The commissioning program at Marin Theatre Company encourages the creation of new work from a diverse group of passionate playwrights to be developed for our main stage and educational programs. MTC commissions original plays from writers in whose work we have a committed interest and whose voice speaks to our mission and our community. Current artists under commission include Thomas Bradshaw, Lauren Gunderson and Amelia Roper. Past artists under commission include Carson Kreitzer, Tommy Shepard & Dan Wolf, and Steve Yockey.
MTC has commissioned the wildly adventurous Thomas Bradshaw to write a play based on the long-term relationship between American founding father Thomas Jefferson and his slave and mistress Sally Hemings. Though interracial marriages were illegal, Jefferson had six children by Hemings after the death of his wife (and Hemings’s half-sister) Martha, and the relationship became highly publicized after Jefferson won the presidency, but never threatened to derail his political ambitions. Through his no-holds-barred approach to drama, Bradshaw explores the story of pre-Civil War race relations in the American South.
Thomas Bradshaw‘s plays have been produced at regional theaters, in NYC as 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 Theater 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.
Mr. 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 Theater Workshop. He was the Playwright in Residence at The Soho Theatre in London in February 2009, where he wrote THE ASHES.
Thomas Bradshaw has received commissions from Soho Theatre (London),The Goodman Theater, Soho Repertory Theater (New York), The Flea Theater, Theater Bielefeld (Germany), and Partial Comfort Productions. He is currently working on commissions from the Goodman Theater, Manhattan Theater Club, and the Foundry Theater 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.
“Theater should always be immediate, in the moment and all-consuming. Playwrights like Miller and O’Neill were pushing the boundaries for their time. We should be pushing them for our time. Why be an artist otherwise?” –Interview, The New York Times
“…(Bradshaw’s) most expansive and labyrinthine to date….(he is) evangelical in his passion for demonstrating that race and sexuality are artificial constructs that lead to very real things, such as subjugation—and he does so with a kind of desperate humor. He shows us that human cruelty is learned. And then we attempt to pass it off as “natural.” Bradshaw is building a different kind of house now, a mansion big enough to contain an ever-expanding universe of blacks and whites who are bound together by America’s homespun language of degradation.” -The New Yorker
“He has proved in play after play that he has a confident vision of the theater that is his own. The politically incorrect plots jump merrily from one outrage to another, never pausing to explain motivation or linger on subtext… No playwright applies as ruthlessly Hitchcock’s definition of drama as ‘life with the boring parts taken out.’” -The New York Times
Untitled Trojan Women Adaptation
Lauren Gunderson reimagines Euripides' TROJAN WOMEN as an exploration of contemporary sex trafficking. Heartfelt and layered with live music, Gunderson's play focuses on the young women themselves - their suffering, but also their dreams, abilities, and lives after slavery.
Lauren Gunderson is the most produced living playwright in America of 2016, winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s 3-Year Residency with Marin Theatre Co. 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 and premiered at companies across the US including South Cost Rep (Emilie, Silent Sky), Marin Theatre Co (I and You), The Denver Center (The Book of Will), The Kennedy Center (The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful And Her Dog!), San Francisco Playhouse (Bauer), and many more. Her work is published at Playscripts, Dramatists, and Samuel French (Emilie). Her children's book “Blast Off To The Moon! Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog" comes out next May. LaurenGunderson.com and @LalaTellsAStory.
Untitled Alice in Wonderland Play
Amelia Roper is a Brooklyn playwright from Australia and a recent graduate of the Yale School of Drama. She is also currently writing for Yale Rep., Soho Rep.’s Writer/ Director Lab, Berkeley Rep., Playwrights Realm, and The Rose. Her work has been produced by the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, 2014, Crowded Fire Theatre in San Francisco, 2014 and in Australia at St Martins Youth Arts Centre, 2008, the Victorian Arts Centre, 2009, FortyFortyHome, 2010. Her plays have been developed by the Old Vic in London, Berkeley Rep.’s Ground Floor, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, ATC in Chicago, NNPN at the Kennedy Center, Circle X in Los Angeles, Colt Coeur in NYC, Melbourne Theatre Company in Australia and the Театр Центр драматургии и режиссуры in Russia.
Awards include the Cheryl Crawford Scholarship, Yale, the Howard Stein Scholarship, Yale, two Ian Potter Cultural Awards, two Australia Council for the Arts grants, a Dame Joan Sutherland Cultural Trust Award from the American Australian Association and the St Martins Emerging Playwrights’ Award ’07. Amelia is a MacDowell fellow and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. For most of her twenties, Amelia worked professionally as a stagehand and lighting designer for Australian and visiting European theatre companies, contemporary dance, circus and arts festivals.
“brilliant comedy” – The Age, Melbourne
“a rumination on feminism and orgasms is one of the funniest lines in a consistently funny show” — San Francisco Chronicle
“very tidy and very crafty, with excellent structure, but with hints of something mischievous (which usually means real, bleeding talent)…definitely a name to watch.” – Guerrilla Semiotics