Christina Anderson's PEN/MAN/SHIP Begins 5/21 at Magic Theatre
Magic Theatre will welcome back National New Play Network Playwright-in-Residence Christina Anderson for the world premiere of pen/man/ship, directed by Associate Artistic Director Ryan Guzzo Purcell. pen/man/ship runs May 21 - June 15. Anderson's latest work explores a particularly explosive time in our American history. Set in 1896, a father and son board a ship heading for Africa on a mysterious mission. On board, family secrets and true intentions are revealed, changing the course of their journey and their lives forever.
"It's an amazing trajectory, to see Christina's latest work premiere on the Magic stage after her NNPN residency two seasons ago," declared Producing Artistic Director Loretta Greco "One of our values here at Magic is to engage and develop the next generation of artists. I couldn't be happier to welcome home both Ryan Guzzo Purcell, who was our Artistic Direction Apprentice in my second season at Magic and is now making his professional directorial debut, and Christina Anderson, an incredible emerging playwright on the national stage."
According to Christina Anderson, "there is no vocabulary to express how amazing it is to be back here at Magic. I wrote this play in almost every space in this theatre. This play continues to teach me every time I hear it. This story is part of all our stories - no matter what class or race, it is a piece around which everyone can have a conversation. The audience will have relationships with these characters that will be varied and complex, whatever walks of life they come from."
"Christina was one of the first writer whose work I fell in love with when I was an apprentice here at Magic," said Purcell "She has an incredible ability to give voice to people we forget or ignore. She does this through politics and history, but she also demands that we confront the forgotten and unwelcome parts of ourselves, that we confront ourselves with courage so that we may be capable of change. The characters in this play lose their anchors; they are left raw and exposed, and change becomes a very violent action. I feel humbled and lucky to be a part of this storytelling."
The cast of pen/man/ship is comprised of stellar actors: Adrian Roberts (Fences, Marin Theatre Company, Ruined, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and Tough Titty, Magic Theatre), Eddie Ray Jackson (Fences, Marin Theatre Company, The Heart of Robin Hood, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Much Ado About Nothing, Classic Stage Company), Tyee Tilghman (Fences, Marin Theatre Company, American Night, Cal Shakes, and A Christmas Carol, American Conservatory Theater), and Tangela Large (Vanya, Sonia, Masha, and Spike, Brown/Trinity and Clybourne Park, Chautauqua Institution).
"Christina and Ryan will be supported by a group of designers who are all coming into their own. Many of these artists are young designers who have worked at Magic in assistant or other technical capacities, and we are thrilled to offer them this shot at creative control," said Greco. The pen/man/ship team is comprised of Scenic Designer Angrette McCloskey, Lighting Designer Ray Oppenheimer, Costume Designer Antonia Gunnarson, and Sound Designer Sara Huddleston.