California's Marin Theatre Company presents the continued world premiere of Justice: A New Musical, which was seen at Arizona Theatre Company this past spring, beginning February 16. Performances continue at the Mill Valley venue through March 12 with an official opening February 21.
Directed by Ashley Rodbro, the cast features Lynda DiVito Hacohen as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Karen Murphy as Sandra Day O’Connor, and Stephanie Prentice as Sonia Sotomayor.
Justice, which has a book by MTC’s recent Mellon National Playwright in Residence Lauren M. Gunderson and a score by Bree Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan, explores the first women on the U.S. Supreme Court—Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor—at the height of their power.
Gunderson said in an earlier statement, “Working with Bree and Kait on anything is a true joy and a real education in the beautiful mechanics and deep meaning of musical theatre. But tackling this both historical and timely subject of the first three women on the Supreme Court has been an even deeper exciting education about how art, activism, American history, and American future unfold and inspire. Our three women subjects—Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor—are icons, and to tell part of their collective story with our almost entirely women and non-binary team is a dream. I truly can’t wait to bring this new musical premiere to the Bay Area.”
“Justice is my first experience writing a piece of theatre that is daily impacted by the news,” added Kerrigan. “It is such a challenge and thrill to musicalize our shared American history and speak to the moment we are living through. It feels vital to engage with the women whose seat on the bench forced our justice system to reckon with gender, inclusivity, race, and equality. While they are trailblazers, they’re also wives, mothers, and daughters. It's the nuances of their private conversations—so beautifully brought to life by Lauren Gunderson—that are some of my favorite aspects of this piece.”
The creative team also includes music director Ruiran Xun, dramaturg and producer Nakissa Etemad, scenic and projections designer Carlos Aceves, costume designer Maggie Morgan, lighting designer Kate Boyd, assistant lighting designer Spense Matubang, sound designer Lane Elms, and props designer Liam Rudisill. Nick Carvalho is the stage manager, and Tanika Baptiste is the assistant stage manager.