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Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) will present Audrey Cefaly’s Maytag Virgin, a sweet, Southern romance about starting over again, from January 8 to February 2 at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall, according to Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas and Interim Artistic Director Terry Berliner. Eleanor Holdridge directs.
For tickets, contact the Box Office at 978-654-4678 or visit MRT.ORG. Tickets start at $24.
Berliner said, “At the start of Audrey Cefaly’s Maytag Virgin the potential of love seems lost. Then, with the most delicate touch, it creeps in through the cracks like a tiny stream of water through the rocks, or a sliver of light in a pitch-black cave.”
When unflappable Jack moves in next door to sweetly neurotic Lizzie – two fortysomething school teachers, both widowed — the two bond over being lonely and feeling stuck. As they get to know each other, they find themselves searching for an answer to the same question: how do you know when you’re ready to live, and love, again?
Playwright Audrey Cefaly said, “I’m convinced that if sin exists, it’s the idea that a human being might recognize the virtue in another . . . and remain silent. A single, random word of kindness might make the difference in life or death. I know this may sound silly, but that’s kind of what Maytag is. It’s a hug. It’s a way of saying, I see you’re broken, but look, so am I.”
Cefaly will give a pre-show talk at 7 p.m. before the opening night performance, which is at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 11. Her plays include Alabaster, playing at 11 theatres across America this season; The Gulf; and The Last Wide Open. She has developed plays with the National New Play Network, Signature Theatre, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, and the University of Alabama, and she is a recipient of national playwriting awards from Lambda Literary, the Edgerton Foundation, and the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize. She is an outspoken proponent of silence in storytelling.
Director Holdridge’s credits include the Off-Broadway premieres of Selma ’65 at La Mama, Steve & Idi at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, and Cycling Past the Matterhorn at Clurman Theatre. Her regional world premieres include Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Meg Miroshnik’s adaptation of Marivaux’s FICKLE: A Fancy French Farce at Olney Theatre Center.
The cast features David Adkins as Jack and Kati Brazda as Lizzie. Adkin’s MRT credits include The Outgoing Tide, The Seafarer (IRNE Award nomination), and Glengarry Glen Ross. He most recently appeared in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? at Berkshire Theatre Group and on the television shows “Evil” and “Madame Secretary.” Brazda’s credits include A Moon for the Misbegotten (understudy) on Broadway, as well as the Off-Broadway productions of The Effect and Our Town (director David Cromer) at Barrow Street Theatre and Bill W. and Dr. Bob at SoHo Playhouse.
In addition to Holdridge, the creative team includes Kris Stone (Second Stage Theatre, Playwrights Horizons in NYC) as Scenic Designer; Charlene Alexis Gross (many Broadway, Off-Broadway, and London productions) as Costume Designer; Karen Perlow (Native Gardens and The Royale at MRT); and Scott Stauffer (A Free Man of Color, Contact, Marie Christine, and more on Broadway) as Sound Designer. Becca Freifeld serves as Production Stage Manager.
Circle Health serves as the 2019-20 Season Sponsor.
Single tickets range in price from $24 to $66. Subscriptions for four plays start at $87, with student subscriptions at $40. To purchase, visit www.mrt.org or contact the MRT Box Office at 978-654-4678.
MERRIMACK REPERTORY THEATRE www.mrt.org
Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) celebrates 41 years this season as the Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre. With a steadfast commitment to new plays, MRT annually produces seven works, including several premieres.
Under the leadership of Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas and Interim Artistic Director Terry Berliner, MRT strives to fulfill its mission to “create remarkable new and contemporary plays that bring joy to our art form while engaging, entertaining and enriching our community.” The non-profit company guarantees that shows are accessible to audiences of all incomes; partners with businesses and other non-profits to fully engage the community; and contributes to the economic vitality of Lowell by attracting diverse audiences from throughout the region.
Recent acclaimed productions include Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, the bestselling production in MRT history (directed by former Artistic Director Sean Daniels); Daniels’ own autobiographical play, The White Chip, which opened to rave reviews in New York last fall; I and You (Off-Broadway transfer) and Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson, the most produced playwright in America; Women in Jeopardy! and the world premiere of Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod (both directed by Daniels); KNYUM by Cambodian playwright and actor Vichet Chum; and The Lion, singer-songwriter Benjamin Scheuer’s award-winning musical memoir (also directed by Daniels), which launched its national tour from MRT in August 2015, following critically acclaimed runs in New York and London.