"I and You" by Lauren Gunderson, at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in 2015. Pictured: Kayla Ferguson and Reggie D. White. (Photo by Meghan Moore)

Merrimack Repertory Theatre Announces 2018-19 Season

The season will feature world premiere plays by Wendy MacLeod, Lauren Gunderson, and Sean Daniels.

LOWELL, MASS.: Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has announced its 2018-19 season, featuring seven productions.

“As MRT turns 40, it’s exciting to see it really coming into its own as a local theatre that the world pays attention to,” said artistic director Sean Daniels in a statement. “And we are thrilled to have women authoring the majority of this season’s plays.”

The season will kick off with Native Gardens (Sept. 12-Oct. 7), by Karen Zacarías, a comedy about the clash of cultures when a Latino couple move next door to a well-established family and their prize-winning garden. The cast will feature Julia Brothers and Joel Colodner. Giovanna Sardelli will direct.

Next up will be Murder for Two (Oct. 17-Nov. 11), with book and music by Joe Kinosian and book and lyrics by Kellen Blair, a comedy musical featuring two actors as they try to determine which of six characters has committed murder. The cast will feature Kinosian, and JC Clementz will direct.

Just in time for the holidays will be Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Nov. 28-Dec. 23), by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, which takes place during the holidays at the Darcy estate. The cast will include Veronika Duerr. Bridget Kathleen O’Leary will direct.

The season will continue with the world premiere of Wendy MacLeod’s Slow Flood (Jan. 9-Feb. 3, 2019), about a couple’s anniversary dinner that goes ridiculously awry. The cast will include Julia Brothers and Daniels will direct.

Next will be the world premiere of Gunderson’s The Heath (Feb. 13-March 10, 2019), an autobiographical play inspired by Gunderson’s grandfather about how to make peace with a relative who seems unlike you in every way. Daniels will direct.

Following will be the world premiere of The Haunted Life (March 20-April 14, 2019), adapted by Daniels from Jack Kerouac, a family drama about a college student in Lowell coming to terms with his conservative father at the onset of World War II. The play is adapted from a recently found manuscript by Kerouac, which was edited by UMass Lowell professor Todd F. Tietchen. Joel Colodner will star.

Following will be Molly Smith Metzler’s Cry It Out (April 24-May19, 2019), a comedy about two very different women who form a bond over their shared experiences of being first-time mothers.

Founded in 1979, Merrimack Repertory Theatre produces world premieres and contemporary plays.