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 Play; Eurydice; Orlando; Demeter 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

Performing Arts | Theater

The Oldest Boy | West Coast Premiere

Marin Theatre Company
By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Jessica Thebus

Featuring Christine Albright-Tufts, Kurt Uy, Tsering Dorjee Bawa, Wayne Lee, Jed Parsario, Melvign Badiola, Jinn S Kim

Sept 10 - Oct 4, 2015
Opening Night: Tuesday, Sept 15
Previews: Thursday, Sept 10 – Sunday, Sept 13

Performance Days
New! All Evening Shows at 7:30 pm: Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat & Sun
Matinees: Sun 9/13, 4:00 pm; Sun 9/20; 9/27 & 10/4, 2:00 pm | Sat 9/19 & 10/3, 2:00 pm | Thu 9/24, 1:00 pm

Marin Theatre Company | 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941

When two Tibetan Buddhist monks unexpectedly appear on an American woman’s doorstep, she invites them into her home assuming that they are there to see her husband, a Tibetan immigrant and respected chef. However, with the revelation that they are there to see her toddler, who may be a reincarnated lama, the woman is faced with a mother’s greatest fantasy and worst nightmare – her child may be preternaturally special, but she may be separated from him far too soon.

"An emotional tsunami, an extraordinary story from a singular voice in American theater."
The Hollywood Reporter

Running Time: Two hours


Ticket Prices

Discounts for seniors, youth, groups, military families and Marin County teachers are available. Contact the Box Office for more details.


· After Words: Join a member of MTC’s artistic staff (often with one or more members of the cast) for a Q&A talk back after every performance, except Saturday evenings and Opening and Closing Nights

· Perspectives pre-show topical lecture: Thu, 9/24, 12:00 p.m.

New! Marin Theatre Company is proud to partner with the Theatre Development Fund's Open Captioning Initiative to provide open captioned performances of each of the plays in our mainstage series on the Thursday matinee. The open captioned performance for The Oldest Boy will be Thursday, 9/24, at 1:00pm.

For visually impaired patrons, Large Print playbills are available with one week’s advance notice. To request a Large Print playbill, call MTC’s Box Office, (415) 388-5208, or use the California Telecommunications Relay Service by dialing “711.” For hearing impaired patrons, amplified sound Listening Devices are available.

CONTACT | (415) 388-5208 |

Founded in 1966, Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area’s premier mid-sized theater and the leading professional theater in the North Bay. We produce a six-show season of provocative plays by passionate playwrights from the 20th century and today in our 231-seat main stage theater, as well as a four-show Theater Series for Young Audiences. We are committed to the development and production of new plays by American playwrights, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes productions of premieres, two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards, readings and workshops by the nation’s best emerging playwrights and membership in the National New Play Network. Our numerous education programs serve more than 8,500 students from over 50 Bay Area schools each year. MTC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Michael Barker, Managing Director
(415) 322-6020 |