Marin Theatre Company's 2017-2018 Season Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2017

MARIN THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES 2017-18 MAIN STAGE SEASON

MILL VALLEY, CA—Marin Theatre Company’s artistic director Jasson Minadakis and managing director Keri Kellerman are thrilled to announce its 2017-18 season of groundbreaking, nationally recognized, socially relevant new American plays. Featuring six sensational works for its intimate 231-seat main stage Boyer Theatre, the season includes:

  • The World Premiere of Thomas & Sally by Thomas Bradshaw in Sept./Oct.
  • Bay Area premiere of Shakespeare in Love by Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard and Lee Hall in Nov./Dec.
  • Bay Area premiere of Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau in Jan./Feb.
  • West Coast premiere of The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe in March/April
  • Bay Area premiere of Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison in May
  • Bay Area premiere of Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee in June/July

In MTC’s upcoming season, all evening performances will begin at 7:30pm. Subscription renewal sales will go live mid-March; single tickets expected to go on sale in July.

Sentiments from MTC’s Fearless Leaders

"We are bringing five of America's most brilliant writers to MTC for our 51st season. Thomas Bradshaw, Dominique Morisseau, Sarah DeLappe, Jordan Harrison and Young Jean Lee are fearless storytellers who are reshaping the American theatre with each play they write. The conversations inspired by these fabulous, ferocious plays will be electric and will help us explore who we are, where we came from and where we are going as a community and as a nation. For the holidays we will bring 13 of the Bay Area's favorite actors to MTC to take a bold and audacious approach to Shakespeare in Love." – Jasson Minadakis, Artistic Director

“We’ve captured lightning in a bottle. These six plays crackle with intelligence, incisiveness and wit and invite us to think deeply about our relationships to ourselves and each other.” – Keri Kellerman, Managing Director

Thomas & Sally by Thomas Bradshaw | World Premiere

MTC will open its 2017-18 season in September with a World Premiere production of Thomas Bradshaw’s Thomas & Sally (The Bereaved, Intimacy, Carlyle). An explosive world-premiere commission by subversive American playwright Thomas Bradshaw, Thomas & Sally gets up close and personal with our country's first prominent mixed-race family: Thomas Jefferson and his African American slave, Sally Hemings. In this satiric comedy, Bradshaw takes us behind the scenes of history and into the home (and bed) of Jefferson: Enlightenment-era genius, devoted husband, and man of contradictions, who insisted that the phrase “All men are created equal” be included in the Declaration of Independence but did not free his own slaves, even at his death. Sex, power and identity are all up for negotiation in this provocative, no-frills vision of early America...until, of course, they're not. Thomas & Sally takes a sharp look at how the nation’s beginnings continue to influence what it’s become.

Thomas Bradshaw's plays have been produced at regional theaters, in NYC as well as in Europe. In 2012, The Flea Theater successfully produced his play Job and in 2011, his play Burning ran to rave reviews at the New Group/NYC and the Goodman Theatre produced his play Mary, which they had previously commissioned. His play The Bereaved, produced by Partial Comfort, was named one of the Best Plays of 2009 in Time Out New York and was a New York Times Critic's Pick. The Bereaved was subsequently produced at The State Theater Of Bielefeld in Germany and presented in Berlin. In 2008, two of his plays premiered in NYC: Southern Promises, at Performance Space 122 in September, and Dawn, at The Flea Theater in November, and both were listed among the Best Performances of Stage and Screen for 2008 in The New Yorker. His plays Purity, Prophet, and Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist and Cleansed were produced in NYC. A German translation of Dawn was presented at Theater Bielefeld in Germany in October 2008 and published by Theater Der Zeit in that same month. Bradshaw received his M.F.A. from Mac Wellman’s playwriting program and is Professor of Playwriting at Northwestern University. He has been featured as one of Time Out New York’s ten playwrights to watch, as one of Paper Magazine's Beautiful People, and Best Provocative Playwright by the Village Voice. He has received Fellowships from The Lark Play Development Center, Soho Rep (Streslin Fellow), and New York Theatre Workshop. He was the Playwright in Residence at The Soho Theatre in London in February 2009, where he wrote The Ashes. Bradshaw has received commissions from Soho Theatre (London), The Goodman Theatre, Soho Repertory Theatre (New York), The Flea Theater, Theater Bielefeld (Germany), and Partial Comfort Productions. He is currently working on commissions from the Goodman Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Foundry Theatre as well as developing a TV series for HARPO and HBO. He is the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2010 Prince Charitable Trust Prize, and the 2012 Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Shakespeare in Love
Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard,
Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall | Bay Area Premiere

