Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Reading of "Wink" at The Playwrights' Center

"Now in its 12th year, the Ruth Easton New Play Series gives selected Core Writers 20 hours with collaborators to workshop their script—to write, rewrite, experiment, and shape their work. For playwrights, this means great leaps forward for their plays. For audiences, this means a thrilling and intimate night of theater."

And that it is! I attended the second reading of the new play Wink by New York-based Jen Silverman at the Playwrights' Center. It's so much fun to be part of the play development process and get a peek inside what it takes to get a play on the stage. Here's a description of the play:

"Sofie is an unhappy housewife. Gregor is her bread-winning husband. Dr. Frans is their psychiatrist. Wink is the cat. And Gregor has just skinned the cat. A dark comedy about the complicated and dangerous territory of the human heart."

the cast of Wink (photo by Bill Cameron)
Read by fantastic local actors Sara Richardson, Peter Christian Hansen, Billy Mullaney, and Mark Benninghofen, and directed by PWC Artistic Director Jeremy B. Cohen, I found it to be a really funny, smart, interesting, and totally unique play. And as a cat lover (one look at cherryandspoon Instagram will tell you that), I was very happy that the title character survived the skinning and went on to seek revenge on the one that wronged him. The relationships between this horrible therapist, the husband and wife, and especially the cat, are bizarre, fascinating, and fun to watch. I look forward to seeing Wink fully staged, and am particularly curious how they'll handle the, er, fur.

the playwright at work
(photo by Bill Cameron)
The Ruth Easton New Play Series runs the first (or second) Monday and Tuesday of the month through April. Scheduled plays include (click on title for more details and to make reservations):

January 9-10: queens

by Playwrights' Center Core Writer Martyna Majok
The lives of two generations of immigrant women in Queens collide in a series of small apartments. When you are working so hard to move forward in America, what cannot—and should not—be left behind?

February 6-7: Eden Prairie, 1971

by Playwrights' Center Core Writer Mat Smart
On the night Apollo 15 lands on the moon, a draft dodger steals home to Eden Prairie, Minnesota from Canada. He risks arrest to deliver a message to a young woman from his high school class. This beautifully etched play challenges notions of our own bravery and the true cost of freedom.

March 6-7: The Sea & The Stars
by Playwrights' Center Core Writer Harrison David Rivers
Simon is a lifeguard. Finn is terrified of water. Both are adrift, with broken hearts, returning to the tiny beach town of Jupiter and to families who need them. A play about love, karaoke, and the sea.

April 3-4: Minneapolis/St. Paul
by Playwrights’ Center Core Writer Lee Blessing
A celebrated crime novelist leads two different lives, one as Randall, the middle-aged husband and father, and the other as Mandy, the newly-wedded wife and stepmother. In a play that is both poignant and bitingly funny, Mandy/Randall struggles with the complexities and repercussions of an identity too vast to fit within binaries.

I attended a reading of this play earlier this year and am excited to see how it's changed since then.

Also see the Events tab on the PWC website for more opportunities to see readings of new plays, most of which are FREE!