pieces.
  • CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 - Monologue
    26 May. 2020
    A powerful reflection on our latest American tragedy. Giffin Speckman speaks for all of us as The American expresses uneasiness, sadness, rage and grief.
    An essential addition to any evening dedicated to COVID-19 and its impacts upon our society and lives lost.
    Also, Giffin Speckman's title selection is somber, sobering and excellent. It really takes your breath away, as does this play, as do the circumstances that sadly inspired and necessitated a play such as this.
  • The Sun, the Moon & Stars
    23 May. 2020
    Just listened to a lovely Zoom performance of these short pieces, and am both flabbergasted and awed and at the same time totally not surprised by Soltero-Brown's ability to speak on behalf of those who love, for good and for worse, and for those of us who witness it.
    Chameleon-like, he immerses himself into three wholly separate worlds, and we are swept along by his creativity, his insight and his heart.
    Soltero-Brown's words present a lovely challenge to any game performer. Onstage may be the endgoal, but the Zoom performers made magic all their own in that particular medium.
  • Closet Cat
    21 May. 2020
    Shadow speaks the things we are all thinking, asks the questions we all are asking (or should be). I fiercely admire O'Grady's keen ability to look at things from the perspective of the most soulful and most vulnerable beings on the planet, the animals (and the occasional refrigerator), and deliver fully words on their behalf. Such advocacy is enviable and admirable, and she brings this humane, gentle, giving approach to every single word she sets on page and on the stage.