MTC Announces 2020/21 Season of New Works

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2020

MARIN THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES
54th SEASON OF NEW WORKS

MILL VALLEY, CA—Marin Theatre Company’s artistic director Jasson Minadakis is thrilled to announce an exciting lineup of theatrical experiences for its 54th Season. Initial programming will be offered digitally while our physical doors must remain closed due to COVID-19. Programming slated for Fall 2021 will hopefully be produced live on stage in our Boyer Theatre, with social distance seating options available as one of our committed safety protocols for the new year. More information on sanitization practices will be publicized once we are certain we can safely invite patrons back into our building. 

  • American Dreams by Leila Buck | West Coast Digital Debut in partnership with Working Theatre (Cleveland) and others, November 2020
  • The Catastrophist by Lauren Gunderson from | World Premiere Digital Co-Production with Round House Theatre (DC), January / February 2021
  • The Brilliant Mind of Yusef El Musri by Denmo Ibrahim | World Premiere Streaming Production in Partnership with STORYKRAPHT, April / May 2021
  • TBA Streaming or Physical Production, June / July 2021
  • The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp | West Coast Premiere, September / October 2021
  • Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon | World Premiere, November / December 2021


Sentiments from Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis

“Our team of artists have put in an enormous amount of dreaming, research and theorizing to create a season that launches with three thrilling productions in the digital and virtual realms. I am so proud of the effort that everyone has made to think outside the box, inside the box, through the box and down the rabbit hole to create pieces with visionary formats that match their unique voices and stories. I’m also excited to see what our fourth production will be, a physical or digital manifestation of our new Associate Artistic Director’s vision of theatre. We will introduce you to our new AAD soon, so stay tuned. We are also announcing that our final two productions will be live productions from our Boyer Theatre, hopefully with a combined live and virtual audience so folks who aren’t ready to come back to the theatre can still participate. If conditions don’t permit live theatre in Fall of 2021, don’t worry. We’re going to continue to commission new American work for the virtual realm so we can pivot to keep bringing you the best new American voices. Thank you for staying with us and for believing in our work and in the American Playwright. 

—Jasson Minadakis | Artistic Director


American Dreams by Leila Buck | West Coast Digital Debut 
in Partnership with Working Theatre, and others

American Dreams invites YOU to participate in the newest game show sensation - where you, the audience, decide who wins the ultimate prize: citizenship to “the greatest nation on earth.” Redefining online theater, this is a participatory performance which changes every night.

American Dreams captivates you, while simultaneously exploring how we navigate between fear, security, and freedom; who and what we choose to believe—and how those choices come to shape who we are as citizens, and as a nation.

American Dreams premiered to great acclaim at Cleveland Public Theatre for live audiences. This fall, the show launches as a national virtual theater production. This ground-breaking online tour will "travel" across the U.S., inviting audiences into playful, timely engagement and dialogue around what it means to be a citizen of this country.

Leila Buck is a Lebanese American playwright, actor, facilitator and educator. She has performed and developed her work at the Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Culture Project, Brooklyn Museum, BRIC Arts, Cleveland Public Theatre, Mosaic Theater at Arena Stage, and the Wilma Theater (Barrymore Award), and in France, Spain, Finland, Denmark, Tunisia, Lebanon, and China. She is currently working on two commissions, for En Garde Arts and California Shakespeare Theatre. A State Dept Speaker Specialist and Cultural Envoy, she has lived, performed, and taught theatrical tools for literacy, conflict resolution, and intercultural engagement with NYTW and Lincoln Center and to youth, educators, aid workers, UN delegates, and others across the U.S., Europe, China, Australia, and 11 Arab countries. As artist-in-residence for Wesleyan University’s Doris Duke Foundation Building Bridges grant, she created interactive work about the (mis)representation of Muslims in the U.S., and received the Edgar Beckham Social Justice Award. Her work is featured in American Theatre; TCG’s Finding Home Essay Salon; Stages of Resistance (ed. Caridad Svich); Innovation in Five Acts; Etching Our Own Image: Voices from the Arab American Art Movement, and Four Arab-American Plays. She is a member of the Public Theater’s inaugural Emerging Writers Group, a Usual Suspect with New York Theatre Workshop, and teaches Participatory Performance and Civic Engagement and Writing Beyond Our Borders at NYU, from which she holds a Master’s in Theatre for Cross Cultural Education. leilabuck.com


The Catastrophist by Lauren Gunderson based on the life and work of 
Dr. Nathan Wolfe | World Premiere Digital Co-Production with Round House Theatre

How do you plan for a catastrophe? Virologist Nathan Wolfe, named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for his work tracking viral pandemic outbreaks, proposed pandemic insurance years before the novel coronavirus outbreak. No one bought it. Now, in a post-COVID world, we hear his story—presented as cinematic digital theatre. MTC Playwright in Residence Lauren Gunderson returns with a time-jumping tale based on the life and work of Nathan Wolfe (who also happens to be her husband). Though not a play about COVID19, it is a true story of a pandemic expert. An interactive deep dive into the profundities of scientific exploration and the harrowing realities of facing your own mortality, The Catastrophist is a world premiere theatrical experience built of and for this moment in time.

