Old Wicked Songs , 1996 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama, winner of New York Drama League (including play and both actors) , L.A. Drama Logue Award, included in Otis Guernsey’s Best Plays of 1996-97. First presented by the Walnut Street Theatre, then in NYC by Daryl Roth at Playhouse 91, then moving to the Promenade Theater. In England, Old Wicked Songs started at the Bristol Old Vic, transferring to London’s West End at the Gielgud Theater, starring Bob Hoskins and James Callis (who won the Jack Tinker award for best newcomer). The play has been produced throughout the United States and translated and produced in a dozen countries around the world. In 2006 it tours throughout Japan starring Kato Kenichi.
Other shows: A Strange and Separate People (about Orthodox Jews) recently finished its run at the Penguin Rep Season in Stony Point, NY 12/05. (NY Times: “A potent, absorbing new play. Mr. Marans has a superb eye and ear for emotional complexity, for the little details of couplehood and for the inner lives of human beings trying to work through major life challenges.”); Jumping For Joy, Laguna Playhouse directed by Richard Stein and also at the Independent Theater as part of the 2003 International Adelaide Theater Festival (“Unforgettable…Captivating and beautiful. JUMPING FOR JOY is something wondrous…Marans demonstrates a masterful ability to balance humor and horror on a knife-edge.” The Orange County Register); a 1999 musical based on Studs Terkel’s “Coming of Age” entitled Legacy of the Dragonslayers (book by Jon Marans, lyrics by Ronnie Gilbert – part of the original blacklisted folk group “The Weavers”) San Jose Repertory Theatre, concerning a group of political activists and anarchists who are still alive and kicking, all at least 70 years old; the musical Irrationals (book & lyrics Jon Marans, music by Edward Thomas) Village Theater in Seattle in 2002 and at ATA, NYC, 2004 about the travails of a high school geometry teacher whose young son committed suicide. Jon Marans’ play Child Child was the winner of the Preston Jones Award and the first of a trilogy (including Jumping for Joy) about the Mavin family. (Maven in Yiddish means someone who is a self-proclaimed expert.) Mr. Marans’ play Opportunity Knocks won the Backdoor Theater Award
In film, Mr. Marans was a story editor/script doctor for Stonebridge, Michael Douglas’ production company at Columbia Pictures, instrumental in the development of numerous films including Black Rain about the Yakuza. And in TV was a staff writer/lyricist for the 1991 “New Carol Burnett Show” on CBS and wrote in 2003-2004 for Cookin’ in Brooklyn, a “comedy-reality” show on the Discovery Channel. Mr. Marans is a graduate of Duke University in mathematics and music and also studied at both the BMI & ASCAP Musical Theater workshops.