The Marin Theatre Company’s 2018-19 season features the work of, clockwise from top left, the late, great August Wilson; Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon; Nambi E. Kelley; Jen Silverman; JT Rogers; and Ayad Akhtar. Courtesy images.

Marin Theatre Company has unveiled its 2018-19 season, pulling back the curtain on six shows that include a pair of world premieres, the Bay Area debuts of August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned and The Who & The What by Ayad Akhtar, as well as the West Coast premiere of Nambi E. Kelley’s Jazz follows, based on the book by Toni Morrison, and featuring music composed by Bay Area jazz vet Marcus Shelby.

“This season is a diverse journey of brave stories of everyday people struggling to make the world a better place,” MTC artistic director Jasson Minadakis says in a statement. “From the unknown heroes of the Oslo Accords to the everyday men and women of 1920s Harlem to the story behind August Wilson’s Century Cycle, this season will lift your spirits and inspire your imagination.”

MTC managing director Keri Kellerman adds, “The brilliant poet and activist Audre Lord said ‘[I]t is not difference which immobilizes, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.’ We hope the playwrights and plays in our 2018-19 season begin to answer that call by lifting up urgent and necessary stories that help illuminate what it means to live in America today.”

The season in MTC’s 231-seat main stage Boyer Theatre kicks off Sept. 21 with the Bay Area premiere of J.T. Rogers’ Oslo, a “darkly comic and fast-paced” Tony-winning play – direct from Broadway – that “tells the true and widely unknown story of how a couple of young Norwegian academics,  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. 

MTC then turns its attention to the holiday season starting Nov. 15 with the world premiere of The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley, by MTC playwright-in-residence Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, a companion piece to the duo’s Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, which hit the MTC stage in 2016.

On Jan. 10, 2019, MTC hosts the Bay Area premiere of August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned, a solo show co-conceived by Todd Kreidler that tells the story behind Wilson’s craft and career. The show is produced in partnership with African-American Shakespeare Company and Ubuntu Theater Project.

Playwright Ayad Akhtar, whose The Invisible Hand capped MTC’s 2015-16 season, returns with The Who & The What a comedy about a Pakistani-American writer whose novel about women and Islam ruffles feathers with her conservative family and a young convert she meets.

In April and May, Kelley, who took the MTC stage by storm with her adaptation of Richard Wright’s hugely influential 1940 novel Native Son, returns for the West Coast Premiere of her lyrical, prismatic drama Jazz. 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 audiences to Harlem in 1926. 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.

The season concludes in June and July with the world premiere of Wink by Jen Silverman, a dark comedy about an unhappy housewife, her breadwinning husband, their strange psychiatrist, and their anthropomorphic cat Wink, who gets skinned by the husband. “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 says.

“I’m fascinated by human relationships, and I’m always trying to find new lenses to see us through, new ways of understanding our complexities,” says Silverman. “Wink is a dark comedy with absurdist tendencies, but it seeks to cut to the heart of something authentic and true in how we long for and lose each other, how we recover and rebuild.”

Here’s the full 2018-19 lineup:
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

The 411: Marin Theatre Company unveiled it six plays of the 2018-2019 season, starting Sept. 27 and running through July 7, 2019. MORE INFO

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