Barbara Field was there at the beginning of the Playwrights' Center, and her latest work will be the first piece in 2014 featured in the Ruth Easton New Play Series. The Crackatook takes its cues from a number of stories by E.T.A. Hoffman, including "The Nutcracker," and has a modern-day perspective. Mind you, there's more in the original story than comes out in the famed holiday ballet. Field found a darker heart within the original about adolescence and coming of age. She welded elements of that to other Hoffman stories, including "The Golden Pot," and then ran it through a Freudian filter. The new play series runs through the winter and spring at the Center, and features new work by its core members on the first Monday of each month. The public performance is the last step of an intense series of sessions where the play is put on its feet with a cast of actors and some parts of the set design. The Center's Jeremy B. Cohen directs The Crackatook, while the cast for the staged reading includes Raye Birk, David Darrow, Dustin Valenta, Pearce Bunting, Anna Reichert, and Charity Jones.
Mon., Jan. 6, 7 p.m., 2014