Lauren M. Gunderson has been one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015 topping the list twice including 2019/20. She is a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for I and You and The Book of Will, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s Playwright Residency with Marin Theatre Company. 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. She co-authored the Miss Bennet plays with Margot Melcon, and her play The Half-Life of Marie Curie is available on Audible.com. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You; Exit Pursued By A Bear; The Taming and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists Play Service (The Revolutionists; The Book of Will; Silent Sky; Bauer, Natural Shocks, The Wickhams and Miss Bennet) and Samuel French (Emilie). Her picture book Dr Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon is available from Two Lions/Amazon. LaurenGunderson.com

Dr. Nathan Wolfe is the Founder & Chair of Metabiota, which provides a unique data analytics platform for epidemic risk. Wolfe received his doctorate in Immunology & Infectious Diseases from Harvard in 1998. He has been honored with a Fulbright fellowship and the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Wolfe has published over 100 scientific publications and his work has been published in or covered by Wired, Nature, Science, The New York Times, The Economist, NPR, The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes among others. His critically acclaimed book, The Viral Storm, has been published in six languages and was shortlisted in 2012 for the Royal Society’s Winton Prize. In 2011 he was named as one of the hundred most influential people in the world by Time magazine; Rolling Stone named him one of the “100 Agents of Change” in 2009; and Popular Science recognized him as one of their “Brilliant 10” in 2006.

Round House Theatre is one of the leading professional theatres in the Washington, DC area, producing a season of new plays, modern classics, and musicals for more than 40,000 patrons each year at our theatre in Bethesda. Round House has been nominated for 197 Helen Hayes Awards and has won 37, including four Outstanding Resident Play Awards and the Charles MacArthur Award for Original New Play in 2016. Round House’s lifelong learning and education programs serve more than 5,000 students each year at its Education Center in Silver Spring, in schools throughout Montgomery County, and at our Bethesda theatre. Cornerstone programs include Free Play, which provides free tickets for students age 13-college, the Teen Performance Company, which culminates in the student-produced Sarah Metzger Memorial Play, Summer Camp for students in grades K-12, and a full slate of classes for Adults & Youth.


The Brilliant Mind of Yusef El Musri 
by Denmo Ibrahim | World Premiere Streaming Production in Partnership with STORYKRAPHT

Tonight he will lose everything. Some say he was dealt an unfair hand. They called him Mr. Gold. But after he rose to small town fame something strange happened. He blames five-card stud. One trick led to another. Suddenly, he was hunting down the Queen of Hearts. He must have lost his mind. ‘Twas a bettor’s mistake that began a streak of bad luck. Now they call him Mr. Mudd. Is this a joke? Which way out? Poor fella, if he knew -- the only way out is through.

The Brilliant Mind of Yusef El Musri is a live digital interactive experience exploring the immigrant psyche. Choose a portal. Chase the narrative. Piece together the story. You control his destiny. Inspired by Towns Van Zandts’s iconic tune Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold with story design by writer Denmo Ibrahim and lead actor Mattico David. These two collaborators have reunited after their dynamic onstage partnership in last season’s Noura to bring you a bold new work that asks you to confess your reality. Make no mistake. His fate lies with you.

In this imaginative fantasy drama, Brilliant Mind explores mental illness in immigrant communities through a series of branching narratives. We meet Yusef, a man whose identity splits and splits and splits. Choose your adventure. Force his hand. Lure him into submission. Deviate from the obvious. Discover the secrets of an outsider in America who fights against all odds. Provocative, intimate, and wholly unique, no two experiences (or performances) will be the same. Explore the dark, poetic corners of one man’s unraveling mind as he struggles to find his way back to himself. 

Denmo Ibrahim is an Egyptian-American playwright, actor and theatre artist that designs immersive experiences. She is a Sundance Theater Lab Finalist and an award recipient of The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts and National Endowment for the Arts. She has co-written seven ensemble-based projects, authored two full-length plays, and published several articles on theater, wellness, health and healing. Her devised work has toured to international festivals in Egypt, France and Germany. In the U.S., her work has been supported by New York Theatre Workshop, Under St. Marks, Playwrights’ Center, Noor Theatre, University of Oregon, Golden Thread Productions, EXIT Theater, Alter Theatre and Zawaya. 

