Durango Playfest Announces Three Plays for August 4-7 Festival

4th Annual Event Features New Works from Renowned Playwright Richard Dresser, Actor Dan Lauria, and PlayFest Alum Lia Romeo

DURANGO, Colo., May 19 – Durango PlayFest today announced the three plays that will headline its play development festival, August 4-7, 2022, as well as a community event that rounds out this year’s schedule. PlayFest’s mission is to bring well-known and emerging playwrights, directors and actors to Durango to incubate new plays, hold events for the community, and culminate the week with staged readings for local audiences.

Acclaimed playwright Richard Dresser will workshop a play at PlayFest for the first time this August, a piece titled “Our Shrinking, Shrinking World.” Dresser is an American playwright, screenwriter, novelist and teacher whose work has been performed in New York, leading regional theaters, and across Europe.

Synopsis: A couple who’s been at odds over whether to have a baby decide to see the one (questionable) shrink in town. The appearance of another therapist complicates matters and the couple finds themselves trapped between two warring shrinks with the fate of humanity at stake.

Playwright Lia Romeo returns for a second year to workshop a new play called “The Agency.” Romeo is a 2021-2022 fellow in the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard. Her work has captivated audiences across the U.S. by illuminating fundamental tenets of the human condition.

Synopsis: An aspiring actress in New York City who can’t find work takes a job at a “rental agency” where lonely clients can hire actors to serve as surrogate friends or loved ones. It seems like the perfect gig – it pays well and she’s good at it. But what will it mean for her real-life relationships?

PlayFest co-founder and alum Dan Lauria (“The Wonder Years,” “This is Us”) dons a new hat this year – as playwright! He and actor Wendie Malick (“Just Shoot Me!,” “Hot in Cleveland”) are thrilled to be back at the 4th annual PlayFest in his first play, “Just Another Day.” Their unmistakable on-stage chemistry makes them a crowd pleaser year after year.

Synopsis: A comedy writer and a sophisticated poet in their seventies meet daily on a park bench to exchange wits and barbs, and wax nostalgic about old movies, all the while trying to figure out how they know – and love – each other. At least for that day.

“Dan has championed PlayFest as a mentor and actor since our inception, so we couldn’t be more thrilled that he is now choosing to debut his first play here,” said Felicia Lansbury Meyer, PlayFest’s artistic director. “We’re also hugely grateful to the Four Corners community for the support they have shown us throughout the pandemic, allowing us to emerge stronger than ever.”

The three signature play readings will feature nationally recognized actors and directors. Casting will be announced in June and July. Actors who previously performed at PlayFest include Malick, Lauria, Emily Swallow (“Supernatural,” “The Mandalorian”), Mike Farrell (“M*A*S*H”), and Sky Lakota Lynch (“Dear Evan Hansen”).

For the second year in a row, PlayFest will present the Community Playwright Initiative, which includes a reading of a play from an emerging playwright in the Four Corners, and a local cast and crew. At the 2022 festival, we’re featuring “monster SLAYer” from Blossom Johnson, a Diné storyteller, playwright, teaching artist, and screenwriter.

Synopsis: A family awaits the birth of twins as they mourn for a missing daughter and sister. Pregnant Isabella, an author, and her brother Jaiden, an artist, conjure sacred beings Spider Woman and Horned Toad as they create a superhero comic to process their grief.

The festival’s full schedule and ticket information will be posted at durangoplayfest.org in mid-June.