2012-13 Season Announcement

March 15, 2012


Features six productions, including
Suzan-Lori Park’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog,
Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot,
Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane,
regional premieres of Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker
and The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez,
and a stage adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life

MILL VALLEY, CA—Marin Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis and Producing Director Ryan Rilette announced the company’s 2012-13 season today. Featuring six productions in MTC’s intimate 231-seat Boyer Theatre, the season includes co-produced regional premieres of Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker and The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez, revivals of award-winning contemporary plays by Suzan-Lori Parks and Martin McDonagh, the modern classic Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett and a stage adaptation of Frank Capra’s beloved film It’s a Wonderful Life. Based in Mill Valley, MTC is a 46-year old professional nonprofit theater, a destination for live performances that are intimately personal, emotionally powerful and thoughtfully engrossing.

“I am delighted to announce our extraordinary 2012-13 season,” Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis said. “I am particularly thrilled that we will be embarking on our first co-productions during my time at MTC. We will partner locally with Encore Theatre Company on the Bay Area premiere of the comically brilliant Circle Mirror Transformation and nationally with Virginia Stage Company in Norfolk, Virginia, on the explosive Civil War drama The Whipping Man. This is a season filled with stories that will challenge our audiences to think and feel, stories by some of our greatest modern and contemporary playwrights – Samuel Beckett, Suzan-Lori Parks, Martin McDonagh – and also exciting new comers Annie Baker and Matthew Lopez. We are looking to engage our patrons in a conversation that starts in our theater and stretches out through the Bay Area long after the performances are over.”

MTC opens its 2012-13 season in August with the regional premiere of Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation, in a co-production with the Encore Theatre Company of San Francisco. During a six-week adult Creative Drama class, four strangers and their teacher learn more about themselves than they do about acting in this play that the The New York Times called “absorbing, unblinking and sharply funny.” This is the second of four plays that Baker has set in the fictional college town of Shirley, Vermont, including Body Awareness, which Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley closed on March 11 after an extended run, and The Aliens, which SF Playhouse opens on March 20. Listed among the top ten plays of 2009 by The New Yorker and The New York Times, this quirky “indie charmer” (Los Angeles Times) won the 2010 Obie Award for Best New American Play. New York-based director Kip Fagan makes his MTC debut to direct the co-production. His regional theater credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Portland Center Stage, Williamstown Theater Festival and Boise Contemporary Theater.

The 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks returns to the Bay Area in September for its first locally produced staging. This “grippingly told... vivid portrait of hope against the odds” (The Guardian) delves into the lives of brothers Lincoln and Booth – two black men trapped by their poverty, race, family history and their ominously prophetic given names. The play previously received a limited commercial run in San Francisco in 2003 through Best of Broadway (now SHN) at the Curran Theatre. Mounted by Seattle Rep, the short West Coast tour featured the original 2002 Broadway set, costumes, director (George C. Wolfe) and producer (Carole Shorenstein Hays), but actors Harold Perrineau and Larry Gilliard Jr. replaced Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def. The New York Times hailed the original Broadway production as a “thrilling comic drama... vibrates with the clamor of big ideas, audaciously and exuberantly expressed... a deeply theatrical experience.” MTC previously produced staged readings of Parks’s 365 Days/365 Plays and In the Blood in 2007 as part of its New Works Series.

Over the holiday season, MTC produces It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, adapted for stage from Frank Capra’s 1946 cinematic classic by Joe Landry. Perfect for the whole family, the play is performed as a live radio broadcast in front of a studio audience, with five actors performing the voices of dozens of characters and creating sound effects. The story remains the same as the beloved American film: kindhearted George Bailey nearly gives up on life until he learns an important lesson from his wingless guardian angel Clarence Oddbody. This “magical... brilliant, [and] eminently enjoyable” (The Boston Globe) play premiered in 1996 at Stamford Center for the Arts in Connecticut. Bay Area director, playwright, designer and educator Jon Tracy directs. Making his main stage debut, he previously directed a staged reading of Blood/Money by A. Zell Williams as part of MTC’s New Works Series. He has worked with Shotgun Players, SF Playhouse, Impact Theatre and many other local companies.

MTC begins 2013 with “the most significant English language play of the 20th century” (Royal National Theatre poll): Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. In the classic absurdist play, Didi and Gogo dally by the side of the road, expecting the imminent arrival of another man. They’ve asked this man for nothing definite, but eagerly anticipate his reply. Though, they admit, they don’t know him well and won’t even recognize him when they see him, they wait. They wait for Godot. “This greatest of 20th-century plays is also entertainment of a high order” (The New York Times). Originally written in French in the late 1940s, the English version of the play, which Beckett translated himself, premiered in 1955 at the Arts Theatre in London. “Humorous, deeply human, methodical yet mellifluous” (The Press), Godot is Beckett’s most successful play and is often produced. Two notable revivals occurred in 2009 – one on London’s West End with Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart and one on Broadway with Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin. Recent Bay Area productions include Tides Theatre (2011), THEOFFCENTER (2010) and A.C.T. (2003). MTC’s Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis directs. He won the 2010 San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for best director (Equivocation) and is nominated in the same category for 2011 (The Glass Menagerie). Minadakis previously directed Waiting for Godot for Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, which he co-founded and served as producing artistic director.

