THEATER:

‘Red Herring’ Playwright To Present Theater Workshop

Philadelphia playwright Michael Hollinger will be conducting a workshop for playwrights and theatre enthusiasts at Everyman Theatre on Saturday, December 13 at 5:00 p.m. Hollinger will be in town in conjunction with the current production at Everyman of “Red Herring,” his critically acclaimed comedy.

The workshop will explore the writer’s process from page to stage as Hollinger takes participants on a journey through the mind of a playwright. An assistant professor of theatre at Villanova University, Hollinger says his inspiration for the play came from an in-class exercise. He instructed his class to write a short scene around two characters and a significant set piece. The scene that resulted was a hard-boiled detective interviewing a belligerent landlady about one of her tenants, whose naked legs stuck out of bathtub before them.

Hollinger’s plays have been produced over 40 times in cities around the US and in London. Red Herring had its world premiere at Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia in 2000, where Hollinger also premiered “Incorruptible,” “An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf,” and “Tiny Island.” He has also written seven touring plays for young audiences and three short films for PBS, and co-authored the feature-length “Philadelphia Diary.”

In writing “Red Herring,” Hollinger chose to explore multiple settings and character doublings. The play is the most logistically complicated production in Everyman Theatre’s history, with 24 scene changes and six actors playing 18 roles.

The theater is at 1727 North Charles Street. Vincent Lancisi is the theater’s artistic director and Laurens Wilson is interim managing director. For information, visit Everyman Theatre.


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This story was published on November 27, 2003.