Aug 172014

Featuring Lois Smith, Lisa Emery, Jeff Ward, Frank Wood

World Premiere September 10 – October 19, 2014

"(L to R):  Jeff Ward, Lois Smith, Lisa Emery and Frank Wood on the first day of rehearsal for “Marjorie Prime” by Jordan Harrison. Directed by Les Waters, “Marjorie Prime” will have its world premiere at the Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum September 10 through October 19, 2014.

“(L to R): Jeff Ward, Lois Smith, Lisa Emery and Frank Wood on the first day of rehearsal for “Marjorie Prime” by Jordan Harrison. Directed by Les Waters, “Marjorie Prime” will have its world premiere at the Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum September 10 through October 19, 2014.

Rehearsals have begun for the world premiere of Jordan Harrison’s haunting drama “Marjorie Prime,” which begins previews September 10, 2014, at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. Directed by Obie Award-winner Les Waters, the profound and engaging new play opens September 21. Performances continue through October 19, 2014.
The cast of “Marjorie Prime” features Lois Smith (in the title role), Lisa Emery, Jeff Ward and Frank Wood.

Set design for “Marjorie Prime” is by Mimi Lien, costume design by Ilona Somogyi, lighting design by Lap Chi Chu, sound design by Adam Phalen and casting is by Mark B. Simon, CSA. The production stage manager is David S. Franklin.

“Marjorie Prime” asks exquisite questions about the difference between a life lived and a life remembered. Marjorie (Lois Smith) is a clever, wry woman who, at age 85, finds that her memory is failing. She is living out her days at an assisted living facility where she is frequently visited by her anxious, quick-witted daughter, Tess (Lisa Emery), and her kind, easygoing son-in-law, Jon (Frank Wood). With the urging of Jon and the facility and despite Tess’ misgivings, a mysterious young man, Walter (Jeff Ward), joins the group with the hope that he can help reverse Marjorie’s decline. Through an ingenious series of shifting realities, Walter’s nature is revealed, and the family’s memories gently unfold into a cathartic meditation on life and loss, and the desire to keep our dearly departed with us.

Jordan Harrison’s plays include “Maple and Vine,” “Futura,” “Doris to Darlene,” “Amazons and their Men,” “Act a Lady,” “Finn in the Underworld,” “Kid-Simple,” “The Museum Play,” and “Suprema,” a musical. His work has been produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, City Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Minetta Lane Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Portland Center Stage and The Theatre @ Boston Court, among others. His children’s musical, “The Flea and the Professor,” premiered at the Arden Theatre and won the 2011 Barrymore Award for Best Production. Jordan is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, the Kesselring Prize, a Theater Masters’ Innovative Playwright Award, the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Play House (for “Marjorie Prime”), the Heideman Award, the Loewe Award for Musical Theater, and a NEA/TCG Playwright-in-Residence Grant. A graduate of the Brown MFA program, Jordan is an alumnus of New Dramatists.
Obie Award-winning director and Artistic Director of Actors Theatre of Louisville Les Waters previously directed the world premieres of two Jordan Harrison plays, “Doris to Darlene” at Playwrights Horizons and “Finn in the Underworld” at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Waters co-directed the American premiere of “Our Country’s Good” at the Taper and, from 2003 to 2011, he served as Associate Artistic Director at Berkeley Rep. In the last 10 years, his shows have ranked among the year’s best in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Time Out New York, Time Magazine and USA Today. His productions have been seen in New York at The Public Theater, Second Stage, Manhattan Theatre Club, Connelly Theater and Clubbed Thumb, and regionally at theatres such as Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse and American Repertory Theatre. In 2009, he made his Broadway debut with “In the Next Room or the vibrator play.” He led the MFA directing program at University of California, San Diego from 1995 to 2003.

Lois Smith most recently appeared in Horton Foote’s “The Old Friends” and Sam Shepard’s “Heartless” at the Signature Theatre as well as Amy Herzog’s “After the Revolution” at Playwrights Horizons. She also appeared at the Signature in Tony Kushner’s “The Illusion,” and Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful.” She won many awards for “The Trip to Bountiful,” both in New York and later when it moved to the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Other favorite stage roles include two for which she received Tony Award nominations: “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Buried Child.” These productions originated at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, where Smith is a member, and moved to Broadway. Her first film was “East of Eden,” followed by many others including “Five Easy Pieces,” “Minority Report,” “How to Make an American Quilt,” “Four Friends” and “Please Give.” Her many television appearances include the recent 13-episode drama “Ruth and Erica” on YouTube.

Lisa Emery has appeared on Broadway in “Relatively Speaking,” “The Smell of the Kill,” “The Women,” “Present Laughter,” “Jackie,” “Rumors” and “Burn This.” Her off-Broadway credits include “Distracted” (Lucille Lortel nomination) and “The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin” at Roundabout; “A Kind of Alaska” (Drama Desk nomination) and “Gabriel” at ATC; “Mouth to Mouth,” “What the Butler Saw” and “Abigail’s Party” (Lortel and Drama Desk nominations); “Curtains” (Obie for Ensemble) at the New Group; “Iron” (Obie Award) and “Casa Valentina” at MTC; “Dinner With Friends” (Variety Arts); and “Marvin’s Room” (Drama Desk nomination) at Playwrights Horizons. Film includes “Admission,” “The Night Listener,” “Roger Dodger” and “Unfaithful,” and television includes “Law & Order,” “Louise,” “Fringe” and “Damages.”

Jeff Ward recently made his Broadway debut understudying Ben Foster in Daniel Sullivan’s production of “Orphans” starring Alec Baldwin. Other New York Theatre credits include “The Chimes” for The Public Theater, as well as “THAT FACE” at Manhattan Theatre Club and “Moments (directed by Moisés Kaufman), “Sex Good; Money Bad” (with Michael Weller), “Richard III,” “Galileo,” “The Pillowman” and “Loves Labors Lost.” He wrote and performed “this is ourselves,” which he work-shopped with Sam Shepard. His television and film credits include “Beautiful People” (directed by Stephen Hopkins), “The Beauty Inside” (directed by Drake Doremus), “Heavenly” (directed by Mimi Leder) and “Law & Order,” “Body of Proof,” “Holly’s Holiday,” “Vamperifica” and “Next Time on Lonny.” He also produced and starred in the short film “The Girlfriend Game.”

Frank Wood won the Tony Award and the Drama League Award for “Sideman.” He was seen at the Mark Taper Forum and on Broadway in “Clybourne Park,” and he played Roy Cohn in the Signature Theatre’s revival of “Angels in America.” His other Broadway credits include “August: Osage County,” “Born Yesterday” and “Hollywood Arms,” and he appeared off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company, Soho Rep and Minetta Lane Theatre. His films include “Changeling,” “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” “Dan in Real Life,” “Thirteen Days,” “Potluck,” “People I Know,” “In America,” “Down to You,” “Royal Tenenbaums,” “Greetings from Tim Buckley” and “The Missing Person.” Television includes “The Newsroom,” “The Good Wife,” “Modern Family,” “Blue Bloods,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Sopranos” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”

Tickets for “Marjorie Prime” are available by calling (213) 628-2772 or visiting Tickets range from $25 – $70 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.