Merrimack Repertory Theatre Celebrates 35th Season With a Black-Tie Gala Tonight

Merrimack Repertory Theatre Celebrates 35th Season With a Black-Tie Gala Tonight

Lowell, MA - Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) will be celebrating its 35th season with a black-tie gala tonight, June 21. Congresswoman Nicola Tsongas will present the Paul Tsongas Award to UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan in recognition of his long-time personal support and his continued work to build and expand MRT's partnership with UMass Lowell. The event will also feature the Reduced Shakespeare Company™ presenting "The Complete History of MRT (abridged)," a 10-minute sketch created especially for this event.

In addition to these special presentations, the event, which will be held at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. will also include dinner and dancing. Tickets for the event are available to the general public at $150 per person by contacting Jeff Prescott at or 978-654-7552. Table sales and sponsorships are also available.

The Paul Tsongas Award was created by MRT in 1993 "to single out remarkable citizens who have provided distinctive leadership for both Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the larger community." The award is named in recognition of Paul Tsongas' standard-setting generosity and vision, and honors the theatre's belief that, in Paul's words, "there is common purpose, shared and inescapable."

"I am honored that Merrimack Repertory Theatre will present me with the Paul Tsongas Award," says Chancellor Marty Meehan. "This recognition is one that I share with many people associated with UMass Lowell who have worked so hard over the last 35 years to support MRT's growth from its beginnings on the stage of our Mahoney Hall to the award-winning arts institution it is today. Collaboration between the university and MRT has yielded many unique cultural opportunities over the last three decades, including the world premiere of Jack Kerouac's only full-length play, and I know that we will continue to work together to present high-quality theater for the campus and the community in the years to come."

MRT is also pleased to welcome the Reduced Shakespeare Company ™ (RSC) back to Lowell for the second time this season. The RSC will be performing The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) as the closing production of the 2013-2014 season from April 24 - May 18, 2014. That production will mark the sixth time the company has performed at MRT since the 2001-2002 season, including two World Premiere productions. ReEd Martin and Austin Tichenor, the RSC's writers/performers will work closely with the MRT staff to delve into the company's 35 year-history and develop a 10-minute sketch that showcases company highlights in the unique RSC fashion that audiences have come to know and love.

"We were absolutely delighted to be asked to reduce the entire history of MRT for the 35th Anniversary Gala," says the RSC's ReEd Martin. "Abridging thirty-five years worth of plays will be a great challenge, but we're going to stick to our tried and true method. We'll cut out all the boring subplots and minor characters and get right to the sex and the killing, which is what audiences really want to see."

MRT (Merrimack Repertory Theatre) is one of Massachusetts' most highly-regarded theatre companies and one of only three theatres in the state to be a member of LORT (the League of Resident Theatres) which represents the 74 leading non-profit theatres in America. Under the artistic direction of Charles Towers since 2001, it has become known for producing an eclectic mix of new plays and regional premieres, with an emphasis on writers giving voice to the American experience. Since its founding in 1979, MRT has served as a vital cultural, educational and economic resource for Greater Lowell and its surrounding region.

MRT 2013-2014 SEASON:

God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, Translated by Christopher Hampton

September 19 - October 13, 2013

Mrs. Mannerly by Jeffrey Hatcher

October 24 - November 17, 2013

Stella and Lou by Bruce Graham

November 29 - December 22, 2013

The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith by Angelo Parra, Directed by Joe Brancato

January 9 - February 2, 2014

Equally Divided by Ronald Harwood

February 13 - March 9, 2014

Talley's Folly by Lanford Wilson

March 20 - April 13, 2014

The Reduced Shakespeare Company in:

The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) by ReEd Martin and Austin Tichenor

April 24 - May 18, 2014

Merrimack Repertory Theatre

Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre

(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)

50 E. Merrimack Street

Lowell, MA 01852

Box Office: 978-654-4678

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