6th Annual Event Features New Works from Pulitzer-Nominated Kathleen Cahill
Richard Dresser, Deb Hiett, and James Anthony Tyler

DURANGO, Colo., March 11, 2024 – Durango PlayFest today announced four new works that will headline its 6th annual play development festival, June 25-30. PlayFest’s mission is to bring well-known and emerging playwrights, directors and actors to Durango to incubate new plays, hold free events for the community, and culminate the week with captivating, staged readings for local audiences.

RICHARD DRESSER will workshop his dramedy titled “All That Remains.” This marks the second time Dresser has participated in PlayFest. Dresser’s plays have been produced in New York, regional theater, and Europe. They include the widely produced “Rounding Third,” “Below the Belt, ” and “Gun-Shy.” He has also worked extensively in film and television, and teaches screenwriting in the Columbia University film school.

Synopsis:  A couple living on a small island off the coast of Maine invites the neurotic husband’s college roommate and his conservative trophy wife for a weekend visit — only to discover that long-buried secrets unmoor both couples and the “good old days” may not have been so good after all.

DEB HIETT is a prolific playwright, actor and musician from Los Angeles. Her play, “Circle Forward,” will be in the 2024 line-up at PlayFest. The play was a 2024 finalist for the Local Theatre Company New Play Festival (Boulder, CO) and semifinalist for the 2023-2024 Princess Grace Award in Playwriting. Her new musical, “The Sunny Survival Caravan,” had its first reading as part of the 2023 Playwrights Union “First Peek” Series in Los Angeles.

Synopsis: Seventeen years after the loss of her young husband from cancer, Mia meets a teenager who believes he is the reincarnation of her late husband. When the teen and his mom come to Mia’s house for lunch, his uncanny memories force Mia to face her doubts, her past, and the whole truth.

JAMES ANTHONY TYLER, a playwright and screenwriter from New York City, makes his debut at PlayFest with “Hop Tha A.” A rising star in the American theatre, Tyler received the 3rd Annual Horton Foote Playwriting Award in 2018 and the Theatre Masters Visionary Playwrights Award in 2016. He is one of the inaugural playwrights to receive a commission from Audible’s emerging playwrights fund. His other plays include “Some Old Black Man,” “All We Need Is Us,” and “Artney Jackson.” He was a staff writer for the OWN Network show “Cherish the Day” created by Ava DuVernay. Currently, he is writing for a new Apple TV+ drama series starring an Academy Award-winning actress.

Synopsis: During his late-night commute on the A train, Harlem native Tyrone tries to impress Niesha, his coworker at a nightclub, who just wants to read her book and pass the ride in silence. But as they travel uptown, the two forge an unlikely connection that extends beyond the confines of the subway car.

KATHLEEN CAHILL is a Pulitzer-nominated playwright, opera librettist, and lyricist. While at PlayFest, she will workshop “Mrs. Einstein.” Cahill’s work has been produced around the country.  Her play “Charm” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; her play “The Persian Quarter” was nominated for a Steinberg Award. She is the recipient of three Edgerton Foundation Awards, the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, a Rockefeller Grant, and a National Endowment for the Arts New American Works Grant, among many others. She writes what Alan Cumming says on PBS’s “Mystery.”

Synopsis: A young Albert Einstein meets the brilliant Mileva Marić when they are physics students at the Zurich Polytechnic. Their deep emotional, intellectual and physical connection results in a ground-breaking scientific theory – but only one of them gets the credit. We know what becomes of him. This is a play about her.

The play readings will feature nationally recognized actors and directors. A full cast list will be announced in early June, however, PlayFest has commitments from actors Wendie Malick (Shrinking, Just Shoot Me), Josh Zuckerman (Oppenheimer), and PlayFest alum Molly Carden, as well as local actors Conor Sheehan and Siena Widen.

The festival’s full schedule and ticket information will be posted at durangoplayfest.org in late April.