ST. LOUIS: The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival has announced the 2023 Confluence New Play Festival, to run April 14-16. Members of St. Louis Shakespeare Festival’s 2022 Confluence Regional Writers Project cohort will present new works at the new-play festival, including e.k. doolin of Edwardsville, Ill., Hanna Kime of St. Louis and Chicago, and Novid Parsi of St. Louis.
“The mission from the start of Confluence has always been to foster a culture of playwriting in and
around St. Louis that gives new works from the Midwest a chance to thrive,” said producing artistic director Tom Ridgely in a statement. “Our goal is to create a space for relationships to be built with
directors, actors and audiences. That’s how we believe we can help make St. Louis a home for the next generation of American theatremakers.”
Parsi’s The Life You Gave Me will premiere April 14. The play follows a son who tries to save his mother as two mysterious strangers watch the play and intervene. Adam Flores will direct, with dramaturgy by Robert Maesaka. Parsi’s work has been produced and developed with Golden Thread Productions, the New Group, and Silk Road Rising, among others. He is a Jeff Award nominee and his work has been recognized by the O’Neill’s National Playwrights Conference and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
Dogs by Hanna Kime will premiere April 15. The play takes place on the Fourth of July as five women compete in a hot dog eating contest in an intense exploration of capitalism, competition, and consumption. Nancy Bell will direct and provide dramaturgy. Kime is a St. Louis-born, Chicago-based playwright whose work has been produced and developed with Steep Theatre and Jackalope Theatre, among others, and she is an ensemble member at Sideshow Theatre Company. Kime was previously the literary manager First Floor Theater and is an O’Neill National Playwrights Conference finalist.
Titania & Oberon’s Road Trip by e.k. doolin follows Shakespeare’s fairies as their eternal relationship is no longer working out. Miranda Jagels Félix will direct, with dramaturgy by Susie Lawrence. Doolin’s work has been produced by the Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble, Prison Performing Arts, and the Geneva Theatre Guild, among others. Her one-act Running Uphill to Smooth Criminal was a Region 3 finalist in the 2022 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. She is currently an MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University.
Additionally, a free student presentation will be held on April 16 in partnership with Southern Illinois University’s MFA program. Students will present a reading of MFA candidate Pearl Moore’s Murphy’s Law of Pretenders, directed by Segun Ojewuyi. The play follows four friends who go to their school reunion and find themselves sucked into their childhood dress-up chest.
Applications for St. Louis Shakespeare Festival’s 2023 Confluence Regional Writers Project are now open.
St. Louis Shakespeare Festival strives to foster community and joy through the Shakespearean tradition of art for all. The Festival produces a year-round season of impactful programming in Missouri and Illinois. As of 2021, the theatre had a budget of approximately $2 million.
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