We read a lot of plays at the Commonweal, hundreds per year and only 5 make it to the main stage. A lot of stories are left off. Stories that we love and would love to share, stories that have had an impact on us and stories we want to talk about. We thought the Playreading Series would be a chance to bring some of these stories to you and have that conversation. Each year we’ll pick a 2-3 plays and have a conversation. Always free, always worth talking about. Call our box office to reserve seats and check out this year’s offerings below.
Perfect Arrangement by Topher Payne
Reading date: SEP 24, 7:00PM
It’s 1950, and new colors are being added to the Red Scare. Two U.S. State Department employees, Bob and Norma, have been tasked with identifying sexual deviants within their ranks. There’s just one problem: both Bob and Norma are gay, and have married each other’s partners as a carefully constructed cover. Inspired by the true story of the earliest stirrings of the American gay rights movement, madcap classic sitcom-style laughs give way to provocative drama as two “All-American” couples are forced to stare down the closet door.
This play includes strong language and mature themes, which may not be suitable for all ages.
Decked by Ginna Hoben
Reading date: DEC 3, 7:00PM
On Christmas Eve, Celia’s only child, Kit confesses that she would rather live with her dad and his much younger partner beginning tonight, the couple’s wedding night. Celia’s eccentric sister Louise shows up to help her out of her despair and she wakes up in an alternate dimension where the sisters review her past, present, and potential future. With a nod to the classics “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol,” this seriocomic holiday play explores themes of letting go and moving on.
Contains Some Language, mild substance abuse.
Do You Feel Anger? by Mara Nelson-Greenberg
Reading date: MAY 21, 7:00PM
Synopsis: Sofia was recently hired as an empathy coach at a debt collection agency—and clearly, she has her work cut out for her. These employees can barely identify what an emotion is, much less practice deep, radical compassion for others. An outrageous comedy about the absurdity—and the danger—of a world where some people’s feelings matter more than others’.
Contains Strong Language.