Berkeley Rep Blog

October 2011

Happy Birthday, Bill Cain!

posted by Karen McKevitt on Mon, Oct 31

Happy birthday to our New Book playwright, Bill Cain.


What do you give a Jesuit priest (and playwright) whose birthday is on Halloween?

(Pictured: Linda Gehringer, Leo Marks, Aaron Blakeley, and Tyler Pierce. Photo by 

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Eve Ensler in the house!

posted by Karen McKevitt on Tue, Oct 25

Last Friday afternoon several hundred people packed the Roda Theatre to see Eve Ensler -- that's right, of The Vagina Monologues fame. Why? Because Berkeley Rep is premiering her brand new play, Emotional Creature, next June! Tickets go on sale to the public on November 6.

The line stretched down Addison Street!

Eve Ensler in conversation with Artistic Director Tony Taccone

Eve rallies the audience

Eve signs copies of her book I Am an Emotional Creature

All photos by Cheshire Isaacs

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Berkeley Rep is Proud to Present. . . in the Library!

posted by Pauline Luppert on Mon, Oct 24

Do you know about Berkeley Rep's docent presentations?

Docent blog post

Free docent presentations offer a look inside each play and its development at Berkeley Rep. An engrossing 30-minute presentation begins one hour before most Tuesday and Thursday 8pm performances.

But wait there's more!

Berkeley Rep also brings docent presentations to you, in select public libraries, senior centers, and other community sites.This week there will be presentations for both shows currently playing at Berkeley Rep, Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup and How to Write a New Book for the Bible.

Here are the details:


Monday, 10/24 – 10:30am
Event: Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup Off-Site Docent Talk – Marion Fay
Location: Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley
Docent: Charlotte Martinelli
Monday, 10/24 – 1pm
Event: Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup Off-Site Docent Talk – Marion Fay
Location: Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley
Docent: Joy Lancaster; Backup: Charlotte Martinelli

Tuesday, 10/25 – 7-7:30pm
Event: Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup Pre-Show Docent Talk
Location: Upper Roda Lobby
Docent: Nancy Fenton

Wednesday, 10/26 – 1pm
Event: Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup Off-Site Docent Talk – Marion Fay
Location: Alameda Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501
Docent: Nancy Fenton

Thursday, 10/27 – 1-1:30pm
Event: Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup Pre-Show Docent Talk (special group request)
Location: Upper Roda Lobby
Docent: Nancy Fenton


Tuesday, 10/25 – 7-7:30pm
Event: How to Write a New Book for the Bible Pre-Show Docent Talk
Location: Addison Attic
Docent: Marc Seleznow

Wednesday, 10/26 – 2pm
Event: How to Write a New Book for the Bible Off-Site Docent Talk – Moraga Library
Location: Moraga Library, 1500 Saint Marys Rd, Moraga, CA 94556
Docent: Emika Abe

Thursday, 10/27 – 7-7:30pm
Event: How to Write a New Book for the Bible Pre-Show Docent Talk
Location: Addison Attic
Docent: David Tabb

Sunday, 10/30 – 4:20pm
Event: How to Write a New Book for the Bible Post-Show Docent Discussion
Location: Addison Attic
Docents: David Tabb & Thalia Dorwick


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Eve Ensler is in the house (and on the street)

posted by Cari Turley on Thu, Oct 20

Our office is abuzz with anticipation for tomorrow's free event with Eve Ensler. Will you be joining us? The pre-registration is full, but if you show up tomorrow, we'll give out all the unclaimed seats on a first-come, first-served basis. If you haven't heard, The Vagina Monologues creator Eve Ensler will be dropping by our theatre at 4:30pm tomorrow to sign copies of her bestselling book, I Am an Emotional Creature, and make a special announcement about her newest project in the U.S. Come by and be the first to hear the news!

As if her schedule wasn't full enough, Eve also stopped by the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City on Sunday to interview protestors for another upcoming project. Where does she find the time? Maybe we'll find out tomorrow...

Eve at ows
(Photo credit: Randyll Wendl Photography)

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The critics saw "Bible"...

posted by Kyle Sircus on Mon, Oct 17

...and lo, it was good. After a stellar opening night last Wednesday, the great reviews of How to Write a New Book for the Bible are coming in. Check out what critics are saying about Bill Cain's stellar world premiere about the legacy of blessings passed from parent to child. 


