Recommended by Ivan Mosley

  • Small Jokes About Monsters
    27 Feb. 2022
    What a small gem of a play! In this play, Stafford uses humor to show how family members can turn against one another in the wake of tragedy. The jokes begin as lighthearted fun, but they become more barbed as the play goes on. This play starts as an examination of grief but shifts to investigate who is responsible for the trauma in this family. The reveals had me screaming at my computer screen! I am jealous of the audience that got to see this play onstage! Dear God, I hope I get the same privilege one day!
  • Absentia
    15 Dec. 2021
    I had the privilege to see this play develop from a first draft to a production. Each time I revisit the world of Absentia, I realize a new level on which Matthews is operating. By focusing on a young Black woman, the narrative subverts the standard abduction stories that focus on White women. The story also explores the role of storytelling in Southern African-American culture, the definition of motherhood, and how trauma reverberates throughout a family. Using Robyn the Rabbit and shadow play, Matthews crafts psychological suspense, further drawing the audience into Esther's story. I cannot recommend this play enough.
    31 Oct. 2021
    This was my first time reading a play by Mr. Walker and, my Lord, was it an experience! In this genre-hopping piece of work, Walker explores how misdirected desire and secrets lead to the destruction of a group of teens. Through his characters' use of social media and theatre, he also challenges the stability of identity. The characters are recognizable yet disturbing. The story is graphic in the best sense of the word. And the humor is the cherry on top! Audiences will be enthralled until the very end. Produce this play now!
  • The Write Choice
    27 Oct. 2021
    This play is a layered exploration of the ways Black women are silenced in America. Through Violet, we see how respectability politics don't serve Black women but hurt them. Additionally, Ms. Veronica lampoons White theatres who don't give black playwrights agency in the production of their work. Above all, this play is a call to action for black women to fight for control of their own narratives. I thoroughly enjoyed this play and I hope to see it onstage one day.
  • Blooming In Dry Season
    14 Feb. 2019
    In this quietly poignant play, Ms. Wardally uses gender roles to deftly explore the murky boundary between supporting someone else's dream and completely sacrificing your identity in service to it. She expertly uses subtext and humor to show the joys and pains in the older characters' marriage. Their struggle to encourage their daughter to pursue her dreams while accepting their own failures resonated with me the most. This play makes a powerful statement about how we embrace opportunity. I look forward to seeing it onstage.
  • Leftovers
    24 Sep. 2016
    Mr. Wilder offers a fresh perspective on the urban experience in this play. The juxtaposition of vivid fantasy and harsh reality combined with the empathetic treatment of the characters transform the play into a powerful statement on the limits of escapism, even in the most bleak of circumstances. I highly recommend The Leftovers.