Enchantment abounds as the season continues with the Bay Area Premiere of Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard and Lee Hall’s effervescent romance, Shakespeare in Love, coming to MTC this holiday season. In the Elizabethan era, when women are forbidden to become actors, what’s a stage-struck lady to do? Lady Viola de Lesseps adores plays, especially those by a young writer named Will Shakespeare, but can only look on longingly as men and boys perform them. Will, meanwhile, has his own struggles: his inspiration fled, his debts and unwritten commissions piling up…until he meets an unknown young player named Thomas Kent, who speaks his words as he’s always dreamed they’d be spoken, and a beautiful woman named Viola, who could be just the muse he needs. Under the direction of MTC artistic director Jasson Minadakis, this stage adaptation of the beloved film finds its true essence: a love letter to the power of theatre and the imagination.

Lee Hall’s acclaimed play Spoonface Steinberg (1997), a monologue for a nine-year-old autistic girl dying of cancer, was first broadcast by BBC Radio 4 in 1997. He subsequently adapted the play for television in 1998 and for the stage in 2000. He was appointed Writer in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1999/2000 under the Pearson Playwrights Scheme Award.

Cooking with Elvis (2000), adapted from the play he wrote for the BBC Radio 'God's Country” series that included Spoonface Steinberg, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2000 and transferred to London's West End in a production starring the comedian Frank Skinner. His adaptation of Goldoni's The Servant with Two Masters was first staged at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford in 1999. He has translated two plays by Bertolt Brecht: Mr Puntilla and His Man Matti, written for The Right Size/Almeida Theatre, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1998; and Mother Courage, staged by Shared Experience theatre company in 2000. His adaptation of the Dutch play The Good Hope (2001) by Herman Heijermans opened at the Royal National Theatre in 2001.

He also wrote the screenplay to the film Billy Elliot (1999), directed by Stephen Daldry for Tiger/BBC Films/WT2, and received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. He adapted his own play, I Luv You Jimmy Spud (1997), as a feature film starring Billy Connolly in 2000.

Lee Hall co-wrote the screenplay for the film, Pride and Prejudice, in 2005, and adapted The Wind in the Willows for television, in 2006.

The Pitmen Painters (2008) is a new play premiered at the Live Theatre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2007. In 2014 Hall wrote the script for Shakespeare in Love, adapted from the film of the same title, which was performed at the Noel Coward Theatre in London. His 2015 adaptation of Alan Warner's novel The Sopranos is entitled Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour.

Marc Norman is a screenwriter known for Shakespeare in Love (1998), Cutthroat Island (1995), The Aviator (1985), The Killer Elite (1975). He wrote an episode of the Mission: Impossible TV series. Other writing credits include: Bike Riding in Los Angeles: A Novel; What Happens Next?: A History of Hollywood Screenwriting. Awards: With Tom Stoppard, Norman won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in the 1998 Academy Awards for their script of Shakespeare in Love; he also shared in the Best Picture Oscar for the film as co-producer.

Sir Tom Stoppard is a Czech-born playwright. He began his career in England in 1954 as a journalist, soon moving to London in 1960 to start work as a playwright. His first play, A Walk on the Water (1960), which was televised in 1963, soon reached London with a stage version titled Enter a Free Man (1968). His next work, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1964-65), showed at the 1966 Edinburgh Festival to rave reviews. It became internationally known in 1967 after it was entered into Britain's National Theatre. Additional work includes stage plays Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1978), The Real Thing (1982) and Rock 'n' Roll (2006). Over the course of his career he has written for radio, television, film and stage. In 1998 he co-wrote the Academy Award winning screenplay for the film Shakespeare in Love.

Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau | Bay Area Premiere

MTC’s 51st mainstage season continues with the Bay Area Premiere of Skeleton Crewwinner of MTC’s 2014 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize and the third installment in Morisseau’s 3-play cycle, The Detroit Projects—and will be co-produced with Theatreworks Silicon Valley. In 2008 Detroit, the employees at the last American auto plant still in operation sense change in the wind. Faye, a tough old-timer looking to hit 30 years and a full benefits package; Shanita, a pregnant young woman on her own; and Dez, a smooth-talking soon-to-be entrepreneur are some of the last workers at a once-thriving factory that’s now staffed barely enough to run the assembly lines. Pride in their work, dreams for the future, and lack of other options keep them on the line, despite news drifting in of other plants closing and their fears that theirs may be next. Caught between his loyalties and his career, plant manager Reggie is pressured to keep discipline, as across the city, abandoned plants are stripped by thieves. Skeleton Crew was listed by the NY Times as one of six plays they believe are crucial to understanding the divisiveness of our nation’s socio-political construct. In 2016, the play received a sold out world premiere production at the Atlantic Theatre Company in NYC and was extended and transferred to their larger venue for a continued sold out run.