Bracingly personal, smart, funny, affecting...A sharp wit and penetrating intelligence are only to be expected from the author of Equivocation and 9 Circles, the two most recent winners of the annual Steinberg national new play award..." Read more from the SF Chronicle 

"“[Bill] Cain has still created a profound meditation on the shared narratives that hold a family together through the vagaries of life and death...The playwright is giving a blessing to his family in the form of theater, and there's no denying the beauty of that ritual..." Read more from the Mercury News/Bay Area News Group

"Grace, God and family in Berkeley Rep’s brilliant Bible...This is an extraordinary play." Read more from Chad Jones' Theatre Dogs

There are still good seats remaining for this incredible and moving world premiere, so click to reserve yours now. Prices vary based on availability. For the best seats at the consistently lowest prices -- plus perks like free performance rescheduling -- sign up for a season ticket package of three or more plays.

Reserve your seats online! 
(or call the box office at 510 647-2949 from noon to 7pm, Tuesday through Sunday)

Linda Gehringer and Leo Marks. Photo courtesy of

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Take center stage with the Teen Council's Annual One-Acts Festival

posted by Kyle Sircus on Tue, Oct 11

Berkeley Rep is looking for fresh, young, talented teens -- and you could be one of them! Local teens will get to light up the Berkeley Rep marquee in the 10th Annual Teen One-Acts Festival next March. But the submission deadlines are coming up soon, so read on!

Do you have a story you're burning to tell? You can submit a play and get people talking about your ideas.
Do you crave the limelight? You can audition for a role in the fully produced plays written by your peers.
Do you want to share your artistic vision with the world? Take some classes and then try your hand at directing. Are you interested in knowing how the show gets to opening night? Find out by becoming a producer or working on the technical end of things.

Through classes with Berkeley Rep's resident dramaturg, Madeleine Oldham, and our new artistic associate, Mina Morita, as well as by close mentorship by Berkeley Rep's artistic and administrative team, teens will work together to produce wholly original world premieres of two plays.

If you or someone you know is interested in getting involved, visit the Teen One-Acts website, email, or call (510) 647-2973 for more information. The deadlines for play submissions and other applications fall in early November, so sharpen your pencils and get cracking. You never know -- this could be the start of something big for you!

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Our very own reluctant writer

posted by Kyle Sircus on Mon, Oct 10

Tony Taccone, Berkeley Rep's artistic director, is making his first foray into playwriting this season with not one but two new plays. Both Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup and the upcoming Ghost Light are penned by the director turned playwright, though that title isn't one that comes easily to him.

Check out Tony's recent post on HowlRound to hear about his journey into the world of writing...and why, on a good day, he's more prone to call himself an artist than a writer.

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Happy California Arts Day!

posted by Karen McKevitt on Fri, Oct 7

Happy California Arts Day from Berkeley Rep!

This year’s California Arts Day theme is “driving creativity.” 

We know what the theme intends: creative cars driving speedily down the highway of artistic enlightenment. 

But driving isn’t always easy and, these days, it doesn’t always have the most positive connotations.  The word alone ignites thoughts of high gas prices, traffic, and parking frustrations.

It’s the same with the arts. Funding is tight and schools are pushing out art requirements in an effort to meet standards.  We all know the spiel. 

So for California Arts Day, let’s focus on those who are keeping us driving -- inventing the “hybrid cars” of the arts. 

Thank your teachers, politicians, and local artists who keep driving creativity in California even when that parking space seems pretty impossible to find. 

We certainly do!  Thanks California for continuing to “drive creativity!”  

Join our California Arts Day Facebook/Twitter* campaign by posting the following phrase:

“FILL IN THE BLANK drives me in the arts! Repost this status with what drives you to celebrate California’s Arts Day!”

*If you’re tweeting, be sure to use #BerkRepArtsDay as your hashtag.  


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Meet director Kent Nicholson

posted by Karen McKevitt on Fri, Oct 7

Berkeley_Rep_Nicholson2_lr If you've been following Bay Area theatre for a while, you've probably heard of Kent Nicholson -- that is, before he headed off to New York a few years ago. Now he's back, helming Bill Cain's How to Write a New Book for the Bible, which begins previews tonight. Karen D'Souza at the Mercury News catches up with this talented director.

Photo of Kent Nicholson by Tim Fort.

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"Bible's" good news

posted by Karen McKevitt on Thu, Oct 6

The world premiere of Bill Cain's How to Write a New Book for the Bible, directed by Kent Nicholson, begins previews tomorrow! Learn more about the play -- and Bill -- in todays' San Francisco Chronicle. Then, reserve your seats!

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