I and You | World premiere press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Updated 10/9/2013

Press photos are now available online.

MARIN THEATRE COMPANY
PRESENTS WORLD PREMIERE OF
LAUREN GUNDERSON’S I AND YOU

HEARTFELT NEW PLAY
BY SAN FRANCISCO-BASED PLAYWRIGHT
FOCUSES ON HOW THE WORDS OF WALT WHITMAN
INSPIRE TWO TEENS

Limited Engagement! October 10 – November 3, 2013
Opening Night: October 15

MILL VALLEY, CA—Marin Theatre Company continues its 2013-14 Season with the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of I and You by San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson. Running for a limited time from October 10 to November 3, this highly anticipated new play written by a “rising national talent” (Creative Loafing) will be directed by Sarah Rasmussen, the resident director for Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab, and feature local actor Jessica Lynn Carroll and New York actor Devion McArthur. Opening night is Tuesday, October 15. Based in Mill Valley, MTC is a 47-year old professional nonprofit theater that is a destination for exhilarating performances, inspired new American plays and powerful theatrical experiences.

“After working with Lauren Gunderson on two School Tours and two New Play Readings, we are delighted to have found a project to produce with this amazing playwright who we’ve admired for many years,” artistic director Jasson Minadakis said. “I and You is one of the most uplifting and hopeful stories we have presented on our stage. Gunderson masterfully uses the words of Walt Whitman to inspire her high school-age characters and to lift them into a realm of expression all their own. The way the characters express a sense of self is so much of what happens when you’re 17. It’s about figuring out who you are, self-definition and self-identity, at a moment in your life when there is almost unlimited potential.”

Only in high school would two completely unconnected people – cranky, chronically ill Caroline and levelheaded basketball star Anthony – be paired to collaborate on a project to deconstruct a poem about the interconnectivity of everything. But as the two teens cram to finish their presentation on Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, they learn not only how to work together, but just how fundamentally they complement each other. Gunderson’s previous scripts have been praised for their “excellent balance of intelligent, pointed humor” (The Daily Californian), for being “exceptionally well crafted, emotionally grounded and thought-provoking” (TheatreStorm); and for “not only making each character adorably quirky but engendering empathy for them as well” (The Week Magazine).

South Coast Repertory, which also commissioned and premiered Gunderson’s Emilie: La Marquise Du Chaltelet Defends Her Life Tonight (2009) and Silent Sky (2011), commissioned I and You. The play received readings at SCR’s Pacific Playwrights Festival in April 2012 and as part of Magic Theatre’s new play development “Magic @ the Costume Shop” program. Made possible in part by the National New Play Network’s Continued Life of New Plays Fund, this is the first production of the Rolling World Premiere of I and You, which will also receive productions during the 2013-14 season at the Olney Theatre Center in Olney, Maryland, from February 26 to March 23, 2014, and Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis, Indiana, from March 13 to April 14, 2014. NNPN is the country’s alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays. MTC has previously participated in two other NNPN Rolling World Premieres, including Aditi Kapil’s Love Person in 2009 and Sharr White’s Sunlight in 2010, and will kick off the Rolling World Premiere of Carson Kreitzer’s Lasso of Truth in February 2014.

MTC has had a relationship with Gunderson since 2007, producing public staged readings of Silent Sky (2011) and Rock Hill: Southern Gothic (2009) as part of its New Play Reading Series and traveling productions of her adaptation of Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything (2008, 2009) for its theater for young audiences School Tour program. Since the Atlanta native moved to San Francisco a few years ago, she has had increasing success in the Bay Area, receiving the NNPN Rolling World Premiere of Exit, Pursued by a Bear with Crowded Fire Theatre in August 2011, regional premiere of Emilie... with Symmetry Theatre Company in January 2012, world premiere of Toil and Trouble at Impact Theatre in November 2012 and world premiere of By and By at Shotgun Players in May 2013. During the remainder of the 2013/14 Season, her plays The Taming (world premiere, Crowded Fire), Silent Sky (regional premiere, TheatreWorks) and Bauer (world premiere and commission, SF Playhouse) will be produced locally in addition to I and You.

