NewSCRipts Series Features Rajiv Joseph's 'MR. WOLF' at South Coast Repertory
A new work by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph looks at how the miraculous recovery of an abducted child impacts not only the family, but the victim. The play, MR. WOLF, is featured in a staged reading at South Coast Repertory on Monday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. This SCR commission is part of the theatre company's NewSCRipts reading series.
The story follows the tragedy that brought Julie and Michael together. Each the parent of an abducted child, they met in a support group after their first marriages failed. They bonded over their shared sense of loss and Michael's insistence that they must never give up the search for their lost children. Now, years later, their carefully reconstructed life is about to be changed forever, not by loss-but by miraculous recovery. Michael's daughter, Theresa, has been found. Theresa's psyche is profoundly altered by the years she spent with her captor. No one knows how to move forward ... except Michael's first wife, who arrives for a reunion with her lost daughter and makes a radical proposal. Meanwhile, Theresa mourns the loss of the only life she can remember, and the man called Mr. Wolf, who gave her that life.
Joseph's plays include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, a 2010 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals Out of Paper, The North Pool and The Lake Effect. He is the book writer and co-lyricist for the new Peter Pan musical, Fly, and the co-screenwriter of the upcoming Lionsgate release Draft Day. He also wrote during the third and fourth seasons of the Showtime series "Nurse Jackie." Joseph earned his BA in creative writing from Miami University and his MFA in playwriting from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa. Joseph is a recent recipient of the prestigious Steinberg Playwriting Award from the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Matt Shakman will direct the reading. His production of Wait Until Dark currently is at the Geffen Playhouse, where he last directed David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People. He is the founder and artistic director of the Black Dahlia Theatre, named by American Theatremagazine as "one of a dozen young American companies you need to know" and by Los Angeles Magazine as Best Small Theatre. Some of his work at the Dahlia includes Hey, Morgan!, David Schulner's Forgiveness, Jonathan Tolins' Secrets of the Trade; Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow, Richard Kramer's Theater District and Adam Rapp'sNocturne. Shakman's television directing credits include "Mad Men," "The Good Wife," "Six Feet Under," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "House." He received the LA Drama Critics Circle Milton Katselas Award for career achievement in direction. His debut feature film, Cut Bank, stars John Malkovich, Liam Hemsworth, Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Dern. Previously at SCR, Shakman directed the Pacific Playwrights Festival reading of You Are Here by Melissa Ross.
SCR launched the NewSCRipts play reading series in 1985 to bring the audience into the process of creating new works with emerging and established playwrights. After each public reading, audience members engage in lively exchanges with the playwright and are active participants in the play's development by providing valuable feedback for the writer.
Past NewSCRipts readings include Donald Margulies' Collected Stories, Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain and Amy Freed's Freedomland, all of which went on to New York productions. Plays selected for the NewSCRipts series have earned six Pulitzer Prize nominations; Margaret Edson's Wit won the prize in 1999.