Introducing Donnie Darko

Marcus Stern’s last production at Zero Arrow was the phenomenally successful Onion Cellar, which introduced a whole new audience to the A.R.T., many of them from the Dresden Dolls young fan base, who flew in from across the country and filled the theatre night after night (we even had a family from Sydney, Australia come to the show.) That young energy is incredibly important to the A.R.T.; this is our audience for the future. Building on that success, it’s fantastic that Marcus will be returning to Zero Arrow to stage his adaptation of the cult film Donnie Darko.

Marcus first started working on this adaptation two years ago with student actors from the A.R.T. Institute. The idea seemed at first a strange one – how to render such an intricate and self-consciously filmic narrative for the stage? – but Marcus found a brilliantly theatrical vocabulary for the piece, and the workshop was a great success, playing to sold-out houses at our Church Street rehearsal space.

Donnie Darko is a terrific film – a mind-bending thriller that blends science fiction and film noir. It’s poetic and beautifully made, with great performances from Mary McDonnell, Patrick Swayze, and Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal at the onset of their meteoric careers.

– Gideon Lester

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