Our season is smoking hot! We’re feeling so political (and sassy), we’ve even dubbed it the “Season of Revolution.” We’ve got three daring plays by a local, national, and international playwright on tap for you this year. And all three of their pieces boldly explore global politics, rendering the personal political and the political personal in startling new ways.  Did you like that phrase? If so, you should check out this press quote from Artistic Director Marissa Wolf. (Imagine she’s saying it in her fancy voice.)

Reflected in our mainstage line-up this season is the rising socio-political tension in the U.S.and abroad — from the Arab Spring, to the upcoming election, to the recent Occupy movement. Each play offers a complicated, powerful portrait of possession, invasion, and revolution with breathtaking theatricality.”

BOOM!

Hands reaching towards one another through smoke. A ghostly women peering out. Text reads GOOD GOODS by Christina Anderson.Kicking off the season is the West Coast Premiere of GOOD GOODS by Christina Anderson, reuniting the playwright with Marissa as her director. In a small Black town that doesn’t appear on any map, a young man is summoned back to run his family-owned general store. Past and present collide when four lost souls reunite, forcing Stacey Good to confront long buried feelings for Wire, his childhood best friend. Partnerships dissolve, alliances shift, and romances ignite as a tragic accident unleashes the town’s mysterious history. Blurring the line between body and spirit, GOOD GOODS is an otherworldly love story of the (dis)possessed.

We’re thrilled to bring Christina’s work back to the Bay Area stage after its successful production of DRIP in 2009. Christina, selected by American Theatre magazine as one of 15 up-and-coming artists “whose work will be transforming America’s stages for decades to come,” is also in residence at The Magic this year.  Her work has been featured around the country at Yale Rep, Steppenwolf, A.C.T., Penumbra Theater, About Face Theater, Playwrights’ Horizons, and Ars Nova. Anderson, who received her MFA from Yale, is the recipient of the Schwarzman Legacy Scholarship awarded by Paula Vogel. Sizzle.

CFT artists slated for the show include Mollena Williams playing Patricia, Emily Greene is designing the set, Rami Margron will be our movement coach, and Stephanie Henderson will keep things running smoothly as stage manager. More to come on further casting and designers.

Collage of images reflecting Middle Eastern culture. Central is a man directly gazing out with a butterfly over his mouth. Text reads INVASION! by Jonas Hassen Khemiri. Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles (Original Artworks entitled Butterfly's Secret by Ali Dadgar)Next up is the West Coast Premiere of INVASION!, a play that begins with a solitary name—Abulkasem. Through a tornado of words, a collage of images, and a finely woven tapestry of scenes, Jonas Hassen Khemiri takes us on a magical game of theatrical “telephone.” Who, or what, is this Abulkasem? My dancing uncle…the punchline to your joke…that smooth talking chick magnet we met at the bar…or the terror that comes in the night? INVASION! is an explosive comedy that assaults our deepest prejudices about identity, race, and language.

Praised as “a slyly entertaining comedy with a sharp political edge” by The New York Times, and as “snarky and subversive” by Theasy, INVASION! (a New York Times critics pick) garnered much praise through its 2011 debut and launched Jonas into the American playwriting spotlight with an Obie Award. Born in Sweden, Jonas was awarded the PO Enquist Literary Prize for the most promising young European writer.  He is the winner of the Borås Tidning Award for best Swedish Literary Debut, the Swedish Radio’s Novel Prize, and the Norwegian HEDDA Award for best play. Smokin’.

We’ve tapped local favorite, Evren Odcikin, to direct the hell out of this piece. CFT’s Lawrence Radecker will be a part of this cast of four. More to come on further casting and designers. These things take time!

Multiple computer screens washed in red with Mao Tse Tsung's picture on all of them. Text reads The Hundred Flowers Project by Christopher Chen.The final show of the 2012 season and co-production with Playwrights Foundation is the World Premiere of The Hundred Flowers Project, by one of the Bay Area’s most promising emerging playwrights, Christopher Chen. It’s a politically charged election year in the U.S. and a collective of “Generation D” Asian American actors are collaborating on a new play about one of the most defining socio-political phenomena of the 20th Century: Mao Tse Tung and the birth of modern China. In an effort to connect the power of today’s media to the propaganda employed throughout China’s Cultural Revolution, they expertly exploit 21st Century multimedia tools of the masses. As The Hundred Flowers Project becomes a world-wide high-tech spectacle, events from the actors’ real lives mysteriously infiltrate the story. And when the play spins out of control, this earnest troupe of players unexpectedly finds itself in dangerous territory. Just who—or what—has taken over their narrative?

Having received his MFA in playwriting from San Francisco State University, Chris has already garnered national recognition for his work at Silk Road Theatre, Theatre Mu, and The Lark Play Development Center. Breaking ground in Chinese-American cultural exchange, Chris’ Into the Numbers was produced by the Beijing International Fringe Festival, as one of the first public stagings in China about the Nanking Massacre.  Into the Numbers also won 2nd place in Belarus Free Theater’s international playwriting competition, in addition to being translated into Russian and Chinese. Hot.

Our newest Resident Artist, Cindy Im, will perform the role of Julie, Emily Greene is designing the set, and Sonia Fernandez is the production dramaturg. More to come of course!

Tickets will go on sale soon for all three shows…our fancy pants ticketing system might even let us offer you a package deal. Revolutionary? Nah. But super cool.

So now that you’ve heard all about it…what are you most excited to see? We know, it’s hard to choose. You can choose them all. Tell your friends while you’re at it!

With love from the producing trenches,
Marissa and Tiffany

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