Northlight Theatre Presents New Work Online

Feb 23, 2021
The Catastrophist by Northlight Theatre

Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, continues to engage audiences with its commitment to developing new work with two new plays. The first, in a co-production of Marin Theatre Company and Round House Theatre, is Lauren Gunderson's The Catastrophist, directed by Jasson Minadakis, featuring William DeMeritt, playing March 11-31, 2021. On April 18, 2021, Northlight will premiere a reading as part of Interplay of Wright/Rand, a new play by Jeffrey Hatcher and Eric Simonson, directed by David Ira Goldstein and featuring Artistic Director BJ Jones as Frank Lloyd Wright, in his first role since 2005, and Tracy Michelle Arnold as Ayn Rand.

a co-production of Marin Theatre Company and Round House Theatre
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Jasson Minadakis
The production is available for on demand viewing March 11-31, 2021. Tickets, $30, are on sale February 25 at

How do you plan for catastrophe? Virologist Nathan Wolfe, named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the World for his work tracking Ebola and swine flu, has hunted viruses from the jungles of Cameroon to the basement of the CDC.. Now, in a post-COVID world, we hear his story-presented entirely digitally. America's most produced playwright Lauren Gunderson (Miss Bennet, The Wickhams, The Book of Will) returns with a time-jumping tale based on the life and work of Nathan Wolfe (who also happens to be her husband). A deep dive into the profundities of scientific exploration and the harrowing realities of facing your own mortality, The Catastrophist is a world premiere theatrical experience built of and for this moment in time.

BJ Jones comments, "A power couple like no other, Lauren Gunderson and her husband Nathan Wolfe bridge the gap between arts and science in this one-person exploration of his extraordinary career as a world class virologist. Told from her perspective and anchored by his expertise, this strikingly theatrical monologue illuminates this moment in time."

The cast is William DeMeritt (Nathan). The creative team includes: Peter Ruocco (Director of Photography/ Editor), Martine Kei Green-Rogers (Dramaturg), Wen-Ling Liao (Lighting Designer), Chris Houston/Implied Music (Composer/Sound Designer), Sarah Smith (Costume Designer), Christina Hogan (Assistant Director) and Nakissa Etemad (Producer).

Notes of Interest:
Lauren Gunderson has been one of the most produced playwrights in America. Her plays The Wickhams, Miss Bennet, and The Book of Will have been produced by Northlight.

The subject of the play and scientific consultant is notable virologist Nathan Wolfe, who is married to the playwright.

By Jeffrey Hatcher and Eric Simonson
Directed by David Ira Goldstein

The reading premieres Sunday April 18, 2021 at 6:30pm with a live post-show discussion, streaming through April 22, 2021.

Frank Lloyd Wright and Ayn Rand: two artistic figures that loomed large over the 20th century. After years of brush-offs from the already accomplished architect to the emerging author, the two iconoclasts finally met and, perhaps surprisingly, became friends. With witty badinage and delicious posturing, we see the shared ideals and aspirations of these thorny giants, as well as the darker sides that plagued them both.

BJ Jones comments, "Frank Lloyd Wright and Ayn Rand seem an unlikely pairing on the surface. Though Rand's best seller Fountainhead was a fictionalized glimpse of a world-famous architect, she maintained it was not Wright that she had written. He, on the other hand, insisted it was. The conflict both aesthetic and personal makes for a smart and witty war of words by two award-winning playwrights."

The cast includes BJ Jones (Frank Lloyd Wright) and Tracy Michelle Arnold (Ayn Rand). The Dramaturg is Leean Kim Torske, who will also read stage directions. The Zoom Coordinator is Sophia Danielle-Grenier.

Notes of Interest:
This reading is a part of Northlight's Interplay New Play Development program, providing customized support for new work in the critical stages of early play development.

Catch a glimpse of this new drama while still in the development process. The premiere will be followed by a live Q&A with the director and playwright. A recording will be available for 96 hours following the premiere.

This event is FREE with a suggested donation, but registration is required to receive a viewing link. To sign-up, and for additional details, please visit

BJ Jones last appeared onstage at Northlight in 2005's Permanent Collection by Thomas Gibbons, opposite Harry J. Lennix, who directed an Interplay reading earlier this year.