New Harrison David Rivers Play Closes Playwrights' Center Season

By: Mar. 19, 2018
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New Harrison David Rivers Play Closes Playwrights' Center Season

The 2017-18 Ruth Easton New Play Series at the Playwrights' Center closes April 9 and 10 with Core Writer Harrison David Rivers' new play "the bandaged place." The readings begin at 7 p.m. at the Playwrights' Center, located at 2301 E. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. They are free, but reservations are recommended and can be made at

Rivers is a St. Paul-based writer who moved to the Twin Cities in 2014 for a Many Voices Fellowship at the Playwrights' Center and decided to stay. He then received a prestigious McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting and is currently a Core Writer at the Playwrights' Center. Locally, his plays that are receiving (or have recently received) premieres include "A Crack in the Sky" (History Theatre), "Five Points" (Theater Latté Da) and "This Bitter Earth" (Penumbra Theatre). Twin Cities audiences won't want to miss this opportunity to be part of the evolution of his new play, "the bandaged place."

"the bandaged place" is a brutal and lyrical play about the things we hang on to and the price of moving forward. It is the story of Jonah, whose former lover resurfaces, reopening a painful wound. Jonah is forced to turn to his precocious daughter and his tough love grandmother for support.

Rivers will be collaborating with director Saheem Ali** and a cast including Brandon Gill*, Faye Price*, Awazi Jaafaru, Bradley Hildebrandt and James Rodriguez* (*Member of Actors' Equity Association; **Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society).

"'the bandaged place' is the play I said I would never write," says playwright Harrison David Rivers. The play grew from his own experience with domestic violence, and he hopes that by sharing his story, he'll encourage others to do the same. "Discussions of domestic violence in America look mostly at the way men and women are treating each other, but same-sex couples are experiencing these very same traumas-and at statistically higher rates. For me, part of telling this story is to draw attention to the issue. To shed some light on a section of our population that is experiencing something that's very difficult. A population that might not be inclined to speak up for various reasons."

"Harrison is not afraid to look into the dark corners," says Jeremy B. Cohen, producing artistic director at the Playwrights' Center. "He's writing about the intersection of Blackness, queerness and domestic abuse. This is a story we don't see on stage very often, and one we need."

Harrison David Rivers is the winner of a GLAAD Media Award, a McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting, a Many Voices Fellowship, a Van Lier Fellowship, an Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship and the New York Stage & Film's Founders Award. He was the 2016 Playwright-in-Residence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. His plays include "Sweet" (National Black Theatre), "And She Would Stand Like This" (The Movement Theatre Company), "Where Storms are Born" (Williamstown) and "When Last We Flew" (Sundance). Harrison is an alumnus of the Emerging Writers' Group at The Public Theater. M.F.A.: Columbia University.

The Ruth Easton New Play Series provides selected Playwrights' Center Core Writers with 20 hours of workshop time to develop a new play with collaborators of their choice: top local and national actors, directors, designers and dramaturgs. Each play has two public readings, allowing the playwright to experiment and see the play on its feet in front of two different audiences. The Center brings in visiting artistic leaders to see the readings and connect with the playwrights, and more than half of the plays developed in the series over the past decade have gone on to production.

The 2017-18 Ruth Easton New Play Series previously featured "The Overcoat: A Low-Fi Musical" by Kira Obolensky, "How The Ghost Of You Clings, The Anna May Wong Story" by John Olive, "Three Quarter Inches of Sky" by Sherry Kramer and "Quiver" by Meg Miroshnik.

All events in the Ruth Easton New Play Series are free and open to the public. Reserve your spots at or by contacting the Playwrights' Center at (612) 332-7481 or Find accessibility information at


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