We are proud to host the 2nd Annual Playfest at the Henry Strater Theatre. Playfest strives to make professional artistic expertise and experience accessible to students, educators and community member in the Four Corners region by inviting professional playwrights, actors and directors from New York, Los Angeles and regional theaters to spend one week in Durango rehearsing exciting new plays. For tickets and to see who the playwrights, directors, and actors performing this year, visit https://www.durangoplayfest.org/
Thursday and Friday night the rehearsals are open to a ticketed audience. The plays are as follows.
My Ántonia, by Meg Miroshnik
In this exuberant new adaptation of Willa Cather’s 1918 classic novel, new immigrant Ántonia and orphan Jim Burden strive to make lives for themselves on the Nebraska prairie. Bursting with music, adventure, and emotion, this coming-of-age tale wrestles with the notion of what it means to be an American. My Ántonia asks urgent questions about assimilation, the American experiment, and can we ever tell someone else’s story? That feels as resonant today as they must have a century ago.
The Ways of Necessity, by Stephen Nathan
Richard is a successful accountant who feels that his life couldn’t be better. He has a wonderful, somewhat neurotic family and a thriving practice which he shares with his oldest son. All is well until he receives some devastating news. He has a fast moving cancer that will overtake him within the next couple of months. The family tries to rally but Richard has been their rock and each member struggles to deal with the coming loss. This is compounded when Richard reveals a secret he has kept from them, one that will alter their lives as much as his upcoming death. We watch as their family is tested and learns what love is in the face of overwhelming adversity.
A Shift in Gravity, by Kathleen McGhee-Anderson
What happens when two best friends, female authors, one black, one white, living and working on Martha’s Vineyard, and success is imminent for one and the other usurps it, aided and abetted by a handsome young male journalist who has dreams of his own…?
Two Hander, by Barry Kleinbort and Lois Walden
Two Hander explores the seesawing relationship between Ned Harper, a one-time off-Broadway playwright who was once considered to be the next Mamet but is now teaching at the New School in New York City, and his star pupil, Sheila Lawrence, a bright but unhappy Westchester housewife who has serendipitously enrolled in his beginning playwriting course. Sheila convinces Ned to collaborate with her on writing a “two hander” (a play with only two characters) and they embark on a literary adventure which quickly evolves into a heated love tryst that can only end in ultimate betrayal. Over the play’s twenty year time span, we watch these two vital verbal gymnasts ride the waves of Broadway success, hard won independence, personal heartbreak and, at the final curtain, arrive at a place of deep mutual understanding.
Ceely, by Lee Blessing
In a play that’s part comedy, part family drama, we meet Ceely. Born and raised in a classic mafia family, she’s been haunted her whole life by the one gift you wouldn’t want: clairvoyance. What she sees clearest are deaths–from old age, accidents, murders . . . The head of the family, aware of her ability, exiled her to the countryside. But she’s only as safe as she is silent, and she longs to see her family again. Her brother Beeno, assigned to keep an eye on her, has grown nervous since Ceely started talking to a young journalism student. What’s she talking about? Where’s that information going? This is not the kind of family that grants do-overs.