Berkeley Rep Blog

November 2011

Happiness is...

posted by Kyle Sircus on Wed, Nov 30

We've been vindicated! What we who work in the theatre have always known to be true is finally being supported with actual evidence. A new study from the UK charts, via smart phone responses, when people are at their happiest. No surprise to Berkeley Rep fans: theatre comes in third place (only after sex and exercising). 

When are you at your happiest? 

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Murder mystery & live band at Berkeley Rep!

posted by School of Theatre on Wed, Nov 30

By Shari McDonald, education fellow

Teen Council’s fall Masquerade Murder Mystery turned Berkeley Rep School of Theatre into a melting pot of theatre lovers and local band groupies. Eighty teens gathered to take part in an interactive play followed by a live band performance from the group Local Hero, comprised of Berkeley High and College Prep teens. Students from all across the Bay Area showed up for this theatrical fest of murder, delectable treats, and rocking tunes!


 Teen Council members dress to impress.


 Audience members take themed pictures before entering the Masquerade Murder Mystery party.


Accusations fly as the audience attempts to solve the murder.


 High school band Local Hero performs.

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Saying goodbye to one of our own

posted by Kyle Sircus on Tue, Nov 29

After a successful and vibrant eight years at Berkeley Rep as associate artistic director, it's time to bid Berkeley_Rep_Waters4_lr farewell to a local favorite. Today, Actors Theatre of Lousiville named Les Waters as their new artistic director. 

In Les' words, “For a director such as myself, whose career has focused on fostering new work, it has been a delight to be part of the team at Berkeley Rep. It is an extraordinary theatre staffed by extraordinary people dedicated to the highest quality of craftsmanship...It is difficult to leave Berkeley -- yet it is an honor and a privilege to take up the reins at Actors Theatre of Louisville...I am committed to making theatre there that is passionate and intelligent, funny and heartfelt, and look forward to leading Actors Theatre to new artistic endeavors.”

Check out the Actors Theatre press conference video. Les speaks about 8 minutes in.

All of us at Berkeley Rep wish Les all the best as he begins his new Kentucky adventure (where he'll certainly make a mark, just as he has on Addison Street)! We'll miss his charm, wit, and sweaters, but we're not ready to bid him farewell just yet. Les will be back in Berkeley to direct Red, which plays the Thrust Stage from March 16 - April 29, 2012. And we'll certainly have a few more blog posts before he departs.

What was your favorite Les Waters production at Berkeley Rep? Please share your thoughts with us below. 


Photo of Les Waters by Rebecca Martinez

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Get your fashion on: The Cain family

posted by Amy Bobeda on Fri, Nov 18

Now that you’ve been moved to tears and choked your way through fits of laughter with the Cain family’s submission to the Bible in Bill Cain’s How to Write A New Book For the Bible, it's time to get hip and get some Cain family attire of your own. Whether you’re a peachy pastel man like Pete Cain, sport comfy robes like Mary, stark serious duds like teacher Paul, or a man of the cloth like our hero, Bill, your resident costume shop is here to help you dress like the most “functional” family in town.
Clearly, the most important gear you likely don’t have on hand is your alb and stole. For those unhip with the clerical lingo, the alb is the white robe with the large collar worn when (SPOILER ALERT) Bill speaks at his father’s funeral, while the stole is worn around his neck over the robe.

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Adding a little more gold to Rita's shelf

posted by Kyle Sircus on Tue, Nov 15

Rita's already won the Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony awards. This weekend, she's gearing up to put the last Midas touch on her extended run of Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup. What more could our favorite leading lady want right now? A golden anniversary may just be the answer. 

This Tuesday, November 15 is the 50th anniversary of the film version of West Side Story in which Rita earned her Academy Award. George Chakiris (Bernardo to Rita's Anita) showed up at the show on November 6; dancer Ray Garcia snapped this photo backstage after Rita brought her former co-star onto the Roda stage for a bow.

Rita, Ray, George, & Sal

Rita Moreno, Ray Garcia, George Chakiris, and Salvatore Vassallo backstage after a performance of Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup at Berkeley Rep.

Movie theatres around the country have been showing the film for fans all month. Symphony orchestras have added the score to their repertoire this season to play live alongside the film. There was even this flash mob that happened in Times Square today to commemorate the movie's big birthday:


After the show closes this Sunday (and if you haven't seen this stellar show yet, get your tickets before they're gone), Rita is heading down to Los Angeles to celebrate at a reunion of some of the film's stars.

Who knows what Rita will touch next that will turn itself to gold? 



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Rita on the big screen

posted by Karen McKevitt on Wed, Nov 2

You've seen Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup (wait, you haven't? then click here), now see her on the big screen! It's the 50th anniversary of West Side Story, and to celebrate, TCM presents the Academy Award-winning musical film in theatres around the country on November 9. See a list of participating Bay Area movie theatres, then enjoy Rita's Oscar-winning performance! 

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Scripts, speeches, and sliders – Teen Night at "New Book"

posted by School of Theatre on Tue, Nov 1

By Sierra Baggins, Teen Council member

Teen Night at Berkeley Rep starts with a room full of excited teens nibbling on mini burgers and tater tots (catered by the incredible Phil's Sliders!). As their plates empty and the School of Theatre falls quiet with the dimming of the lights, they know that their evening at the theatre is about to begin in earnest.

SierraSierra interviews Julie and Brandon

First, teens get to interview theatre professionals about being behind the scenes at Berkeley Rep and about the life of an artist.  I am a Teen Council regular and have seen my fair share of Teen Night interviews, but they never get old. What I like about the Teen Night interview is that the guest speaker is not always the show’s director -- we talk to people from all areas of the theatre. Stories from people on stage are always interesting, but getting to hear about productions from every angle makes the interviews that much better. With New Book, we attended a Teen Council Tech Tour of the set, then interviewed two of Berkeley Rep’s 2011-12 season fellows, Julie McCormick (literary) and Brandon Wienbrenner (artistic), both of whom worked with the show intimately.

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