WARWICK, RI (February 21, 2022) – The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre (The Gamm) continues Season 37 with Martyna Majok’s Ironbound, a heartrending and also humorous drama about the dreams and realities of the American immigrant experience. Set in a gritty stretch of New Jersey, the play spans 22 years in the life of Darja, a Polish immigrant getting by on cleaning jobs and factory work, and the sheer will to survive.
Rachel Walshe directs the 4-person cast including Donnla Hughes (A Lie Agreed Upon) as the play’s central character, with Steve Kidd (A Doll’s House Part 2, True West), Gunnar Manchester (As You Like It, Uncle Vanya), and Gamm newcomer Rodney Witherspoon II as the men who both love and fail her.
As with Majok’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Cost of Living, Majok (pronounced MY-oak) uses unsentimental dialogue to create the authentically complex characters of Ironbound. Raised in Northern Jersey as the daughter of a house cleaner, the Polish-born playwright drew on her own mother’s experiences in writing her critically acclaimed play.
Gamm Artistic Director Tony Estrella said Majok’s honest portrayal of working-class despair shines light on an often invisible population.
“Martyna Majok has written a powerful, revelatory story about a woman on the often overlooked margins of American life. Along with Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew and Lynne Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Sweat, Ironbound focuses on the primacy of ‘blue collar’ work and continues a proud tradition harkening back to Clifford Odets and Arthur Miller,” Estrella said. “These stories are putting working class voices back at the center of the American dramatic tradition and exposing the fissures of class that lie at the heart of a riven nation, and the perils awaiting a culture that continues to ignore them.”
Ironbound runs from March 17-April 10 at The Gamm Theatre, 1245 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, R.I. Tickets are $49-$69; preview performances (March 17-20) are $35. Pay-what-you-can rush tickets available for Friday evening performances.
Please note: For the safety and comfort of Gamm audiences, patrons must present either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the theater. All patrons, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask. Details at gammtheatre.org.
At a bus stop in a run-down New Jersey town, Darja, a Polish immigrant who gets by on a cleaning job, pragmatism, and sheer will is done talking about feelings. It’s time to talk money. Over the course of 22 years and three relationships, Darja negotiates for her future with men who can offer her love or security, but never both. Award-winning playwright Martyna Majok’s Ironbound is a darkly funny, heartbreaking portrait of a tough woman for whom love is a luxury — and a liability — and survival is the only measure of success.
You seldom see plays that are both harsh and wonderful . . . The play never sugarcoats, yet it steers clear of bleakness because Majok’s language is so entertainingly alive. New York Times