The Oldest Boy | West Coast Premiere
  • 2023-10-08

The Oldest Boy | West Coast Premiere

July 31, 2015


Production Dates: September 10 – October 4, 2015
Opening Night: September 15, 2015

Bold, beautiful tale of maternal love and Tibetan monks
opens Marin Theatre Company’s 49th Season

MILL VALLEY, CA—Marin Theatre Company opens its 49th Season with the West Coast premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s The Oldest Boy. An American woman and her Tibetan husband are making a life together in the United States with their son, who has just turned three. When two monks arrive on their doorstep with the revelation that the toddler may be a reincarnated lama, the ultimate test of a mother’s love may be her ability to let him go. Interspersed with Tibetan Buddhist ritual and dance and featuring renowned Berkeley-based Tibetan artist Tsering Dorjee Bawa, the play is as powerful as it is beautiful.

This will be the second production of The Oldest Boy, which premiered off Broadway at the Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in November 2014. The play was a recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s 2014 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award .

September 13 th Fundraiser Performance Supports
The Tibet Fund and The American Himalayan Fund

During the run of The Oldest Boy, Marin Theatre Company is pleased to partner with The Tibet Fund and The American Himalayan Foundation to raise awareness around Tibet’s movement toward autonomy and full human rights for Tibetans, as well as reincarnation in the Tibetan tradition. Half of the ticket revenue from the September 13 performance of the play will be donated to these two foundations; the performance will be followed by a panel discussion featuring playwright Sarah Ruhl as well as guests from the Tibetan Buddhist community.

New Partnership with UrbanSitter to help moms
attend this play about motherhood

Marin Theatre Company is proud to announce a new partnership with UrbanSitter, a website and app that helps busy parents find trusted babysitters and nannies, to enable the numerous young families in the Bay Area to attend live theater more easily. In addition to offering a special discount for Marin Theatre Company patrons, UrbanSitter will provide babysitters for MTC’s first Moms Matinee on Saturday, September 19, at 2:00 pm.

More about The Oldest Boy and Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee for best new play), The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 2005; The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); Passion Play, a cycle (Pen American award, The Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center); Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Helen Hayes award); Melancholy PlayEurydiceOrlandoDemeter in the City (NAACP nomination), and most recently, Stage Kiss and Dear Elizabeth. Her work has been frequently produced in the Bay Area, including numerous productions at Berkeley Rep.

A recipient of the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize , a 2006 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship and the 2008 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for Playwright in Mid-Career , Sarah Ruhl "aspires to reclaim the audience’s atrophied imagination… Her plays are bold. Her nonlinear form of realism is full of astonishments, surprises and mysteries." (The New Yorker ).

"It is a great honor for us to open our 49th season with the second production and West Coast premiere of Sarah Ruhl's newest play The Oldest Boy," said MTC artistic director Jasson Minadakis. "The play's themes of deep maternal love rooted in powerful spirituality, and Sarah's artistry, will resonate with audiences across the Bay Area."

Sarah Ruhl in conversation

Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche, Tibetan Buddhist Master and founder of Jewel Heart; Mickey Lemle, Filmmaker and Board Chairman of Tibet Fund and Sarah Ruhl, author of The Oldest Boy

The Oldest Boy at Lincoln Center

A Video montage from the 2014 world premiere production.


Tibetan Buddhism on Reincarnation

Internationally renowned Buddhist teacher Zasep Tulku Rinpoche discusses his life as a Tuklu, a reincarnated person in the Tibetan tradition. 

About the American Himalayan Fund

About The Tibet Fund

Urban Sitter – How it Works