Playwrights' Center Sets Lineup for 2017 PlayLabs Festival

Playwrights' Center Sets Lineup for 2017 PlayLabs Festival

The Playwrights' Center's annual PlayLabs new play festival runs Monday, October 23, through Sunday, October 29, 2017. The featured playwrights are Jason Gray Platt ("Take Care"), Jen Silverman ("In the Time of the Volcano") and Alice Tuan ("A Humbling in St. Paul"), all Core Writers at the Center. The festival also includes a Playwriting Fellows Showcase. Tickets are free and can be reserved at

For more than 30 years, the Playwrights' Center's PlayLabs festival has been one of the nation's most comprehensive play development programs. Playwrights receive 30 hours of workshop time with a team of collaborators (including designers) and two public readings-with time for rewrites in between. More than 65% of the plays featured in PlayLabs over the past decade have gone on to production, and the festival has become a must-attend event for theater leaders and fans both locally and from around the country.

"These long workshops, especially when paired with two readings, open up space for playwrights to do real, extensive work and experimentation with their scripts," says Jeremy B. Cohen, producing artistic director of the Playwrights' Center. "PlayLabs provides a fertile environment for ambitious plays doing new things with form or content-the types of plays that are hard to move forward during one- or two-day workshops. Jason, Jen and Alice are coming to the festival with big plays and the courage to challenge themselves. I'm thrilled to support them and excited to share their work with Twin Cities audiences."

All PlayLabs events are free and open to the public, and take place at the Playwrights' Center, 2301 E. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. For tickets, see or contact the Playwrights' Center at (612) 332-7481 or

Here's the schedule for PlayLabs 2017:

"A Humbling in St. Paul" by Alice Tuan
Monday, October 23, and Friday, October 27, at 7 p.m.

Olive Chung comes to the Twin Cities to work on a new play and reconnects with her grad school friend Liz Manuel after being out of touch for a decade. While staying with Liz and her wife, Sharine Hopewell, and their pups, Bell and Musco, Olive gets what she thinks is food poisoning. It turns out to be much more mysterious and severe than anyone imagined. A play about the guest/host space, infection, the performance of normalcy, unseen presence, the body rebelling against the mind, optimism, gratitude, and, yes, friendship.

Director: Laurie Woolery**
Lighting design consultant: Karin Olson
Cast: Sophia Kim*, Marlina Gonzalez, Larissa Kiel*

"Take Care" by Jason Gray Platt
Tuesday, October 24, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, October 28, at 1 p.m.

Ella gathers her family together for the holidays to have the delicate conversation surrounding her end-of-life plans. But the emotionally strenuous conversation does not go as she had hoped. So the discussion happens again. And again. But each time another family member is missing, and the conversation goes slightly differently, until it becomes apparent that the end of Ella's life isn't the only approaching tragedy for which a plan needs to be made. Because time is running out.

Director: Tracy Brigden**
Dramaturg: Rachel Jendrzejewski
Set design consultant: Kate Sutton-Johnson
Cast: Linda Kelsey*, Maggie Bearmon Pistner*, Tracey Maloney*, Kimberly Richardson*, MerEdith Casey, Clarence Wethern*

"In the Time of the Volcano" by Jen Silverman
Wednesday, October 25, and Saturday, October 28, at 7 p.m.

Henry has become the janitor at his kids' high school after losing his job, while his wife Luce struggles to hold onto her own. Meanwhile, their two sons are struggling to understand their own potential as they become ever more aware of their parents' failures. When strange news from the past reaches Henry, it explodes into all of their lives, changing how they see Henry-and ultimately themselves. A play about what happens when we're offered a chance at dreams we didn't even know we had....

Director: Jeremy B. Cohen**
Dramaturg: Kimberly Colburn
Cast: Stephen Yoakam*, Angela Timberman*, Bowen Cochran, Justin Mark*, Stephanie Bertumen, Shelby Richardson

PlayLabs Party
Saturday, October 28, following the 7 p.m. reading of "In the Time of the Volcano"

A party to celebrate the PlayLabs artists and the local theater community.

Playwriting Fellows Showcase
Sunday, October 29, at noon

Scenes from new work by Jerome Fellows Mia Chung, Jessica Huang, Tim J. Lord, and Tori Sampson; Many Voices Fellows Stacey Rose and Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay; McKnight Fellows in Playwriting Benjamin Benne and Rachel Jendrzejewski; and McKnight National Residency and Commission Recipient Mfoniso Udofia.

Director: Kate Powers**

*Member of Actors' Equity Association
**Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

Related Articles

View More Minneapolis / St. Paul
Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram