MTC Announces 2018-19 Season Directors

1819 Directors Collage
(TL - BR) Jasson Minadakis, Megan Sandberg-Zakian, Margo Hall, Hana S. Sharif, Awoye Timpo, and Mike Donahue Will Direct in MTC's 2018-19 Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 21, 2018

MARIN THEATRE COMPANY
ANNOUNCES LINEUP
OF 2018-19 SEASON DIRECTORS

MILL VALLEY, CAMarin Theatre Company (MTC) is thrilled to announce five sensational guest directors for their 2018-19 mainstage season.

“For the first time in my tenure at Marin Theatre Company, I am delighted to announce that we will have five extraordinary guest directors joining us next season—four of whom are women. The artistry and vision they have all shown in their individual work will bring a vibrancy and richness that will enhance and expand the vitality of our playwrights’ works. These directors are all leaders in the American theatre as well as being leaders in their respective home communities and I have been looking forward to having each of them inspire and lead our local community of artists and patrons. That all five of them arrive in one season is a testament to the range of new American work our company is presenting in 2018-19.” - Jasson Minadakis, Artistic Director


Megan Sandberg-Zakian Directs the World Premiere of
The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley
By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon

Megan Sandberg-Zakian is a freelance theater director based in Jamaica Plain, MA. Recent directing credits include the world premiere of Nat Turner in Jerusalem (New York Theatre Workshop), Skeleton Crew (The Huntington Theatre Company), The Broken Record (New York Times Critics Pick, FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award), The Convert (Underground Railway Theater, Elliot Norton Award: Outstanding Production), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Trinity Rep/Perishable Theatre), Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea (Cleveland Public Theatre, NNPN Rolling World Premiere). Megan has previously served as the Associate Artistic Director of The 52nd Street Project (NYC), The Providence Black Rep (RI), and Underground Railway Theater (Cambridge, MA). She is currently the Director-in-Residence at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA, where credits include the world premiere of Eleanor Burgess’ Chill, The Royale, A Christmas Carol, and It’s a Wonderful Life. She is a recipient of the Princess Grace Theater Award and the TCG Future Leaders fellowship, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a proud SDC member, and co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with Middle Eastern stories. megansz.com, maiadirectors.com

About the play: For the holiday season, MTC revisits Regency-era romance with the World Premiere of Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley—a companion piece to the duo’s delightful Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley—both continuations of Jane Austen’s popular novel, Pride and Prejudice. As the events of Miss Bennet unfold upstairs at Pemberley, the servants below stairs find themselves in the midst of a different holiday scandal. An unwelcome visitor has stumbled into the hall in the middle of the night—Mr. Darcy’s nemesis and Lydia’s incorrigible husband: Mr. Wickham. The bustling housekeeper Mrs. Reynolds, Lucy the resilient new serving girl, and Brian the helplessly romantic groomsman, must each balance their holiday preparations with keeping Wickham confined—for a secreted letter may be the key to bringing him to justice. But before long, old grudges and new misunderstandings reach a boiling point, and as the festivities spiral into chaos, Pemberley’s residents struggle to keep peace without taking sides. Warm and sensational, Gunderson and Melcon’s second Austen adaptation delves into class, privilege, family and forgiveness—and what it means to truly give, in the season of giving.


Margo Hall Directs August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned
In Partnership with African American Shakespeare Company
and Ubuntu Theater Project

Margo Hall is an award winning actor/director/playwright. She has performed and directed in theatres throughout the Bay Area. She recently directed Barbecue for SF Playhouse (which she also starred in) which won the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle Award for Best Direction, and Best Production for 2018. Other directing credits include Red Velvet and The Story for SF Playhouse, Brownsville Song, b-side for tray for Shotgun Players, where she also co-directed Bulrusher with Ellen Sebastian Chang. She is a founding member of Campo Santo, and has directed, performed and collaborated on several new plays with artists such as Naomi Iizuka, Jessica Hagedorn, Philip Kan Gotanda, and Octavio Solis. She debuted as a director with the World Premiere of Joyride, from the novel Grand Avenue by Greg Sarris, for Campo Santo. The production won the Critics Circle Award and SF Weekly Black Box Award for Best Director. She also co-directed Mission Indians with Nancy Benjamin, The Trail of Her Inner Thigh with Rhodessa Jones, Hotel Angulo, and Simpatico for Campo Santo. Other directing credits include Thurgood for Lorraine Hansberry Theater, and Friend of my Youth and Sonny’s Blues for Word for Word. She is also a professor at Chabot College where she directed Fabulation, Hamlet Blood in the Brain, The Trojan Women, It Falls, SPUNK, Ragtime, and A Streetcar Named Desire and Polaroid Stories at UC Berkeley.