Dominique Morisseau, Playwright and Actress, got her B.F.A. in Acting from the University of Michigan and her start as a performance poet in the Detroit community of Harmonie Park. She has since become a noted award-winning playwright in NYC and is currently developing a 3-play cycle about her hometown, entitled The Detroit Projects. The inaugural play Detroit ’67, about the riots/rebellion in 1967, originated at the Public Theater and extended at Classical Theatre of Harlem with the National Black Theatre. The production was nominated for 8 Audelco Theatre Awards including Best Playwright. The second play Paradise Blue, about Detroit’s 1949 jazz community uprooted by urban renewal, was the winner of the L. Arnold Weissberger Award and received development at Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, and the Public Theater. The third and final play Skeleton Crew, about a makeshift family of workers at the last exporting auto plant in the city, recently received a Barebones production at the Lark Play Development Center. Morisseau, a recent PoNY (Playwright of New York) fellow, is also generating a substantial body of work independent of the Detroit cycle: Sunset Baby, Follow Me To Nellie’s, and Blood At The Root. Her work has also been published in NY Times bestseller- “Chicken Soup for the African American Souland in the Harlem-based literary journal “Signifyin’ Harlem”. She is a Jane Chambers Playwriting Award honoree, a two-time NAACP Image Award recipient, honoree for the Primus Prize by the American Theatre Critics Association, and winner of the Stavis Playwriting Award. University of Michigan has also awarded her with their Emerging Leader Award, and the city of Detroit has honored her with a Spirit of Detroit award. Most substantially, Dominique has recently been awarded the esteemed Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, and she is the recipient of the 2014 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize Award for Skeleton Crew. She is an artist that believes wholeheartedly in the power and strength of community.

The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe | West Coast Premiere

 MTC is thrilled to produce the West Coast Premiere of The Wolves in March/April. In an indoor Astroturf soccer field in suburban Middle America, the Wolves soccer team warms up for its Saturday game. The upcoming College Showcase is just around the corner, so every point counts. Between the sprints and drills, however, these young women navigate even trickier terrain—insecurities and rivalries, shifting alliances and uneven friendships, in-group cruelties, acting out and fitting in, trauma and grief—all delivered in richly textured language that captures the energy of youth on its way to adulthood and the struggles we never quite leave behind. Powerfully and intimately rendered, The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe is the winner of MTC’s 2016 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize, and will feature an understudy cast from local high schools who will rehearse with the professional cast and perform in selected matinees.

Sarah DeLappe's play The Wolves premiered off-Broadway at The Playwrights Realm, after an engagement with New York Stage and Film, and development with Clubbed Thumb and The Great Plains Theatre Conference.The Wolves won the American Playwriting Foundation's inaugural Relentless Award, and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Yale Prize. Current: Page One Writer at The Playwrights Realm, Resident Writer at LCT3. Alum: Clubbed Thumb Early Career Writers Group, the New Georges Audrey Residency, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Sitka Fellows Program.

Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison | Bay Area Premiere

MTC’s 51st season continues with the Bay Area Premiere of Marjorie Prime, Jordan Harrison’s elegant Pulitzer-finalist play about family, love, and growing old in an age of artificial intelligence. Forty-six years into the future, when AI has been harnessed to comfort the lonely, 85-year-old Marjorie lives with her daughter, Tess, and son-in-law, Jon. Thanks to a company called Senior Serenity, she also has a new, attentive confidant: a sophisticated computer application programmed to learn her memories. As Marjorie declines, Tess and Jon wrestle with what this companion actually offers the family: mere palliation? Or a chance to rewrite Marjorie's life for her, without its most painful events? Against the backdrop of Vivaldi’s "Winter," Marjorie Prime explores the relationships between identity, memory, and story - and asks us to consider what it is that makes us fully human.

