The Playwrights' Center is offering an eclectic roster of readings and workshops of new plays for its 2013-2014 season. 

The line-up, which encompasses both PlayLabs and its Ruth Easton series, deals with a raft of hot-button issues, including genetically modified seeds, food scarcity, the impact of historical racial conflict and the fertility issues of a hedge fund titan and his wife.

All readings and workshops are at the Playwrights Center, 2301 E. Franklin Av., Mpls. Admission is free, but reservations are strongly encouraged as many of the shows become oversubscribed.

The plays, whose casts have not yet been announced, begin Oct. 25 with Trista Baldwin's "Angel Fat." Baldwin's work is about power and ownership as a a hedge fund executive and his wife use a surrogate for their heir. 

"Angel Fat" will get a staged reading at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 and 8 p.m. Oct. 25.

Christina Ham's "Scapegoat" follows. The two-act historical drama is set in Elaine, Ark., a century apart. The first act takes place during the Red Summer of 1919, when African-Americans were killed in orgies of racial violence. The second act takes place in contemporary times as two interracial couples deal with the aftermath of a history that's still very present. (7 p.m. Oct 22 & 4 p.m. Oct. 26).

Mat Smart goes to an end of the Earth in "The Royal Society of Antartica," about a girl born in Antarctica whose mother disappeared shortly after her birth. She returns to the her natal land (ice?) 24 years later, working as a janitor as she seeks information about her history and heritage. (7 p.m. Oct. 23 and 8 p.m. Oct. 26).

Carlyle Brown's "Finding Fish" is set in the future when the oceans have been depleted. Yet a lone fisherman in Maine manages to bring in his catch. (7 p.m. Dec. 9).

Playwright Barbara Field weighs in with "The Crackatook," a fairy tale about characters from German fantasy writer Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (who also inspired "The Nutcracker" ballet). The play's description reads: "Siblings Fritz and Marie journey with their godfather Drosselmeier to obtain the rare crackatook nut, which will reverse a spell made long ago." (7 p.m. Jan. 6.)

Jenny Connell Davis' "Goddess of Mercy" centers on a conflict of personal and corporate values between Mike, an oil company employee, and Brianna, his girlfriend's sister who is just back from the Peace Corps and crashing on his couch. (7 p.m. Feb. 3)

Gabriel Jason Dean's "Terminus" revolves around a dying white grandmother and her biracial grandson. (7 p.m. March 3).

Winter Miller's "Seed" is a comedy about dealers of black market seeds as scientists as Monsanto "engineer a detoxifying salmon and vegetables that bounce." (7 p.m. April 7).

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