PictureA scene from the Marin Theatre Company’s production of “Mother of the Maid” in 2019. Photo by Kevin Berne.

Just a few weeks removed from announcing the organization’s most painful decisions in recent memory, Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley’s venerable professional theater that rivals in quality much larger production companies in the Bay Area, garnered seven awards at the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle‘s Gala. The virtual event, help on April 30, celebrated the work produced by Bay Area theatre artists in 2019.

All seven of MTC’s awards were for the Minadakis-directed Mother of the Maid, in which playwright Jane Anderson explored Joan of Arc, the peasant girl whose visions of St. Catherine propelled her to a leadership role in France’s battle to get out from under English rule, only to be captured, tried for heresy and burned at the stake, all before she’d even turned 20 years old. Anderson told the story through the eyes of Isabelle and Jacques Arc, Joan’s mom and dad, creating a gripping tale that begins in the bucolic fields of 15th century Domrémy in northeast France and ends with the horror of parents knowing that their daughter’s fate is out of their control.

Actor Steven Anthony Jones also won best solo performance for his portrayal of August Wilson in How I Learned What I Learned in January 2019.

The plaudits come in the wake of MTC Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis announcing the cancellation of the remainder of MTC’s 2019-2020 season, including Jordan Tannahill’s Botticelli in the Fire, which was scheduled to run April 23-May 17, and Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over, originally scheduled June 18-July 12. Minadakis also said the organization had to lay off roughly half of its staff in the hopes of weathering this crisis financially intact and being able to “provide stability, artistic work, and a place of community again as soon as possible.”

“We will be focusing on ways to move forward over the summer,” he added. “We’re hoping to bring much of our company back when we start performances again.”

The 411: Marin Theatre Company garnered seven awards at the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle‘s Gala. for its production of Mother of the Maid, in which playwright Jane Anderson explored Joan of Arc