About the play: From the late August Wilson, one of America’s greatest playwrights and creator of award-winning titles like Fences and Jitney, comes this autobiographical tour de force. In his one-man show, Wilson takes us on a journey through his days as a young poet: his first few jobs, a stint in jail, the support of his lifelong friends, and his encounters with racism, music, and love as a struggling writer in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Originally performed by Wilson himself, How I Learned What I Learned is a heartfelt theatrical memoir—charting one man’s journey of self-discovery through adversity, and what it means to be a black artist in America.


Hana S. Sharif Directs The Who & The What, by Ayad Ahktar

Hana S. Sharif is a director, playwright, producer and currently serves as Associate Artistic Director at Baltimore Center Stage. She served as Associate Artistic Director, Director of New Play Development, and Artistic Producer at Hartford Stage; Program Manager of the ArtsEmerson Ambassador Program; and as Developmental Producer/Tour Manager of Progress Theatre’s musical The Burnin’. Hana also served as co-founder and Artistic Director of Nasir Productions, which brings theatre to underserved communities. Her regional directing credits include: Sense & Sensibility, The Christians, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Pride & Prejudice (DCArts: Best Director/Best New Play), The Whipping Man, Gem of the Ocean (six CCC nominations), Gee’s Bend (CCC Award Best Ensemble, two nominations), Next Stop Africa, Cassie, The Drum, and IFdentity. Hana has directed numerous developmental workshops, including Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder’s The Chat and Chew Supper Club, Janine Nabers’ A Swell in the Ground, and Marcus Gardley’s The House That Will Not Stand. Her plays include All the Women I Used to Be, The Rise and Fall of Day, and The Sprott Cycle Trilogy. Hana is the recipient of the 2009–10 Aetna New Voices Fellowship and Theatre Communications Group (TCG) New Generations Fellowship. She serves on the board of directors for the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and the Sprott Foundation.

About the play: In this fiery comedy, brilliant Pakistani-American writer Zarina is focused on finishing her novel about women and Islam when she meets Eli—a young convert who bridges the gulf between her modern life and her traditional heritage. But when her conservative father and sister discover her controversial manuscript, they are all forced to confront the beliefs that define them. Ayad Akhtar continues his seven-work cycle on the Muslim-American experience with this thrillingly fierce and funny new play about identity, religion and the contradictions that make us who we are.


Awoye Timpo Directs the West Coast Premiere of Jazz, by Nambi E. Kelley
Based on the Novel by Toni Morrison,
With Original Score Composed by Marcus Shelby

Awoye Timpo’s credits include: The Homecoming Queen (Atlantic Theater), Skeleton Crew (Chester Theater), Sister Son/ji (Billie Holiday Theater), Carnaval (National Black Theatre), Ndebele Funeral (59E59, South African tour, Edinburgh Festival); The Libation Bearers (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ), Araby (La MaMa), In the Continuum (Juilliard); Clybourne Park (Farmers Alley), The Vanished (Novisi). Producer: CLASSIX, a reading series exploring classic plays by Black playwrights. Broadway: Associate Director, Jitney; Assistant Director, Shuffle Along. Other: ABC/Disney, Cherry Lane, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Ma-Yi, New Dramatists, NOW Africa, Page 73, PEN World Voices, Rising Circle, Royal Shakespeare Company, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and WNYC.

About the play: Adapted for the stage from Toni Morrison’s stunning novel and musically underscored by Bay-Area jazz great Marcus Shelby—Jazz is a theatrical composition, transporting us to Harlem, 1926. Here, the city overflows with jazz. Characters move with musicality, and speak in rhythm, and at the heart of it all is Violet—a middle-aged woman set on revenge. Her husband’s affair with a beautiful young woman has set off a series of violent events and unforgivable acts, and Violet seeks out answers. As layered, dream-like perspectives unfold, Jazz exposes a host of deeply complex individuals, who—like the growing New York neighborhood and the ancestral, winding woods of Violet’s southern youth—reveal their own distinct rhythms.


