Did you know today is #FamilyDay? In celebration, we’ve compiled a Top Ten list of our plays and musicals that capture the complex, tumultuous, and beautiful relationships that come with being a part of a family. Let us know your thoughts, or which titles you would add to the list!

Bad Jews
by Joshua Harmon
The night after their grandfather’s funeral, three cousins engage in a verbal (and sometimes physical) battle. In one corner is Daphna Feygenbam, a “Real Jew” who is volatile, self-assuring, and unbending. In the other is her equally stubborn cousin Liam, a secular and entitled young man, who has his shiska girlfriend, Melody, in tow. Stuck in the middle is Liam’s brother, Jonah, who tries to stay out of the fray. When Liam stakes claim to their grandfather’s chai necklace, a vicious and hilarious brawl over family, faith, and legacy ensues. (2m, 2f)

Dot
by Colman Domingo
The holidays are always a wild family affair at the Shealy house. But this year, Dotty and her three grown children gather with more than exchanging presents on their minds. As Dotty struggles to hold on to her memory, her children must fight to balance care for their mother and care for themselves. This twisted and hilarious new play grapples unflinchingly with aging parents, midlife crises, and the heart of a West Philly neighborhood. (4m, 3f)

Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them
by A. Rey Pamatmat
Three kids — Kenny, his sister Edith, and their friend Benji — are all but abandoned on a farm in remotest Middle America. With little adult supervision, they feed and care for each other, making up the rules as they go. But when Kenny’s and Benji’s relationship becomes more than friendship, and Edith shoots something she really shouldn’t shoot, the formerly indifferent outside world comes barging in whether they want it to or not. (2m, 1f)

Familiar
by Danai Gurira
Marvelous and Donald, Zimbabwean emigrants in Minnesota, are preparing for the marriage of their eldest daughter, Tendi. They had gracefully blended Zimbabwean culture alongside their American culture, but the house is turned upside down when Marvelous’ sister comes from Zimbabwe to perform a very traditional wedding ceremony where the groom barters for the bride. Tensions flare and identites clash as the family’s fabric slowly unweaves and they are forced to take a hard look at who they truly are. (3m, 5f)

Fences
by August Wilson
This sensational drama starred James Earl Jones as Troy Maxson, a former star of the Negro baseball leagues who now works as a garbage man in 1957 Pittsburgh. Excluded as a black man from the major leagues during his prime, Troy’s bitterness takes its toll on his relationships with his wife and his son, who now wants his own chance to play ball. Revived in 2010 starring Denzel Washington in the lead role. (5m, 2f)

Fun Home
Book and Lyrics by Lisa Kron
Music by Jeanine Tesori
When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires. Fun Home is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes. (2m, 4f, 2 boys, 1 girl)

The Herd
by Rory Kinnear
Andy, brain-damaged and physically incapacitated from birth, has a mental age of ten months. Carol, his anxiety-ridden mother, has arranged a small family party to celebrate Andy’s 21st birthday. Not that he’s counting. But Carol is. Counting the minutes until he arrives, counting the unexpected guests, counting the times that this has happened before. A witty and heartfelt look at family life when it doesn’t turn out quite the way you imagined. (4m, 3f)

Marjorie Prime
by Jordan Harrison
It’s the age of artificial intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie — a jumble of disparate, fading memories — has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance? In this richly spare, wondrous new play, Jordan Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits — if any — of what technology can replace. (2m, 2f)

The Oldest Boy: A Play in Three Ceremonies
by Sarah Ruhl
In this moving exploration of parenthood, an American mother and a Tibetan father have a three-year-old son believed to be the reincarnation of a Buddhist lama. When a Tibetan lama and a monk come to their home unexpectedly, asking to take their child away for a life of spiritual training in India, the parents must make a life-altering choice that will test their strength, their marriage, and their hearts.

The Oldest Boy is a richly emotional journey filled with music, dance, puppetry, ritual, and laughter — Sarah Ruhl at her imaginative best. A meditation on attachment and unconditional love, the play asks us to believe in a world in which sometimes the youngest children are also the oldest and wisest teachers. (4m, 1f)

Pocatello
by Sam Hunter
Eddie manages an Italian chain restaurant in Pocatello – a small, unexceptional American city that is slowly being paved over with strip malls and franchises. But he can’t serve enough Soup, Salad & Breadstick Specials to make his hometown feel like home. Against the harsh backdrop of Samuel D. Hunter’s Idaho, this heartbreaking comedy is a cry for connection in an increasingly lonely American landscape. (5m, 5f)

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