• Mar 8, 2012

You Heard it Here First

There used to be a sort of “trickle down” philosophy in the American theater – a play would premiere in New York and in the following years it would make the rounds of the regional theater scene armed with reviews and the Big Apple seal of approval. Thankfully, the success of regional theaters and the extraordinary vision of artistic directors who value and support new work has changed that model for the better. Now a play can earn recognition and gain traction with theater companies around the country, and a playwright is given the time and space she needs to create and perfect a script before it is taken to New York and elsewhere.

In the past ten years, Marin Theatre Company has cemented its reputation as one of the companies to give their audience the rare chance to see a new play or the work of a new writer on the edge of national recognition. The New Play Program at Marin Theatre – through commissions, readings and the two annual new play prizes – seeks out outstanding new plays and extraordinary new voices and showcases them for audiences in the Bay Area often before the rest of the world has taken notice. 

Two plays that premiered at Marin Theatre Company went on to receive the American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg Award for best play to premiere outside of New York – 9 Circles by Bill Cain and and You by Lauren Gunderson, both of which have gone on to receive productions at companies across the country, including in New York. Three recent winners of the Marin Theatre Company play prizes are enjoying New York premieres right now – The Way West by Mona Mansour (2013 Sky Cooper winner), Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau (2014 Sky Cooper winner) and Ironbound by Martyna Majok (2014 David Calicchio winner). 

Rachel Bonds’ play Swimmers, currently in production at Marin Theatre, is a modern, funny, meaningful new play by one of the most talented new voices writing for the American stage. When you come to Swimmers, you’ll be seeing the play that everyone will be talking about next year. You’ll be able to say, “I saw it first.”