Strand Theater Company to Premiere BLOOD-BOUND AND TONGUE-TIED, 3/23-4/7


"One of humanity’s most primal stories is re-imagined with compassion and poetry" in the world premiere production of DC-based playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton’s Blood-bound and Tongue-tied, an ambitious offering seen in workshop form during the Strand Theater Company’s Friends & Neighbors Festival 2011.

This fully realized production will be directed by Lindsay Gentry, stage managed by Christina Cordle, and feature Derek Cooper as Oedipus, Chris Knight as Laius, Morgan Mosley as Creon, Ann Turiano as Jenna, and Kelli Wright as Jocasta..

About the Play
“What you’re trying to hide won’t stay hid.”

Jocasta is a young black woman in Great Depression-era Texas, who decides to pass as white in the big city. When she marries Laius—the heir to an oil baron—and becomes pregnant with Oedipus, her racial identity cannot remain hidden…or can it? One desperate lie instigates a catastrophic wave of bloodshed, and disaster envelops a nation. This world premiere engagement opens Friday, March 23rd, and runs through Saturday, April 7th; a Pay-What-You-Can final dress rehearsal is open to the public on Thursday, March 22nd.

Founding Artistic Director Jayme Kilburn chose to produce a full-scale production of Blood-bound and Tongue-tied because, as a riff on perhaps the oldest and most notorious of mother stories in Western culture, the play aptly fit the Strand’s fourth season “Mom & Pop” theme exploring pop culture and “mommy issues.”

“Blood-bound and Tongue-tied was a standout in the Friends & Neighbors Festival”, says Kilburn, “Even though I and most of our audiences knew the Oedipus story, Jacqueline’s savvy adaptation kept us wondering what would happen next. Her ability to interweave natural dialogue with ‘magical realism’ was deeply attractive in crafting my final season at the Strand.” Blood-bound and Tongue-tied packs an intense emotional wallop while investigating America’s long-held and deep-seated trouble with questions of race and privilege. This lyrical tragedy is appropriate for audiences of high school age and up.

About the Playwright
Jacqueline E. Lawton received her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. Her plays include Anna K; Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful; The Devil’s Sweet Water; The Hampton Years; Ira Aldridge: The African Roscius; Lions of Industry, Mothers of Invention; Love Brothers Serenade; and Mad Breed. She has participated in the Kennedy Center’s Playwrights’ Intensive (2002) and World Interplay (2003). Lawton has been nominated for the Wendy Wasserstein Prize and a PONY Fellowship from the Lark Play Development Center and named one of 30 of the nation’s leading black playwrights by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute. She is a three-time semi-finalist for the Playwright’s Center PlayLabs and a SheWrites Festival finalist. Currently, she resides in D.C. and is a Professor of Theater at the University of the District of Columbia.

About the Director
Originally from Baltimore, director Lindsay Gentry holds a bachelor’s degree in drama from the Catholic University of America. Recent directing credits include Lucia di Lammermoor (Hub Opera Ensemble), Troy Women (Catholic University of America), and Independence (Catholic University of America). She served as assisted director on The Magic Flute (Benjamin T. Rome School of Music), Dido and Aeneas (Opera Alterna), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (No Rules Theater Company), In Good King Charles’s Golden Days (Catholic University of America), and The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (Catholic University of America). Ms. Gentry received the 2011 “Significant Artistic Achievement Award” from Catholic University of America.

Performance Schedule
Wednesday at 7:00 pm: March 28
Thursdays at 8:00 pm: April 5th
Fridays at 8:00 pm: March 23, 30, and April 6
Saturdays at 8:00 pm: March 24, 31, and April 7
Sunday at 3:00 pm: April 1

Ticket Prices
Adult: $20; Senior: $15; Student: $10; Opening Night: $25

Other discounts may be available; like the Strand on Facebook or follow the Strand on Twitter to learn more.

The Final Dress Rehearsal at 8 pm on Thursday, May 22nd is open to audiences, with a requested Pay-What-You-Can donation at the door.

About the Strand.
The Strand Theater Company is a community theater dedicated to providing opportunities for women artists, writers, designers, and directors. With a focus on producing works new to Baltimore, the Strand hopes to foster a love of theater for a new generation of patrons.

Since launching in 2008, the Strand has presented 15 full-length plays, including six world premieres; offered 75% of the artistic positions on its productions—as playwrights, directors, designers, stage managers, and actors—to women; provided affordable theater space to many organizations and independent artists; and played an integral role in the revitalization of the Station North Arts & Entertainment District.

In August 2011, the Strand was honored as one of Baltimore magazine’s “Top 5 Baltimore Theaters,” along with CENTERSTAGE, Everyman, the Hippodrome, and Single Carrot.

Currently under the leadership of Founding Artistic Director Jayme Kilburn and governed by an eight-member board of directors, the theater’s management will soon be led by incoming Artistic Director Rain Pryor and Managing Director Elena Kostakis. The Strand is funded by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

To learn more about the Strand Theater Company, visit

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