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Barbara Field

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Barbara Field’s work has been seen across the United States, Canada and Europe. She served as playwright-in-residence at the Guthrie Theater from 1974 to 1981, creating a number of pieces: her translations include Marriage (Gogol), Monsieur de Moliere (Bulgakov), and Pantalgleize (Ghelderode). Adaptations for the Guthrie from novels include Camille (Dumas) and Playing With Fire, a response to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. An adaptation commissioned by the Seattle Children’s Theater of Great Expectations later played at the Guthrie and traveled the country on an 8-month tour. A revival of Great Expectations won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award. Field’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol has been a part of the Guthrie’s, Louisville’s and the Missouri Rep’s seasons. For the Seattle Children’s Theater she adapted The Boxcar Children and Philip Pullman’s I Was a Rat! Her adaptation of Dreams in the Golden Country was performed at the Kennedy Center and on a national tour. Her adaptation of Scaramouche was performed at the Washington Shakespeare Theatre.

Her original work includes Neutral Countries, first produced at the Actors Theater of Louisville’s Humana Festival in 1983, where it was named Best American Play; Coming of Age for the Indiana Rep; Quality Time for the Pennsylvania Stage Company; Boundary Waters for California’s South Coast Rep (it subsequently won a 1992 DramaLogue Award); and Off the Ice for the Repertory Theater of St. Louis.

She has written one original opera libretto, Rosina (with composer Hiram Titus), which was commissioned and produced by the Minnesota Opera. With Titus she created a musical, The Skinflint, for the Repertory Theater of St. Louis.

Field is a founding member of The Playwrights’ Center, Minneapolis. A book of seven of her plays for the Guthrie Theater, New Classics from the Guthrie Theater was published in 2003 by Smith & Kraus. Barbara Field’s first anthology: Collected Plays, Volume One was published in 2008.

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The Crackatook


Part of the Ruth Easton New Play Series

The Crackatook is a fairy tale for adults of all ages. Siblings Fritz and Marie journey with their godfather Drosselmeier to obtain the rare crackatook nut, which will reverse a spell made long ago. Pulling familiar characters from the stories of E.T.A. Hoffmann, this new tale reinvigorates Hoffman’s creepiness and muscle, while exploring the themes of imagination, rationalism and the end of childhood from a thoroughly modern perspective.

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Director: Jeremy B. Cohen
Sound designer: C. Andrew Mayer
Cast: Raye Birk*, Dustin Valenta, David Darrow*, Pearce Bunting*, Anna Reichert*, Charity Jones*, Adia Morris*, Nathan Tylutki

*Member of Actors’ Equity

Read an interview with Barbara about The Crackatook »



A year of free room and board, scintillating conversation and compelling company at a renowned artist’s colony? Sounds too good to be true to Edward MacKenzie, a has been artist whose career once was. He’s looking for inspiration, but what he discovers is a collection of temperamental artists – and a corpse. Along the way, he has a close encounter with his past and his future.

The House of Seven Gables

Adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne
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An adaptation of The House of the Seven Gables, which is set in a gloomy New England mansion, haunted from its foundation by fraudulent dealings, accusations of witchcraft, and sudden death. The current resident, the dignified but desperately poor Hepzibah Pyncheon, opens a shop in a side room to support her brother Clifford, who is about to leave prison after serving thirty years for murder. A distant relative, the pretty young Phoebe, turns up and quickly becomes invaluable, charming customers and rousing Clifford from depression.

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