THREE: 50 Plays That Should NEVER Be Performed / by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff


A yearly ritual for the performance community


Every ballerina in the city who’s been injured or aged out of the profession within the previous year is on stage, wearing black.

One by one, they each take two-minute turns performing their favorite moves from performances over the course of their careers. If they are unable to perform the moves, they can describe them.

Once everyone has had their turn, the group curtsies and bows and then waves goodbye in that ballerina way, sashaying off stage.


All the actors in the city who’ve given up their dreams of becoming an actor within the previous year gather on stage, wearing black.

They take turns performing the first lines of their favorite monologues.

Then, in sync, everybody LAUGHS. Then CRIES. Then looks TERRIFIED, then ANGRY, then BLISSFUL, then WISTFUL, like those happy-sad drama masks.

Everyone bows in the actor way, where the most famous people go last.


All the women in the city who, within the previous year, have stopped caring, come on stage, wearing black.

As if in front of an invisible mirror, everyone makes an outlandishly minuscule adjustment to her outfit.

One by one, the women share a line from their pasts, e.g. “What can I get you?” or “One second, let me just put my face on!”

 After, everyone explodes in laughter, some accidentally letting out farts, others showing off gold teeth, as they smile and bow, clasping hands.





An actor physically passes through all the colors of the rainbow

We watch as his/her skin changes.

Suggested techniques:

—A boiling shower

—a sunburn
—jumping in place wearing a trash bag outfit
—a celebrity encounter

—eating 100 carrots


—rolling naked down a grassy hill
—food poisoning

—ten minutes in a freezing pool
—all day in the snow
—holding the breath

—Combo of any red and blue
e.g. going skiing with Gael Garcia Bernal!