Joy Carlin returns to the Aurora stage as Vera in OUR PRACTICAL HEAVEN. In addition to appearing in Aurora Theatre Company's productions of The Belle of Amherst and Thérèse Raquin, Carlin directed the company's productions of Annie Baker's Body Awareness, Clifford Odet's Awake and Sing! and Bob Glaudini's Off-Broadway hit Jack Goes Boating, as well as productions of Terry Johnson's Hysteria, John Guare's Bosoms and Neglect, Arthur Miller's The Price, Conor McPherson's Dublin Carol, David Mamet's The Old Neighborhood, and Michael Frayn's Benefactors. Additionally, she has appeared in multiple stage roles at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and San Jose Repertory Theatre, among others, and is the recipient of numerous Bay Area Critics Circle Awards and Dramalogue Awards for both acting and directing. An original member of Chicago's Playwrights' Theatre, she has been a leading actress, director, and teacher in the Bay Area since 1969.
Also returning to Aurora Theatre Company is Anne Darragh as Sasha in OUR PRACTICAL HEAVEN. Darragh most recently appeared in Aurora Theatre Company's acclaimed production of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance, the West Coast Premiere of The Busy World is Hushed, and Ibsen's The Master Builder. Additional regional credits include productions at American Conservatory Theater, Brava Theater, Magic Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Encore Theatre Company, and Campo Santo, among others.
Rounding out the cast of OUR PRACTICAL HEAVEN is Blythe Foster as Suze, Lauren Spencer as Magz, and Adrienne Walters as Leez. Foster's credits include productions at FoolsFURY, Bread and Puppet Theater, and the Playwrights' Center of San Francisco, as well as productions in New York. Spencer's credits include productions at Crowded Fire Theater, Boxcar Theatre, and Magic Theatre, among others. Walter's credits include productions at New Conservatory Theatre Center, City Lights Theater Company, and Custom Made Theatre Company, among others.
Director Allen McKelvey founded the AmeRican CitiZeNs' TheatRE, which garnered numerous Bay Area awards for excellence in directing, technical achievement, and performance under his artistic direction. Additional directing and design credits include productions at Encore Theatre Company, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, B Street Theatre in Sacramento, and the radio drama Path to the New Music for the American Baroque Ensemble.
Following OUR PRACTICAL HEAVEN, award-winning Bay Area auteur Mark Jackson returns to Aurora Theatre Company in April to put his spin on Alistair Beaton's new translation of Max Frisch's West End hit THE ARSONISTS. The season concludes in June with the Bay Area Premiere of Neil LaBute's searing dark comedy THIS IS HOW IT GOES, directed by Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross.
Nominated for 33 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for 2011, Aurora Theatre Company continues to offer challenging, literate, intelligent stage works to the Bay Area, each year increasing its reputation for top-notch theater. Located in the heart of the Downtown Berkeley Arts District, Aurora Theatre Company, declared "one of the best regional theaters around" by 7x7 magazine, has been called "one of the most important regional theaters in the area" and "a must-see midsize company" by the San Francisco Chronicle, while The Wall Street Journal has "nothing but praise for the Aurora." The Contra Costa Times stated "perfection is probably an unattainable ideal in a medium as fluid as live performance, but the Aurora Theatre comes luminously close," while the San Jose Mercury News affirmed "[Aurora Theatre Company] lives up to its reputation as a theater that feeds the mind," and the Oakland Tribune stated "it's all about choices, and if you value good theater, choose the Aurora."
Pictured: Magz and Suze (front l-r, Lauren Spencer, Blythe Foster) bond on the beach while Vera (back l, Joy Carlin) and Leez (c, Adrienne Walters) look on in the World Premiere of Our Practical Heaven. Photo Credit: David Allen.