QUEEN MAIR By Matthew Wells to Premiere at Central Works At Berkeley City Club

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The Central Works Celebratory 30th Season continues with Queen Mair by Matthew Wells, a new play inspired by King Lear running May 9-Jun 7 at the historic Berkeley City Club. In Matthew Wells' new play Queen Mair it's ninety minutes before the start of the tale that is known as King Lear. The old king's wife, Queen Mair, has asked her three daughters and their nurse to join her in her private bedchamber, to say farewell to the youngest, gentle Cordelia, whose hand is about to be given in marriage. But there are other farewells to be taken, and painful secrets that must be revealed, before young Cordelia will be on her way.

Directed by Gary Graves Queen Mair's cast features Tamar Cohn as Nurse, Adrian Deane as Cordelia, Gwen Loeb* as Goneril, Rebecca Pingree as Regan, and Jan Zvaifler as Queen Mair. *member AEA The production is Stage Managed by Liora Jacob with Costume design by Tammy Berlin, Lighting design by Gary Graves, Sound design by Gregory Scharpen and Prop design by Debbie Shelley.

"My goal was to write a play about the women in King Lear's life, women both known and unknown, which can stand on its own as well as walk proudly in the shadow of its inspiration," says playwright Matthew Wells. "A play that would be like an Elizabethan version of Bergman's Autumn Sonata, where the mother's injuries are the daughter's wounds, and one sister's success is another sister's failure. And let's face it-the gods may kill men for their sport, but what they do to women is far worse."

Central Works 2020 30th Season runs through November 15, 2020. Kicking off the summer is a new Central Works Method musical about the Gilded Age entitled The Scandalous Confessions of the Infamous Boss McGreedy by Gary Graves. The production is directed by John Patrick Moore with musical direction by Clive Worsley and runs Jul 11-Aug 9. The 2020 season concludes with Bystanders by Patricia Milton Oct 17-Nov 15, a world-premiere by the author of last season's hit The Victorian Ladies Detective Collective.

The Central Works Writers Workshop is an ongoing commissioning program established in 2012. Twice a year, in 12-week sessions, 8 local playwrights are selected to develop projects through informal readings and carefully directed discussions. Last season, both Cristina García's The Lady Matador's Hotel and Patricia Milton's The Victorian Ladies Detective Collective emerged from this program, and two more Writers Workshop scripts are being produced this season.

Central Works Method plays bring together writer, actors and director at the very outset of the playwriting process. In a supportive workshop environment, group research and collective brainstorming contribute to the entire development of the script. Playwrights that have worked in the Central Works Method have included Christopher Chen, Lauren Gunderson, Aaron Loeb, Patricia Milton, Geetha Reddy, Ann Galjour, and Brian Thorstenson to name a few.

For more information, visit our website: www.centralworks.org



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