Marjorie Prime image 1

Lois Smith and Noah Bean; photo by Jeremy Daniel

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Lisa Emery, Lois Smith, and Noah Bean; photo by Jeremy Daniel

Marjorie Prime image 3

Lisa Emery and Stephen Root; photo by Jeremy Daniel

Marjorie Prime image 4

Stephen Root, Lois Smith, and Lisa Emery; photo by Jeremy Daniel

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Artwork photography by Matt Hoyle

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Playwright Jordan Harrison; photo by Zack DeZon.

Marjorie Prime

Mainstage Theater

Written by Jordan Harrison
Directed by Anne Kauffman

2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama

It’s the age of artificial intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie — a jumble of disparate, fading memories — has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance? In this richly spare, wondrous new play, Jordan Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits — if any — of what technology can replace.

Noah Bean — Walter
Lisa Emery — Tess
Stephen Root — Jon
Lois Smith — Marjorie

Scenic Designer: Laura Jellinek
Costume Designer: Jessica Pabst
Lighting Designer: Ben Stanton
Sound Designer: Daniel Kluger
Production Stage Manager: Erin Gioia Albrecht



Jordan Harrison Artist Interview

Tim Sanford: You’ve got narwhals on your chest! Jordan Harrison: You’ve never seen the narwhals? It’s like my go-to T-shirt. I loved narwhals as a kid. My friend said I always wear it at the start of a journey. I hope we’re recording, that’s not a bad beginning.


In Process: Jordan Harrison

Jordan Harrison lets us in on two of his sources of inspiration for his Pulitzer Prize finalist ‘Marjorie Prime’‬: a chatbot and his grandmother.


Letter from Tim: Marjorie Prime

I have the same reluctance to talk about the role artificial intelligence plays in Marjorie Prime as I had to discuss the nuclear meltdown setting of Anne Washburn’s acclaimed Mr. Burns. In some respects, both plays feel as if they were written in response to our pop culture’s unslakeable appetite for certain sensationalistic science fiction tropes.


The American Voice: Someway Else

Bainbridge Island, where Jordan Harrison grew up, is rustic and lush, marked by winding two-lane roads that cut through sheets of gothic Pacific Northwest mist as they weave along an expanse of jagged, soaring coastline; in my experience, you’re about as likely to encounter a harbor seal there as you are a person. Just 10 miles across Puget Sound, close enough to be visible from the eastern beaches, is hi-tech Seattle, brimming with modernist architecture; birthplace of Microsoft and Nirvana; home of e-readers, coffee shop entrepreneurialism, the WTO riots, and eye-rolling hipsters.


Backstory: Here Comes The Singularity

“Science fiction writers don’t predict the future (except accidentally),” argues novelist Cory Doctorow in an essay called “Radical Presentism.” “But if they’re very good, they may manage to predict the present.”