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TBA Online: News & Features: January 2014

Sam's Editors' Picks: January/February 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014  
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By Sam Hurwitt



Lasso of Truth
Marin Theatre Company
Feb. 20–Mar. 16

People are talking all over the internet about how ridiculous it is that there hasn't been a Wonder Woman movie by now, while DC Comics and its owner Time Warner keep rebooting the Batman and Superman franchises instead of giving the world's foremost superheroine her chance in the spotlight. But now at least (and at last) there's a Wonder Woman play. Sort of. A world premiere commissioned by Marin Theatre Company and the National New Play Network, Carson Kreitzer's Lasso of Truth explores the secret origin of the star-spangled Amazon princess by looking at the man who created her—William Moulton Marston, the psychologist and lie detector test inventor who based Wonder Woman on two different women in his life: his wife and the former student they lived with in a polyamorous relationship. The NNPN's 40th rolling world premiere, Lasso will be produced by Atlanta's Synchronicity Theatre in March and Kansas City, Missouri's Unicorn Theatre next January. Will the play get into why Marston's early Wonder Woman stories so often seemed to involve bondage, spanking and cheerful servitude? Cooooould be. 



Actors Jessa Brie Berkner (Wife) and Liz Sklar (The Amazon) during the September 2013 workshop for Lasso of Truth at Marin Theatre Company. Photo: Cody Gulick

Sam's Other Picks

The Scion
The Marsh
Jan. 9–Mar. 1
Comedian and radio host Brian Copeland created the longest-running solo show in San Francisco history with Not a Genuine Black Man, about being one of the first African American families to settle in San Leandro when it was known as one of America's most racist suburbs. He followed it up in 2012 with a devastating show about struggling with suicidal depression, The Waiting Period, which somehow also managed to be hilarious, and over this last holiday season he unveiled The Jewelry Box, about himself at age six trying to earn money to buy a gift for his mother in 1970s Oakland. Now Copeland uses the infamous 2000 murders of three meat inspectors at a San Leandro sausage factory to examine the uneasy relationship between the law and those who grow up believing they are above it. Visit

Untitled Feminist Show
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Jan. 30–Feb. 1
Playwright and director Young Jean Lee likes to provoke, as anyone could attest who saw her in-your-face satire of Asian American stereotypes, Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, when Crowded Fire Theater and Asian American Theater Company did it in 2011. Now Young Jean Lee's Theater Company comes to town with a nearly wordless multimedia exploration of identity, body and gender politics in jubilant dance sequences and comic vignettes performed in the nude by six New York theatre, dance, cabaret and burlesque performers. Visit

The River Bride
Jan. 8–Feb. 2
Kicking off AlterTheater's 10th season of staging theatre in downtown San Rafael storefronts, this world premiere by local playwright Marisela Treviño Orta is notable for a number of reasons. It came out of the inaugural year of the company's playwright residency program, AlterLab, and it's already the cowinner of Arizona Theatre Company's National Latino Playwriting Award (alongside Spark by Caridad Svich). The first in a planned trilogy of plays based on Latino folklore, The River Bride is inspired in style by the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm but draws upon Brazilian tales about river dolphins that come on shore leave to seduce women. After its San Rafael run in a storefront to be named, the play comes to San Francisco for four performances at the ACT Costume Shop Theater, February 13–16. Visit

Sam Hurwitt is editor-in-chief for Theatre Bay Area. He is also the author of The Idiolect, a blog about theatre, movies, comics, media and the decline and fall of Western civilization.