Marcus Gardley Wins Glickman Award

by Naomi Crews

The Will Glickman Award -- an annual prize for the author or authors of the best play to have its world premiere in the Bay Area -- went to playwright Marcus Gardley for The House that will not Stand which premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. 

February 4, 2015 (San Francisco): Playwright Marcus Gardley has won the prestigious Will Glickman Award for The House that will not Stand, which received its world premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in February 2014. Gardley and Berkeley Repertory Theatre will receive awards at Theatre Bay Area’s Annual Conference on April 13, 2015 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Gardley will also receive the award’s $4,000 purse.

Loosely inspired by Federico García Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, Gardley’s poetic and witty historical drama goes deep into the world of free women of color in 1836 New Orleans, particularly those living in long-term common-law marriages with wealthy white men. One such woman, Beartrice Albans, is left in a precarious position after her man’s death, with her home, her security and the welfare of her three unmarried daughters on the line.

“I’m thrilled to be accepting this award” remarks Gardley. “I’m extremely proud of The House that will not Stand’s  world premiere at Berkeley Rep and eternally grateful to have participated in The Ground Floor, which provided the creative space and artistic support to develop the play. The play has been enthusiastically received at Yale Rep and Tricycle Theatre in London. But this recognition from the Bay Area theatre community where I have deep roots is truly an honor.”

This is the first Glickman Award for playwright Gardley and the fifth for Berkeley Repertory Theatre, after Philip Kan Gotanda’s Yankee Dawg You Die (1989), Anne Galjour’sHurricane/Mauvais Temps (1997), Leigh Fondakowski’s The People’s Temple (2006) and Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) (2010). Gardley’s play ...and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, which San Francisco’s Cutting Ball Theater and Playwrights Foundation premiered in 2010, was published in the January/February 2012 issue of Theatre Bay Area magazine.

“I am thrilled to present this year’s Will Glickman Award to Marcus Gardley for The House that will not Stand,” says Theatre Bay Area executive director Brad Erickson. “Marcus is an Oakland native, now one of the most exciting young writers in the country, who returns often to work in the Bay Area. Theatre-makers in the Bay Area are proud to count Marcus as one of our own, and we are all enormously blessed to have so many of Marcus’s beautiful plays being developed or premiering here.”

Administered by Theatre Bay Area and started in 1984 to honor Bay Area playwright and screenwriter Will Glickman, the Will Glickman Award is presented annually to the author or authors of the best play to have its world premiere in the Bay Area. The winner is chosen by a panel of top Bay Area theatre critics: Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Avila of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Karen D’Souza of the San Jose Mercury News, Chad Jones of and Sam Hurwitt of KQED Arts and the Marin Independent Journal. The Glickman Award-winning play is usually published each year in the July/August issue of Theatre Bay Area magazine.

The panel also named three other strong contenders as runners-up for this year’s award: Hir by Taylor Mac (Magic Theatre); Hundred Days by Abigail Bengson, Shaun Bengson and Kate E. Ryan (Z Space) and The Scion by Brian Copeland (The Marsh).

Last year’s winner was Aaron Loeb for Ideation, which went on from its small-scale world premiere as part of San Francisco Playhouse’s second-stage Sandbox series to open that theatre’s 2014-15 main stage season. The 2013 Glickman winner, Christopher Chen’s The Hundred Flowers Project (premiered by Crowded Fire Theater and Playwrights Foundation) went on to a 2014 production at Chicago’s Silk Road Rising. Other past recipients include Tony Kushner for Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (1992), Octavio Solis for Santos y Santos (1994) and Luis Alfaro for Oedipus El Rey (2011). 

About the Artist

Marcus Gardley is a poet-playwright. He was the 2012 James Baldwin Fellow and the 2011 PEN Laura Pels award winner for Mid-Career Playwright. The New Yorker describes Gardley as “the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams.” His play The House that will not Stand was commissioned and produced by Berkeley Rep and had subsequent productions at Yale Rep and the Tricycle Theater in London. He is an ensemble member playwright at Victory Gardens Theater, where his play The Gospel of Loving Kindness was produced in March and where he won the 2015 BTAA award for best play. In 2014, his saga The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry, about the migration of Black Seminoles (a tribe of African American and First Nations People) from Florida to Oklahoma, had a national tour. He has had several productions, some of which include: Every Tongue Confess at Arena Stage starring Phylicia Rashad and On the Levee, which premiered in 2010 at Lincoln Center Theater 3. He is the recipient of the 2011 Aetna New Voice Fellowship at Hartford Stage, the Hellen Merrill Award, a Kesselring Honor and the Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale Drama School and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. Gardley is a professor of Theater and Performance Studies at Brown University. 

About the Company

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed nearly 400 shows at Berkeley Rep. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Its bustling facilities – which include the 400-seat Thrust Stage, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the Osher Studio, and a spacious new campus in West Berkeley – are helping revitalize a renowned city. Learn more at

About the Glickman Award

Created to honor playwright and screenwriter Will Glickman, the Will Glickman Award is presented annually to the author of the best play to have its world premiere in the Bay Area. The winner is chosen by a panel of top Bay Area theatre critics. The goal of the fund is to encourage new plays and their production as invaluable investments in American theatre. In 2004, Theatre Bay Area, the nation’s largest regional theatre service organization, took over administration of the award. This is the 32nd award. 

About Theatre Bay Area

Theatre Bay Area’s mission is to unite, strengthen, promote and advance the theatre community in the San Francisco Bay Area, working on behalf of our conviction that the performing arts are an essential public good, critical to a truly prosperous and democratic society and invaluable as a source of personal enrichment and growth. Soon entering our fourth decade, Theatre Bay Area serves theatre companies, theatremakers and theatregoers as:

•   A professional association for theatre and dance artists and companies. Our membership includes some 2,200 individual artists and more than 300 companies ranging from large flagship institutions to small grassroots community groups located throughout the nine-county Bay Area. 

•   A service organization providing support, career development and community for theatre artists.

•   An information clearing-house for the arts offering a broad array of print and online publications as well as informational convenings, forums and conferences.

•   A hub for theatregoers building audiences for the arts by connecting theatregoers with arts offerings.

•   A significant arts funder providing over $150,000 in grants to artists and theatre and dance companies each year through our seven granting programs.

•   A champion for the arts working to shape public policy and build consensus around the idea that the performing arts are critical to a healthy society through advocacy with key government leaders, funders, media outlets and the business community and engagement of our membership to advocate on their own behalf.