Mrs. Robinson, inspired by the 1960s American novella and the film The Graduate, will make its premiere in March with the San Francisco Ballet.
Cathy Marston’s second creation for the company, re-told from the perspective of the title character, will debut March 24 at the War Memorial Opera House on Program 05: Ballet Accelerator, which also includes Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson’s 7 For Eight and David Dawson’s Anima Animus. Performances continue through April 4.
Marston is collaborating with composer Terry Davies, who will create an original score for the piece.
In a statement, Marston said, “Like so many women of that time, I feel that [Mrs. Robinson] is disillusioned with the housewife role. She’s an alcoholic; her marriage is in tatters. I want to rescue her from the lonely and bitter fate that almost seems inevitable, and instead offer her the chance to get swept up in this group of women who began the period’s feminist revolution.”
The Graduate was popularized in the 1967 Mike Nichols film, which starred Dustin Hoffman as college graduate Benjamin Braddock and Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson, who seduces him as he falls in love with her daughter Elaine.
“In the film, Anne Bancroft is impenetrable. You don’t know what she’s thinking,” adds Marston. “And that’s actually genius… I suppose that’s my inspiration for the piece: I wanted to get underneath the surface and find out why Mrs. Robinson is as she is, why she does the things that she does.”
Marston’s ballet Snowblind, based on Edith Wharton’s novella Edith Frome, premiered to critical acclaim at the company in 2018.