Category Archive for: ‘Theater News’


BERKELEY REP ANNOUNCES THE WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL VERSION OF “MONSOON WEDDING” The new production is the sixth show to join the 2016-17 season

Berkeley Repertory Theatre today announced that award-winning film director Mira Nair will bring her exuberant and sumptuous “Monsoon Wedding” to the stage in this highly anticipated world premiere musical based on the 2001 Bollywood hit. “Monsoon Wedding” is the perfect storm starts brewing when family members from around the world descend on Delhi for a nonstop four-day celebration of an arranged marriage between a modern upper-middle-class Indian family’s only daughter and an American guy she’s never met. But the bride is having an affair, her father’s financial troubles deepen, and dark family secrets surface. The forecast calls for melodrama, love, hope, and a whole lot of rain.

“I have always envisioned Monsoon Wedding as a fully fleshed out musical,” says Nair. “The overlapping stories, fast-paced, rich dialogue combined with terrific musical numbers are perfect for a stage production. But at its core it has a fantastic story, and to be working with Berkeley Rep to help tell that story just adds to the excitement. I know the end result will be something terrific.”


“Mira Nair is a brilliant filmmaker I have long admired,” says Michael Leibert Artistic Director Tony Taccone. “She is a special, dynamic, and charismatic artist, as well as a great visionary. She brings a distinct passion and voice to the independent film world. I know her spirt and talent will easily translate to the stage. Monsoon Wedding is one of my favorite films and to have the opportunity to bring it to the stage in the form of a musical is really something to be excited about.”


Monsoon Wedding joins the previously announced 2016-17 season, which includes It Can’t Happen Here, based on Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 classic novel adapted by Taccone and screenwriter Bennett S. Cohen and helmed by award-winning director Lisa Peterson; Jeff Augustin’s The Last Tiger in Haiti, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse and directed by Joshua Kahan Brody; and the return of Kneehigh with the U.S. premiere of 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, in association with Kneehigh and Birmingham Repertory Theatre and helmed by Emma Rice. After a successful Broadway run, the irreverent comedy Hand to God, directed by David Ivers, will have its West Coast premiere; and Roe, a new play by Lisa Loomer and a coproduction with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Arena Stage, will be performed next spring.




Andy Donald named as new Associate Artistic Director at American Conservatory Theater


– American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Artistic Director Carey Perloff is thrilled to announce the appointment of Andy Donald as the company’s new Associate Artistic Director. Andy will take on producing and presenting duties within the artistic department, as well as taking the lead in the commissioning and development of new work. Andy will begin his role as Associate Artistic Director on July 5, 2016.


“We had an overwhelming number of remarkable candidates apply from all over the country for this position, but Andy quickly rose to the top,” says Perloff. “With the advent of our new Strand Theater, A.C.T. has many exciting new producing, presenting, and curating opportunities, all of which Andy is uniquely poised to engage with. He has been both an artistic director (at Naked Angels) and a creative producer (at New Jersey Performing Arts Center), he is an experienced teacher, and has incredible knowledge of the field. His deep connection to artists of many disciplines and his appetite to work on multiple stages as well as to teach and engage with our Conservatory made him a natural fit for A.C.T. In addition, Andy has a passion for community engagement and has done remarkable work in the city of Newark with diverse populations. We can’t wait to welcome him to A.C.T.”


“As a California native, it’s been a dream of mine to head back to the west coast and return to my roots,” says Donald. “A.C.T. was a major influence in my life growing up in the arts, so it feels almost surreal to finally land here and collaborate with some of the world’s finest artists under Carey Perloff’s inspired leadership. With the recent opening of the Strand Theater, A.C.T. is in position to have an even greater impact on both the San Francisco community and the American theater, which makes it a most exciting time to join Carey and the team in continuing to shape this premier artistic home.”


From teacher and producer to director and company manager, Andy brings an impressive range of experiences to A.C.T. Prior to A.C.T., Andy was the Producer of Artistic Development and Community Programming at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, New Jersey, where he oversaw long-range creative projects, new musical series, the commissioning of works, television broadcasts, co-presentations, free community programming and more. Some of his highlights at NJPAC include: The Hip Hop Nutcracker (commission, international tour); Carefree: Dancin’ with Fred & Ginger (commission with RKO Stage, national tour); annual evenings with Stephen Colbert and special guests Jimmy Fallon, Steve Carell, and J. J. Abrams; John Leguizamo’s Ghetto Klown (filmed for HBO); American Songbook (with Ted Chapin, filmed for PBS); Amiri Baraka’s Blues People at 50; Meredith Willson’s The Music Man (with Two River Theater, directed by Robert O’Hara).





