To celebrate two fantastic years of Works by Women SF, our Meetup group saw a play by the first playwright we featured in our Plays by Women series: Rinne Groff (The Ruby Sunrise, Jimmy Carter was a Democrat). 77% was a part of the San Francisco Playhouse Sandbox Series.
From SF Playhouse: “The mission of The Sandbox is to promote new works utilizing top-notch directors and actors. The presentations have limited design elements and are be promoted primarily online thus reducing the costs and risk of each production. By reducing risk, the Sandbox Series is designed to bridge the gap between “readings” and “main stage” productions and thus provide increased exposure to the new voices in American Theater.”
What happens when “A high-powered businesswoman, her stay-at-home husband and her socialite mother wrestle with the decision to have another child, while the father braves a squall with his schooner in the Chesapeake Bay”? Arts Scene calls this marital comedy an “all-winner”.
Eminent Bay Area theater critic Robert Hurwitt praises the production as “100 percent engaging”. In his review, he writes:
“…it’s the ways the actors develop and exploit these cracks under Marissa Wolf’s direction that makes “77%” almost 100 percent engaging. Wolf, who’ll soon be leaving her post as artistic director of Crowded Fire Theater for Kansas City Rep (a de facto consolation prize for the World Series loss), orchestrates the flow of Groff’s many short scenes so smoothly that the momentum seems continuous, and the subtext within the scenes so delicately that Eric and Melissa’s bickering or side-by-side texting can feel like foreplay.
“(Arwen) Anderson captivatingly depicts the forces unsettling Melissa’s equilibrium, from her fierce joy in her work and love of Eric to her frustrations with him, tensions with her mother, fear for her father and doubts, all under the hormonal onslaught of fertility treatments. (Patrick) Russell is magnetic in his struggles to control his anger, more at himself than her, and indiscretions — and particularly delightful in a borderline inappropriate bonding scene with (Karen) Grassle’s slyly surprising Frankie. The electronic pings, rings and whooshes of Madeleine Oldham’s sound design almost serve as a fourth actor driving the story.”
This production is directed by Marissa Wolf (The Taming), and features AEA actors Arwen Anderson and Karen Grassle. Other women on the production include Madeleine Oldham(sound design), Jordan Puckett (lighting design, also SF Playhouse Literary Manager and Sandbox Production Manager),Maya Linke (set design), Miyuki Bierlein (costume design),Leah Hammond (props design), and Katherine Sumi (stage manager). Additional women on SF Playhouse staff include:Susi Damilano (SF Playhouse Managing/Producing Director,Lauren English (Casting Director), Jessica Charles (box office/front of house), Natalie Hermosilla(bartender/concessions) and Tiiu Eva Rebane (Box Office Manager)
If you were part of the Meetup or saw the play and have a thought to share, you know what to do!
Image courtesy San Francisco Playhouse