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Shakespeare Festival St. Louis Sets Lineup for Inaugural New Play Festival

The Festival will present staged readings of plays created by local playwrights.

ST. LOUIS: Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has named the lineup of its first annual Confluence New Play Festival, Nov. 20-23, featuring the work of four regional playwrights.

“If we want to understand what’s going on in America today, we need to hear the stories of people living here in the heart of the country,” said producing artistic director Tom Ridgely in a statement. “These four playwrights have urgent, important things to say and are crafting wonderfully original and compelling ways to share them.”

The Confluence festival was developed in 2018 to support local playwrights in St. Louis and its radiating regions. This year’s festival will feature staged readings of The Story Blinked by Carter W. Lewis; Suffer the Children by Mariah L. Richardson; And Certain Women by Shualee Cook; and Tidy by Kristin Idaszak.

The theatre also named the three playwrights to its 2020 Confluence Regional Writers Project.. The new cohort attended a weekend retreat in early November and will visit St. Louis throughout the year for writing sessions and workshops. The 2020 cohort is Elizabeth Archer, Myah Gary, and Rob Maesaka. Their work will be presented in the 2020 festival.

“It’s exciting to be presenting these four brand new plays by our very first cohort of emerging playwrights,” said Confluence Project director Nancy Bell in a statement. “This time next year, we’ll be gathered in the theatre again to grab the first look at three more new plays that the artists have only just now begun to conceive. It’s wonderful to have plays from Chicago and New York and LA on our STL stages. We’re here to give voice to the great plays that are born here in our region, too.”

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