Cutting Ball associate artistic director Paige Rogers makes her main stage directorial debut with this "operatic story of human struggle and desire."
According to production notes, "It is 1973 and Mae has just begun to learn how to read; things finally seem to be taking a turn for the better. As she tries to rise above her humble Midwestern origins, Mae must keep the two men in her life, foster brother and former lover Lloyd, and new boyfriend Henry, from dragging her back down. Little does Mae know that the first strong decision she's ever made about her life may be her last."
The Mud cast includes Alan Kaiser, Marilet Martinez and Garth Petal.
María Irene Fornés is the author of more than 40 plays. She was born in Havana, Cuba and emigrated to the United States at the age of 15. Her first publicly performed play, Tango Palace, was produced in 1963. She gained prominence in avant-garde circles in the 1960s and 1970s, befriending Susan Sontag and The Public Theater's Joseph Papp. Other works for the stage include The Successful Life of 3 (1965), Promenade (1965), Dr. Kheal and Molly's Dream (1968). She had a brush with Broadway via The Office (1966); and Promenade (1965), with music by Al Carmines, was an early commercial success. Additional works include Fefu and Her Friends (1977), Evelyn Brown (1980), The Danube (1981), Mud (1983), Sarita (1984), The Conduct of Life (1985), Abingdon Square (1987), Enter The Night (1993) and Letters From Cuba (2000). In addition to winning several Obie Awards, Fornés has garnered NEA awards, including a Distinguished Artists Award, Rockefeller Foundation grants, a Guggenheim grant, an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and a New York State Governor's Arts Award.
Co-founded in 1999 by husband and wife team Rob Melrose and Paige Rogers, Cutting Ball Theater "presents avant-garde works of the past, present, and future by re-envisioning classics, exploring seminal avant-garde texts, and developing new experimental plays." The company has produced a number of world premieres and West Coast premieres, and re-imagined various classics.
Mud opens Jan. 11. Performances play Thursday-Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday at 5 PM.
The Cutting Ball Theater is in residence at EXIT on Taylor, 277 Taylor St., San Francisco. For tickets ($15-$30) and more information, visit cuttingball.com or call (800) 838-3006.
The 2009 season Cutting Ball slate also includes Thom Paine (based on nothing) and Krapp's Last Tape.