Playwright Dominic Orlando. Photo courtesty the Playwrights' Center.
The Playwrights’ Center has an august history of supporting emerging and established writers. August Wilson, Jeffrey Hatcher and Lee Blessing are among its distinguished alumni, as are center co-founders Barbara Field and John Olive.
The Minneapolis-based center, which will soon celebrate its 40th season, continues to seed the field with its annual PlayLabs play development festival. This year, four plays are getting workshopped, with top directing and acting talent.
Here’s a roster of the line-up of the new work in PlayLabs, which takes place at the Playwrights’ Center, 2301 Franklin Av. E, Mpls.:
All of the readings are free, but reservations are strongly encouraged. 612-332-7481 x10.
7 p.m. Thu., 4 p.m. Sat.: Sarah Gubbins’ “The Water Play,” about the discovery of prescription drugs in Chicago’s water supply, is directed by Mikhael Garver with a cast that includes Terry Hempleman, Tracey Maloney, Jodi Kellogg, Andre Samples, Beth Gilleland and Marvette Knight, making a return to a Twin Cities stage after relocating to Wisconsin.
7 p.m. Fri.: Dominic Orlando’s “All That is Solid Melts into Air,” about a mournful businesswoman’s search for eternal life. It is being read by a cast that includes Allen Hamilton, Charity Jones, Jairus Abts, Sam Bardwell, Emily Zimmer and Carolyn Pool.
8 p.m. Sat., Mat Smart’s “Tinker to Evers to Change,” about a woman’s search for her mother and a manuscript during Game 6 of the 2003 Cubs playoffs, features Ivey Award-winner Anna Sundberg and Bruce A. Young. Jeremy Cohen, head of the Playwrights Center, directs and Sonya Berlovitz designs the costumes.
1 p.m. Sun.: Winter Miller’s “The Arrival,” about the past catching up with a ‘70s radical, features Terry Bellamy, Barbara Kinsgley, Maggie Chestovich, Adia Morris, Mikell Sapp and Sonja Parks.
The festival also includes:
1 p.m. Sat.: a showcase of fellowship winners from the Jerome and McKnight foundations, including Keli Garrett, Kate Fodor, Jessica Huang, Rachel Jendrzejewski, Gregory Moss, Janaki Ranpura, Enrique Urueta, Joe Waechter and Jerrie Steele.
3:30 p.m. Sun.: a panel discussion, “Defining the Playwright,” which seeks to locate the role of a playwright at a time when interdisciplinary pieces abound. The panelists include Obie winner Laurie Carlos, Sha Cage and Dominique Serrand, co-founder of the late Theatre de la Jeune Lune.
And a 9:30 p.m. Sat. Festival party.