Framing Suzan-Lori Parks: Directing Challenges and Discoveries

Things could get interesting when the English and Theater departments at the U of M embark on a joint investigation of Suzan-Lori Parks’s oeuvre. This Pulitzer- and MacArthur Genius Grant-winning playwright boasts a body of work that’s rich in poetics and historic awareness, yet audacious enough to confront issues of emotional brutality head-on. (In other words, beware of over-intellectualizing.) The series kicks off when Frank Theatre, the local company with the most Parks plays under its belt, excerpts its productions of The America Play, Venus, and Fucking A (Rarig Center, February 26). Frank’s founder and artistic director, Wendy Knox, also joins a panel of experts to discuss what it’s like to direct Parks’s plays (Rarig Center, March 4); and the series culminates with Parks in the flesh at Ted Mann Concert Hall on March 26, where she will lecture, play her guitar, and “show her ass,” as she likes to (metaphorically) put it.

University of Minnesota, 612-626-1528.