MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 13, 2016) — The Playwrights’ Center presents two free public readings of Core Writer Susan Soon He Stanton’s new play “SEEK” as part of the 2015-16 Ruth Easton New Play Series. The readings are Monday, Feb. 1 and Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Playwrights’ Center, 2301 E. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. Reserve tickets at pwcenter.org or 612-332-7481.
“SEEK” is a fictional retelling of a real life event, when British mystery writer Agatha Christie disappeared in 1926, returning 11 days later and claiming amnesia. In Stanton’s play, she imagines Christie as the uninvited houseguest of Bulli, a single dad in a tiny house on the Big Island of Hawaii. Burdened by a secret and chased halfway around the world, Christie’s life begins to resemble the dark stories she imagined.
The cast includes Moses Goods, Bobby Kai Foley*, Remy Auberjonois*, Terry Hempleman*, and Michael Wieser* (*Member of Actors’ Equity Association). Patricia McGregor will direct.
“Susan has been working on this script with a particular actor in mind to play Bulli, Moses Goods,” says Playwrights’ Center Producing Artistic Director Jeremy B. Cohen. “But because Moses lives in Hawaii and Susan lives in New York, they haven’t been able to work on the play together in person. We’re so excited to be flying him in for this workshop and welcoming this vital collaborator to the Center.”
“It was one of the largest manhunts of all time,” playwright Susan Soon He Stanton says about the search for Agatha Christie in 1926. “Over a thousand police officers were assigned to the case and hundreds of civilian volunteers. At the place where they found her car, people were selling fake locks of her hair.” Stanton says she wants audiences to see Christie not as the “older, best-selling authoress” many think of when they hear Christie’s name, but as “a vibrant, confused woman. At the time of her disappearance, she was in the middle of her life, the middle of her career, and the love of her life had just betrayed her. She didn’t know what to do next.”
Susan Soon He Stanton, a Core Writer with the Playwrights’ Center, is a playwright and screenwriter based in New York, originally from the consonant-free town of Aiea, Hawaii. Plays include “SEEK,” “Takarazuka!!!,” “cygnus,” “Furball,” “The Things Are Against Us,” “The Underneath” and more. Her work has been produced or developed at Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, Joe’s Pub, the Lark, Kennedy Center, East West Players, Terra Nova, Flea, Kumu Kahua Theatre, and others. She is a member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab and was a member of the Public Emerging Writer’s Group, SoHo Rep Writer-Director Lab, and the Van Lier fellowship at the Lark. M.F.A.: Yale Playwriting.
The Ruth Easton New Play Series provides Playwrights’ Center Core Writers with 20 hours of workshop time to develop a new play in collaboration with top-notch actors and other theater artists, as well as two public readings, giving audience members a unique and immediate way to experience new work and a chance to be part of the creative process. Plays recently seen in the Ruth Easton New Play Series that have productions this theater season include Gabriel Jason Dean’s “Terminus” (The Vortex), Mona Mansour’s “The Way West” (Labyrinth Theater Company), Samuel D. Hunter’s “The Few” (Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, CoHo Productions, Steep Theatre), and Idris Goodwin’s “The REALNESS: A Break Beat Play” (Merrimack Repertory Theatre).
Read an interview with Susan He Stanton here.
The 2015-16 Ruth Easton New Play Series will also feature “California Love” by Alice Tuan (March 7–8), and “A Guide for the Homesick” by Ken Urban (April 4–5). Details at pwcenter.org/ruth-easton-series.
All events in the Ruth Easton New Play Series are free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended; reserve your spots at pwcenter.org or by contacting the Playwrights’ Center at (612) 332-7481 or [email protected].