Marin Theatre Company Announces Three-Year Playwriting Residency with Lauren Gunderson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2016

MARIN THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES
THREE-YEAR PLAYWRITING RESIDENCY WITH
AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT LAUREN GUNDERSON
FUNDED BY ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION

MILL VALLEY, CAMarin Theatre Companyis pleased to announce Lauren Gunderson as its new playwright in residence for the next three years, which has been made possible by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Ms. Gunderson’s has a long collaboration with MTC, which premiered her award-winning play I And You as a part of the National New Play Network’s rolling world premiere in 2013, and will premiere her new play Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, co-authored with Margot Melcon, later this year.

Ms. Gunderson and Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis have designed and outlined a schedule to create and workshop four new plays for MTC during the 3-year residency, one for each of its target audience groups: a mainstage play for adult audiences, a play for very young audiences (TVY, ages 0-6 years), a play for young audiences (TYA, ages 6+), and an adaptation of a classic or modern literary work.

Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis on Gunderson joining the MTC artistic staff:

“I have been a fan and supporter of Lauren Gunderson's work since 2003 when I first met her in Atlanta, GA when I was running Actor's Express, and I am thrilled to get to spend the next three years turning our 13-year working relationship into a deep, important and vital partnership.

Lauren will be active in all aspects of our organization. In addition to her writing, she will support our company and devise strategies for development methods and best practices as we pursue work with other writers. She will host a monthly playwright forum on new play development both in Marin and nationally, and will teach playwriting for adults and students, both in the schools and in our conservatory, as well as mentor the participants in our annual Marin Young Playwrights Festival. Among multiple other initiatives, she will also be an integral part of season planning and our commissioning program, and she will also sit on our Executive Leadership Succession planning and Strategic planning committees of the Board of Directors as well as be a company and artistic liaison with our new Encore Board. 

Lauren is an amazing woman, teacher, writer and community activist. She is passionate about using storytelling to bring the intersection of art and science to people of all ages, at all stages of life and at all levels of education.”

Ms. Gunderson is thrilled to join MTC’s artistic team:

MTC is the primary reason I live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jasson brought me out in 2009 to work on a new play after my summer at The O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. It was during this time that I decided to move to the Bay Area to live and work in this creative, beautiful and diverse part of the world. In 2013, MTC premiered my new play, I and You, which would go on to be a [Susan Smith] Blackburn finalist and a Steinberg New Play Award winner. Without MTC's early commitment, that play could have faded away as many new plays do. Now this play has been produced over 40 times in under two years including an off-Broadway run in January of 2016. With Jasson at the artistic helm, MTC has believed in me for years. MTC has supported my voice, and with this residency, they have offered me a profound leap forward in our long-standing, wildly productive and already successful artistic relationship.”

Lauren Gunderson is one of the most produced playwrights in America, and the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award, Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her work has been commissioned, produced and developed at companies across the US including South Coast Rep (Emilie, Silent Sky), The Kennedy Center (The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful And Her Dog!), The O’Neill, Denver Center, Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, Synchronicity, Olney Theatre, Geva and more.  Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You, Exit, Pursued By A Bear, and Toil And Trouble) and Samuel French (Emilie). She is a Playwright in Residence at The Playwrights Foundation, and a proud Dramatists Guild member. She is from Atlanta, GA and lives in San Francisco.

ABOUT MTC

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 focused on new American plays, and a four-show Family Series. We are committed to the development and production of new plays, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes productions of world premieres, two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards and readings and workshops by the nation’s best emerging and established playwrights. Our numerous education programs serve more than 8,500 students from over 40 Bay Area schools each year.  MTC strives to create intimate, powerful and emotional experiences that engage audiences to discuss new ideas and adopt a broader point of view. We believe in taking risks and inspiring people to participate in live theater, regardless of personal means.  MTC celebrates the intellectual curiosity of our community, and we believe that theater is an important tool to help build empathy. MTC was founded in 1966 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

PRESS CONTACT
Sara Waugh, Marketing Director
(415) 322-6022 | saraw@marintheatre.org

###