The Patron Saint of Sea Monsters
Peter Jay Sharp Theater
Aubrey, a very determined romantic, believes she’s met her soul-mate in Calvin, a boozing womanizer. But in this tilted, thoughtful comedy, true love is an even more tangled predicament. Peopled by an assortment of eccentrics, mystics and front porch philosophers, this new play from Marlane Meyer is a sweet polemic, an unexpected love story, and a deliciously cockeyed view of the sustaining—and destructive—power of belief.
Scenic Design Rachel Hauck
Costume Design Paloma Young
Lighting Design Russell H. Champa
Sound Design Darron L West
Production Stage Manager Marisa Levy
This production contains mature situations and may not be suitable for younger audiences.
The play's six actors portray 17 characters with a gonzo intensity that's scary, funny, and exhilarating. Meyer manages to find delight, humor, and something lovable in even the vilest human beings.—Brandon K. Thorp, Village Voice |Read Full Article
A dark fable about the power of true love and unshakable belief, rendered with wit, grit, and a stuffed raccoon.—Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News
Glimmering with possibility, disorienting and clever, Marlane Meyer's The Patron Saint of Sea Monsters handily demonstrates overindulgence in the High Weird style. Danny Wolohan is brilliant. I love a good Twin Peaks–style gumbo.—Helen Shaw, Time Out New York
A broad and surrealistic comedy about a David Lynch kind of town.—Jesse Oxfeld, The Observer
Veers between loopy, Christopher Durang-style comedy and a sincerely cockeyed love story. Screeching, snarling, and demented, Candy Buckley is hilarious.—Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
A tour backstage with PATRON SAINT actor Danny Wolohan, in which he shows us the glamorous life of showbiz off-Broadway.
Scenic Designer Rachel Hauck takes us backstage of THE PATRON SAINT OF SEA MONSTERS.
Aubrey (Laura Heisler) and Jack (Danny Wolohan) spar in a scene from Act One of THE PATRON SAINT OF SEA MONSTERS.
Selected moments from THE PATRON SAINT OF SEA MONSTERS by Marlane Meyer. Music by Darron L West. Directed by Lisa Peterson.
Tim: Did you think of yourself as a woman writer? Marlane: I remember Julia Miles [founder of The Women’s Project], the first time she saw me, she said I could stay in her apartment so I went to her apartment on Central Park West, a very beautiful apartment. She opens the door and looks at me and said, “What are you?” And I said, “What? What?” And she said, “What are you?” And I said “Uh…I’m…Oh! I’m Hawaiian. I’m Hawaiian and Swedish, German, Danish, French, Thai...” She goes, “You’re Hawaiian? Do you have a Hawaiian name?” And I said, “Yes…Huapala.” And she said, “You need to use your name. You need to use that name.” And so we went in the house and had a discussion about why I don’t want to use that name and why it’s important not to use that name, and why it’s important not to necessarily hook your writing career to your nationality so that you can get produced.
Playwrights Horizons alum Laura Heisler discusses her character, Aubrey, what she considers her typical roles, and what it means to play "more animal, less human." Original music by Darron L West. Produced by 2013/14 Marketing Resident Nicole Dancel.
Marlane Meyer shares with us what she thinks the play is about, why she writes, and her past experiences in making theater.
Back for her third show at Playwrights Horizons, THE PATRON SAINT OF SEA MONSTERS, Blackburn prize winner Marlane Meyer talks about returning to PH, her own Patron Saint, and why writing just may have saved her life (and someone else's). Original music by Darron L West.
PH on Instagram
I don’t know why I write plays. I would prefer to write blockbuster movies that take two weeks and make me five million dollars. But when I sit down at the computer or the piece of white paper or the cocktail napkin, out comes a dialogue or an extended conversation about holiness, God, philosophy and crime, which in the world of my plays are all inextricably linked.
My cousin Russ turned me onto Jung when I was a sophomore in college just in time to blow my Epic Literature course experience wide open. Truth be told, traces of Jung kept popping up here and there in most of my subsequent undergraduate term papers from then on. This was the early 70s after all, when the counter-cultural rebellion against rationalism still prevailed. In Jung, the unconscious still held the keys to the sacred, and libido transformed from Freudian sexuality to the fire of spiritual potency. Art could be a repository of numinosity.
Alone in my cubicle at work about eighteen months ago, I did the geekiest little dance of excitement when I opened my mail to see a new play by Marlane Meyer. It had been at least ten years since I’d known of a new one from her, during which time I often found myself jonesing for a fix. My first encounter with Meyer’s work was so memorable, so eye-opening that I remember precisely where I was sitting: a booth in Frank's Restaurant in Ann Arbor in the ’90s after, rightfully suspecting I might enjoy her writing, a theater history professor loaned me his copy of Etta Jenks (1988). Audacious and screamingly funny, this play starts off as the ancient story of a girl from the sticks who arrives in Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a movie star. Facing a series of dead ends, she soon finds herself acting in pornographic films, controlled by a web of odious men. Far from falling victim to this cosmology, though, she becomes the master of it, finding her power in out-manipulating the sleazebags who are out to exploit her. It's a sardonic tale of social Darwinism, all the more poignant considering the feminist anti-pornography critique at that time, in which an indelible heroine learns to survive.
In the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the veneration of the saints is a time-honored tradition. Holy individuals in life, they are considered celestial advocates in death. And as members of a vast, heavenly bureaucracy, some of them receive some odd assignments.