Denmo holds an MFA in Lecoq-based Actor Created Physical Theater from Naropa University and a BFA in Acting from Boston University. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, Dramatists Guild, and National Play Exchange. Denmo is a founding artistic director of Mugwumpin, a resident artist of Golden Thread, and is a founding member of the steering committee for MENATMA (Middle East North Africa Theater Makers Alliance). www.denmoibrahim.com

Mattico David is an Iraqi, Lebanese, and Irish artist from Flint, Michigan. He has performed Off Broadway and regionally throughout the country. Past stage work includes Noura at Playwrights Horizons, Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Old Globe, and Marin Theatre Company; A Streetcar Named Desire, Boeing, Boeing, A Stone Carver, Escanaba In Da’ Moonlight, Best of Friends, Apartment 3A, Corktown, Bleeding Red, Consider the Oyster, Growing Pretty, White Buffalo at the Purple Rose Theatre Company; American Buffalo, Disgraced at the Jewish Ensemble Theatre; and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at Flint City Theatre. He was a resident artist at Jeff Daniels’ Purple Rose Theatre Company and a founding member of Flint City Theatre. Mattico earned his BFA in Theater from the University of Michigan.


The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp | West Coast Premiere

A brilliant Ivy League writing professor. A talented yet mysterious student. An unthinkable favor. Everyone has a story—the question is how it ends. Penned by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp (Red Light Winter), The Sound Inside takes you behind the ivy-covered walls of Yale, and into New York’s literary haven, Greenwich Village, in this riveting new American play starring MTC favorite Denmo Ibrahim (Noura and The Who &The What).

Adam Rapp is the author of numerous plays, which include The Sound Inside (WTF, Broadway), Nocturne (A.R.T., New York Theatre Workshop), Finer Noble Gases (Rattlestick, Edinburgh Fringe, Fringe First Award), Kindness (Playwrights Horizons), The Metal Children (The Vineyard), The Hallway Trilogy (Rattlestick), Blackbird (The Bush, Edge Theatre), Stone Cold Dead Serious (A.R.T., Edge Theatre), and Red Light Winter (Steppenwolf, Barrow Street Theatre), for which he won Chicago’s Jeff Award, an OBIE, and was named a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize. His playwriting honors include The Helen Merrill Prize, The Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Award.

 

Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson 
and Margot Melcon | World Premiere

In the third installment of the Christmas at Pemberley trilogy, we follow Mr. Darcy’s younger sister, Georgiana, and Lizzie and Mary’s younger sister Kitty Bennet, who in the two years since the end of Pride and Prejudice have become best friends. Georgiana, shy and living under the scrutiny and control of her commanding older brother, is an accomplished pianist whose playing is filled with unparalleled sweetness and emotion. Kitty, now free of the influence of her flighty sister Lydia, is Georgiana’s joyful, practical confidant, determined to draw her friend out of her shell. It is Christmas and the whole family has gathered at Pemberley. Georgiana and Kitty are expecting the imminent arrival of Henry Grey, Georgiana’s secret correspondent, and his friend Thomas, but Darcy’s mistrust of all men around his sister leads to dashed hopes of a love that almost was as he drives Henry away.

The second half of the play leaps ahead twenty years, and Georgiana is set to premiere a new song on Christmas Eve, prompted by Kitty who, with her husband Thomas, has remained loyally by Georgiana’s side. Though she has become a well-respected musician and composer and is living a happy life, she never found love. But when the next generation of Bennet girls comes to London with their new friend, who happens to be the daughter of Henry Grey, to hear Georgiana’s concert, she may have a second chance.

Lauren M. Gunderson has been one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015 topping the list twice including 2019/20. She is a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for I and You and The Book of Will, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s Residency with Marin Theatre Company. 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. She co-authored the Miss Bennet plays with Margot Melcon, and her play The Half-Life of Marie Curie is available on Audible.com. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You; Exit Pursued By A Bear; The Taming and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists Play Service (The Revolutionists; The Book of Will; Silent Sky; Bauer, Natural Shocks, The Wickhams and Miss Bennet) and Samuel French (Emilie). Her picture book Dr Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon is available from Two Lions/Amazon. LaurenGunderson.com

Margot Melcon is a theatre artist, administrator, and writer. She was the director of new play development at Marin Theatre Company for seven years, where she dramaturged over thirty productions, including six world premieres, and administered the company’s two annual new play prizes and commissioning program. Margot has developed plays with TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Crowded Fire Theater, Shotgun Players, The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The New Harmony Project, and The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. She is currently the program executive for the Community Arts program at the Zellerbach Family Foundation. Margot is a graduate of California State University, Chico. 

Due to COVID-19, season programming and dates are TBD and subject to change. All Season 54 advance ticket-holders will be notified at the earliest possible moment of any changes in programming or performance dates that must be made in compliance with county and state health orders, as well as a detailed outline of safety protocols MTC will be implementing upon reopening its doors for physical events.

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 4,500 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 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
Sara Waugh, Director of Marketing and Communications 
(415) 388-5208 | saraw@marintheatre.org

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