As many LP folk know, when I’m not tutoring, I’m directing plays. People often ask me what I’m reading or watching, and what they should see/where they should go see plays. My current obsession is with the beautiful, intricate, delicate realism that Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker writes in her many plays.
For those of us from small towns, her writing rings especially true. In a time when her contemporaries push further and further at the borders of surrealism and magic, she makes realism appear magical by writing the world in its truest form. Hers is a realism that feels almost affected on stage, because it is so real, so everyday, so ordinary, that it takes on the shimmer of something heightened, even though it is actually just abject honesty. They make a great summer read, and her new play, which will debut next year at Signature Theater Company in Manhattan, will, I think, be the highlight of the theatrical season.