Best Available

By Jonathan Spector    

Directed by Marissa Wolf

Lead sponsors Elaine & Dick Sweet
Partner sponsors: Barbara Ricketts & Dennis Tetz; Karen A. Telian-Tyler & Stephen K. Tyler; Yvonne LaLanne & Mark Rubenstein


We’re not going to talk about the sudden departure of our previous Artistic Director, because we want to focus on the future, not the past. The one thing we’re all on the same page about it is: We Need Change. Change that builds on the remarkable legacy of our institution.

It’s just like the Ancient Blessing, May You Live In Interesting Times.

Playwright Statement

A few years ago, a mid-size theater in my region was searching for a new artistic director. They invited me and a few other local artists to be in the room as the final candidates came through and made their pitches. It was a profoundly strange experience, but also a wildly theatrical one.

Having a hunch there might be a play in there, I then spent several months interviewing artistic directors from around the country about their hiring and transition experiences. I also spoke to some board members and managing directors who have been on the other side of the table. I was not surprised to hear how disrespectfully people felt they were treated in these processes but I was still sometimes shocked by the details.

I was mid-way through a first draft when the pandemic hit, and I abandoned the play. I simply didn’t have the heart to continue writing a play critical of institutional theater while there was no theater. Then last summer, I was reading yet another story of an awful leader being forced out of a troubled organization and found myself being drawn back in. More than anything, I felt a need to honor all the stories and experiences people had shared with me during the interviews. I still have no idea what the regular audience will make of the play, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to begin to share it with the public.


Helen Linda Alper*
Maya Minita Gandhi*
Dolores Dee Maaske*
Carolina/Itzel/Veronica Magdalena del Castillo
Bex/Brad/Claudia Rebby Yuer Foster
Ariana/Jacqueline/Simone Aleeyah Enriquez
Dan/Bill Rafael Untalan*
Dave/Gary/The Romanian Barret O’Brien*
Stage directions Nicole Villavicencio Gonzalez
*Appearing through an Agreement between ANPF and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Runtime: 2 hours 20 minutes, plus intermission

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Playwright Image

Jonathan Spector is a playwright based in Oakland, California. His plays include  Eureka Day (New York Times Critics’ Pick, upcoming at London’s Old Vic Theater starring Helen Hunt, published by DPS); This Much I Know (upcoming at Aurora Theater); Best Available (South Coast Rep’s Elizabeth George Commission); and, Siesta Key (Bay Area Playwrights Festival).

His work has been produced at theaters around the country and abroad, including Asolo Rep, Aurora Theatre, Colt Coeur, Custom Made Theatre, InterAct Theatre, Mugwumpin, Syracuse Stage, Spreckles Theatre, The State Theatre of South Australia, and Just Theater, where he was the long-time co-Artistic Director. Jonathan has developed works with Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, Crowded Fire, New Harmony Project, Manhattan Theatre Club, PlayPenn, Roundabout, and South Coast Rep, among others.

Honors include the Edgerton Award, Glickman Award, Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award, Theater Bay Area Award, Global Age Prize and Rella Lossy Award. He is a Core Writer at Playwrights Center, and has been a MacDowell Fellow and a Resident Playwright at Playwrights Foundation. He is currently under commission from Roundabout Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, and Manhattan Theatre Club.

Director Image

Marissa Wolf is currently in her fourth year as artistic director of Portland Center Stage, where she launched her first programmed season in 2019-2020 with two world premiere productions and work by notable artists including Lauren Yee, Lee Sunday Evans, and May Adrales. Marissa previously served as associate artistic director/new works director at Kansas City Rep and artistic director of Crowded Fire Theater in San Francisco.

Select directing credits include Fire in Dreamland by Rinne Groff (The Public Theater; world premiere at Kansas City Rep); Man in Love by Christina Anderson (Kansas City Rep, world premiere); tick, tick…Boom! by Jonathan Larson and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens (Portland Center Stage); 77% by Rinne Groff (San Francisco Playhouse, world premiere); Precious Little by Madeleine George (Shotgun Players); The Lily’s Revenge (Act II) by Taylor Mac (Magic Theatre); and The Late Wedding by Christopher Chen (Crowded Fire Theater, world premiere).

She’s been nominated for Best Director by BroadwayWorld San Francisco and the Bay Area Critics Circle. Marissa held the Bret C. Harte Directing Fellowship at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and has a degree in drama from Vassar College, with additional training from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Linda Alper
Linda Alper
Magdalena del Castillo
Magdalena del Castillo
Aleeyah Enriquez
Aleeyah Enriquez
Rebby Yuer Foster
Rebby Yuer Foster
Minita Gandhi
Minita Gandhi
Nicole Villavicencio Gonzalez Ashland New Plays Festival stains Sarah Cho
Nicole Villavicencio Gonzalez
Dee Maaske As Dolores
Dee Maaske
Barrett O Brien
Barret O’Brien
4X6 HEAD SHOT – Rafael Untalan V200x300
Rafael Untalan

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