Gordon Parks is the subject of an in-the-works play at History Theatre, written by Harrison David Rivers and Robin Hickman. /Chester Higgins Jr./New York Times

Theatergoers can get a behind-the-scenes look at the development of new work at History Theatre's Raw Stages festival of four plays, including the latest from the team that brought us the smash musical "Glensheen."

"Jesse James: The Musical" comes from Jeffrey Hatcher and Chan Poling, who wrote "Glensheen" and the follow-up, "Lord Gordon Gordon." Hatcher and Poling, like the creators of all four pieces, will get to hear their work out loud for the first time at Raw Stages. "James," at 2 p.m. Jan. 18, focuses on 1876's famously botched Northfield, Minn. bank robbery and its aftermath.

Another legend with ties to Minnesota is longtime St. Paul resident Gordon Parks, the protagonist of a new play by Harrison David Rivers and Robin Hickman. A key figure in the history of photography, Parks was also a writer and filmmaker. "Parks" will be read at 2 p.m. Jan. 19.

The festival opens at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16 with "Wilson's Girl," which revisits a 1959 meatpacking plant strike through the eyes of an Albert Lea girl. Written by Eva Barr, "Wilson's Girl" is based on a memoir by Cheri Register.

"Swede Hollow" rounds out the series at 7:30 p.m Jan. 17. It's about the founding of the St. Paul neighborhood, east of downtown, and it's based on Ola Larsmo's novel about Swedish immigrants who settled there in the late 1890s. "Swede Hollow" is by Alexander Mørk Eidem.

Tickets are $15 per reading or $30 for a four-play package, available at historytheatre.com. All of the readings are at the theater, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul.