The Berkeley Repertory Theatre has announced its up-coming 2006-07 season, which includes several West Coast and World Premiere productions. Founded in 1968, the Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre has established a national reputation for its ambitious programming and dynamic productions, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tony Taccone and Managing Director Susan Medak.
Berkeley Rep's 2006-07 season:
September 8 through October 22, 2006 at the Roda Theatre.
Written by Bertolt Brecht, translated by David Hare, with an original score by Gina Leishman. Directed by Lisa Peterson. Mother Courage tells the story after "a religious war ravages the civilized world, killing both soldiers and civilians with no end in sight. Following in the wake of the destruction, an itinerant peddler sells supplies to anyone who will grease her palm. In David Hare's vigorous translation, Brecht's text percolates with unexpected humor. Accompanied by original music from acclaimed composer Gina Leishman, Brecht's stirring songs resonate with vitality. As staged by Obie Award-winning director Lisa Peterson, Mother Courage's tale of struggle and survival becomes a powerful, multi-sensory experience that engages our minds and our hearts," from press notes.
Passing Strange - World Premiere
October 20 through December 3, 2006 at the Thrust Stage.
Book and lyrics by Stew, with music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald. Directed by and created in collaboration with Annie Dorsen. Stew is hailed by the Village Voice as "so smart and tart, fussy and funny that he'll never hit the mainstream." Developed at Sundance Theatre Lab and making its world premiere at Berkeley Rep, press notes say "Passing Strange takes you on a quest for artistic authenticity from black middle-class America to Amsterdam, Berlin and beyond. Join Stew and his superb company of actors, musicians and dancers for an inspired personal journey, a lyrical discovery and a musical revelation."
All Wear Bowlers
November 24 through December 24, 2006 at the Roda Theatre.
Created and performed by Geoff Sobelle and Trey Lyford, directed by Aleksandra Wolska. "In the tradition of Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and Samuel Beckett," states press notes, "All Wear Bowlers brims with sheer entertainment. See what happens when two silent film clowns tumble out of their movie and into a wacky world without gravity -- it's a hilarious, family-friendly romp which the New York Times dubbed 'the most funny and original show this year.'"
The Pillowman - West Coast Premiere
January 12 through February 25, 2007 at the Thrust Stage.
Tony-nominated writer, Martin McDonagh and directed by Obie Award-winner, Les Waters. Fresh from Broadway, The Pillowman is a play the New York Times called "a spellbinding stunner"… "The Pillowman is a darkly funny thriller where the laughs trail into gulps and gasps, a mystery where 'whodunit' is the least of your concerns."
To The Lighthouse - World Premiere
February 23 through March 25, 2007 at the Roda Theatre.
Written by Adele Edling Shank, adapted from the novel by Virginia Woolf, with an original score by Paul Dresher and directed by Les Waters. "Virginia Woolf's virtuosity poured forth in revolutionary novels which burst the boundaries of prose in her quest to illuminate the inner lives of women," states press notes. "Now playwright Adele Edling Shank follows in her footsteps with her adaptation of Woolf's masterpiece, To the Lighthouse. Waters combines Shank's script with soaring, original music from acclaimed composer, Paul Dresher, to create a profound reflection on love, family and the inexorable tide of time. In Woolf's words, 'Who will blame him if he does homage to the world?'"
The Blue Door
April 6 through May 20, 2007 at the Thrust Stage.
Written by Tanya Barfield and directed by Delroy Lindo. Lindo, "who came to prominence on Broadway and earned wider recognition with major film roles, directs a sensational new play filled with dynamic characters and vibrant original music," says press notes. "A sleepless mathematics professor in crisis is visited by his ancestors. Four generations—from the antebellum era to the Black Panthers—come vividly to life, liberate him from his studies and compel him to understand what it means to be black. Detailed writing, sharp acting and deft direction will guide you through The Blue Door."
Oliver Twist - West Coast Premiere
May 11 through June 24, 2007 at the Roda Theatre.
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens, adapted and directed by Neil Bartlett. "Inspired by the vivid world of the Victorian music-hall, Bartlett's staging of Oliver Twist uses the original language of Dickens' novel to dramatize one of the most deeply felt stories ever written about childhood...Unforgettable characters brings the underworld of 19th-century London to thrilling life, as seen through the eyes of an astonished child. Bartlett's Twist was a runaway success in London."