Also directed by Minadakis, The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez premieres regionally in March. A co-production with Virginia Stage Company at the Wells Theatre, this “powerful” (Los Angeles Times) play will open first at VSC, a 44-year-old regional nonprofit professional theater located in Norfolk, Virginia, before moving to MTC. To mark Passover, two emancipated slaves share an improvised Seder with their former owner’s son, a Confederate officer who has been wounded during the final days of the Civil War. The three Jewish men discover that, though they are no longer tied by ownership, they remain tied by faith, history and explosive secrets. “Suspenseful, searing... The Whipping Man is hard to shake from one’s mind” (The Jewish Week). Winner of the New York Outer Critics Circle’s 2011 John Gassner Playwriting Award, The Whipping Man premiered at Luna Stage Theatre Company in New Jersey in 2006 and has been produced throughout the country, most famously Off Broadway by the Manhattan Theater Club at City Center’s Stage in 2011. The New York production featured Emmy Award-winning actor Andre Braugher and Tony Award-winning director Doug Hughes. One month before The Whipping Man opens at MTC, Lopez’s Somewhere premieres regionally at TheatreWorks in Mountain View.

MTC closes its 2012-13 season with “perhaps the best Irish play of the last 20 years” (Chicago Tribune): The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh. Middle-aged, unmarried and embittered, Maureen is locked in a stalemate with her elderly mother Mag, who is as selfish as she is manipulative. Their simmering relationship will boil over when Maureen takes a lover and finds hope for escape in this “gloriously funny... wickedly amusing... unalloyed delight” (The Telegraph). Premiering at Druid Theatre Company in Galway, Ireland, in 1996, the play has had successful runs on London’s West End, Broadway and Off Broadway, including the highly regarded 2010-11 revival by the Young Vic Theatre in London. Winner of the 1998 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Drama League Award for Best Play and Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane has been staged in the Bay Area at both community and professional theaters, including Berkeley Rep in 1999. Winner of a Golden Globe Award (In Bruges), an Academy Award (Six Shooter), a BAFTA Award (In Bruges) and a Laurence Olivier Award (The Pillowman), McDonagh is known for his distinctive voice – his “gift for extended gags, seemingly innocuous scraps of dialogue building up to savagely ironic punchlines, and sly, sadistic details that are unnecessary, appalling, yet curiously entertaining” (The Guardian). MTC’s Producing Director Ryan Rilette (Bellwether, In the Red & Brown Water) directs.

Six-play full-season subscriptions and four-ticket flex packages are on sale now. Subscription packages offer savings off single ticket prices, exclusive benefits and personalized customer service. Six-play full-season subscriptions are available for $120-306 and include free ticket exchanges, lost ticket replacement and priority seating. For more information about subscriptions, visit marintheatre.org or contact MTC’s Box Office, (415) 388-5208. Single tickets go on sale the first week of July.

Founded in 1966, Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area’s premier mid-sized theater and the leading professional nonprofit theater in the North Bay. Located in Marin County between the Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Tamalpais, MTC is a destination for intimate, powerful and engrossing theater productions. With 180 performances each season, 30,000 people from throughout he Bay Area visit the company’s 231-seat Boyer Theatre. Due to the continued generous support of patrons and donors, MTC has ended each of its last three seasons with a revenue surplus, which has allowed the theater to:

– become a year-round theater by expanding its programming to six main-stage productions
– support contemporary American playwrights by establishing two new play prizes
– open a new 5,500 square-foot scene shop facility in Oakland
– add two full-time and two part-time staff positions to its production department
– install new sound and lighting equipment.
– redesign its website
– upgrade its donor database and ticketing software
– release its first formal annual report with the support of the Taproot Foundation
– and strengthen its financial position and increase its ability to take artistic risks by establishing a reserve fund.

The company recently received national recognition when Bill Cain’s 9 Circles, which received its world premiere at MTC in 2010, won the 2011 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association’s New American Play Prize that is awarded to the most outstanding play to premiere outside New York City. MTC is a member of the League of Resident Theatres, the largest professional theater association in the United States.


August 2–26, 2012
Co-production with Encore Theatre Company
Circle Mirror Transformation | Bay Area premiere
By Annie Baker | Directed by Kip Fagan
Opening night: Tuesday, August 7

September 27–October 21, 2012
By Suzan-Lori Parks | Director TBA
Opening night: Tuesday, October 2

November 23–December 16, 2012
It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Adapted by Joe Landry | Directed by Jon Tracy
Opening night: Tuesday, November 27

January 24–February 17, 2013
Waiting for Godot
By Samuel Beckett | Directed by Jasson Minadakis
Opening night: Tuesday, January 29

March 28–April 21, 2013
Co-production with Virginia Stage Company
The Whipping Man | Bay Area premiere
By Matthew Lopez | Directed by Jasson Minadakis
Opening night: Tuesday, April 2

May 23–June 16, 2013
The Beauty Queen of Leenane
By Martin McDonagh | Directed by Ryan Rilette
Opening night: Tuesday, May 28

All productions performed in MTC’s Boyer Theatre, located at Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley. Note: Programming and scheduling are subject to change.

Celebrating our 45th Anniversary this season, Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area’s premier mid-sized theater and the leading professional theater in the North Bay. We produce a six-show season of provocative plays by passionate playwrights from the 20th century and today in our intimate 231-seat proscenium theater. We are committed to the development and production of new plays by American playwrights, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards, new play readings and workshops by the nation’s best emerging playwrights and a leadership position in the National New Play Network. Our numerous educational programs serve more than 6,000 students each year.

Sasha Hnatkovich, Communications Director
(415) 388-5200, ext. 3313 | email

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