MARC IN VENICE Begins Performances Tomorrow at Theatre at St. John
Theatre at St. John's presents the world premiere production of the coming-of-age play MARC IN VENICE, written and directed by Mark Erson. Presented as part of Theatre at St. John's year-long Stonewall 50 theatre series, Rebels, Rowdies and Revolutionaries (which included June's hit revival of Charles Ludlum's GALAS, directed by and starring Everett Quinton), MARC IN VENICE is the series' offering chosen to celebrate National Coming Out Day (Friday, October 11th). MARC IN VENICE will play a strictly-limited engagement at the Theatre at St. John's Lutheran Church, located at 81 Christopher Street, NYC, from Tuesday, October 1st through Friday, October 18th. The Opening is scheduled for Friday, October 4th at 8 PM. Tickets, priced at $25 (Special $10 ticket for first preview on Oct. 1), are on sale now via Brown Paper Tickets: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4336990.
MARC IN VENICE is a theatrical triptych telling the interwoven stories of three men named Marc, separated by time, in Venice, Italy. In the first century (AD), the gospel-writer Marcus is running from the persecutions being waged against Christians, only to be shipwrecked in the swamp where the future city will be built. In the 13th century, Marco Polo returns to Venice with plenty to tell after nearly threedecades of adventure, but the local cardinal seeks to suppress the worldly-wise explorer, whose stories are seen as a threat to the authority and power of the Church. In the 21st century, an American college graduate, Marc, meets restaurateur Angelo on vacation, and the Venetian's attention challenges Marc to face the truth about himself. Faith and doubt, adventure and risk, love and courage come into play as a saint wrestles with his call, a great traveler strives to tell his story, and a young man finds himself, all in the romantic city of Venice.
MARC IN VENICE was included in The Telling Company's readings of five new works in 2015. A workshop was staged in Dec. 2016 by In a Heart Beat Productions. This was followed by another workshop by Theatre at St. John's Productions in June of 2017. In 2018, the play won the Carlo Annoni Playwriting Prize (Milan, Italy).
Mark Erson (Playwright/Director) is a general practitioner of theatre; his various roles have played out in many places, from coast to coast, plus Alaska and Scotland. He completed a Masters of Arts degree from Villanova University with a focus in playwriting. His thesis play HUGO AND MIMI told the story of German composer Hugo Distler who was a victim of the Nazi Regime in Germany. As a member of Frantic Redhead Productions, he produced, directed, wrote, and acted for the company over nine seasons at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His play, MURDER IN EDINBURGH, an adaption of a Sherlock Holmes mystery, was called "imaginative" and "engaging" (The Scotsman) and "a superbly conceived piece of theatre" (The List), receiving a four star rating from both reviewers. A follow-up adaptation THE DELICATE ART OF MURDER (another Holmes mystery) also gained four stars (Metro). His direction of MACBETH received five stars (The Scotsman). His catalogue includes, full length plays, screenplays, one acts, 10 minute plays, musicals, and musical revues. A number of his plays and musicals were created for young performers. While writing from a variety of vantage points, he is most inspired to engage his faith and his life experience as a gay man. Mark is married to his high school sweetheart, Scott. And they are service humans to their dog, Brooklyn.
As a "diverse community of faith," St. John's Lutheran Church -- and the Theatre at St. John's -- strive to engage the rich history and culture of Greenwich Village, a community well known for its bold creative spirit and its safe space for LGBTQ people. Through regular open mics, support groups for artists, collaboration with theatre groups and arts organizations, as well as LGBTQIA service organizations (such as Heritage of Pride, GMHC, Audra Lorde Project, Out of the Darkness-World AIDS Day Gathering, etc.), and its Gospel Night/Inspirational Showcase ("where Ballroom goes to church"), St, John's is a place where all are welcome.
The cast of MARC IN VENICE includes Colin Colford, Francesco Campari*, Howard Collado, Omi Ford, Jackson Goldberg*, Jorge Hoyos*, Nancy Lindeberg*, Zach Lusk, Jackie Maruschak*, Aristotle Stamat and Kevin Stevens* (*AEA member).
MARC IN VENICE will play a strictly-limited engagement at the Theatre at St. John's Lutheran Church, located at 81 Christopher Street, NYC, from Tuesday, October 1st through Friday, October 18th. The Opening is scheduled for Friday, October 4th at 8 PM.
Photo Credit: Marc Erson