Jordan Harrison was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Marjorie Prime, which premiered at the Mark Taper Forum and had its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons. A film adaptation, directed by Michael Almereyda, was screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Jordan's play Maple and Vine premiered in the 2011 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville and went on to productions at American Conservatory Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, among others. Jordan's other plays include The Grown-Up (Humana Festival), Doris to Darlene, a cautionary valentine (Playwrights Horizons), Amazons and their Men (Clubbed Thumb), Act A Lady (Humana Festival), Finn in the Underworld (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Futura (Portland Center Stage/NAATCO), Kid-Simple (Humana Festival), Standing on Ceremony (Minetta Lane Theatre), The Museum Play (WET), and a musical, Suprema (O'Neill Music Theatre Conference), written with Daniel Zaitchik.

Harrison is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, the Horton Foote Prize, the Kesselring Prize, the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Play House, the Heideman Award, a Theater Masters Innovative Playwright Award, the Loewe Award for Musical Theater, Jerome and McKnight Fellowships, a NYSCA grant, and an NEA/TCG Residency with The Empty Space Theater. His children's musical, The Flea and the Professor, won the Barrymore Award for Best Production after premiering at the Arden Theatre. A graduate of Stanford University and the Brown M.F.A. program, Jordan is an alumnus of New Dramatists. He is an Affiliated Artist with Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, and the Playwrights' Center. Jordan is a writer and producer for the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black

Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee | Bay Area Premiere

Closing out the 2017-18 season is the Bay Area Premiere of fearlessly innovative playwright Young Jean Lee's Straight White Men, delivering an incisively observed, highly theatrical portrait of a subculture in crisis: the upper-middle-class suburban white family. Or, to be more specific, its men, as represented by brothers Jake, Drew, and Matt Norton, and their father, Ed. It's Christmas, and the boys--one a successful financier, one an award-winning novelist, and one a social justice crusader with a Ph.D. from Stanford--have all gathered with Dad to celebrate the holiday. Childhood reminiscences and juvenile antics reveal tensions beneath the surface, however, as the men struggle to find their footing in a world where they realize their privilege is the problem. By turns tender, triumphant, funny, and disturbing, Straight White Men turns stereotype on its head with its compelling examination of America's newest minority. 

Young Jean Lee has been called “hands down, the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation” by the New York Times and “one of the best experimental playwrights in America” by Time Out New York. She has written and directed nine shows in New York with Young Jean Lee's Theater Company and toured her work to over thirty cities around the world. Her plays have been published by TCG (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Other Plays, The Shipment and Lear) and by Samuel French (Three Plays by Young Jean Lee). She is currently under commission from Plan B/Paramount Pictures, Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is a member of New Dramatists and 13P, and has an M.F.A. from Mac Wellman's playwriting program at Brooklyn College. She has received grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Creative Capital, NYFA, NEA, NYSCA, the Jerome Foundation, The Fox Samuels Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, and the Rockefeller MAP Foundation. She is also the recipient of two OBIE Awards, the Festival Prize of the Zürcher Theater Spektakel, a 2010 Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 2012 Doris Duke Artist Award.

CALENDAR

Thomas & Sally | World Premiere
By Thomas Bradshaw
September 28 - October 22, 2017
Opening Night: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Shakespeare in Love | Bay Area Premiere
By Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard and Lee Hall
November 24 - December 17, 2017
Opening Night: Tuesday, November 28, at 7:30 pm
*No show on Nov. 23 due to the Thanksgiving holiday

Skeleton Crew | Bay Area Premiere
By Dominique Morisseau
January 25 - February 18, 2018
Opening Night: Tuesday, January 30, at 7:30 pm

The Wolves | West Coast Premiere
By Sarah DeLappe
March 15 – April 8, 2018
Opening Night: Saturday, March 20, at 7:30 pm 

Marjorie Prime | Bay Area Premiere
By Jordan Harrison
May 3 – May 27, 2018
Opening Night: Tuesday, May 8, at 7:30 pm 

Straight White Men | Bay Area Premiere
By Young Jean Lee
June 14 – July 8, 2018
Opening Night: Tuesday, June 19, at 7:30 pm

All main stage productions performed in MTC’s Boyer Theatre, located at Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley.

Programming and scheduling are subject to change.

ABOUT MTC
Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area’s premiere mid-sized theater and the leading professional theater in the North Bay. We produce a six-show main stage season focused on new American plays, as well as a Family Series of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA). 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 believes 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, Director of Marketing & Communications
(415) 322-6022 | saraw@marintheatre.org 

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