Glickman Award Goes to Marcus Gardley for "The House that will not Stand"
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
By Laura Brueckner
Playwright Marcus Gardley has won the prestigious Will Glickman Award for The House that will not Stand, which received its world premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in February 2014. Gardley and Berkeley Rep will receive awards at Theatre Bay Area's Annual Conference on April 13, 2015 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Gardley will also receive the award's $4,000 purse.
Glickman Award winner Marcus Gardley.
Photo: Marcus Gardley
Loosely inspired by Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, Gardley's poetic and witty historical drama goes deep into the world of free women of color in 1836 New Orleans, particularly those living in long-term common-law marriages with wealthy white men. One such woman, Beartrice Albans, is left in a precarious position after her man's death, with her home, her security and the welfare of her three unmarried daughters on the line.
"I'm thrilled to be accepting this award," remarks Gardley. "I'm extremely proud of The House that will not Stand's world premiere at Berkeley Rep and eternally grateful to have participated in The Ground Floor, which provided the creative space and artistic support to develop the play. The play has been enthusiastically received at Yale Rep and Tricycle Theatre in London. But this recognition from the Bay Area theatre community where I have deep roots is truly an honor."
"I'm delighted that The House that will not Stand is receiving the recognition it deserves," says Berkeley Repertory Theatre artistic director Tony Taccone. "It's a testament to Marcus Gardley's enormous talent as a playwright and the developmental process we've created through The Ground Floor, our incubator of new work. Marcus's unique voice, at once lyrical, rigorous and humorous, gave us a look at a little-known part of our history, and the result was compelling and illuminating."
This is the first Glickman Award for playwright Gardley and the fifth for Berkeley Repertory Theatre, after Philip Kan Gotanda's Yankee Dawg You Die (1989), Anne Galjour's Hurricane/Mauvais Temps (1997), Leigh Fondakowski's The People's Temple (2006) and Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) (2010). Gardley's play ...and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, which San Francisco's Cutting Ball Theater and Playwrights Foundation premiered in 2010, was published in the January/February 2012 issue of Theatre Bay Area magazine.
"I am thrilled to present this year's Will Glickman Award to Marcus Gardley for The House that will not Stand," says Theatre Bay Area executive director Brad Erickson. "Marcus is an Oakland native, now one of the most exciting young writers in the country, who returns often to work in the Bay Area. Theatre-makers in the Bay Area are proud to count Marcus as one of our own, and we are all enormously blessed to have so many of Marcus's beautiful plays being developed or premiering here."
Administered by Theatre Bay Area and started in 1984 to honor Bay Area playwright and screenwriter Will Glickman, the Will Glickman Award is presented annually to the author or authors of the best play to have its world premiere in the Bay Area. The winner is chosen by a panel of top Bay Area theatre critics: Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Avila of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Karen D'Souza of the San Jose Mercury News, Chad Jones of TheaterDogs.net and Sam Hurwitt of KQED Arts and the Marin Independent Journal. The Glickman Award-winning play is usually published each year in the July/August issue of Theatre Bay Area magazine.
The panel also named three other strong contenders as runners-up for this year's award: Hir by Taylor Mac (Magic Theatre); Hundred Days by Abigail Bengson, Shaun Bengson and Kate E. Ryan (Z Space) and The Scion by Brian Copeland (The Marsh).
Last year's winner was Aaron Loeb for Ideation, which went on from its small-scale world premiere as part of San Francisco Playhouse's second-stage Sandbox series to open that theatre's 2014-15 main stage season. The 2013 Glickman winner, Christopher Chen's The Hundred Flowers Project (premiered by Crowded Fire Theater and Playwrights Foundation) went on to a 2014 production at Chicago's Silk Road Rising. Other past recipients include Tony Kushner for Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (1992), Octavio Solis for Santos y Santos (1994) and Luis Alfaro for Oedipus El Rey (2011).