Marin Theatre Company to Present “The Soap Myth” as part of the 2nd Annual National Jewish Theater Foundation’s Holocaust Theater International Initiative Remembrance Readings


—Marin Theatre Company is honored to participate in the 2nd Annual National Jewish Theater Foundation’s Holocaust Theater International Initiative Remembrance Readings. MTC will present a staged reading of Jeff Cohen’s The Soap Myth on Monday May 2, 2016 at 7:00pm. A wide range of cultural and educational organizations take part in the Initiative, using theatrical content to create live events memorializing the events of the Holocaust and highlighting relevant stories. Initiative events take place in venues throughout the U.S.A. around Yom Ha Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.


In just its second year, national participation has increased by 50% to include theaters, memorial museums, libraries, consulates, colleges and universities and Jewish Community Centers from eleven states, and includes the celebrity involvement of Ed Asner. Remembrance Readings use theatre as a means to honor the victims of the Holocaust, their memories and stories, and its “must never to be forgotten” lessons.

In its first year of participation, MTC’s event will begin with a lobby reception at 6:30pm, followed by a staged reading of The Soap Myth, and a panel discussion with local Jewish artists and historians to invite conversation about this important day of remembrance.




– Coming this summer, PianoFight Productions presents the world premiere of Stuart Bousel’s long-awaited <i>Adventures in Tech (with Pillow Talk on the Side)</i>. Inspired by actual conversations Bousel had with his techie co-workers, his artist boyfriend, and the rest of the world, Adventures is a hilarious autobiographical chronicle of one Bay Area theater artist’s life in the tech world and present day San Francisco. Bousel has publicly posted many of these aforementioned conversations to Facebook over the past 2 years and has gained a cult following already attached to each “character” in this very real adventure.



Directed by Killing My Lobster Artistic Director Allison Page, PianoFight’s Adventures in Tech (with Pillow Talk on the Side) will run three weeks: June 23, 24, 25, July 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, with shows Thursday at 8pm, Friday at 8pm, and Saturday at 5pm and 8pm. Performances happen at PianoFight’s multi-stage, restaurant and bar venue at 144 Taylor Street in SF. Tickets will cost $15-40 and will be available at



Enmeshed in pop culture references and blithe social commentary, this 80 minute comedy of vignettes explores what it means to be an outsider, a San Franciscan, and a grown up in a place and industry where being a kid forever is will-fully encouraged, all the while asking the important questions: Can you really be friends with your co-workers? Is that 21-year old right when they say you’re old? Does time actually pass if you’re not doing very much with your life?


The talented cast includes Dan Kurtz, Casey Spiegel, Derek Jones, Cooper Carlson, Emily Keyishian, Kevin Glass, Amanda Rosenberg,and Adrianna Delgadillo. Adventures is co-produced by Kate Jones and Emma Rose Shelton of PianoFight’s resident sketch comedy group, Chardonnay.


Playwrights Foundation Announces the Plays and Playwrights of the 39th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival July 15 – 24, 2016 at Custom Made Theatre, San Francisco



Six Outstanding Playwrights Selected for Developmental Workshops Hansol Jung, Walt McGough, Philana Omorotionmwan, Andrew Saito, Sarah Sander, & Jonathan Spector


– Playwrights Foundation is thrilled to announce the lineup for39th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF), which will run July 15-24, 2016 at Custom Made Theatre in the heart of San Francisco’s Theater District. The 2016 BAPF playwrights and plays feature all emerging writers: Hansol Jung’s Wild Goose Dreams, Walt McGough’s Non-Player Character, Philana Omorotionmwan’s Before Evening Comes, Andrew Saito’s Whisper Fish, Jonathan Spector’s Good, Better, Best, Bested, and Sarah Sander’s Sycamore.




It’s not very often that you can predict future success at such a high level, but Playwrights Foundation – through its developmental workshops of Bay Area Playwrights Festival (nearing its 40th anniversary), has managed to deliver an astonishing record of achievement. Last year’s festival launched Lauren Gunderson’sThe Revolutionists at Cleveland Playhouse, and Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’sHooded, or Being Black for Dummies, to premiere at DC’s heralded Mosaic Theatre next season. This season Aaron Loeb’sIdeation premiered at 59E59 off-Broadway to great acclaim, last season saw George Brant’s Grounded at the Public Theater; and in 2011 Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop enjoyed its Broadway premiere. These are just a few examples of the successful outcomes playwrights enjoy as a result of the developmental process afforded them by the annual BAPF.


