Playwrights you should read, part one

To quote Piggie from Mo Willem’s excellent series of “Elephant and Piggie” books:

“I am one lucky pig.”

Piggie, “The Thank-You Book” by Mo Willems

I often think of that great opening (and, spoiler alert, closing) line, especially when I find that other playwrights have read my plays and recommended them on New Play Exchange.

It’s common practice for writers in my playwriting group on Facebook to compose long gratitude posts on that site. I’m instead going to post my thank-yous here, because the list of people I have to thank is long and I want to include links to all their fantastic works. I’ve read their plays and I think you should, too.

Here goes:

Thanks to Aly Kantor and Monica Cross for their kind recommendations of my new science-fiction play, “Hard Deadline.”

Aly’s works can be found at this link. I recently read and recommend “Narcissa Narcissa,” a wonderful updating of the myth of Narcisuss and Echo.

Monica’s works can be found on her NPX page (and check out her website, as well). Check out “Red Pen, Green Ink” and “Errata,” two of her newest works.

Thank you to Vince Gatton, Philip Middleton Williams, Scott Sickles, Dominica Plummer, Paul Donnelly, Sam Heyman, Steven G. Martin, Jillian Blevins, Hannah Lee DeFrates, Monica Cross, Christopher Soucy and Miranda Jonte for their recommendations of “Jacob and Ebenezer: A Love Story,” my prequel about the “Christmas Carol” characters.

Vince Gatton’s plays can be found on New Play Exchange, and his website is at this link. I recently read, and recommend, his short play “In the Whole History of Hi-Q.”

Philip Middleton Williams is a prolific playwright whose work I’ve admired for a long time. His works can be found on his website and at his New Play Exchange page. Check out “The Christmas Commercial Conspiracy” or, if you are in the mood for skewering science fiction sacred cows, read “Chewie, Get Us Out Of Here.”

Scott Sickles seems to write a play a day, and they’re all brilliant. I recommend his short “Wheel of Fortune Reversed,” which you can find on his NPX page.

Dominica Plummer is a brilliant playwright and theater critic. Check out “Cäterwäul,” a terrific comedy about high-school bands.

Paul Donnelly‘s plays can be found on his NPX page. Check out “‘Tis True, Ma,” a short play about family and prejudice, two things that too often go together.

Sam Heyman has a long list of works on his NPX page. One recent addition that I recommend is “The Next Time Portnoy Sneezed,” a brilliant twist on the narrator trope.

Steven G. Martin is an incredible playwright and master of the short form. If you can, check out “Normalcy,” a play so emotionally resonant you’ll be surprised to find it’s only one minute long.

Jillian Blevins is a writer whose work I have only just begun to read, but her short play “Space Laser, In Space!” is one hell of an introduction.

Likewise, Hannah Lee-DeFrates is a writer whose work I’m only now discovering. “All The Pretty Colored Bottles Under the Sink” is a great place to start, especially if you like thrillers.

Christopher Soucy‘s holiday satire “The Great Tinsel War of 1979” could bring up PTSD for anyone who lived through the days of old-fashioned tinsel. Despite — because of — that, it’s a terrific read.

Miranda Jonte wrote a beautiful, poetic piece about grief and longing. It’s called “Once Upon a Smorgasbord,” and you should read it. If you’re a theater company, you should produce it.

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