Marion McClinton, Eric Anderson and Louise Smith will contribute to the 10th Anniversary Fresh Ink Series, a new play development series, including six fully staged plays, three free readings and a writing workshop, at the Illusion Theatre in Minneapolis, MN. Fresh Ink, funded in part by the Jerome Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, runs at the Illusion Theatre over six weekends, June 19-Aug. 2.
Jeffrey Hatcher’s Three Viewings was a part of the 1995 Fresh Ink Series, and was subsequently produced at Off-Broadway’s Manhattan Theatre Club. Hatcher says, “By performing my scripts at full tilt, Fresh Ink has shown me what worked and what didn’t...without Fresh Ink, a good deal of the success I’ve had in the theatre would never have taken place.”
Other playwrights who have either participated in the program or received full-blown premieres at the Illusion include Jon Klein, Jo Carson, Ping Chong, David Feldshuh and Dr. Endesha Ida Mae Holland.
For the series, the Illusion transforms its mainstage into a more intimate theatre, placing risers on the stage. Seating is limited to 100, and the box office suggests audiences bring pillows for comfort.
Following each performance, audience members are invited and encouraged to join a discussion with the playwrights and creative collaborators-- giving feedback that is frequently incorporated into rewrites. Here’s the 1997 Fresh Ink Line-up:
Hereafter: Music by Robert Hartmann, book and lyrics by Scott Keys and Robert Hartmann . An ex-priest moves into an abandoned church after the loss of his lover, to discover the church is actually inhabited by four outcasts-- and his lover’s ghost (June 19-22).
Interfacing Joan: A one-woman show written and performed by Louise Smith, with original direction by Ping Chong, about Joan of Arc and the modern woman, exploring faith in the age of virtual reality and moral ambiguity (June 26-29).
An Evening With Miss Richfield 1981 and Dane Stauffer: A variety show written and performed by Russ King and Dane Stauffer, with comedy and song (July 10-13).
Burning and Never Going Cold a musical revue, conceived by David Harris in collaboration with Eric Bentley, featuring the lyrics of Bertolt Brecht, to the music of Hanns Eisler, Kurt Weill, Darius Milhaud, and Stefan Wolpe, with new translations by Bentley. Featuring singers Manon Gimlett and David Harris, with pianist Craig Johnson (July 17-20).
Angelheaded Hipster: A Howl for Allen a poetic, innovative cabaret/play about Allen Ginsberg, the poltical poet who recently died April 5 , 1997, at the age of 70. The Village Voice described Ginsberg as “everything America hoped and feared a poet could become.” Adapted and directed by Kent Stephens (July 26-Aug 2).
The free readings are Leap in the Dark, by Eric Anderson (June 21); 3x3 by Louise Smith (June 28), and Enlightenments on an Enchanted Island by Marion McClinton (Aug. 2). The Writing From Your Life Workshop will take place July 19, by local playwrights Beth Gilleland, Kim Hines, Bonnie Morris and Michael Robins. For tickets or more information, call (612) 339-4944, or refer to the Illusion Theatre regional listing on Playbill On-Line.
--By Blair Glaser