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Mary Page Marlowe

Play by Tracy Letts Translated by Anna Opel
Swiss Premiere

Recommended ages: 14 and over

After the worldwide success of his Pulitzer Prize-winning drama «August: Osage County» which premiered at Theater Basel during the 2009/2010 season, the contemporary American playwright and actor Tracy Letts (familiar to tv fans as CIA Director Lockhart in the American series «Homeland») has written a new, epic play chronicling the moving life of one woman, Mary Page Marlowe: from a babe in arms and small child, through her youthful years in the Fifties and Sixties, starting a family, achieving a career, both taking and wasting first and second chances, going through crises and starting over again up until the autumn of her life, aged almost 70, in the present day. Tracy Letts weaves a gentle and touching biographical tapestry out of the moments of hope, turning points and fragmented memories of his heroine, that acknowledges the poetic fragility, vicissitudes and everyday qualities of human life.  

When seen in retrospect, the 19-year-old Mary’s dreams of the future and the reality of her life at 36 or 50 are separated by gaping chasms that seem unbridgeable, painful and baffling. However, it is in these intervening spaces that life happens, with all its defeats, beginnings, moments of joy and guilt, responsibility, resignation and reconciliation. The playwright Letts is remarkably successful in managing to present a complete life though the episodes shown and the much larger gaps in between so that his Mary Page Marlowe is able to win over the hearts of the audience. 

Letts’ moving play holds up a gently resistant alternative to the current social norms of what a successful or unsuccessful life, what fulfilment or failure might be. Every life, the life of every single person is both tragic and special if one looks or listens closely enough – however brittle, fragmented and unfulfilled it may seem. As Mary Page Marlowe says about an old sheet in the laundry: «It’s fragile. But it’s still in one piece…»

The Danish director Elisa Kragerup, resident director at the Royal Theatre Copenhagen and winner of the 2015 Crown Prince Couple Prize for outstanding young Danish artists, introduces herself to audiences in Basel with «Mary Page Marlowe».


Presenting Sponsor: Stiftung zur Förderung der Basler Theater

Preisstufe IV Schauspielhaus (von 30.– bis 60.–)

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