PRESS RELEASE: MRT Closes 2014-15 Season with "The Outgoing Tide"

DATE: APRIL 6, 2015
CONTACT: Kate Brandt,
PR CONTACT PHONE: 978-654-7595
BOX OFFICE: 978-654-4678


Final MRT production for
Artistic Director Charles Towers
April 23 – May 15

Lowell, MAMerrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) will close its 2014-15 Season with the touching drama, “The Outgoing Tide” by Bruce Graham, directed by Charles Towers. Tormented by the menacing grip of an aging mind and with an uncertain future ahead, Gunner Concannon has a plan for his and his family’s future – but it is not what his wife Peg and son Jack had in mind. As the family debates his unorthodox idea, they are confronted by memories of the past and fears of the unknown. Ultimately, they must decide what it truly means to love someone. “The Outgoing Tide” is a deeply moving drama shot through with surprising humor.

The approximately 2-hour play will run from April 23 – May 15, with press performances at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Sunday, April 26, with a reception following the evening performance. All performances will be held at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, located at 50 East Merrimack Street in historic downtown Lowell. Tickets range from $60 - $20 and are on sale now at or by calling 978-654-4678.

The production marks the completion of Charles Towers’ tenure as MRT Artistic Director. He is stepping down at the conclusion of this season from the job he has held since 2001. “The Outgoing Tide” will mark the 34th production Charles has directed and the 97th he has produced. Over Towers’ 14 seasons at its helm, MRT has produced 27 world and regional premieres and won dozens of awards. Towers also oversaw the 2012-13 renovation of the theatre in Liberty Hall, now named the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre.

“The Outgoing Tide” is the second time Charles Towers has directed a play by Bruce Graham in recent years. They partnered together on last season’s popular production of “Stella and Lou.” Towers remarks, “While ‘The Outgoing Tide’ still reflects Bruce’s unique blend of humor and heartbreak, the story couldn’t be more different from ‘Stella and Lou.’ The twists, the turns, the deeply recognizable family relationships and, of course, Bruce’s incomparable wit, all combine to carry us to a place where dignity, honesty and humanity take hold and refuse to let go.”

Towers added, “It is pure coincidence that a play with the word “outgoing” in the title is my final production as Artistic Director. The entire 2014-15 Season was selected and announced before I made my decision to pass the torch. But now that I’m in rehearsals with Bruce’s wonderful play, I can imagine a better way to say goodbye to our wonderful audience.” 

Playwright Bruce Graham sees a lot of himself in his plays. He owns a home on the Chesapeake Bay, where the play takes place. He also says, “I’m from a blue collar background. There’s a lot of my father in Gunner, but there’s also a lot of ME in Gunner. When I was 22, my own mother called me the world’s youngest curmudgeon.”

Cast and Creative Team
The three-person cast is comprised entirely of actors who have earned IRNE Award (Independent Reviewers of New England) nominations for their work at MRT. Felicity LaFortune (Peg) will be freshest in the memory of MRT audiences. She was nominated for her portrayal of Renata in last year's “Equally Divided.” David Adkins (Jack) was nominated for his role in “The Seafarer” during the 2009-10 Season and has since returned to appear in “Homestead Crossing” and “Glengarry Glenn Ross,” which was also nominated for Best Ensemble. Ross Bickell (Gunner) won an IRNE Award for 2007-08's “A Delicate Balance” and also appeared in “The Drawer Boy.”

The creative team is rounded out by Scenic Designer James Fenton, Costume Designer Deborah Newhall, Lighting Designer Dan Kotlowitz, and Sound Designer Benjamin Emerson.

Tickets range from $60 - $20 and are available at or by calling 978-654-4678. A Senior discount is offered for 10% off adult ticket prices. Student tickets are $15. Group discounts are available for groups of six or more by calling 978-654-7561. $5 Night: Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 pm. Patrons may purchase tickets for $5, cash only, at the Box Office between 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Limit 2 tickets per person. Lowell Night: Wednesday, April 29 at 7:30 pm. Lowell residents may purchase tickets for $10 at the box office from 4:30 pm-7:30 pm. Proper ID required, limit 2 per person. A Military Discount of $10 off per ticket (up to four tickets per production) applies to any performance for active duty, retired, veteran, and reservist members of the military.

Special Events
Post-Show Discussions with the cast or creative team will be held following each Thursday evening performance. Each Wednesday, a Community Conversation will follow the evening performance, when the audience is invited to participate in a discussion about themes of the play with local organizations.

“Out of the City” is supported by Production Sponsor Circle Health. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the 2014-15 Season is sponsored by Sage Bank.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has been Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre company since 1979, and is an integral part of Lowell’s identity as the cultural heart of the region. Under the artistic direction of Charles Towers since 2001, MRT is known for its high production standards and for creating compelling new plays and regional premieres that reflect the lives and emotions of its audiences. Sean Daniels has been tapped as the company’s fourth Artistic Director, beginning with the 2015-16 Season. MRT is one of the 74 members nationwide of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT.)

MRT 2014-15 SEASON
“Year Zero” by Michael Golamco
September 11 – October 5, 2014

“Dusk Rings a Bell” by Stephen Belber
October 23 – November 16, 2014

“13 Things About Ed Carpolotti”
Book, music and lyrics by Barry Kleinbort, based on a play by Jeffrey Hatcher
November 28 – December 21, 2014

“The Best Brothers” by Daniel MacIvor
January 8 – February 1, 2015

“Oceanside” by Nick Gandiello
February 12 – March 8, 2015

“Out of the City” by Leslie Ayvazian
March 19 – April 12, 2015

“The Outgoing Tide” by Bruce Graham
April 23 – May 17, 2015

Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre
(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Box Office: 978-654-4678

Image Download

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