Berkeley Rep Blog

April 2012

Hedge your bets on "Red"

posted by Kyle Sircus on Fri, Apr 27

At one of his more combative moments in Red, Mark Rothko asks Ken, his young assistant, "What does red mean to you?" If Ken held a post at Christie's later in life, perhaps his answer would be "green."

As reported by the New York Times yesterday, Mark Rothko's "Orange, Red, Yellow" is expected to sell for a bid between $30 and $50 million. That's a lot of dough for this canvas! Beyond this hefty sum, though, what's interesting about this article is its analysis of the intricate bets taking place this season with art on auction. (It just so happens that Edvard Munch's "The Scream" is expected to sell for between $150 and $200 million, a price that would deem it the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction.) 

While there's still time to hedge your bets on the real deal from Christie's, perhaps a more realistic route is to catch our version of Rothko's studio in Red's two-week extension. There are still tickets available for this passionate play that swept Broadway before winning the 2010 Tony Award for best play. Be sure to catch our Red before it's swallowed up by the black on May 12! 

RE2David Chandler stars as Mark Rothko in Berkeley Rep's production of Red.
Photo courtesy 

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"In Paris" lands on Wednesday!

posted by Karen McKevitt on Thu, Apr 19

Mikhail Baryshnikov and company are en route -- ready to open one of our most anticipated shows of the season. That's right: In Paris starts next Wednesday!

The show made its U.S. premiere in Southern California, and the reviews are in. Here's a bit of what people are saying:

“Sophisticated and often haunting…The piece has continued to resonate inside me, not unlike the memory of past loves, long extinguished though never completely forgotten.”—Los Angeles Times

“Intoxicated with beauty, brains and culture…A theatrical rough and tumble, half commedia dell’arte and half vaudeville, in which the genius lies less in the risky concept and edgy execution than in the play’s commitment to getting the emotion out to the audience through the tone, color and rhythmic flow that lies beyond mere words and gestures.”—Huffington Post

“While it’s a treat to see the master move, which he does toward the end of the 80-minute performance, it would be a mistake to come solely for him. This well-paced and quietly beautiful play, based on a story by Nobel Prize winner Ivan Bunin, is a dark, moving labor of love.”—Entertainment Weekly

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Life imitating art

posted by Karen McKevitt on Wed, Apr 18

David Henry Hwang's new hit comedy Chinglish had its last Broadway performance in January -- so why's it making news now?

Well, it appears the scandel in China involving party leader Bo Xilai, whose wife is being investigated in the mysterious death of a British businessman, bears an uncanny resemblance to Hwang's play, where an American businessman gets involved with the wife of a Communist official.

In his article for Newsweek magazine (which we found at the Daily Beast), Hwang says that Chinese nationals had a quibble with his script. "This, they said, might make for good drama, but couldn’t actually happen in China. Such a woman would never enter into a close relationship with a foreign man." Well, until now, apparently. Tina Brown also has a few words to say about all this too. 

Life imitating art? Decide for yourself in August, when Chinglish kicks off Berkeley Rep's exhilarating 2012-13 season!


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Happy Arts Advocacy Day!

posted by School of Theatre on Tue, Apr 17

In celebration of Arts Advocacy Day 2012, Teen Council's #claimyourARTS initiative has released a new Arts Advocacy PSA! See what Berkeley Rep teens and staff created together in support of arts education!


Want to learn more about #claimyourARTS? Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, where you can follow our six teen delegates at Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.

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Tony Taccone picks up an award

posted by Karen McKevitt on Tue, Apr 10

What do Artsitic Director Tony Taccone, actor and producer Chris O'Donnell, and comedian/actress Amy Poehler have in common? Well, by the end of this month they'll all be recipients of the Boston College Arts Council Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Right after the opening night of In Paris, Tony heads back to his alma mater to receive his award and also make a number of public appearances as part of the 14th annual Arts Festival at the college. Read more about Tony and the Arts Festival in this Broadway World article.

Congratulations, Tony! 

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A groundbreaking baker's dozen

posted by Kyle Sircus on Mon, Apr 9

Get ready for some news that's going to really rock the foundation. This past September, we announced plans for the launch of The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep's Center for the Creation and Development of New Work. Today, we're happy to announce the full list of participants (nearly 40 writers, directors, and composers) and their respective projects (a full baker's dozen of them) for the Summer Residency Lab, set to take off this July. 

Some of the names are familiar ones to Berkeley Rep fans -- Lynn Nottage, Itamar Moses, Leigh Silverman, and Greg Pierotti will all return to the Bay Area to take part in various projects, ranging from food politics to apology lines. What's particularly exciting is the addition of several names that are new to our audience members -- Dan LeFranc, whose Troublemaker will have its world premiere at Berkeley Rep in 2013, will workshop his play here this summer with director Dexter Bullard; considering The Ground Floor doesn't require a formal presentation of the work, playwrights like Amelia Roper can take full advantage of the Summer Residency Lab to continue to develop their work. It's a fascinating list and we're already gearing up to welcome them in just a few short months. 

To read what the press is saying about The Ground Floor, check out articles in today's New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and on If you're a Berkeley resident, it's almost time to break out your binoculars -- you may just spot one of these talented artists around town!

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Support teens supporting the arts!

posted by School of Theatre on Mon, Apr 9

If you see Red in the next few weeks, you may see members of Berkeley Rep’s Teen Council in the lobby with buckets and blue plastic bracelets bearing the phrase: ClaimyourARTS. These bracelets are a fun gift for those who support the School of Theatre’s ClaimyourARTS initiative, which is sending 10 Teen Council members to Washington, D.C. and Boston to advocate for arts education.

The initiative began on February 12 when the School of Theatre hosted a teen arts-advocacy conference, which sought to excite and educate Bay Area teens about arts advocacy. Negi Esfandiari, one of the teens who will be traveling to Boston as a Teen Council representative, writes about her experience at the conference below.


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25,000 gum stains

posted by Karen McKevitt on Thu, Apr 5

Yep, that's how many gum stains were removed from the streets of downtown Berkeley thanks to Downtown Berkeley Association's Cleaning Team. The Team also removed 8,500 pounds of trash, power-washed sidewalks, hung banners, weeded tree wells, and painted poles, boxes, and bins all in an effort to beautify the streets around Berkeley Rep and beyond. 

Our Managing Director Susan Medak is none other than the board president of the DBA and has some lovely quotes in this Berkeleyside article and this UC Berkeley News Center post

So, next time you come to the Theatre, take a look around at all the beautiful improvements. Go ahead, look up -- there's now less risk of stepping in some gum. 


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John Logan talks "Red"

posted by Kathleen Martinelli on Wed, Apr 4

As someone who’s dreamed about going to the Oscars since I was 4 years old, I was pretty star-struck when I heard a rumor that John Logan, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Tony award-winning playwright of Red (which just extended, by the way!), would be doing a talkback at Berkeley Rep. I mean, this is the guy that Scorsese calls when he needs a good script. Martin Scorsese.  And Berkeley felt a little bit like Hollywood last Saturday night when Logan showed up for a post-show discussion with dramaturg Julie McCormick. 

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