Lauren Gunderson and August Wilson return to the Marin Theater Company for the 2022-23 season

Playwright August Wilson Photo: Lea Suzuki / The Chronicle 1995

The Marin Theater Company’s 2022-23 season, announced Thursday, August 4, shakes things up by changing its usual format of a six-play subscription season to four and adding a new element, the Marin New Play Festival co-produced by Tamalpais High School.

“The Marin Theater Company has prioritized new play productions and community partnerships for the upcoming season,” Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis and Executive Director/CEO Meredith Suttles told The Chronicle in a joint message. “We believe that four productions and a new play festival will not only maximize our offering in the short-term, but also allow us to rebuild capacity for long-term sustainability post-pandemic.”

Marin Theater Company Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis watches actor Mark Anderson Phillips rehearse Thomas and Sally. Photo: Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle 2017

The Mill Valley Company’s move aligns with many major Bay Area theaters such as the California Shakespeare Theatre, the American Conservatory Theater and TheatreWorks, which have also cut their seasons as the pandemic recovers.

The Marin Theater Company season begins with ‘Dunsinane’ (22 Sep – 16 Oct), a sequel to Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, written by Scottish playwright David Greig. Minadakis, who previously directed the company’s Macbeth-inspired Equivocation, reprises that role here, with a cast that includes the stalwart Aldo Billingslea and Lisa Anne Porter.

Aldo Billingslea (left) and Lance Gardner during a dress rehearsal of ‘The War of the Roses’ at the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle 2018

Next, the company continues its years-long exploration of the work of award-winning African-American playwright August Wilson with “Two Trains Running” (Nov. 25-Dec. 18), which like most of Wilson’s Century Cycle is set in Pittsburgh’s Hill Quarter. Set in 1969, this film explores the fate of the neighborhood through the lens of a restaurant slated for demolition. Increasingly in-demand Oakland director Dawn Monique Williams takes the helm.

No season of the Marin Theater Company would be complete without a work from prolific San Francisco writer Lauren M. Gunderson, her resident writer. Her contribution this time is the libretto for Justice (February 16 – March 12), a musical about Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O’Connor, Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson, with music by Bree Lowdermilk and lyrics by Kait Kerrigan.

Playwright Lauren Gunderson poses for a photo at the Marin Theater Company in Mill Valley. Photo: Josh Edelson / The Chronicle 2016

The West Coast premiere of Where Did We Sit on the Bus? (May 4-28) closes the season.

Brian Quijada’s one-person game with music explores where Latinos fit into a narrative of American racial history that too often presents a false dichotomy of black or white. Satya Chávez, who wrote some of the show’s compositions, stars and Matt Dickson is directing.

After the main stage season, the company plans to open the two-week Marin New Play Festival, where professional theater artists and Tam High students will stage four new plays, each receiving a scenic reading.

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  • Lili Janiak
    Lily Janiak is a theater critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @LilyJaniak

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