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Page to Stage

posted by Mina on Fri, Jun 12, 2009
in At the theatre

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Theatre is not a passive art form, and no one knows this better than the Berkeley Rep audience.

As the house lights come up after a show, our audiences buzz in response to the art on the stage. And that is the way it should be. Why go through the Herculean effort of bringing a play to life (it takes a village, really) if it is stale and makes us listless? Let us question, debate, and assert!

Every season, Berkeley Rep expands this forum by offering a series of free discussions with the theatre artists creating the work. Did you know that it takes two to three years to create a new play that we, the audience, experiences for two to three hours? What passion drove the artist to dedicate their days and nights during those 2-4 years to creating this piece, for us, the audience? "Page to Stage" provides us a brief window into their perspective, their struggle, and the fulfillment of their vision.

As the Artistic Intern here at Berkeley Rep, I work with the development department’s Margo Chilless and Literary Manager / Dramaturg Madeleine Oldham, to put together three evenings of “Page to Stage” for the season. We begin planning well in advance (we're currently planning for next season). Margo starts the process by reviewing Berkeley Rep's events calendar to ensure that we are evenly peppering the season with a variety of events. Once we have a sense of potential dates, Madeleine and I discuss what shows and themes will resonate most with our audience. It's like planning a dinner party: we consider complimentary voices (artists matched to moderators) along with the representation of diverse perspectives and experiences through the season. Guests can include playwrights, directors, designers, actors, and musicians; past guest have included David Edgar, Tony Kushner, Mary Zimmerman, Rita Moreno, Salman Rushdie, and Charles Mee. Can you imagine enjoying your glass of wine while chatting intimately with these guests?

This Monday, we have our final “Page to Stage” event for the season with Amy Freed and Tony Taccone. What I love most about putting it all together is that I get to meet the artists before the audience arrives. Since I worked as the assistant director on Freed's piece, You, Nero, it will be a reunion and celebration of the hard work, commitment, and passion that went into the play! Following the discussion (open to the public...and FREE), there's a special reception where supporters of the Theatre will be able to speak with the artists in a more intimate setting.

Come join us!

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