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First Stage Offers A Home For New Plays

Jennifer Hubbartt
First Stage
The cast of First Stage's production of “On The Wings of a Mariposa.”";s:

Anyone who runs an arts organization will tell you that new work is often the hardest thing to sell to an audience. How do you convince people to take the risk to experience something new? Well, you could do what First Stage does: be a place where audiences expect new work every season.

The theater runs a series of new play readings offered throughout the season and they offer fully staged productions of new work as well. This year, Alvaro Saar Rios and Jim DeVita are the featured playwrights. Saar Rios' play is called On the Wings of a Mariposa, and is playing now through Nov. 10. DeVita's play, Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand, opens this spring.

Saar Rios and DeVita join First Stage Artistic Director Jeff Frank to talk with Lake Effect about what having resident playwrights mean for both the company and the audience it serves: 

Frank says making space for the new is part of the company's DNA.

"Young people who come to see shows with their families, it's often the first theater experience they have," he explains. "So it is our responsibility to make sure that experience is incredible, transcendent, wonderful."

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.