In 2014, the Mendocino Theatre Company have chosen six highly-theatrical plays, each selected for its unique ability to entertain in that imaginative way that only live theatre can accomplish. In 2014, enjoy something that cannot be found in any film, internet browser, or video game, a story telling experience you’ve never seen before, and one you’ll never forget.
The first production this year will be: OTHER DESERT CITIES. A Comedy/Drama by Jon Robin Baitz and Directed by Bob Cohen. 2012 Pulitzer Prize Finalist. Playing February 27 – April 6
“You know that sign on the highway where you can either turn off for Palm Springs or keep going to “Other Desert Cities”? I’m always so tempted to just keep on driving…”
Christmas Eve, 2004, writer Brooke Wyeth arrives at the Palm Springs home of her parents Lyman and Polly, former Hollywood Golden Era Republicans and personal friends of the Reagans. As family tensions begin to rise, it becomes clear that Brooke has arrived for more than just a family visit.
Known as one of the most complex and sophisticated American plays of the current decade, Other Desert Cities is a bitingly funny comedy/drama that takes a razor sharp look at familial responsibility, family secrets, and the objectivity of memoir.
The second production will be: GRACE. A tragicomedy by Craig Wright. Directed by Carter Sears. Playing April 17 – May 25
See, Sam, you’re a scientist … and that’s great. You, with your great mind, you can compute things I can’t even imagine, probably most people can’t. My expertise, Sam, my gift that I’ve been given … is faith. I’m not a knower. I’m a believer. And that’s what real estate is all about. It’s about faith.”
Evangelical Christians Steve and Sara Hutchinson have just moved from Minnesota to Florida with a plan: to start a chain of gospel-themed hotels. For the Hutchinsons, this represents more than a new business opportunity with an increasingly unavailable and mysterious Swiss financier: this is God’s plan, and God’s plans cannot be derailed.
This bracingly funny play is a theatrical crowd-pleaser about the differences between religion and faith, the nature of time, and mysterious second chances brought about by a kind of grace that few of us can comprehend.
The third production will be: THE OLDEST PROFESSION. Comedy by Paula Vogel. Directed by Betty Abramson. Playing June 5 – July 13
Ursula – “I think we could specialize. We could seek out a Harold and Maude situation.”
Vera – “Who the hell is Maude?”
The golden girls in Madam Mae’s stable are still working. The year is 1980, just one week before the election of Ronald Reagan, and five senior practitioners of the world’s oldest profession have met at their usual bench on 72nd and Broadway. Sales are declining and the competitive economy has not been kind to the most experienced in the work force. Can Mae’s hard working girls find new tricks to survive in this changing American era?
Featuring glamorous burlesque numbers and a tongue-in cheek wit, The Oldest Profession is for anyone who can appreciate a strong work ethic, entrepreneurship, pride in the American spirit, and the face of a beautiful woman.
The fourth production will be: THE GRADUATE. Comedy by Terry Johnson. Based on the novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Winningham and Buck Henry. Directed by Felicia Freitas. Playing July 31 – September 7
“For God’s sake Mrs. Robinson, you come to my room, you sit on the bed, you … smoke a cigarette, then you start opening up your personal life to me and now you’re asking me to take you home because your husband’s flying to Chicago.
Mrs. Robinson, you are trying to seduce me. Aren’t you. Aren’t you?”
Things are happening for Benjamin Braddock. It’s 1964, and Ben’s just returned home after graduating at the top of his class with a laundry list of accomplishments. But according to his mother, “he seems a little disillusioned.” With his whole future laid out for him, Benjamin decides to manage his own affairs … with the unforgettable Mrs. Robinson.
Featuring some of the most iconic music of the 60s, The Graduate is based on the cult classic film that has continued to speak to generations of movie goers since its premiere in 1967. Adapted for the stage in 2002 starring Kathleen Turner, The Graduate can now be experienced by audiences in a whole new way.
The fifth production will be: SHINING CITY. Drama by Conor McPherson. Directed by Peter Alzado. Playing September 18 – October 26
“No, not mad … Just maybe … people who might just feel a little bit … stuck, you know? And maybe they … just need a … just another point of view on what’s going on, if they’re carrying, you know, a big burden, you know? Of some guilt maybe…”
When a therapist in Dublin, Ireland named Ian meets his first patient after leaving the Priesthood, the lives of both men are changed forever. In the course of treating John, a recent widower, Ian must confront his own burdens when he learns that the man is being visited by the ghost of his wife.
Directed by Peter Alzado, a guest artist from Ashland, Oregon, Shining City features hauntingly poetic language that is the hallmark of Irish playwrights. This stunningly moving and beautiful ghost story is sure to be a sophisticated theatrical treat for audiences.
The sixth production will be: CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION. Comedy/Drama by Annie Baker. Directed by ann Woodhead. Winner of the 2010 Obie Award. Playing November 6 – December 14
“Okay. So I want everyone to take your scrap of paper and write on it … I want you to write down a secret that you’ve never told anyone. And … We don’t need to know it’s you. In fact, we shouldn’t know it’s you. This is an opportunity … to be able to air a secret in front of a group without feeling like you have to … like you have to answer it. Or someone.”
Four somewhat lost individuals enroll in a six-week-long drama class in the small, eclectic town of Shirley, Vermont. Led by their enthusiastic instructor, a woman named Marty from Eureka, California, this strange group of bedfellows soon discover more about themselves than they could have anticipated… culminating in a hilarious journey toward transformation.
This intimate and unusual play, featuring both scripted and improvised dialogue, is a story for anyone who appreciates the power of theatre.