World Premiere of Mary, Thomas Bradshaw's Satire of Race, Tradition and Family Dynamics, Opens at Goodman

News   World Premiere of Mary, Thomas Bradshaw's Satire of Race, Tradition and Family Dynamics, Opens at Goodman
 
Myra Lucretia Taylor, of Broadway's Nine and Macbeth, plays the title servant role in the Chicago world premiere of Thomas Bradshaw's absurdist comic drama Mary, opening Feb. 14 at Goodman Theatre, which commissioned the play.

Barbara Garrick and Scott Jaeck
Barbara Garrick and Scott Jaeck Photo by Liz Lauren

Previews began Feb. 5. Director May Adrales stages the play that, according to Goodman notes, "takes a provocative, wickedly funny view on families, political correctness and the changing nature of bigotry in contemporary America."

Taylor played Saraghina in the 2003 Broadway revival of Nine. In the new play, she leads the ensemble cast as the Jennings family's domestic servant, Mary. The cast also includes Barbara Garrick ("As the World Turns"; Broadway's A Thousand Clowns) as Mary's employer, Dolores Jennings; Scott Jaeck (The Seagull; August: Osage County) as Dolores' husband, James Jennings; Alex Weisman (The History Boys; Peter Pan-A Play) as Dolores and James' gay son, David; Eddie Bennet (War with the Newts; Twelfth Night) as David's boyfriend, Jonathan; Cedric Young (Broadway's Radio Golf) as Mary's husband, Elroy; and Steve Pickering (The Seagull; King Lear) as the family’s priest.

Mary runs to March 6, in the Goodman's Owen Theatre. The play is set "at the height of what Time magazine dubbed 'AIDS hysteria' in 1983." According to Goodman notes, "College student David invites his boyfriend home to his parents' house in Virginia, where nothing has changed since the 1800s — including the slave quarters." The play confronts "hypocrisy and oppression with exhilarating wit."

The production team includes Kevin Depinet (set), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Keith Parham (lighting) and Andrew Hansen (sound).

Bradshaw's play The Bereaved premiered in New York in September 2009 at The Wild Project, and was produced at The State Theater of Bielefeld in Germany earlier this year. The Bereaved was named one of the Best Plays of 2009 in Time Out New York. In 2008, two of Bradshaw’s plays premiered — Southern Promises, at Performance Space 122 in September, and Dawn, at The Flea Theatre in November — and both were listed among the Best Performances of Stage and Screen for 2008 in The New Yorker. His play Purity was produced at Performance Space 122 in January 2007, and Strom Thurmond Is Not A Racist and Cleansed were produced on a double-bill at Brick Theatre in February of that year. Strom Thurmond Is Not A Racist was also produced in Los Angeles in the spring of 2008. Bradshaw recently completed a residency at the Soho Theatre in London, where he wrote his newest play, The Ashes, which was presented as a workshop at the end of February 2010. He is the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship. Bradshaw received his MFA from Mac Wellman's playwriting program and is an assistant professor at Medgar Evers College. Director Adrales has directed and developed work at Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Public Theater, Second Stage Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Hangar Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre and Ensemble Studio Theatre.

Visit at GoodmanTheatre.org.

Scott Jaeck, Alex Weisman, Eddie Bennett, Myra Lucretia Taylor and Barbara Garrick.
Scott Jaeck, Alex Weisman, Eddie Bennett, Myra Lucretia Taylor and Barbara Garrick. Photo by Liz Lauren
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