Purple Rose To Live Read Newest Play


The theater is surviving in Chelsea. lockdown stages across the world, but the Purple Rose is launching a new production by hosting a zoom live reading of Alvaro Saar Rios’ new play, Piggsville.

“It’s just after the first draft. It’s got to the point where I had to let it sit,” Rios said.

Set in a family-owned brewery, this Hamlet inspired two act play has been in the works for over a year and a half, since the Purple Rose commissioned the Chicago-based playwright to produce a contemporary work of American theater. The patriarch of the family dies unexpectedly and ownership goes to his eldest son, sparking jealousy with the younger son, who wants to run the establishment. Their estranged sister then enters the play, after being visited by her father as a ghost, who told her that his death was not a natural one.

“It reminds me of Deadwood, without the profanity and violence,” Director Guy Sanville said.

Sanville expects that the play will go into production at some point, though that date has yet to be determined. Sanville said that Rios’ style is poetic, with a distinctive, “nineteenth century feel” in its language.

“Just having the actors read it would be very helpful,” Rios said.

Hearing the way the actors interpret the world inside Rios’ head, and how the audience reacts, is a key part of his creative process. It will let Rios see if the lines ring true, if there is a plot hole that he was too engrossed in the story to notice, whether people in the audience are zoning out, or whether their engaged.

What has been determined is that there will be a live reading over Zoom by eleven actors through a Zoom link provided by the Chelsea Library, which normally holds the live pre-production script readings. Sanville says that before the pandemic, these readings averaged between 80 and 100 people.

“We are very proud to partner with the Purple Rose and are very happy we can provide this opportunity for people to view live readings from the comfort of their homes while theaters have had to remain closed during the pandemic,” Chelsea Librarian Laura Brown told the Sun Times News in a statement.

The live zoom link will not be recorded, so the only way to see it will be through the Zoom link at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 15. You can use this link to watch it live: https://chelsea.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?EventId=16029&backTo=Calendar&startDate=2021/05/01.

Image Credit: The Purple Rose

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