Prolific socio-political playwright Joan Ackermann will debut her latest, Marcus Is Walking, at Otterbein College Theatre in Westerville, OH, May 29-June 8. Ackerman was commissioned by Otterbein, which has a history of staging world premieres by up-and-coming playwrights. She has had her work produced at the Louisville Humana Festival and read at L.A.'s Mark Taper Forum.
Marcus Is Walking takes a comic look at America's obsession with cars, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the invention of the automobile. Director Christine Kirk says the play, "resonates with issues on how we view our cars in terms of time and transportation and how quickly we speed through life. Are we better or worse since the invention of the car?"
Previous world-premieres that closed their Otterbein seasons were 1994's The Brothers Karamazov, by Anthony Clarvoe; 1995's Catnap Allegiance by Kia Corthron; and 1996's Picasso Does My Maps by Carter Lewis (an Otterbein graduate). Previous plays by Ackerman include 1990's Zara Spook And Other Lures, staged at Louisville's Humana Festival of New American Plays; Stanton's Garage, Rescuing Greenland and Off The Map. In 1996, Actors Theatre of Louisville commissioned her Humana Fest play, The Batting Cage. Ackerman also serves as artistic director of MA's Mixed Company, now in its 14th season.
Designing the set for Marcus Is Walking will be Fred "Pop" Thayer, who created 187 sets at Otterbein before retiring in 1993.
For tickets and information on Marcus Is Walking opening May 29 at 150-year-old Otterbein College, call (614) 823-1600. --By David Lefkowitz