IRONBOUND by Martyna Majok

From 01/19/2024 to 02/11/2024 at

Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30PM, Sundays at 2PM


Frank Theatre presents the area premiere of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Martyna Majok’s IRONBOUND.

Darja, a Polish immigrant, grapples with love, dreams, and the harsh reality of survival in this darkly funny, heartbreaking story. Witness 22 years unfurl at a New Jersey bus stop, where Darja’s dreams morph, exposed by the American dream’s callous gaze upon its invisible casualties – its forgotten workers.

While working as a house cleaner, Darja hatches a plan to find her missing 22-year-old son, who has stolen her car and left town. She needs money to buy a car, so she begins negotiating with her cheating boyfriend, which sets the story in motion. We see flashbacks to her early days in this country, through her relationship with Tommy, to a chance meeting with a high school student who shows her a rare moment of kindness. IRONBOUND is an unflinching telling of an immigrant’s journey, with unforgettable characters. Audiences will be both captivated and shaken by the vivid storytelling and tantalizing hint of hope at the end.

Martyna Majok was born in Bytom, Poland and raised in Jersey and Chicago. She was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her Broadway debut play, Cost of Living, which was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. Other plays include Sanctuary City, Queens, and Ironbound, which have been produced across American and international stages. Most recently, she wrote the libretto for Gatsby, a new musical with music by Florence Welch and Thomas Bartlett, which will premiere this spring at A.R.T. Martyna has developed TV projects for HBO and is writing feature films for Plan B/Pastel/MGM/Orion, MRC/T-Street, and Participant/Killer Films.

“I was pulled to write Ironbound the way I did, with a working-class immigrant woman as an intelligent and capable but flawed core of a story, because centerstage wasn’t afforded these types of characters in the stories I had access to growing up—in the latchkey-kid TV that I watched. They were a joke. Their English was a punch line. Or they were some magical janitor that came in for a scene to offer sage advice to the main character about how it’s ‘best to live a simple life’ or some shit. It’s about who’s telling the story and who’s seen as the ‘other.’ When I first started writing plays, they were from that perspective, but I think people felt a little bit strange in them.” – Martyna Majok

“You seldom see plays that are both harsh and wonderful, but that is the balance that Polish-born playwright Martyna Majok strikes… she writes with such energy and charisma that the play’s four characters feel vivid and real…The play never sugarcoats, yet it steers clear of bleakness because Majok’s language is so entertainingly alive.” – Washington Post

“[A] quietly gripping play…Ms. Majok’s perceptive drama, with its bone-dry humor and vivid characters, illustrates how vulnerable people like Darja are hostages to the vagaries of chance, unless they can manage to climb out of poverty.” – The New York Times

Mask-wearing will be required during Sunday performances. Pay What You Can on Saturday, January 20.



Ticket cost: Tickets are $30 ($25, students and seniors)

The reviews are in.

“It’s only mid-January, but I’m confident this will be one of the best plays of 2024.” – Cherry and Spoon

“‘Ironbound’ continues Frank Theatre’s tradition of exploring the grit of social issues.” – MinnPost

“I give Ironbound my highest recommendation, along with my gratitude for the return of Frank Theatre in full force.” – Talkin’ Broadway

“‘Ironbound’ illuminates the struggles of new Americans to find their place.” – My Villager

“The first MUST SEE show of 2024.” – The Stages of MN

Critics’ picks: The 14 best things to do and see in the Twin Cities this week. – Star Tribune