Miroshnik’s play about Christian mega-families coming to the Playwrights’ Center
MINNEAPOLIS (Feb. 14, 2018) — The 2017-18 Ruth Easton New Play Series at the Playwrights’ Center continues March 5 and 6 with Core Writer Meg Miroshnik’s new play “Quiver.”
The readings begin at 7 p.m. at the Playwrights’ Center, located at 2301 E. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. The readings are free, but reservations are recommended and can be made at pwcenter.org.
Former free-spirit Juju has a new husband, a new religious calling, and, now that she’s in labor, very nearly a new baby.
Not new? Juju’s dutiful teenage daughter, Morgan, an aspiring midwife. As Juju’s labor speeds up, a surprise visitor from their past arrives, forcing Juju and Morgan to wrestle with their conflicting visions of the future. Set inside the Christian Quiverfull movement (think TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting), Quiver is a story about family, faith, really long labors, and redemption.
“This play is set in the Quiverfull movement,” said playwright Meg Miroshnik, “which is a strain of Christian fundamentalism that encourages families to have as many children as biologically possible. The play came at me from a bunch of different angles: In my guilty-pleasure reality TV watching, I was transfixed by the Duggar family of TLC’s ‘19 Kids and Counting.’ And then as an intellectual curiosity, I started to notice some of the fringe views embraced by Quiverfull-adherents like Christian Dominionism popping up in mainstream conversations. From a personal perspective, I wanted to find a way to capture the long labors and childbirths I’d had in short succession in some kind of story.”
Miroshnik will be collaborating with director Hayley Finn; dramaturg Wendy Weckwerth; and actors Christina Baldwin*, Katherine Fried, Tony Sarnicki and Sun Mee Chomet* (*Member of Actors’ Equity Association). Miroshnik did a previous workshop of “Quiver” at the Playwrights’ Center in December 2016, also with Finn and Baldwin.
“‘Quiver’ will get you thinking about both the cultural narrative and the lived experience of motherhood in 2018,” said Jeremy B. Cohen, producing artistic director at the Playwrights’ Center. “How is reproduction being politicized and monetized, both inside and outside of faith movements? What does it mean for the public life of women, and how does this in turn alter our country’s civic strength? Meg is a great theatrical thinker about the weight of patriarchy, historically and in present day. This play asks questions with an understanding that the answers we choose all lead to very different futures, especially for women.”
Meg Miroshnik’s plays include “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls,” “The Droll,” “The Tall Girls,” “Lady Tattoo,” and an adaptation of the libretto for Shostakovich’s “Moscow, Cheryomushki.” Her work has been produced and developed by Yale Rep, Alliance Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Rep, McCarter Theatre Center, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, Lark New Play Development Center, Chicago Opera Theater, WET, and others. Awards: Whiting Award, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award. Commissions: South Coast Rep, Steppenwolf, and Yale Rep. MFA: Yale School of Drama under Paula Vogel. Meg grew up in Minneapolis and currently lives in Los Angeles where she is a founding member of The Kilroys. www.thekilroys.org and www.megmiroshnik.com.
The Ruth Easton New Play Series provides selected Playwrights’ Center Core Writers with 20 hours of workshop time to develop a new play with collaborators of their choice: top local and national actors, directors, designers and dramaturgs. Each play has two public readings, allowing the playwright to experiment and see the play on its feet in front of two different audiences. The Center brings in visiting artistic leaders to see the readings and connect with the playwrights, and more than half of the plays developed in the series over the past decade have gone on to production.
The 2017-18 Ruth Easton New Play Series previously featured “The Overcoat: A Low-Fi Musical” by Kira Obolensky, “How The Ghost Of You Clings, The Anna May Wong Story” by John Olive, and “Three Quarter Inches of Sky” by Sherry Kramer. The series will conclude with “the bandaged place” by Harrison David Rivers on April 9 and 10.
All events in the Ruth Easton New Play Series are free and open to the public. Reserve your spots at pwcenter.org/ruth-easton-