Making her MTC debut, Sarah Rasmussen directs I and You. A Princess Grace Award-winning director, she is the head of University of Texas Austin’s MFA program in Directing. She is the former resident director for Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab and will direct an all female cast in Two Gentlemen of Verona on OSF’s Elizabethan Stage next season.

I and You features the return of San Jose native Jessica Lynn Carroll, who previously appeared at MTC in the world premiere of Steve Yockey’s Bellwether in 2011, and the debut of New York-based actor Devion McArthur, who recently graduated from Rutgers University-Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Recommended for ages 11 and up. Student Matinee performances for middle and high schools will be offered on October 17, 23 and 30. Call MTC’s Education Department for more information, (415) 388-5200 ext. 3310.

FACTS & CALENDAR INFORMATION

WHAT
I and You | World Premiere

WHO
Marin Theatre Company
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Sarah Rasmussen (Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Black Swan Lab for New Work.)
Featuring Jessica Lynn Carroll (Bellwether) & Devion McArthur (MTC debut)

WHEN
October 10 – November 3, 2013
Opening Night: Tuesday, October 15
Previews: Thursday, October 10 – Sunday, October 13

Performance Days
Tue, Thu, Fri & Sat 8:00 pm
Wed 7:30 pm
Sun 7:00 pm
Matinees: Every Sun 2:00 pm | Sat 10/19 & 11/2, 2:00 pm | Thu 10/24, 1:00 pm

Check marintheatre.org or call the box office at (415) 388-5208 for exact performance dates and times.

WHERE
Marin Theatre Company | 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941

ABOUT
“A rising national talent” – Creative Loafing

Only in high school would two completely unconnected people – cranky, chronically ill Caroline and levelheaded basketball star Anthony – be paired to collaborate on a project to deconstruct a poem about the interconnectivity of everything. But as the two teens cram to finish their presentation on Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, they learn not only how to work together, but just how fundamentally they complement each other.

Based in San Francisco, playwright Lauren Gunderson has had a relationship with MTC since 2008. MTC has helped her develop two of her plays through our New Works program. She is a Bay Area favorite, with eight of her plays, including I and You, premiering locally in the last two  years and this coming year. Her previous scripts have been praised for their “excellent balance of intelligent, pointed humor” (The Daily Californian), for being “exceptionally well crafted, emotionally grounded and thought-provoking” (TheatreStorm); and for “not only making each character adorably quirky but engendering empathy for them as well” (The Week Magazine).

TICKETS
$37–$58, details below (discounts available for Seniors and those Under 30)

Ticket Prices
Previews: $37 all
Opening Night & Sat Evenings: $53 side | $58 center
Tues: $37| $42
Wed, Thu, Sun Evenings & Matinees: $42 | $47
Fri: $48 | $53

Discounts available
RUSH tickets: $20, available one hour prior to show, based on availability
Under 30: $20, all performances
Senior discounts: $4 off, all performances
Military personnel, their families & US veterans: $5 off, all performances, must show ID

For group sales, contact Julie Knight, (415) 388-5200, ext. 3302

ENGAGE
“MTC Engaged” invites patrons to join MTC’s artistic staff, designers and casts in conversation.

A member of MTC’s artistic staff (often with one or more members of the cast) hosts After Words, a Q&A talk back, after every performance, except Saturday matinees and evenings, and Opening and Closing Nights.

MTC Engaged Special Events
Theater Lecture Series – FREE public lectures by MTC artistic staff, all start at 7:30 p.m.

- Tues, 9/26 – Larkspur Library, 400 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur
- Thurs, 10/1 – Belvedere-Tiburon Library, 1501 Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon
- Wed, 10/2 – Mill Valley Public Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

Dead Poets Society film screening and pre-show lecture: Wed, 10/23, 7:30 p.m. at Lark
  Theater, 549 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur

Perspectives: pre-show topical lecture: Thu, 10/24, 12:00 p.m.

