Wonder Woman! Coming to a theater near you... in Marin

Actors Jessa Brie Moreno, Liz Sklar and Nicholas Rose play ficticious versions of the Marstons – the polyamorous family that inspired the creation of Wonder Woman - in Marin Theatre Company's LASSO OF TRUTH | photo by Kevin Berne
Actors Jessa Brie Moreno, Liz Sklar and Nicholas Rose play ficticious versions of the Marstons – the polyamorous family that inspired the creation of Wonder Woman - in Marin Theatre Company's LASSO OF TRUTH | photo by Kevin Berne
You may have to wait until 2016 to see your favorite Amazonian warrior princess on the big screen, but fear not: Marin Theatre Company’s world premiere production of Carson Kreitzer’s Lasso of Truth, beginning this week in Mill Valley on Thursday, February 20, will tide you over while you wait.

The play explores the knotty history behind the superheroine's controversial maker – pop psychologist and inventor of the polygraph lie detector William Moulton Marston – and the real-life wonder women who inspired her creation.  Kreitzer’s bold new work promises the emotional depth behind the Amazon that her fans have come to love and expect. The same can’t yet be said for director Zack Snyder’s sequel to Man of Steel.

Yes, the long-awaited appearance of Wonder Woman in a feature film has finally been announced, after too many Diana Prince-less decades since Lynda Carter’s iconic portrayal in the 1975-79 TV show. But the action genre is not known for focusing on strong female leads and it’s easy to worry that our beloved heroine will be relegated to a love interest – for Batman? For Superman? For both? Will she be a partner to fight beside or an object to fight over? Too often has Wonder Woman been forced to play a background role to men – (Remember when our favorite warrior woman was invited to join the Justice Society of America, predecessor of the Justice League… as their secretary? Yeah, that happened.) – and introducing her to film in a flick fans are calling “Batman vs. Superman” feels all too familiar.

Yes, Israeli actress Gal Gadot has been signed to play the iconic character for a three movie contract, piquing the excitement of fans anxious for solo Wonder Woman movies. This despite the criticism of Gadot’s physicality – much of it coming from males concerned about her apparently too-small bust size. No one who’s seen her in the “Fast and Furious” franchise can deny that the woman can kick some serious butt (she spent two years in the Israeli Defense Forces, for Hera’s sake!). But the three picture contract is standard for the industry, and is no guarantee that we will see Wonder Woman in her own feature film anytime soon.

And which origin story will the filmmakers use? Will they stay true to that which sets Wonder Woman apart from other superheroes – that she is a self-made fighter equipped with magical tools but no particularly magical abilities, representing the strength possible for any woman? That she is an advocate for justice but also for peace, converting her enemies to a belief in equality?

Ponder what it says about Hollywood that the best-known comic female superhero has yet to appear in cinema, while they roll out the 8th Batman and 6th Superman (depending on how you count)? And what it says about our society that the biggest worry over Gadot’s casting is her body type – questions that speak to the very core of gender roles in our society.

But don’t fret! Lasso of Truth untangles Wonder Woman’s knotty history, from her origin story within her creator's alternative family (he lived in a polyamorous relationship with two women – yes, really), to her lasting impact in shaping the identities of millions of women today. Unlike any play you’ve ever seen before, this inventive multimedia theatrical experience combines live action with comic book illustration and animation. Don't miss it!

Runs February 20 – March 16 at Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA.

Watch the "First Look" trailer.

Visit the official LASSO OF TRUTH website.

Read an interview with the playwright about the origins of the play.

Watch the Belvedere-Tiburon Library talk with director Jasson Minadakis and playwright Carson Kreitzer.

– Rachel Wiegardt-Egel

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