Recommended by Claudia Haas

    21 Feb. 2018
    Rescue. Sometimes it's serendipity and sometimes it's karma (the good kind).On the first page, the play looks like it could be a drunk-woman-meets-man-rescuing-her-in-a bar-comedy. And then it unveils itself to a reveal a delicate and intricate portrait of two people whose lives have intersected before in a way that affected one of them deeply. In just ten minutes, you see these people how they were as children, their life choices, and their lives today. And you wish them well. Because you know them and like them. The ending with the "new dog" is perfect. Read it. Stage it.
  • The Wish Stick
    17 Feb. 2018
    I just love this play. I love that Steve believes in this voodoo stick from New Orleans. I love that he wishes someone who loved him would love him and that he'd be great at his job. And I so love that he thinks these wishes came true because of a stick. The play is a smile; romance runs through it's veins with a tablespoon of silliness. The play is perfect for any short play festival but especially good for a festival celebrating love.
    12 Feb. 2018
    It's hard to adapt a turn-of-the-last-century children's book in a way that is accessible to today's youth. Ashby does a splendid job of streamlining the book and focusing on the adventure. The play moves seamlessly and effortlessly from scene to scene helping to engage a young audience. The characters have heart, humor and sparkle. (I particularly loved the "mining" scene.) Young audiences will relate to the siblings plight of sudden poverty and the mysterious disappearance of their father. And they will root for all of them.
    10 Feb. 2018
    A little boy sets up his dinosaurs on a table, dreams of living with the dinosaurs and then breaks you. This monologue is hugely theatrical and the effects of bullying are done without ramming a message down your throat. Instead, Wyndham shows you the aftermath. It's highly effective and should go to drama teachers everywhere. One of the things theatre-for-youth does is foster empathy. This monologue does exactly that.
    10 Feb. 2018
    There is an undercurrent of longing that permeates this play. It drew me in immediately and I couldn't leave. It has some elements of Under Milkwood - knowing what the characters say and then knowing their thoughts. And when there was silence, it spoke volumes. Love-lost, new-as-spring-love, fractured-love, wishful love, terrified-love, forever-love are so poignantly explored, audiences will relate, care and be moved. It's a beautiful ensemble piece.
    10 Feb. 2018
    If you've ever been terrorized by a minibar in a luxury hotel or wondered about the cleanliness of those pillows, this is your play. The play seems simple: an anniversary night in a luxury hotel. Do you whoop it up for all its worth trying out every so-called freebee (complimentary wifi, plush robe, body pillows)? You know this couple. You know they've been together for many years. Their intimacies, frustrations and declarations as they jumped subjects and emotions were a treat. You have to love the ending with the goldfish. Read it. Produce it.
  • Cowgirls Don't Ride Zebras
    8 Feb. 2018
    You have to love a play where there's a velociraptor in the zoo. And zebras read and hippos skate - slowly. This is one huge smile of a play. From the opening where Penny has a fishbowl on her head so - of course she is an astronaut - to the paper cowgirl hat - so of course she is a cowgirl - through the romp at the zoo. The play celebrates imagination and books without nary a preachy word. The play moves fast and young audiences (and their chaperones) will be delighted.
    8 Feb. 2018
    Edward is looking at his identical twin brother who is dying. Soon. Can the stakes get any higher? And his brother, Luke, is in a Spiderman costume complete with a superpower he wants to give his brother. The play works on every level - heartfelt without being sentimental, honest without being brutal and generous of spirit. Loss, letting go, forgiveness - such huge human conditions are handled with respect and love. I would love to see this in a festival. The audience will be richer for having met Edward and Luke.
    7 Feb. 2018
    I remember my first library card at age five, Wyndham brings alive the likely librarian who gave it to me. Do they have an agenda? Legos meet intellect meet pop culture in this play that may be every librarian’s nightmare and truism. Beautiful monologue for our American times.
  • The Team
    7 Feb. 2018
    A play that fully captures the pressures of teens (especially senior high school students) where everything depends on their grades and/or sports accomplishments. Female-centric, focusing on a basketball team, the play beautifully shows us their individual needs versus their collective needs. All of the five characters have something critical at stake. While the play focuses on Bobbie and her grief, we find that all of the characters have huge challenges as well as baggage and basketball could be the brass ring. Brutal realities are exposed. Poetic and raw, it’s a beauty for female actresses.