Metropolitan Playhouse Revives Augustin Daly's A MARRIAGE CONTRACT

By: Jan. 28, 2018

Metropolitan Playhouse Revives Augustin Daly's A MARRIAGE CONTRACT Obie Award winning Metropolitan Playhouse revives A Marriage Contract, Augustin Daly's 1892 uproarious and poignant commentary on marriage, family, and the contrast between county and city life. Staged by Artistic Director Alex Roe at Metropolitan Playhouse, 200 E. 4th Street, New York City, this marks, to our knowledge, the first time the play (originally titled A Test Case or Grass Versus Granite) is being presented since its premiere. In fact, it worth noting that the script only exists in manuscript form and was never published.

Previews begin Friday, February 16, 2018
Opening Friday, February 23, 2018
Closing Sunday, March 18, 2018

Performance Schedule
February 16 - March 18
Thursday - Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm; and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 pm

Additional performances
Monday, February 19 at 7:30 pm (Pay What You Will)
Wednesdays, March 8 and 14 at 3:00 pm
Saturdays, March 10 and 17 at 3:00 pm

Tickets: $30 general; $25 seniors/seniors; $10 children, and may be purchased online at or by phone (800) 838-3006

A Marriage Contract is a comedy of country and city life when well-intentioned and determined lovers of each must contend with falling in love with one another. The valiant effort of a city boy to break himself to his country wife's little town nearly succeeds, in spite of its inertia and judgement. At least his failure opens some hitherto closed eyes and hearts.

"At Metropolitan Playhouse, we are big fans of Augustin Daly, who was well known for his high emotion melodramas" says Artistic Director Alex Roe. Metropolitan Playhouse has presented two of his works in the past: Under the Gaslight, in 2009, and Leah, the Forsaken in 2017.

According to Roe, "This play should, in my mind, do more to restore his reputation as a dramatist. It is very cleverly constructed, and emotionally astute, eschewing the high drama effects for very funny and at time quite touching portrayals of people facing real quandaries."

Augustin Daly (1838-1899) was one of the grandest theatrical impresarios of the late 19th Century and is considered by many to be the first modern American director. While his exceptional success as a producer chiefly owes to the smash success of Under the Gaslight (1867, and revived by Metropolitan in 2009), he began his career in 1859 as a drama critic for several New York papers. Already writing and producing adaptations and new plays, he assured some favorable press by writing his own reviews. He went on to manage successful venues such as the Fifth Avenue Theatre, in two locations, and then a Daly's Theatre in New York and a second in London. In New York, he gathered his own company of actors, including luminaries such as Ada Rehan, Clara Morris, Maurice Barrymore, Fanny Davenport, Tyrone Power, Sr., Isadora Duncan, and many more. Known for both the authenticity of his settings and his sensational effects, insistence on justified behavior on stage, and a propensity for extensive alteration of even the most sacred theatrical works (such as Shakespeare), Daly was a driving force in American theater for nearly half a century.

The cast features Andrew R. Cooksey, Jr., Terrence Dineen, Michael Durkin (Metropolitan Playhouse: The Jazz Singer; Year One of the Empire; Missouri Legend; The Devil's Disciple; The Purloined Detective; An Inconvenient River), Dionna Eshleman, Nick Giedris, Teresa Kelsey (Metropolitan Playhouse: Haunted; Deep are the Roots; Both Your Houses; One Third of a Nation), Tyler Kent, Florence Marcisak, J.M. McDonough (Metropolitan Playhouse: Uncle Tom's Cabin; Deep are the Roots), Jennifer Reddish, Anna Stefanic and Trevor St. John-Gilbert (Metropolitan Playhouse: East Side Stories: Transformation).

The production team includes Jessica Kidwell, Stage Manager; Sidney Fortner, Costumes; Christopher Weston, Lighting; Deejay Lindo, Technical Direction; Talia Feldberg, Assistant Director; Brianna Fernandez, Assistant Stage Manager; and Max Frank, Production Apprentice.

METROPOLITAN PLAYHOUSE explores America's theatrical heritage through forgotten plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. Now in its 26th season, the theater received a 2011 OBIE Grant from The Village Voice for its ongoing productions that illuminate who we are by revealing where we have come from. Called an "indispensable East Village institution" by and "invaluable" by Back Stage, Metropolitan has earned accolades from The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The New Yorker. Other awards include Outstanding Performing Arts Group from the Victorian Society New York, and 18 nominations for NYIT Awards since 2010, with winners Lenore Wolf for short script, Sidney Fortner for costumes, Frank Anderson for lead actor. Recent productions include ON STRIVERS ROW, LEAH, THE FORSAKEN, END OF SUMMER, O'NEILL (Unexpected), WALK HARD, ALISON'S HOUSE, INJUNCTION GRANTED, THE MAN OF THE HOUR, ICEBOUND, WITHIN THE LAW, THE HERO, A MAN'S WORLD, BOTH YOUR HOUSES, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH, DEEP ARE THE ROOTS, THE JAZZ SINGER, ONE-THIRD OF A NATION, UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, and DODSWORTH, as well as the Alphabet City and East Village Chronicles series.

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