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A Modern Verse Translation of Shakespeare

King Lear

Playwright and Dramaturgs

  • Artist Headshot

    Marcus Gardley is a proud Oakland-born playwright-poet whom the New Yorker calls “the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams.” His play, X OR THE NATION V. BETTY SHABAZZ was a New York Times Critic Pic and was remounted off-Broadway in the Spring of 2018. His play THE HOUSE THAT WILL STAND opened off-Broadway in the summer of 2018 to rave reviews and a sold-out extension with 8 AUDELCO nominations, winning 4 including Best Play. It is now being adapted into a motion picture written by Gardley. He is the recipient of the 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2019 San Francisco Library Laureate Award. Gardley received the 2018 Guiding Light Award presented by Cal Shakes and won the 2017 Special Citation Theater Award for his play black odyssey, which swept the Theater Bay Area Awards garnering 6 other prizes including Best Production and a special playwrighting award. He is the 2015 Glickman Award for THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND and the 2013 USA James Baldwin Fellow. He was the 2011 PEN Laura Pels award winner for Mid- Career Playwright. His work has been produced across the country with several productions in England and France. Upcoming productions include: a musical called PARADISE SQUARE with choreography by Bill T. Jones and directed by Moises Kaufman slated for Broadway. Currently, Gardley is writing a biopic about Marvin Gaye produced by Dr. Dre, and a film adaptation of 12 Angry Men and developing a TV series with OWN and HBO as well as F/X and a TV series with Michael B. Jordan about Mansa Musa.

    Marcus Gardley

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  • Artist Headshot

    Philippa Kelly (PhD Shakespeare) is Resident Dramaturg for the California Shakespeare Theater and regularly serves as production dramaturg for various regional theaters. She is also Professor and Chair of English at the California Jazz Conservatory. For her research Philippa has been awarded fellowships from the Fulbright, Rockefeller, Walter and Eliza Hall, and Commonwealth Foundations at UC Berkeley, Oxford University and Bellagio, as well as Fellowships at the Australian National University and Sydney University and a multi-year Senior Fellowship at the University of New South Wales. Philippa is the co-recipient of a Bly Award for Innovation in Dramaturgy from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, culminating in a volume, Unpacking Dramaturgy: Diversity, Inclusion and Representation, Case Studies From the Field, co-edited with Amrita Ramanan, to be published by Routledge Press in the summer of 2019. Philippa is team leader for grants awarded by the Walter and Elise Haas Foundation and the California Arts Council for curriculum components taught in under-served Oakland schools. She has published many works, including 11 books (presses include Halstead, Ashgate, Oxford University Press, Michigan, Arden), 45 internationally refereed articles, and 43 playbill articles. Philippa has published extensively on King Lear, the closest to her heart being her book, The King and I(Arden Press, 2011). A meditation on Australian identity through the lens of Shakespeare’s King Lear, The King and I illuminates contemporary social attitudes toward the fringe-dwellers of society. Finally, Philippa is proud to lead a year-round community theater group entitled Berkeley Theater Explorations, the purpose of which is to make dramaturgy foundational to community theater appreciation.

    Philippa Kelly

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  • Artist Headshot

    Nakissa Etemad is a professional dramaturg, producer, director, and French translator based in San Francisco, CA. She is the recipient of the 2015 Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy for her work on four multi-city world premieres of Marcus Gardley’s the road weeps, the well runs dry through LARK’s Launching New Plays into the Repertoire (Perseverance Theatre, AK; Pillsbury House Theatre, MN; LATC; Univ. of S. Florida’s School of Theatre & Dance). The Regional VP Metro Bay Area for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), she has worked in the field of dramaturgy since 1992, including full-time posts as Dramaturg & Literary Manager for Philadelphia’s The Wilma Theater, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and Resident Dramaturg & Artistic Associate for San Diego Rep. Ms. Etemad has fostered 24 professional world premiere plays & musicals and dramaturged over 90 productions, workshops & staged readings with such writers as Tom Stoppard, Arthur Miller, Lynn Nottage, Luis Valdez, Polly Pen, Marcus Gardley, Charles L. Mee, Doug Wright, Octavio Solis, Julie Hébert, Chay Yew, Dael Orlandersmith, Katori Hall, Lillian Groag, Culture Clash, D.W. Jacobs, Ray Leslee, Heather McDonald, Steven Dietz, Lauren Yee, David Adjmi, Dan Dietz, Geetha Reddy, Garret Jon Groenveld, Marisela Treviño Orta, Torange Yeghiazarian, Stephanie Fleischmann, and Jeanne Drennan.

    Highlights include: Dramaturg for East Coast Premiere/2nd Production of Arthur Miller’s penultimate play Resurrection Blues at The Wilma; The Philadelphia Orchestra & The Wilma Theater’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favor by Tom Stoppard & André Previn, with David Strathairn and Richard Easton; the inaugural world premiere production of Marcus Gardley’s every tongue confess in Arena Stage’s Kogod Cradle; the world premiere Wilma-commissioned musical Embarrassments by Polly Pen and Laurence Klavan; world premiere of The Doors musical Celebration of the Lizard at San Diego Rep, with workshops starring Billy Zane and Grace Jones; Producer of San Jose Rep’s 5th Annual New America Playwrights Festival 2001, featuring Lynn Nottage, Polly Pen, James Milton, Naomi Iizuka; and Dramaturg for Katori Hall on her play The Mountaintop in Bay Area Playwrights Fest. Ms. Etemad has also provided dramaturgy for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alliance Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, O’Neill Music Theater Conference, La Jolla Playhouse, Shotgun Players, Golden Thread, African-American Shakes, French Consulate SF, The Cutting Ball Theater (as Resident Dramaturg for BATCC award-winning productions of Marcus Gardley’s …and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano and Victims of Duty), Playwrights Foundation (PF) and six Bay Area Playwrights Festivals, Crowded Fire, Alter Theater, George St. Playhouse, Diversionary Theatre, Austin Script Works, and the inaugural season of Berkeley Rep’s The Ground Floor with Gardley’s the House that will not Stand.

    Nakissa Etemad

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Production History

  • 2019

    Jun. 18 2019

    • Play On! Festival NYC

      Rehearsal and Staged Reading directed by Ian Belknap with full cast as part of the Play On! Translation Festival in NYC.

    • Produced by:

      Play On! / Classic Stage / Oregon Shakespeare Festival

  • Apr. 16 2019

    • Translation Workshop

      Workshop directed by Dawn Monique Williams with full cast in LA.

  • 2018

    Sep. 9 2018

    • Translation Workshop

      Work session with full cast in NYC.