Professional actors read exceptional plays — with no costumes, props, sets, or special lighting. Join us monthly in the spring and fall for our beloved play reading series at The Music Hall Loft. The Play Reading series is presented with support from:
February 16, 7:30 p.m.
Tim O’Brien’s THE THINGS THEY CARRIED
based on the award-winning novel by Tim O’Brien
adapted for the stage by Jim Stowell
Based on the quintessential book about the Vietnam experience, The Things They Carried is the powerful telling of Tim O’Brien’s personal journey from his innocent years in a small town in western Minnesota, to the jungles of Vietnam as a young American soldier, and back again. This award-winning book is adapted for stage by Jim Stowell (Red Wing and Bayfield), one of Minnesota’s finest monologuists and fellow veteran, and performed as a one-man show by Stephen D’Ambrose (NYC). It is a powerful and provocative story of loss and redemption.
Featuring Stephen D’Ambrose
March 16, 7:30 p.m.
THE HOW AND THE WHY
by Sarah Treem
Evolution and emotion collide in Sarah Treem’s thought-provoking and sharp play about science, family, and survival of the fittest. On the eve of a prestigious conference, an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. This intimate and keenly perceptive play explores the difficult choices faced by women of every generation.
“Sarah Treem’s play brims with ideas and emotional colors that eddy and refract like rivulets in a lively, plunging stream.” —Washington Post
April 6, 7:30 p.m.
by Jon Robin Baitz
This long running Off-Broadway hit from New York’s famed Circle Repertory is by the author of The Film Society, The Substance of Fire and The End of the Day. Monologues set in hotel rooms, two by an American businessman who sells defective baby formula in third world markets and one by his wife, portray a former 1960’s idealist, Hoyle, who has succumbed to the corruption so endemic to modern America. His wife talks about him, their marriage and their son who was murdered for his cheap but expensive looking wristwatch as she prepares to deliver a speech to other corporate wives. In the final hotel room, Hoyle has been fired, his marriage is over and he finally mourns for his son.
“What makes Mr. Baitz an exciting writer is not so much his familiar indictment of the cynicism and racism that can attend the expedient pursuit of capital and power but the humanity, lacerating wit and theatricality with which he levels his charge.” – The New York Times
May 11, 7:30 p.m.
I AM PROOF OF ME: A FINAL VISIT WITH EMILY DICKINSON
by Barbara Kingsley
A one-woman play about poet Emily Dickinson, winner of the 2013 MRAC Next Step Grant.
September 21, 7:30 p.m.
by Mike Bartlett
John has been in a stable relationship with his boyfriend for a number of years. But when he takes a break, he accidentally falls in love with a woman. Torn between the two, filled with guilt and conflicting emotions, he doesn’t know which way to turn. His boyfriend is willing to wait for him to make a decision, but so is his girlfriend. And both are prepared to fight to keep him. As the pressure mounts, a dinner with both parties is arranged, and everyone wants to know. Who is John? What is he? And what will his decision be? A comic discussion of identity and sexuality, the play is specified to be performed with no props or set, so the focus is all on the drama of the situation.
“Uproariously funny…COCK is a rite of spring you shouldn’t miss!” —New York Magazine.
October 19, 7:30 p.m.
WHAT’S THE WORD FOR
by Jeffrey Hatcher
In this touching, thoughtful and humorous play directed by Michael Robins, Mrs. Caleodis is in her 80s and loves crossword puzzles. Former film instructor Hayden is 30 years younger and loves watching movies. Brought together by circumstance, the pair help each other cope with the painful reality of life off the silver screen. After 17 years of creating their own brand of family, they are faced with a difficult decision and a sense that the choice isn’t actually theirs to make.
“A crafty and intriguing piece of work.” – Pioneer Press
November 16, 7:30 p.m.