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MRT will present The Rise and Fall of Holly Fudge, Trista Baldwin’s winsome new comedy, as the second entry in MRT’s FIRST LOOK reading series live on Zoom at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22, according to Courtney Sale, the Nancy L. Donahue Artistic Director, and Bonnie J. Butkas, Executive Director.
The reading is free, but it does require an RSVP via the web page at www.mrt.org/hollyfudge. Readings may include the entire play or just a portion. A video of the reading will be available on the MRT site for three days after the live reading.
Sale said, “Trista’s work always delivers. She crafts characters with guts, nuance, and glorious fallibility. Her stories make you laugh, make you think, and make you want to do better for humankind. I am delighted we get to spend time in this new play, set at the holidays, and share an early iteration with MRT audiences.”
Baldwin, who also serves as a commissioned playwright for MRT this season, considers herself a surrealist. “I’m some kind of textual surrealist; the simple and recognizable suddenly bends, transforms into something heightened, spiritual,” she said. Best known for American Sexy and Patty Red Pants, her work also includes Ghosted, a commission for Courtney Sale and Seattle Children’s Theatre.
The playwright describes The Rise and Fall of Holly Fudge as, “Carol Sprague is a white single mom who makes award-winning black and white fudge. She serves it every holiday. She gifts it to her co-workers. But with her Black daughter’s girlfriend crashing Christmas, her neighbor’s new-found love of confectionary, and the protests erupting on her front lawn, Carol is finding it tough to make this the most wonderful time of the year.”
The final installment in MRT’s FIRST LOOK will be a new work by audience favorite Vichet Chum (KNYUM, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 12. Pirronne Yousefzadeh (Associate Artistic Director and Director of Community Engagement at Geva Theatre Center) will direct; the title will be announced later.
MERRIMACK REPERTORY THEATRE www.mrt.org
Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) will celebrate 42 years next season as the Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre. With a steadfast commitment to new plays, MRT annually produces seven works, including several premieres, in the 279-seat Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall.
Under the leadership of the Nancy L. Donahue Artistic Director Courtney Sale and Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas, 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 The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, the two bestselling productions in MRT’s history; former Artistic Director Sean Daniels’ autobiographical play, The White Chip, which played Off-Broadway this past October; 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; KNYUM by Cambodian playwright and actor Vichet Chum; and The Lion, singer-songwriter Benjamin Scheuer’s award-winning musical memoir, which launched its national tour from MRT in August 2015, following critically acclaimed runs in New York and London.