31 PLAYS to Premiere at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater, 11/18 & 25
Playwright/actor Thomas Ward will premiere his play 31 Plays at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater for a special engagement November 18 & 25. In August of 2013 Ward participated in the "31 Plays in 31 Days" challenge to write a new play everyday for the entire month. What began as a light-hearted creative challenge became a terrifying mid-life crisis as the author began to question every choice, credo, and circumstance of his life.
Thomas Ward was most recently seen at the Bryant-Lake Bowl performing his play International Falls under the direction of Twin Cities legend Bain Boehlke. City Pages critic Ed Huyck lauded the play as "a piercing examination of what it means to be funny and the toll everyday life takes on all of us." His play Binge was well-received with notable actors in New York. He co- wrote the screenplay of the independent feature film Sironia which screened at film festivals across the country, taking home the audience favorite award at the Austin Film Festival.
With 31 Plays, Ward is taking stock of his professional and personal life, addressing many troubling realizations, for instance that he's addicted to taking selfies on Instagram. Tongue planted firmly in his cheek, he says, "I basically want to bring my mid-life crisis out of my basement and put it on display for all the world to see. It's my own personal moral inventory, my blog on stage, a theatrical selfie that I hope others will identify with."
In the midst of writing his 31 plays in 31 days, Ward was given a copy of David Shield's How Literature Saved my Life which he cites as a major influence, though an unusual one for a dramatist. "Shields is championing a new kind of literature that lies somewhere between fiction, memoir, essay, collage, and anything else at the artist's disposal. He's bored with the novel. I realized in reading his book that I was bored writing plays. It not only ruined my chances of writing thirty-one plays, but it may have ruined my life. 31 Plays is a culmination of all of these things. It's me putting myself on trial to find out if I actually believe any of the crap I post on Facebook and Twitter, or the crap I shovel in my letters of inquiry for grants and fellowships. I'd also like to figure out why I can't keep a job."
Ward will be joined by Twin Cities actors Andrea Wollenberg, Dawn Brodey, and Briana Patnode . "This really should be a one-man show, but I'm scared to do that, so I've roped my new friends into enduring it with me. It's really going to be good, I think. I mean, I'm terrified. So that's a good sign, right?"
31 Plays by Thomas Ward will be performed as a special engagement at Bryant-Lake Bowl November 18 and 25. Seating is limited. For tickets or more information, visit bryantlakebowl.com/theater/31-plays or call 612-825-8949.