ST. PAUL, MINN.: Six Points Theater has announced its inaugural New-Play Reading Festival, with three new plays to receive filmed readings. All performances will be available in a pay-per-view model online from March 2-20, and actor and director Robert Dorfman will serve as festival director. The festival lineup includes The Book of Vashti by late Minneapolis-based playwright Barbara Field, Jessica Fechtor’s Book of Hours, and Mathew Goldstein’s Groupthink.
“For Six Points Theater’s first ever new-play festival, we have chosen to feature plays that, while acknowledging our great tapestry of differences, might help us reflect on our commonalities and can hopefully help us navigate through these sometimes difficult, sometimes miraculous times,” Dorfman said in a statement.
The Book of Vashti is a comedic retelling of the Book of Esther through the eyes of the banished Persian queen Vashti. Jeremy Cohen will direct. Field’s work as a playwright was seen throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and she was both a co-founder of the Playwrights’ Center and a literary manager at the Guthrie Theater for eight years. She was a playwright in residence at the O’Neill’s National Playwrights Conference twice and was a co-winner of the Humana Festival’s Great American Play contest for Neutral Countries. Her 1982 adaptation of Dickens’s Great Expectations for Seattle Children’s Theatre won the L.A. Drama Critics Award in 1996. She served as a panel member and site reporter for the National Endowment for the Arts, and her last play produced at the Guthrie was the Frankenstein adaptation Playing with Fire in 2018. Field passed in 2021 at 87.
Book of Hours follows two different couples who reveal themselves to each other in a multilayered meditation on loss, grief, love, and living at a mountain cabin retreat. Fechtor is a bestselling author based in San Francisco known for the memoir Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home. A 2021 LABA fellow, Fechtor is a member of the PlayGround writer’s pool and was a finalist for the O’Neill’s National Playwrights Conference for Book of Hours. Book of Hours was developed by the Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Great Plains Theatre Commons.
The business satire Groupthink follows the young and idealistic Kevin, who works for a public relations firm that’s taking on one of the world’s most controversial clients. Goldstein, who is making his theatrical debut with Groupthink, works as a speech writer in Washington, D.C. A native Minnesotan, Goldstein has worked in public relations and as a writer for a healthcare advocacy group. Dorfman will direct.
Tickets for individual shows are $12, and a $30 ticket allows access to all three shows.
Six Points Theater, formerly known as Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, was founded in 1994 by producing artistic director Barbara Brooks to engage people of all backgrounds in work rooted in Jewish content that explores differences, illuminates commonalities, and fosters greater understanding among all people.
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