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Sarah Richardson and Namir Smallwood in “Buzzer,” a dark comedy about racial issues that premiered to warm reviews in February at Pillsbury House.

Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

Hotbeds of new-play activity

  • Article by: ROHAN PRESTON
  • Star Tribune
  • April 28, 2012 - 5:20 PM

Playwrights' Center

One of the nation's pre-eminent incubators of new work, the 1,200-member center hosts the annual PlayLabs workshop festival and regular staged readings of plays by the likes of Christina Ham ("The Tiny Soldier"), Marcus Gardley ("Dance of the Holy Ghosts") and Aditi Kapil ("Brahmani"). www.pwcenter.org.

Red Eye Theater

Run for years by new-play stalwarts Steve Busa and Miriam Must, Red Eye is a font for experimental and collaborative works. The venue also does straight plays, including the premiere of Christina Ham's "Crash Test Dummies." www.redeyetheater.org

Illusion Theater

Michael Robins and Bonnie Morris have made it a mission to showcase new works, often helping playwrights develop their entries in the Fresh Ink summer festival. The 25th edition will include a new work by Jeffrey Hatcher (July 12-29). www.illusiontheater.org.

Penumbra Theatre

The St. Paul playhouse hosts an annual play-reading festival called Word(s)Play. This year's lineup includes entries by playwrights Kara Lee Corthron and Ed Bullins (June 16 & 23). www.penumbratheatre.org.

Pillsbury House Theatre

This year, the south Minneapolis company produced the premiere of Tracey Scott Wilson's "Buzzer," a co-commission with the Guthrie. www.pillsburyhousetheatre.org.

Mixed Blood

In the past year, theater founder Jack Reuler has produced new plays by Josh Tobiessen ("Crashing the Party") and Ken LaZebnik ("On the Spectrum"). www.mixedblood.com.

Workhaus Collective

This ensemble of playwrights does only new plays. Members include Trista Baldwin, Alan Berks, Cory Hinkle, Carson Kreitzer, Dominic Orlando and Victoria Stewart. Jeannine Coulombe's "The Mill" is up through May 5 at the Playwrights' Center. www.workhauscollective.org.

Fringe Festival

Out of the summer doldrums arise talents both notable and forgettable. This frenetic, unjuried festival of short plays has hatched the post-Fringe careers of the Scrimshaw Brothers and others. This year it's Aug. 2-12. www.fringefestival.org.

Walker Art center

Genre-bending performing arts with a global bent find a home at the Walker, which recently premiered Young Jean Lee's "Untitled Feminist Show" and Marc Bamuthi Joseph's "Red, Black and Green: A Blues." www.walkerart.org.

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