California Love

The reading of a new play at Playwrights Center next month! From the press release:

Playwright Alic Tuan

The Playwrights’ Center presents two readings of Core Writer Alice Tuan’s new play “California Love” as part of the 2015-16 Ruth Easton New Play Series. The readings are Monday, March 7 and Tuesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. at the Playwrights’ Center, 2301 E. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. The readings are free, but reservations are encouraged. Reserve tickets at, or (612) 332-7481.

“California Love” is a meditation on surfing existence and living from one’s center. Cali, a mature surfer lady who is super-attached to her beige Toyota Corolla, encounters a cool but mysterious surfer fellow. They commune in waters, tread tides, and dodge pollution. They are joined by Nio, a land creature who faces his fears as he follows Cali into the water. The play explores the ocean—its rhythm, its sound and light—as a refuge away from land and its chatter.

Director Lisa Peterson, a California native like Tuan, will direct the workshop. Peterson may be familiar to Twin Cities audiences; she has directed several shows at the Guthrie Theater.

Playwright Alice Tuan says, “I wrote ‘California Love’ after hearing about Surf Crit, an art class led by Keith Rocka Knittel, where students would critically discuss art and practice, in situ, in the ocean, while waiting for waves. Usually artists talk about art in each other’s studios, a static space. I thought about the dynamic ocean, how conversations of conceptual ideas mixed with the buoying, the paddling, the elements. Then, as waves gathered and crested, actually having to move out of your head, surf, crash, and then re-paddle back up and continue the conversation, either jiggled up by the ocean, or starting another idea anew.”

“This is the first workshop of Alice’s three-year term as Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center,” says Playwrights’ Center Producing Artistic Director Jeremy B. Cohen. “She’s been collaborating with Lisa Peterson, who is one of the most important and vital directors in the United States over the past 25 years, and I’m thrilled we can bring Lisa to the Center to work in collaboration with Alice on this gorgeous and meditative new piece.”

Alice Tuan’s “Hit” premiered May 2014 at Los Angeles Theatre Center. “Private Rivals,” an updated extension of Coward, is a commission of Yale Rep/Binger Center for New Theatre. Tuan is best known for “Ajax (por nobody),” written about in “The Shelf Life of Shock” (Drama Review, F’13). Other plays include “Batch” (Humana Festival), “Last of the Suns” (Berkeley Rep, Ma-Yi Theater), “Roaring Girle” (Foundry), “Ikebana” (East West/Taper, Too, Dramalogue Award), and “Coastline” (Serious Play!, Edinburgh Fringe). Her blog “Alice in Shanghailand” is featured in “Love of Sun,” an online installation where four Chinese artists look at California and four California artists look at China (

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).

The final play in the 2015-16 Ruth Easton New Play Series will be “A Guide for the Homesick” by Ken Urban (April 4–5). Details at

All events in the Ruth Easton New Play Series are free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended; reserve your spots at or by contacting the Playwrights’ Center at (612) 332-7481 or

By Deborah Ervin

Deb holds an M.A. in Arts and Cultural Management from Saint Mary’s University, and a B.A. from the University of Minnesota where she majored in theater. Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Deb has 12 years of experience working in the nonprofit arts sector, working with Twin Cities cultural gems such as The Cedar Cultural Center, the Midtown Global Market, In the Heart of the Beast Puppetry and Mask Theatre, and more. She’s primarily drawn towards work that involves relationship building, such as communications and fundraising. Deb also has two decades of experience as an events manager for live music, theater, and dance. Her work as a stage manager has brought her into intimate collaborations with diverse communities, artists from around the globe, and projects ranging from river boat ballets to burlesque holiday shows.