Mike Donahue Directs The World Premiere of Wink, by Jen Silverman

Mike Donahue is a New York-based director. NYC credits include: world premieres of Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride (MCC, The Geffen and Denver Center, Joe A. Callaway Award, Outer Critics Circle Nomination, Ovation Award Nomination); Jordan Seavey’s Homos, Or Everyone In America (Labyrinth); Jen Silverman’s The Moors (Playwrights Realm – NYC premiere), Phoebe in Winter (Clubbed Thumb) and The Hunters (Cherry Lane Mentor Project); and Ethan Lipton’s Red-Handed Otter (Playwrights Realm). Regionally, world premieres of Jen Silverman’s Collective Rage (Woolly Mammoth) and The Roommate (Humana, Williamstown); Rachel Bonds’ Curve of Departure (South Coast Rep, Studio Theatre), The Wolfe Twins (Studio Theatre) and Swimmers (Marin); and Matthew Lopez’s Zoey’s Perfect Wedding and Lauren Feldman’s Grace, or The Art of Climbing (Denver Center). Mike is recipient of a Fulbright to Berlin, the Drama League Fall Fellowship, The Boris Sagal Fellowship at Williamstown, and was the artistic director of the Yale Summer Cabaret for two seasons.  Mike is a graduate of Harvard University and the Yale School of Drama.

About the play: Sofie is an unhappy housewife. Gregor is her breadwinning husband. Dr. Franz is their strange psychiatrist. Wink is the cat. And Gregor has just skinned the cat. Violent desires, domestic anarchy, and feline vengeance at any cost make Wink a dark comedy about the thin, thin line between savagery and civilization.


MTC’s Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis Directs
the West Coast Premiere of Tony Award-winning Oslo, by J.T. Rogers

Jasson Minadakis begins his 13th season as artistic director of Marin Theatre Company, where he has directed Shakespeare in Love, Thomas and Sally, Guards at the Taj, August: Osage County, The Invisible Hand, Anne Boleyn, The Convert, The Whale, Failure: A Love Story, the world premiere of Lasso of Truth, The Whipping Man (San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle Awards for Best Production and Best Acting Ensemble), Waiting for Godot, Othello: the Moor of Venice, The Glass Menagerie, Edward Albee’s Tiny Alice, the world premiere of Libby Appel’s adaptation of Chekhov’s Seagull, Happy Now?, Equivocation (SFBATCC Award, Best Director), the world premiere of Sunlight, Lydia, The Seafarer, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, A Streetcar Named Desire, said Saïd, Love Song, and The Subject Tonight is Love. As artistic director of Actor’s Express Theatre Company, he directed The Pillowman; Bug; The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer; Echoes of Another Man; Killer Joe; Burn This; The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?; Blue/Orange; and Bel Canto. As producing artistic director of Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, he directed Jesus Hopped the ’A’ Train, Chagrin Falls (2002 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Best Production), and numerous others, including 19 productions of Shakespeare. Regional credits include The Whipping Man at Virginia Stage Company, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Hamlet at Georgia Shakespeare, Copenhagen at Playhouse on the Square (2003 Ostrander Theatre Award for Best Dramatic Production), and Bedroom Farce at Wayside Theatre.

About the play: This smash-hit political thriller tells the true and widely unknown story of how Norwegian diplomat Mona Juul, and her husband, social scientist Terje Rød-Larsen, planned and orchestrated top-secret meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, culminating in the historic 1993 Oslo Accords. Through back-channel talks, unlikely friendships and quiet heroics, common ground between the Israeli and Palestinian envoys is carefully unearthed. Oslo is a deeply personal story set against a complex historical canvas, a story about the individuals behind world history and their all too human ambitions.


CALENDAR

Oslo
| Bay Area Premiere
By J.T. Rogers
September 27 - October 21, 2018
Opening Night: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 7:30 pm

The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley | Rolling World Premiere
By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
November 15 - December 9, 2018
Opening Night: Tuesday, November 20, at 7:30pm

August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned | Bay Area Premiere
By August Wilson | Co-conceived by Todd Kreidler
In partnership with Ubuntu Theater Project and African-American Shakespeare Company
January 10 – February 3, 2019
Opening Night: Tuesday, January 15, at 7:30 pm

The Who & The What | Bay Area Premiere
By Ayad Akhtar
February 28 – March 24, 2019
Opening Night: Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30 pm

Jazz | West Coast Premiere
Adapted by Nambi E. Kelley | Based on the novel by Toni Morrison
April 25 - May 19, 2019
Opening Night: Tuesday, April 30, at 7:30 pm

Wink | World Premiere
By Jen Silverman
June 13 – July 7, 2019
Opening Night: Tuesday, June 18, 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 premier mid-sized theatre and the leading professional theatre in the North Bay. We produce a six-show season focused on new American plays. 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 6,000 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 theatre, regardless of personal means. MTC celebrates the intellectual curiosity of our community, and we believe that theatre is an important tool to help build empathy. MTC was founded in 1966 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

PRESS CONTACT
Kate Robinson, Communications and Public Relations Associate
(415) 322-6029 | kater@marintheatre.org

#####