1.) The Clean Houseby Sarah Ruhl
A romantic comedy about loss, love, change and redemp-tion, The Clean House is both whimsical and touching. A serious career-oriented doctor, Lane, has hired a quirky Brazilian maid. The only problem is that the maid, Matilde, hates to clean. Instead, she longs to be a comedienne. Lane is deserted by her husband, Charles, who leaves her for his mistress, Ana, a passionate, older Argentinian woman upon whom he recently performed a mastectomy. Sarah Ruhl's enchanting play reminds us that there is humor and beauty to be find in life's most unlikely messes.
2.) The Maidsby Jean Genet
Solange and Claire are two housemaids who construct elaborate sadomasochistic rituals when their mistress (Madame) is away. The focus of their role-playing is the murder of Madame and they take turns portraying both sides of the power divide. Their deliberate pace and devotion to detail guarantees that they always fail to actualize their fantasies by ceremoniously "killing" Madame at the ritual's dénoue-ment.
3.) Eclipsedby Danai Gurira
Amid the chaos of the Liberian Civil War, the captive wives of a rebel officer band together to form a fragile community—until the balance of their lives is upset by the arrival of a new girl. Drawing on reserves of wit and compassion, Eclipsed reveals distinct women who must discover their own means of survival in this chilling and humanizing story of transformation and renewal in a hostile world of horrors not of their own making.
4.) BFEby Julia Cho
Cute blondes are disappearing from her strip mall-covered suburban town, but fourteen-year-old Panny is more concerned with surviving adolescence. Raised by an unbalanced mother who thinks the perfect birthday gift is plastic surgery and a shy uncle who spends most of his time painting miniatures, Panny is afraid she’s hopelessly different. Thanks to a fortuitous misdial, she strikes up a phone friendship that seems to be the connection she’s been longing for.
5.)Circle Mirror Transformationby Annie Baker
Five lost people come together at a community center class to try and find some meaning in their lives. Counting to ten can be harder than you think. Over six tangled weeks, their lives become knotted together in this tender and funny play.
6.) God of Carnageby Yasmina Reza
What happens when two sets of parents meet up to deal with the unruly behavior of their children? A calm and rational debate between grownups about the need to teach kids how to behave properly? Or a hysterical night of name-calling, tantrums, and tears before bedtime? A bitingly funny and whip smart examination of the things we don’t think we teach or children.
7.) 4000 Milesby Amy Herzog
After suffering a major loss while he was on a cross-country bike trip, 21 year-old Leo seeks solace from his feisty 91-year-old grandmother Vera in her West Village apartment. Over the course of a single month, these unlikely roommates infuriate, bewilder, and ultimately reach each other. 4000 Miles looks at how two outsiders find their way in today’s world.
8.) Blastedby Sarah Kane
Blasted opened in 1995, making front-page headlines and outraging some critics who thought her premise that there was a connection between a rape in a Leeds hotel room and the hellish devastation of civil war was simply an attempt to shock audiences. Brutal and graphic, “Blasted” is important but not for the faint of heart.
9.) Ohio State Murdersby Adrienne Kennedy
When Suzanne, an African American writer, enters Ohio State University in 1949, little does she know what the supposed safe haven of academia holds in store. Years later, Suzanne is invited to return to the University to talk about the violence in her writing. A dark mystery unravels. The play is an intriguing, unusual and chilling look at the destructiveness of racism in the U.S.
10.) Stop Kissby Diana Sun
The story is deceptively simple: two young women in New York meet, talk about their boyfriends, feel a growing, unspoken attraction for each other, and finally kiss. And that one innocent kiss sets off a savage gay-bashing. Callie is holding down a job as a radio traffic reporter when she meets Sara, a Midwesterner who, against her parents’ wishes, has moved to the city to teach third-grade students in the Bronx. Both have boyfriends, but as they get to know each other, their shared experiences and sense of humor create a strong bond. The tragic consequences of their kiss—the center of this powerful drama—serve as both an indictment of hatred and a moving study of the perils inherent in living life fully.
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