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Plays That Need Doing In NYC

Saturday, September 26, 2009 Leave a Comment

I just finished a read through of Rami Metal's lovely play, Lullabye (thank you Mark, Polly, Matt, Lynn, Marnie and Christina) and was reminded of just how many good plays are out there that need doing here in NYC. The idea that most new plays are bad may be true, but it is more true that there are way too many great new plays that aren't being done in NYC, or at all.

Well, Flux can't do them all. So here is a completely subjective but passionately felt list of plays that your company should be producing now.

Please add to this list in the comments section, and while you're at it, why not send those plays to me at gus@fluxtheatre.org? Here's the kind of plays I like.

So...what plays do you need and want to see in NYC now? Here's me:

Lydia by Octavio Solis: This play has been done at Denver Center Theater Company, The Mark Taper Forum and Yale Rep, was featured in the December 2008 American Theatre magazine, and yet somehow has not graced an NYC stage. The ending of the first act is haunting; the end of the second, corrosively beautiful. I want to live in a city that does this kind of play first, not last; get on it, bigger NYC theatres!

Sans Merci by Johnna Adams: If you've seen the various readings, you know why I'm so crazy about this play. The mother and lover of a political activist meet to sort out the meaning of her violent death. It is sweet and hopeful, brutal and sad - the scene where they decide who gets to keep her last things is unforgettable.

Incendiary by Adam Szymkowicz: This play about a pyromaniac fire chief manages to be both screamingly funny and oddly moving; it combines the humor, speed and style of Hearts Like Fists with some of the awkward longing of Pretty Theft; this is the kind of play that could be a break out hit for any company smart enough produce it.

Ajax In Iraq by Ellen McLaughlin: You've already heard me rave about this play; so what are you waiting for, theatre-company-with-greater-resources?

Narrator One, by Erin Browne: Read all about it here. Erin's play is the kind of romantic comedy that's actually both romantic and funny. It also has a bitter undertow and some sparkling meta-theatrics to make your mind as well as your heart buzz and burn.

This Storm Is What We Call Progress, by Jason Grote: Speaking of making your mind buzz and burn, Jason's dizzying dagger of a play looks at both the need and the cost of power. Read the take on our Food:Soul here, then read about Rorschach Theatre's well-recieved DC production here. Then get producin'.

Lullabye, by Rami Metal: This rhythmic and lyrical play weaves three generations of a haunted family as they attempt to let go of various ghosts. The language of the play is both raw and poetic, and will need a brave and capable company of actors to make its moving heart sing. We just put together a joyous read-through of it, and maybe you should, too.

Miss Lily Gets Boned, by Bekah Brunstetter: A play about elephants, people and how loss and loneliness makes both species run a little mad; try to see it at The Lark, though I think the reading's got a wait list yards long. It is a wild and funny piece of bewildered wanting.

Texas Toast, by Katherine Burger: Oh man I love this play! A loving liberal couple falls apart when the husband brings back a statue of Kali from Thailand along with the guilt of an irreconcilable secret. Their disintegration is hastened by the vitality and hunger of a charismatic and destructive Texan couple that befriends them. There are five beautiful roles in this unsettling and funny play for any company tough enough to take them on.

Blue Beard, by Matthew Freeman: This haunting and spare look at the classic myth of the Red Door has that rare gift some plays have of making an entirely new world seem real; it is a beautiful and brutal nightmare of a play that the right company could knock out of the park.

Of course, I could go on (and will later), but that's a good start for now. Please put in the comments section plays unproduced in NYC that you want to see.


  • joshcon80 said:  

    The Management has wanted to do Incendiary for a couple of years, but I just kept feeling like we couldn't really pull it off.

    That said, our shows are getting bigger and bigger so maybe its time is coming.

  • Zack Calhoon said:  

    -"The Machine" by Susan Ferrara

  • Steven Patterson said:  

    Oh baby, am I Johnny Come Lately to this post. David Zellnik's ARIEL SHARON STANDS AT THE TEMPLE MOUNT AND DREAMS OF THEODOR HERZL is an immense play (in all senses of the word) and I fear, given its subject matter and its size, that no theater is ever going to have the balls to put up a full production. Saw a reading at Epic a couple years ago and was devastated Perhaps if YANK! is a huge success - but then, the audience for YANK! is not the audience for SHARON/HERZL.