Guthrie Theater presents the world premiere of Karen Zacarías’ ‘Shane’

Co-commissioned by the Guthrie, "Shane" is a bold reimagining of Jack Schaefer’s 1949 Western novel. Previews begin Saturday, July 15; Opening on Friday, July 21, playing through Sunday, August 27 on the McGuire Proscenium Stage.

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The Guthrie Theater, in co-production with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, proudly presents the world premiere of Shane by Karen Zacarías, adapted from the novel by Jack Schaefer and directed by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Artistic Director Blake Robison.

Co-commissioned by the Guthrie and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in 2021, Shane will play July 15 – August 27, 2023, on the McGuire Proscenium Stage. Single tickets start at $20 for preview performances (July 15–20). All other performances range from $31 to $80. Single and group tickets are on sale now through the Box Office at 612.377.2224 (single), 1.877.447.8243 (toll-free), 612.225.6244 (group) or online at guthrietheater.org. Accessibility services (ASL-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances) are available on select dates. 

“It is an honor to welcome Karen Zacarías back to the Guthrie and produce her world-premiere adaptation of Shane in co-production with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. When Karen first described her own relationship to Jack Schaefer’s 1949 novel, and the lens through which she intended to explore its narrative and themes in a new play, I was instantly captivated,” said Artistic Director Joseph Haj. “Under Blake Robison’s direction, Shane promises to be a thrilling production for longtime fans of this Western classic and theater newcomers alike as well as a dynamic end to a historic Guthrie season.” 

In Shane, Zacarías interrogates the assumptions and myths of the American West by transporting audiences to 1889 when Shane, a loner with a dark and mysterious past, rides into the heart of Wyoming’s cattle country. He’s instantly idolized by the young Bob Starrett, whose settler parents welcome Shane into their home and put him to work on their farm, where Shane discovers the family he never had. Meanwhile, hostility grows between the ruthless rancher Fletcher and the settlers starting their farms. When Fletcher plans to squeeze them out, Shane’s dangerous ways resurface as he fights to save the Starretts from ruin.

Shane marks the second play by Zacarías to be produced at the Guthrie, following Native Gardens (2017). When asked about her adaptation of Schaefer’s classic novel, Zacarías said, “Shane is a little emerald of a story we can look at from many directions and lenses, from the myths of the West to who else was part of the Western frontier.” She added, “It examines the American family, the war between individualism and community, and how we need each other to survive.”

The cast of Shane features Juan Arturo (Guthrie: debut) as Older Bob/Bobby Starrett, Ricardo Chavira (Guthrie: An Enemy of the People, A Streetcar Named Desire) as Joe Starrett, William DeMeritt (Guthrie: debut) as Shane, Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey (Guthrie: debut) as Marian Starrett, Grant Goodman (Guthrie: debut) as Ernie Wright/Stark Wilson, Terry Hempleman (Guthrie: Sweat, A Raisin in the Sun, West Side Story) as Jake Ledyard/Sam Grafton, Shayna Jackson (Guthrie: debut) as Winona Stephens, Bill McCallum (Guthrie: The Tempest, West Side Story, Romeo and Juliet) as Luke Fletcher and Mikell Sapp (Guthrie: debut) as Chris Johnson. 

The creative team for Shane includes Karen Zacarías (Playwright), Blake Robison (Director), Lex Liang (Scenic Designer), Trevor Bowen (Costume Designer), Pablo Santiago (Lighting Designer), Matthew M. Nielsen (Sound Designer/Composer), Jocelyn Clarke (Dramaturg), Vanessa Severo (Movement Director), Sordelet, Inc.: Rick Sordelet and Christian Kelly-Sordelet (Fight Directors), Tipiwizin Tolman (Lakota Language and Cultural Consultant), Jennifer Liestman (Resident Casting Director), Jason Clusman (Stage Manager), Lyndsey R. Harter (Assistant Stage Manager), Stephanie Klapper, C.S.A. (NYC Casting Director) and McCorkle Casting, Ltd. (NYC Casting Consultant). 

Karen Zacarías (Playwright) is currently one of the most-produced Latina playwrights in the U.S. She was born in Mexico to what she calls “an artistic family.” The granddaughter of a well-known movie director and writer, Zacarías was initially reluctant to identify herself as an artist. Her work includes Native Gardens, an adaptation of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, The Book Club PlayMariela in the Desert and The Sins of Sor Juana, which won her The Kennedy Center’s Charles MacArthur Prize for Outstanding New Play. 

Blake Robison (Director) is the Osborn Family Producing Artistic Director at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. During his 11-season tenure, he has directed the world premieres of Karen Zacarías’ Native Gardens, Audrey Cefaly’s The Last Wide Open and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Abigail/1702; adaptations such as Treasure IslandShakespeare in LoveA Prayer for Owen MeanyPeter and the StarcatcherPride and PrejudiceThe Three Musketeers, Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace and Stephen King’s Misery; and contemporary works such as Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles, Karen Zacarias’ The Book Club Play and Dana Yeaton’s Mad River Rising. Other directing credits include productions at the Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Utah Shakespeare Festival, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, National Shakespeare Company and Vermont Stage. Robison served on the Theatre Communications Group board for six years and was a finalist for the 2019 Zelda Fichandler Award from SDCF honoring extraordinary work in regional theater.

Cat Grant

Catherine (Cat) Grant was a business-savvy media mogul who got her start working as a gossip columnist for the Daily Planet. Cat later became a gossip blogger and eventually the CEO of her own company, CatCo Worldwide Media, a multimedia entertainment and news conglomerate based out of National City. Years after her departure from CatCo, Cat has decided to take a cathartic journey back to her roots. Welcome back to Cat’s Corner.

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