“This year’s selected plays – from over 500 submissions – was led by up-and-coming local director, Logan Ellis (formerly of Magic Theatre), who has a sharp eye for edgy contemporary voices.” remarks Playwrights Foundation Artistic Director Amy Mueller. “Every one of these emergent writers are grasping live theater by the throat and shaking it open – making it a relevant, transcendent experience for today’s young audiences. It’s no wonder that young and vibrant theater companies seeking new work look to the Bay Area Playwrights Festival for their next season.”




Theatre Bay Area Announces TBA Awards Recommended Productions for the week of April 20, 2016


– Each week, hundreds of adjudicators attend and evaluate eligible productions from all over the Bay Area on behalf of the TBA Awards. Based on the overall production scores from their peers, Theatre Bay Area issues a weekly list of productions that have reached the required threshold of scoring to be deemed “TBA Awards Recommended.”


This week, four new productions are recommended through the TBA Awards process, which involves over 250 industry volunteers attending shows and logging scores within 48 hours of the performances.


New productions receiving TBA Awards Recommended status this week:


Boeing Boeing / San Jose Stage Company / San Jose




Hamlet / Shotgun Players / Berkeley




A House Tour / Z Space / San Francisco




Whale’s Wake / Ragged Wing Ensemble / Oakland


Previously recognized TBA Awards Recommended productions still running:


Art / Center Repertory Company / Walnut Creek



The Beard of Avon / Pear Theatre / Mountain View



Buyer & Cellar / New Conservatory Theatre Center / San Francisco




Colossal / San Francisco Playhouse / San Francisco




Elect to Laugh: 2016 / The Marsh / San Francisco



I Call My Brothers / Crowded Fire Theater / San Francisco



Rent / Sunnyvale Community Players / Sunnyvale



What Rhymes with America / Anton’s Well Theater Company / Berkeley




Information about the TBA Awards program can be found at






The “Superhero Black Tie” event featured a special performance by Tony and Grammy Award Nominee Jeremy Jordan, along with students from A.C.T.’s Master of Fine Arts Program and Young Conservatory


– With the help of Tony and Grammy Award nominee Jeremy Jordan (Newsies on Broadway, NBC’s Smash, CBS’s Supergirl, and films The Last Five Years and Joyful Noise), and students from A.C.T.’s Master of Fine Arts Program and Young Conservatory, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) raised over $500,000 at its 2016 Season Gala, SUPERGALA!, which took place on Thursday, April 14 at the historic Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. The proceeds from the Gala support A.C.T.’s actor training and arts education and community programs.


More than 220 guests attended this year’s Superhero-inspired Gala, which began with a cocktail reception and a surprise performance of Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out for a Hero–performed by superhero-costumed students from A.C.T.’s Master of Fine Arts Program–followed by a special performance by Jeremy Jordan, featuring students from A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory. Following the performance, guests were treated to a lavish dinner provided by McCalls Catering & Events.


The evening’s live auction featured several one-of-a-kind items, including performance tickets for A.C.T.’s upcoming musical The Last Five Years and dinner with the show’s director Michael Berresse and stars Margo Seibert and Zak Resnick; an exclusive tour of Pixar Animation Studios; a walk-on role in A.C.T.’s annual production of A Christmas Carol; and more!


Led by Gala Co-Chairs Maria and Jeff Spears, the SUPERGALA! Host Committee included Whitney and Phil Arnautou; Pam and Larry Baer; Carol and Shelby Bonnie; Dan Carroll and Stasia Obremsky; Janet and Lloyd Cluff; Thao and Jerome Dodson; Michael G. Dovey; Linda Jo Fitz; Celeste and Kevin Ford; Ken Fulk; Nancy Sawyer Hasson and Kirke Hasson; Dianne and Ron Hoge; James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen; Jeri Lynn and Jeffrey Johnson; Alan and Cricket Jones; Carol and Mark Lerdal; Marcia and Jim Levy; Heather and John Little; Nancy Livingston and Fred Levin; Alicia Nogales and Greg Little; Victoria and Dan Prendergast; Robina Riccitiello; Carla and David Riemer; Abby and Gene Schnair; Mary and Steven Swig; Ashley and Minott Wessinger; and Kay Yun and Andrew Neumann-Loreck.




