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John Proctor is the Villain
Written by Kimberly Belflower
It’s been an intense school year at Helen County High, the only high school in a small Appalachian Georgia town—some prominent local men are facing rumors, Shelby Holcomb left for Atlanta after sleeping with her best friend’s boyfriend, and Mr. Smith’s junior English class has to make it through sex ed before they can finally study The Crucible. But one man’s witch hunt can be a young woman’s truth, and when the teens start questioning what really happened in Salem, change is in the air. Running on pop music, optimism, and fury, John Proctor is the Villain captures a generation mid-transformation, writing their own coming of age.
Written by Suzan-Lori Parks
Leo, a Black visual artist, is tired. Bone tired. Insomnia-since-he-was-five tired. And the morning after he’s assaulted by the police on a late-night walk, he comes up with an extreme idea to feel “safe, protected, and respected”: he’ll enslave himself to white friend Ralph for 40 days and live under his protection. What begins as conceptual art / exorcism of self-hated turns, in the hands of master writer Suzan-Lori Parks, into a look at the complex dynamics of racial dominance and complicity. Both allegorical and grippingly specific, this wry and unflinching play looks at the history coiled inside of the relationships among four 30-something friends in a not-at-all post racial world.
Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Written by Will Arbery
Directed by David Muse
Late at night on the edge of the Wyoming wilderness, four friends linger at an afterparty for their beloved teacher's inauguration as President of their small Catholic college. Reunited after seven years, the friends toss back whiskey and name-check Aquinas, Hannah Arendt, and Steve Bannon (as well as Bojack Horseman and Portlandia), taking stock of where they—and their country—stand. Threaded with dread and punctuated by explosions of fine-crafted argument, Will Arbery’s portrait of five white conservatives trying to make sense of their moment and their movement is a nuanced and unflinching look at the intelligence and despair of the Convicted.
Written by Rachel Bonds
Ana is on scholarship at a boarding school far from home, deeply and distinctly alone until she crosses paths with day student Jonah. They navigate the edges of this new relationship, tentative and heady, but something else is stirring, and what begins as an exploration of new and joyful desire shifts into more complex negotiations of intimacy and survival. With an ear for nuance and a canvas that covers decades in one writer’s life, Rachel Bonds crafts a story of fracture and resilience, what bodies carry and what they can release, and the radical possibilities of trust.