ACCESS
“MTC All Access” strives to make theater accessible to all audiences. For visually impaired patrons, Large Print playbills are available at the box office at all performances and Braille playbills are available with two-weeks advance notice through partnership with LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. To request a Braille playbill, call MTC’s Box Office, (415) 388-5208, or use the California Telecommunications Relay Service by dialing “711.” For hearing impaired patrons, amplified sound Listening Devices are available.

CONTACT
marintheatre.org | (415) 388-5208 | boxoffice@marintheatre.org

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

Lauren Gunderson (playwright) is an award-winning playwright living in San Francisco. With I and You, she makes her mainstage debut at MTC, which previously produced public staged readings of her plays Silent Sky (2011) and Rock Hill: Southern Gothic (2009) as part of its New Play Reading Series and traveling productions of her adaptation of Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything (2008, 2009) for its theater for young audiences School Tour program. Gunderson’s work has been produced and developed at companies across the US including Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight and Silent Sky at South Coast Rep, The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful And Her Dog! at the Kennedy Center and more at Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire Theatre, SF Playhouse, Magic Theatre, Actor’s Express, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, Impact Theatre, Lark Play Development Center and the O’Neill. Emilie is published with Sam French; the first and second plays in her Shakespeare Cycle, Exit, Pursued By A Bear and Toil and Trouble, are published with Playscripts, Inc.; and her first Dr. Wonderful children’s book will appear next year. She is a playwright in residence at the Playwrights Foundation and a member of Dramatists Guild. LaurenGunderson.com | @LalaTellsAStory

Sarah Rasmussen (director) makes her MTC debut with I and You. She is a Princess Grace Award-winning director. Rasmussen has directed and/or developed new work at theaters such as New York Theater Workshop, Soho Rep in New York City, La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage in Washington D.C., Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays, Women’s Project Theater in New York City, the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Connecticut, Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, Lark Play Development Center in New York City, PlayPenn in Philadelphia, Ten Thousand Things in New York City and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where she served as resident director of the Black Swan Lab. Rasmussen’s direction of In the Next Room at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis was recently honored with an Ivey Award for overall excellence. She currently heads the MFA Directing program at University of Texas Austin. She is the recipient of a Drama League Directors Project Fellowship, OSF’s Phil Killian Directing Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship. Rasmussen received her MFA from University of California San Diego. srasmussen.com

Jessica Lynn Carroll (Caroline) has previously appeared at MTC in the world premiere of Bellwether. She most recently performed in Jesus in India at Magic Theatre. She also appeared in Boeing-Boeing at Center REP, Auctioning the Ainsleys at TheatreWorks, Urinetown (San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nominee) and Ragtime at Foothill Music Theatre, and Our Town at Palo Alto Players. Carroll has participated in readings of new plays through PlayGround, Playwright's Foundation, TheatreWorks New Works Festival and Crowded Fire Theater. She earned her BFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Devion McArthur (Anthony) makes his MTC debut with I and You. He recently appeared in Much Ado About Nothing with the Annapolis Shakespeare Company. McArthur graduated with a BFA in Acting from Rutgers University-Mason Gross School of the Arts, where some of his credits include A Raisin in the Sun, Woyzeck and As You Like It.

ABOUT NNPN
The National New Play Network is the country’s alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays. We strive to pioneer, implement and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has commissioned eighteen playwrights, provided more than twenty MFA graduates with paid residencies and supported over 100 productions nationwide through its innovative Continued Life of New Plays Fund, which creates “Rolling World Premieres” of new plays. Through these activities and others, NNPN has granted over a half million dollars to theaters and artists in the past ten years. All told, hundreds of artists have gained employment through these efforts in the 24 regions of the country where NNPN member theaters are located.

ABOUT MTC
Founded in 1966, 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 231-seat main stage theater, as well as a five-show Theater Series for Young Audiences in partnership with the Bay Area Children's Theatre in our 99-seat studio theater. We are committed to the development and production of new plays by American playwrights, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes productions of world premieres, two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards, readings and workshops by the nation’s best emerging playwrights and membership in the National New Play Network. Our numerous education programs serve more than 6,000 students from over 40 Bay Area schools each year. MTC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

PRESS CONTACT

Sasha Hnatkovich, Communications Director

(415) 388-5200, ext. 3313 | email

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