Nov. 16-19: “Dream Dig,” “58 Months” are two student-written plays to premiere at Stagedoor Theater

Premiering as part of Metropolitan State University’s fall theater season, two new student-written plays will take audiences on journeys through an absurd comedy of frustration and into a raw and intimate experience of the justice system.

“Dream Dig” by Mark Stewart, and “58 Months” by Benjamin Granger, both won last year’s Metropolitan State Playwriting Contest and then went through several months of development to focus and expand the stories.

In “58 Months,” a smug and arrogant, self-possessed young man is certain he can “beat the rap” after he is arrested for several hardcore drug violations and thrown into jail. As his friends and family fail him, he comes to depend on his newly acquired friends made behind bars. Will he succeed or will he fail? This penetrating look at this country’s justice system as seen from within is directed by Steve Modena.

In “Dream Dig,” the opportunity to join an archaeological dig provides the incentive of a lifetime for a bright, energetic and slightly unscrupulous young college man. But he must first earn the money he will need to study abroad. Where he ultimately ends up might just surprise you in this engaging comedy filled with hilarious characters and zany situations. “Dream Dig” is directed by Scott M. Rubsam.

“These plays are polar opposites in style,” said Gail Smogard, Theater Program director. “One is an absurd comedy borne out of the frustration of working a series of odd jobs to pay for school. The other is a raw and intimate journey into a young man’s experience with the justice system and his own contrary inclinations.”

Both plays will be performed 7 p.m. Nov. 16-19 at the Stagedoor Theater, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 19. The shorter farce, “Dream Dig” will open the bill as a staged reading and a brief introduction to the play development process, followed by the full production of “58 Months.” The Stagedoor Theater is located in the Whitney Fine Arts Center at 1424 Yale Place, Minneapolis. On-street parking is available, as is ramp parking at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Avenue. General admission is $10 and students with ID may attend at no cost. Reservations are encouraged at 612-659-7222.

“Dream Dig” and “58 Months” are produced by Theater Underground and Metropolitan State University’s Theater Program, which offers the culminating two years of a theater major for transferring students. For more information, contact the Theater Program at 612-659-7222.