Category Archive for: ‘Flora Lynn Isaacson’

Well-Known Bay Area Actors Star in Anne Boleyn at MTC

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Marin Theatre Company continues its 49th Season with Playwright Howard Brenton’s Anne Boleyn.  The play was originally commissioned by Shakespeare’s Globe Theater and World Premiered in 2010.  On April 19th 2016, MTC opened this West Coast Premiere on its Main Stage.

In this brilliant twist on the story of King Henry VIII (played by Craig Marker) and his ambitious second wife Anne Boleyn (played by Liz Sklar), she herself shares the story of her rise into the household of the King of England during the Reformation of the Catholic Church and her epic and infamous tragic demise.  The story is spliced with that of King James I (some 70 years later), also played by Craig Marker.  James has found copies of two banned books in the possession of Anne and goes on a witch hunt to find out her motivations.  This leads to his own attempts to settle the religious question in England and leads to the creation of the King James Bible.

1516MTC_AB_Marker_Ensemble_LoResMarin Theatre Company’s own Jasson Minadakis
is directing this poignant and provocative play in a lively staging in this his 10th season as Artistic Director at MTC.  Included in the cast are well-known Bay Area actors: Charles Shaw Robinson as Lord Robert Cecil and Cardinal Wolsey; Arwen Anderson as Lady Jane Rochford; Howard Swain as Sloop, Dean Lancelot Andrewes, and Country Man 1;  Dan Hiatt as Tyndale and Dr. John Reynolds. Robert Parsons was understudy for Charles Shaw Robinson.

Liz Sklar plays the scheming Boleyn with touches of boldness, intelligence and strong will. Early on she claims, “to know the advantage of everything,” and perseverance is her nature.  Thrust into an affair with Henry, Boleyn plays her hand well, demanding marriage over mistress status.  This Boleyn, however, is more than just a conniving plotter, and her deep devotion to the Protestant Reformation gives us a differing and sympathetic angle to her motivations. 1516MTC_AB_Marker_Sklar_2_LoRes

Craig Marker plays both King Henry and King James with appropriate levels of tyrannical regality and manly charm. Marker’s Henry is deeply in love with Boleyn, who conveniently provides him with a path toward his imperial designs and a split with the Papacy.  His James I is funny, exuberant, and surprisingly clever.

The reigns of both Kings are fraught with the dilemma of the state of their Churches, and their decisions drive the actions of the play’s many antagonists.  Charles Shaw Robinson is perfectly spooky as Cardinal Wolsey and Lord Cecil, while David Ari is deviously wicked as Thomas Cromwell and George Villiers.

1516MTC_AB_Ari_Sklar_LoResThe play ends in 1603 when Anne’s ghost talks with James about the Protestant Reformation she unleashed, and she then addresses the audience before departing.

With Assistant Director and Choreographer Regina Victoria Fields, Jasson Minadakis directs the action with great beauty and a superb ensemble casting.


Nina Ball’s
intriguing Set Design feels like a toy theater with steps cut from paper, and her construction extends effectively into the audience where some of the characters enter to create the feeling of being in the same Great Hall as the Royals.  Costume Designs by Ashley Holvick and the Lighting Design by Kurt Landisman are outstanding.  Sound Designer is Teddy Hulsker, and Dialect Coach Lynne Soffer does well with this cast.

Photography by Kevin Berne

This is the second U.S. production of Anne Boleyn, and MTC has created a very special and highly enjoyable night of theater chock-full of romance and pathos.  Be ready for 3 hours of Palace intrigue.

Anne Boleyn began April 14 and will run through May 15, 2016, at the home of the Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley.

Remaining Performances:
Tuesdays through Saturdays: 7:30pm
Sunday, May 1: 7:30pm
Matinees: Thursday (Perspectives), April 28, 1:00pm
Sundays, May 1, 8, and May 15, 2:00pm
Saturday, May 7 and May 14, 2:00pm

For tickets, contact Marin Theatre Company at 415-388-5208, or purchase online at boxoffice@marintheatre.org.

Coming up next at Marin Theatre Company, will be The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar and directed by Jasson Minadakis from June 2 through 26, 2016.

Flora Lynn Isaacson

 

 

 

 

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