Stage and screen favourite Lisa McCune (The King and I) stars in the Australian premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Pulitzer Prize finalist Gloria, a blistering satire of office politics and our exploitative, media-saturated age that has enthralled and shocked audiences around the US.
Under the direction of Lee Lewis (The Bleeding Tree), Gloria will see newcomer Callan Collen, Jordan Fraser-Trumble (HIR), Jane Harber (Offspring), Aileen Huynh (Cleverman), and Peter Paltos (Minnie & Liraz) take on Jacobs-Jenkins’ astute, and at times confronting, contemporary commentary when it opens on Thursday 31 May at Southbank Theatre, The Sumner.
Lee Lewis said, ‘Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is one of the smartest playwrights in America today. His understanding of the deep awfulness in American society is heartbreaking because it is tempered with a genuine hopefulness for humanity. His writing is brave, funny, and literate; his big philosophies are embedded so deeply that you don’t hear a playwright’s voice, you hear his characters as alive flawed people. You can sense that he believes in the power of theatre to change the world for the better, and his skill is such that he makes us believe too.’
Editorial assistant Dean stumbles into work, hungover from a party at the home of the ‘office freak’ Gloria. As his ambitious group of 20-something co-workers squabble, complain and generally avoid work, it’s just another day at the office of a fancy Manhattan magazine. Until suddenly it’s not. Strap yourself in for the breathtaking new play that will have everyone talking.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Gloria was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, adding to his long list of honours including the MacArthur Fellowship, Benjamin Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts, and the Steinberg Playwriting Award. His other plays include Appropriate and An Octoroon (both Obie Award-winners for Best New American Play). He is a graduate of Princeton University, New York University and The Julliard School. He worked in the fiction department at The New Yorker magazine for almost three years.
Lee Lewis is the Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company and returns to MTC after directing Hay Fever in 2017 and the world premiere of Rupert in 2014. Her recent productions for Griffin have included Rice (with Queensland Theatre), The Bleeding Tree, 8 Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography, Silent Disco, Emerald City, The Bull the Moon and the Coronet of Stars, A Hoax, The Call, and The Nightwatchman. Other work includes Masquerade for Griffin and the State Theatre Company of South Australia which played in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne; the national tour of Highway of Lost Hearts for Darwin Festival; and The Serpent’s Table for the 2014 Sydney Festival. Lee has also directed for Bell Shakespeare (Twelfth Night and The School for Wives), Sydney Theatre Company (Honour, ZEBRA! and Love Lies Bleeding) and Belvoir (This Heaven, That Face). She holds an MFA from Columbia University and an MFA from NIDA. Currency House published her book Cross-Racial Casting: Changing the Face of Australian Theatre as part of their Platform Paper series.
Cast Callan Colley, Jordan Fraser-Trumble, Jane Harber, Aileen Huynh, Lisa McCune, Peter Paltos
Director Lee Lewis
Set & Costume Designer Christina Smith
Lighting Designer Paul Jackson
Composer & Sound Designer Russell Goldsmith
Voice & Dialect Coach Anna McCrossin-Owen
16 June – 21 July
Thursday 21 June
Southbank Theatre, The Sumner
03 8688 0800
‘Whip-smart satire… sharp-toothed comic drama.’ New York Times
‘The bitingly funny and fierce Gloria is one of the year’s best shows.’ New York Post
Contains some coarse language, sexual references and a scene depicting graphic violence, gunshots and theatrical blood. Recommended for ages 16+.