The Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre announces a new year of plays. The upcoming season features an array of accomplished artists who have collectively earned nine Obie Awards and three Tony Awards – David Henry Hwang, Denis O'Hare, Lisa Peterson, Leigh Silverman, MarK Wing-Davey, and Mary Zimmerman – while introducing local audiences to exceptional young writer Dan LeFranc.
The Main Season for 2012-13 begins in August with the West Coast premiere of Chinglish, the hilarious Broadway comedy written by Hwang and staged by Silverman. Then Zimmerman gives the Bay Area a beautiful gift for the holidays with The White Snake, before Berkeley Rep brings the Bard back with a bang in Wing-Davey's production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. The Limited Season features Peterson and O'Hare's visceral new version of An Iliad alongside the exuberant world premiere of LeFranc's Troublemaker, or The Freakin Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright. Two additional shows will be added soon to complement this collection of work and complete the season next spring. This entire experience is generously supported by BART and Wells Fargo, who are stepping forward as official season sponsors for the eighth straight year. Best of all, since Berkeley Rep insists that scintillating art should be accessible and affordable, theatre lovers can see three or more shows for as little as $27 each!
"Berkeley Rep always tries to wed passionate artists with potent stories to create work that is invigorating, entertaining, and challenging," declares Tony Taccone, the Theatre's artistic director. "This season is no different. We're delighted to welcome back distinguished directors like Mark, Mary, Lisa, and Leigh, each of whom has had remarkable success since last we met. We're excited by the range of writers as well: I'm pleased to bring David back to the Bay Area, and it's been quite some time since Shakespeare was seen on our stage. As for Dan LeFranc, he's got real talent and is about to have a breakout year. Whatever we're exploring, Berkeley Rep strives to go beyond entertainment and tap into our shared humanity. Theatre is a communal act that relies on this kind of connection. It relies on inquisitive artists, on our dedicated staff and volunteers, and on our curious, adventurous audience."
Thanks to the eclectic appetite of that audience, Berkeley Rep has grown from a storefront stage to a national leader in innovative theatre. Since 1968, it has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists, encouraging them to lovingly revive classics and increasingly to create bold new work. In the last six years, the company has helped send six shows to Broadway.Seven more landed off Broadway, one moved to London, two turned into films, and others toured the nation. At present, American Idiotkeeps rocking on the road while the extended off-Broadway run of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs proves that theatre can affect true global change as it exerts an important influence on international labor practices. Now the curtain rises on another year of inventive and intelligent plays in Berkeley…
The season kicks off in August with the West Coast premiere of Chinglish. David Henry Hwang won three Obies and the Tony Award for Best Play with popular scripts like M. Butterfly and FOB. Now he's back with a canny comedy of cross-cultural errors. InChinglish, an American businessman heads to Asia to score a lucrative contract for his family's firm – but the deal isn't the only thing getting lost in translation as he collides with a Communist minister, a bumbling consultant, and a suspiciously sexy bureaucrat."Hilarious," raves Variety. "This well-made comedy takes a poignant view of the profound isolation and terrible vulnerability of people who are lost without their native language." "I haven't heard an audience laugh that much in years," agrees the Chicago Sun-Times. "There's sex, heartache, even a bit of song and dance…. Hwang takes a situation that worries most Americans – China's rise – and the impossibility of understanding each other, particularly in languages as different as Chinese and English, and builds a marvelous comedy." Two-time Obie-winner Leigh Silverman returns to the Roda Theatre to stage the twists in a terrific play she took to Broadway. Love is on the line, and laughter fills the ledger in Chinglish.