Drama by N.D. playwright, MSUM professor opens in Australia

Heretics, a play by MSUM English Professor and Fargo, N.D., resident Richard Zinober, opened a two-week run at the Owl and Cat Theatre in Melbourne, Australia last week.

The cross-continent connection is the result of a call for scripts by Owl and Cat Theatre last fall. “I attached the script to an email query and was notified a month ago that Owl and Cat wanted to include the play in its 2017 season,” Zinober said.

The drama is set in a room in a house off I-94, where a member of a new religious group is being held captive by two deprogrammers hired by her parents. Alex First, reviewing the play in The Blurb Magazine, an arts and entertainment magazine in Melbourne, wrote, “Intense and affecting, Heretics is like a jigsaw puzzle in which we—the audience—gradually piece together the narrative.”

Lauralee Evans, writing in Weekend Notes, called the drama “a fascinating play on an unorthodox subject.”

Zinober, a prize-winning playwright, has seven plays to his credit, four of which have been staged, and five short stories that have been published in literary journals. He teaches playwriting and screenwriting at MSUM. He received an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and an M.S. in film from Boston University.

Heretics is published by Infinity Stage, Sound and Film, an internet publisher, at www.infinitystage.com. While it was developed through a series of workshops and public readings—at the Great Plains Theater Conference in Omaha, the edge Theater in Denver, theatre du Mississippi in Winona and the Barrow Group Theater in New York City—Owl and Cat Theatre is staging the first professional production of the play.