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Marin Theatre Company announces 2014-15 season

Marin Theatre Company, a 48 year-old live theater nonprofit arts organization in Mill Valley, California.
Marin Theatre Company, a 48 year-old live theater nonprofit arts organization in Mill Valley, California.
MILL VALLEY – Big personalities spar, fractured families try to reconnect and a capella gospel music is sung in Marin Theatre Company’s newly announced 2014-15 mainstage season. Beginning in August, the 48-year old nonprofit theater company’s stirring and diverse lineup of bold new American plays is not to be missed!

This provocative season opens in August with the West Coast premiere of San Francisco native Will Power’s Fetch Clay, Make Man. Power was a force in the Bay Area rap and hip-hop scene all through the 90s (with the group Midnight Voices), but his work hasn’t been seen here since 2003. The triumphant new play that marks his return explores one of the most unlikely friendships of the 60s – between the young upstart heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali and disgraced character actor Stepin Fetchit, who was known for portraying the worst of African American stereotypes.

In October, MTC will produce the Bay Area premiere of Sam Hunter’s hauntingly beautiful The Whale, winner of MTC’s own 2011 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize. This insightful, devastating and often very funny new play revolves around Charlie, a 600 lb man desperately trying to reach out to his troubled and estranged daughter. Locally, Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley produced Hunter’s A Bright New Boise in November 2013 to critical acclaim.

Over the holidays, MTC welcomes back the Marin-bred comic genius of the Reduced Shakespeare Company for the first time in 15 years. The wild and witty trio got their start at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Novato, and though they have since become an internationally renowned touring comedy group, their clever and side-splittingly funny work has remained a staple in the area. They return to present their newest send-up The Complete History of Comedy (abridged), which premiered in August 2013 at the Napa Valley Playhouse.

February will see another local premiere take the stage with the Bay Area debut of award-winning Zimbabwean-American playwright Danai Gurira and her astonishing new play The Convert, a passionate and surprising examination of a young African woman torn between her new and fervent Christian faith and her heritage. Gurira’s hard-hitting work has not yet been seen in the area, but she is best known for her role in the hit AMC drama series The Walking Dead.

With the West Coast premiere production of 2013 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize winner The Way West by Mona Mansour, MTC will include two Sky Cooper winners in the same season for the first time. This irreverent and music-filled play centers on a Central California family of women going through hard financial times, and explores American exceptionalism and the pioneer spirit. Mansour’s work has often been seen at Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco, with her Urge for Going playing there in November 2013.

To close out the season, MTC will bring 2013 McCarthur Genius grant-awardee Tarell Alvin McCraney’s work back to the Bay Area for the first time since his highly acclaimed three-theater local premiere of “The Brother/Sister Plays” at MTC, Magic Theatre and A.C.T. in 2010. His new play Choir Boy is a beautiful coming-of-age tale that examines power dynamics, the search for one’s identity, and the universalities of love and hate through the story of teenagers battling for top spot in the choir of their all-male black Southern prep school.

Six-play full-season subscriptions and four-ticket flex packages are on sale now for MTC’s 2014-15 Season. Subscription packages offer savings off single ticket prices, exclusive benefits and personalized customer service. Six-play full-season subscriptions are available for $120-306 and include free ticket exchanges, lost ticket replacement and priority seating. For more information about subscriptions, visit marintheatre.org or contact MTC’s Box Office, (415) 388-5208. Single tickets go on sale in early July.

– Rachel Wiegardt-Egel

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