photo by Becca Dilley
The Ruth Easton New Play Series
October 2021–March 2022
The Ruth Easton New Play Series affords artists the freedom, resources, and time to radically experiment with their new plays.
Now entering its 17th year, this Series uniquely brings together artists with space, support, and over 30 hours of development time, and is made possible by the generous support of the Ruth Easton Fund of the Edelstein Family Foundation. Five featured Core and Affiliated Writers hand-select their own team of renowned artists to workshop their new plays through this inspiring program. Of all the plays developed through the Ruth Easton New Play Series, over half have gone on to full productions around the world.
This year, to invite remote audiences to enjoy the magic of theater, live performances will be recorded and made available for online viewing for one week afterward.
Note: as of January 2022, due to the ongoing pandemic, all readings have been moved online until further notice.
by Carson Kreitzer
In-person: Tuesday, October 5, and Wednesday, October 6 at 7 p.m. CDT
Available online: Wednesday, October 13 – Tuesday, October 19
A scientist testifies before Congress. Old lovers reunite. A man at the top of the Andes paints the mountaintop white, chasing the receding line of snow. What is the correct response to a world on fire? Originally commissioned by the American Repertory Theater, with the Harvard University Center for the Environment, TIMEBOMB is a new climate change comedy (yep, a comedy) that asks: What do we do now?
In-person: Tuesday, November 2, and Wednesday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. CDT
Available online: Wednesday, November 10 – Tuesday, November 16
Kevin owns a Romance Depot. Beth needs a vibrator. The two of them form an unlikely relationship that straddles the line between friendship and romance. What happens when two lonely people find one another? A funny and heartbreaking play that explores the complex intersections of sex, sexuality, love, romance, and trauma.
THINGS WITH FRIENDS
by Kristoffer Diaz
Available online: Wednesday, January 26 – Tuesday, February 1
Manhattan. Burt and Adele are hosting a dinner party. Steak is on the stove. The George Washington Bridge has collapsed into the Hudson. I've already said too much.
DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU
by Dominic Orlando
Our dear friend Dominic Orlando passed away on November 17, 2021. In his memory, Playwrights' Center is partnering with Arizona Theatre Company to produce an online reading of DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU as part of the '21-22 Ruth Easton New Play Series.
Online reading Monday, February 7
2004, in a small, suburban town in Long Island, New York, five Asian American teenage friends battle through high school—where they’re marked as Asians—and their ethnic home fronts—where they’re too American. Finding solace only amongst each other, they attempt to define for themselves what it means to be an Asian in America… For better or for worse.
by Wax Factory + Rachel Jendrzejewski
Online reading Tuesday, March 22 at 7:00 pm CDT
In partnership with the Network of Ensemble Theaters
Traces is an immersive play inspired by French artist Sophie Calle, who often engages in controversial, “famously first-person” feats, such as impersonating fictional characters in real-life situations. In this experimental work, audiences will receive audio devices and be prompted to follow a performer through real public locations, recording and uploading their actions to a website where they can peruse and compare notes with the journeys of others.
A brief note regarding COVID-19 protocols
Note: as of January 2022, Ruth Easton readings and other Playwrights' Center events will be shifting online temporarily.
We're absolutely thrilled to welcome patrons for live, in-person performances at Playwrights' Center and ask that you help us in ensuring everyone's safety while on the premises. To that end, we're taking the following measures:
- All persons entering the building must wear a face mask at all times while in the Center, and must present proof of being fully vaccinated upon entry.
- Seating will be assigned. We will do our best to accommodate groups, but we ask that you refrain from moving to a seat outside of those assigned to your group. For accessibility needs, please contact Emily Mathees, Executive Staff Administrator, at rsvp @pwcenter.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- There will be no beverage service. Patrons are welcome to bring a personal beverage with a lid, however. Please keep your mask up when not drinking.
- There will be no social gathering in the lobby before or after the reading. Instead, Playwrights' Center staff will be on hand to guide you to the exits once the reading concludes.
All persons entering our building agree to follow the aforementioned Center requirements, guidelines, and procedures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The Funders of the Ruth Easton New Play Series
Actress Ruth Easton (nee Edelstein) was born in North Branch, Minnesota and graduated from North Branch High School. She attended the University of Minnesota for one year and the following year attended Macalester College before finishing her collegiate career at Cumnock School in Los Angeles. She went on to New York where she studied acting with Oliver Morosco. Mr. Morosco opened a stock theater company in upstate New York where Ms. Easton starred in several plays. After performing with other stock theater companies she returned to New York City where she appeared in five Broadway plays over a period of seven years. They included Exceedingly Small, Privilege Car, Town Bay, Buckaroo and Charlie Chan. Exceedingly Small was directed by Ethel Barrymore and Easton played opposite Eric Dressler. New York critics praised her performance as “thoroughly touching” and “highly spirited and excellent.” She starred in radio dramas on the Rudy Vallee Hour and the Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour opposite such actors as Walter Huston, Judith Anderson and Lionel Barrymore. She also appeared with Clark Gable, Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson during the course of her career. Ms. Easton’s legacy, her commitment to theater and the development of new works continues through the charitable gifts made by the Ruth Easton Fund of the Edelstein Family Foundation.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.