Highlights include Pink Martini, the music of John Williams, and Final Symphony: Music from the FINAL FANTASY video game franchise Film events feature Star Trek – The Ultimate Voyage 50th anniversary celebration and Pixar’s Ratatouille with live orchestral accompaniment

Director of Summer Concerts Edwin Outwater leads the SFS in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, evenings of Russian favorites and American classics, and a Parisian-themed concert featuring singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux


Orchestra performs free concerts at the Stern Grove Festival on July 10 and at Pier 27 on July 24

30th Annual Fourth of July concert with fireworks at Shoreline Amphitheatre


– The San Francisco Symphony announces its annual Summer with the Symphony series, which runs July 4-29 at Davies Symphony Hall and at other outdoor locations throughout the Bay Area. Led by Director of Summer Concerts Edwin Outwater, Summer with the Symphony features a festive lineup of concerts and events for all ages, beginning with the SFS’s annual Fourth of July concert and fireworks spectacular at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. On July 7, Outwater leads the SFS in The Music of John Williams—From Star Wars to Harry Potter!, which will include Williams’s iconic music from such films as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Jaws, and others.


Summer film events begin with a 50th anniversary celebration entitled Star Trek – The Ultimate Voyage July 14-15. The event features some of the franchise’s greatest music, including favorites from The Original Series, The Motion Picture, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and more, with excerpts projected on a large movie screen above the orchestra. On July 16-17, the SFS provides live accompaniment of Michael Giacchino’s award-winning score to Pixar’s Ratatouille, with Sarah Hicks conducting.




Other summer highlights include Final Symphony: Music from FINAL FANTASY VI, VII, and X on July 27. Conductor Eckehard Stier leads the SFS and pianist Katharina Treutler in music familiar to fans of the video game franchise. Musical group Pink Martini returns to the SFS this summer for two concerts with the Orchestra July 28-29.




Classical performances during the summer season include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on July 8-9, a Parisian-themed concert with singer/songwriter/guitarist Madeleine Peyroux July 21, an evening of Russian favorites July 22, and an American classics performance with pianist Makoto Ozone July 23. The Orchestra performs two free concerts this year, first at the Stern Grove Festival on July 10, featuring Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” and at the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27 on July 24, also with pianist Makoto Ozone performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3.



NEW for the 2016 Summer with the Symphony season: concertgoers who purchase tickets to three or more performances will receive 25% off their entire order.


Tickets are on sale today for Summer with the Symphony concerts at, SFS Patron Services at (415) 864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall box office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. Tickets are priced from $15-$140.


Tickets for the Fourth of July Celebration at Shoreline Amphitheatre go on sale through at a later date, TBA.




OSF Marks 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death Festival celebrates Shakespeare’s enduring legacy with a party, a proclamation and partnerships



.—The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will join the world in commemorating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death on April 23 with a party titled “Death Becomes Him: Celebrating Shakespeare’s Legacy.”


Hosted by resident artists Dawn Monique Williams and Lydia G. Garcia, the party will take place at noon in Carpenter Hall and will feature cake, games and a discussion of the Bard’s legacy and relevancy in the 21st century. Tickets for the party, which is part of OSF’s Festival Noons engagement programming, are $12.00 for adults, $10.00 for OSF members and $8.00 for youths 6–17.


People visiting the OSF campus on April 23, which is also Shakespeare’s birthday, should expect to find some festive offerings on the Bricks—perhaps including an appearance by the Bard of Avon himself—following the Festival Noon party and before the 1:30 matinee of Twelfth Night.


Oregon Governor Kate Brown has joined in the celebration by proclaiming April 23, 2016 as “The 400th Anniversary of the Life and Works of William Shakespeare in Oregon.” The proclamation encourages “all Oregonians to join in this observance.”


Elsewhere in Oregon, OSF and its Play on! program will participate in “Shakespeare at 400: A Celebration of the Man, the Myth and His Work” on April 23 in Portland. A day-long event hosted by the Portland Shakespeare Project at Lincoln Hall on the Portland State University campus, “Shakespeare at 400” will include lectures, readings, a Sonnet Slam, performances of Shakespeare’s monologues and scenes, and a Q&A with Ian Doescher, author of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. All events are free, but an RSVP is requested.


OSF is also partnering with the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., on their Celebrate the Wonder of Will festivities, including a collection of Your Shakespeare Stories and an international live streaming event on April 23 from the historic Paster Reading Room in Washington, D.C. A diverse array of actors, community leaders, artists and scholars will share their connections to Shakespeare through compelling performances and personal stories. Watch the broadcast LIVE on C-SPAN2 Book TV on Saturday, April 23, 9:00–10:00 a.m. Pacific. A national call-in show with Book TV’s Peter Slen follows.


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