The 2021-22 Ruth Easton New Play Series
The 2021-22 Ruth Easton New Play Series

photo by Becca Dilley

The Ruth Easton New Play Series

October 2021–February 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.

 

TIMEBOMB 
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?

 

THIS HAPPENED ONCE AT THE ROMANCE DEPOT OFF THE I-87 IN WESTCHESTER
by Gina Femia

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.  

 

WHITTIER
by TyLie Shider

In-person: Tuesday, December 7, and Wednesday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. CST
Available online: Wednesday, December 15 – Tuesday, December 21

A contemporary docudrama that follows a diverse community of neighbors quarantined in Whittier, Minneapolis, days after the murder of George Floyd.

 

DECOYS
by Gracie Gardner

In-person: Tuesday, January 18, and Wednesday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m. CST
Available online: Wednesday, January 26 – Tuesday, February 1

There’s something weird about the kid. She’s making everything confusing. Things were simpler before. Getting away on the weekends provides some clarity. Carl doesn’t believe in vacations. Pete is at peace, and won’t budge. They are friends, they have nothing in common except the situations. Everything is turning into something else. What if nothing went wrong? 

 

THA CHINK-MART
by Ray Yamanouchi

In-person: Tuesday, February 8, and Wednesday, February 9 at 7:00 p.m. CST
Available online: Wednesday, February 16 – Tuesday, February 22

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.

 

A brief note regarding COVID-19 protocols

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 emilym@pwcenter.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

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.

The 17th Annual Ruth Easton New Play Series
by Carson Kreitzer
In-person: Tuesday, October 5, and Wednesday, October 6 at 7 p.m. Available online: Wednesday, October 13 – Tuesday, October 19
Venue:
Cost:
Free
by Gina Femia
In-person: Tuesday, November 2, and Wednesday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. Available online: Wednesday, November 10 – Tuesday, November 16
Venue:
Cost:
Free
by TyLie Shider
A headshot of playwright TyLie Shider. He is smiling at the camera. A bear covers his face.
In-person: Tuesday, December 7, and Wednesday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. Available online: Wednesday, December 15 – Tuesday, December 21
Venue:
Cost:
Free
by Gracie Gardner
In-person: Tuesday, January 18, and Wednesday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m. Available online: Wednesday, January 26 – Tuesday, February 1
Venue:
Cost:
Free
by Ray Yamanouchi
In-person: Tuesday, February 8, and Wednesday, February 9 at 7:00 p.m. Available online: Wednesday, February 16 – Tuesday, February 22
Venue:
Cost:
Free