The world premiere of The Muckle Man, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's play about a giant squid, a mysterious man from the sea and a family in crisis, concludes the 2001 Washington Theatre Festival by the Source Theatre Company in Washington, DC, Aug. 8-26.
The annual summer festival is the non-Equity new-plays initiative of the Equity-affiliated Source Theatre Company. Most of the works in the 2001 fest were short-runs, but artistic director Joe Banno has been "haunted" by The Muckle Man, by DC playwright Aguirre-Sacasa. "I really wanted to do it here and give it a full production," Banno said in statement. The staging is a bridge between the summer fest and the 25th season of Source, starting in fall. Banno directs The Muckle Man.
The intermissionless work is set on the icy shores of Newfoundland and focuses on the Clarkes, a family in trouble. The marine-biologist father is in pursuit of the elusive giant squid that has never been seen alive, the mother is freezing in the environment, the son has survived a near drowning but cannot speak, and a strange man from the ocean enters their lives.
"Mixing myth with science, folklore with domestic drama, The Muckle Man is part horror story, part fable — a dark, disturbing fairy-tale for grown-ups," according to a statement.
The author, a onetime publicist for DC's The Shakespeare Theatre, is currently a student at Yale School of Drama. His plays, Archie Loves Nathan and Say You Love Satan, have been performed at Source in past summer festivals. The cast includes Jenifer Deal, Daniel Ladmirault, Jennifer Phillips, Michael Laurino, Sean Mullan, Martin Colbert and Wyatt Fenner. Designers are Greg Mitchell (sets), Dan Covey (lights) and Brian Keating (sound).
Official opening following previews is Aug. 10. Tickets are $15 $20. Performances are 8 PM Wednesday-Saturday, 3 PM Saturday-Sunday. Source Theatre Company performs at 1835 14th Street NW, in Washington, DC. For information, call (202) 462-1073 or visit www.sourcetheatre.org.
— By Kenneth Jones