Berkeley Rep Blog

May 2012

Joaquina's Emotional Creature blog: First week of rehearsal completed!

posted by Karen McKevitt on Thu, May 31

The cast of Emotional Creature is blogging about their experience preparing for the world premiere of Eve Ensler's new play here at Berkeley Rep -- we knew these gals would embrace social media! These will be co-posted by Berkeley Rep and V-Girls.  

Here's a post by ensemble member Joaquina Kalukango:

First official week of rehearsal completed! We started the day off with dialects, and realized we know a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. Thank God for our dialect coach Lynne who has an incredible ear and wonderful spirit! There are so many rhythms and beats in our heads, I can’t wait to see how it all comes together. We also celebrated Eve’s second birthday with a chocolate covered fruit arrangement.

Quote of the day:” I dance biology” (Atlanta accent)


Joaquina Kalukango HS 1

Eve's birthday bouquet:



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Olivia's Emotional Creature blog: Dance, dialects, and altars

posted by Karen McKevitt on Wed, May 30

The cast of Emotional Creature is blogging about their experience preparing for the world premiere of Eve Ensler's new play here at Berkeley Rep -- we knew these gals would embrace social media! These will be co-posted by Berkeley Rep and V-Girls.  

Here's a post by ensemble member Olivia Oguma:

Hello Emotional Creatures!! Today was a stomp-tastic day!! We learned a few of the dances that involved very structured clapping and stomping combinations in preparation for our choreographer Luam who is coming Tuesday morning to work with us and fine tune all our moves! We watched some videos of the stomp dances from the workshop production of Emotional Creature and then Charl, our musical director, and Jo, our director, helped us get them down. When she arrives she will fine tune the dances. We have watched some videos of her choreography and she is amazing! We also got the chance to work individually with our spectacular dialect coach Lynne who is helping us with all the dialects we have in the show. Some of the dialects we are doing range from Congolese to British to Chinese to Bulgarian. We have a lot on our plate, but Lynne makes it simple and gives us helpful hints and tricks that make it easy for us! I cant believe we have only been in rehearsal for 10 days-- We have become such a tight knit group of Emo-Creatures! The energy in the room is infectious and amazing –- can’t wait for all the V-GIRLS out there to see this awesome show!

Love, Olivia


P.S. We also were encouraged by Eve to make an altar in our rehearsal room ! Here is our awesome altar …everyone brought something special to us..I brought a small doll, Emily made paper cranes, Eve put some flowers she got for her birthday on the altar as well. It’s so beautiful!

2012-05-27 18.38.50


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Sade's Emotional Creature blog: Every day is a chance to listen and learn

posted by Karen McKevitt on Mon, May 28

The cast of Emotional Creature is blogging about their experience preparing for the world premiere of Eve Ensler's new play here at Berkeley Rep -- we knew these gals would embrace social media! These will be co-posted by Berkeley Rep and V-Girls.  

Here's the very first post by ensemble member Sade Namei:

Today, we started our music rehearsals with with Charl (pronounced, Shawl). Singing, dancing, clapping–no child play, I assure you…Ok, maybe a little. And we’ve learned that it’s hard to talk and walk at the same time!!! Anybody? Ok… just me. Thank God for humor! Lesson learned: Have a sense of humor and you can get through anything…Anybody? Just me? Ok. Everyday, we learn something wonderful from each other. Every day is a chance to listen, learn, pause, check-in and keep learning. It’s pretty incredible being here. The challenge is enormous but the stakes to not overcome them are even higher… 

Hope to see you soon. off to memorization. Keep reading. 



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Introducing Black n Blue Boys

posted by Karen McKevitt on Fri, May 25

The amazing Dael Orlandersmith begins previews tonight for her fierce new play, Black n Blue Boys / Broken Men

So this is the perfect opportunity to check out her introduction to the play in this video, which was taken at our staff meet-and-greet. These interviews are usually reserved for staff, creative team, and producers -- but this time we're sharing this interview with you!


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Emotional Creature meet and greet

posted by Karen McKevitt on Tue, May 22

This morning the Berkeley Rep staff welcomed the cast and artistic team of Eve Ensler's Emotional Creature


Joaquina Kalukango, Olivia Oguma, Sade Namei, Molly Carden, Ashley Bryant, and Emily S. Grosland.

Managing Director Susan Medak introduced Eve Ensler along with director Jo Bonney. Artistic director Tony Taccone recalls when Eve first spoke with him about the project: "I had an exuberant conversation with her, and when you talk with her she gets you to play in her band." 



Eve gave a spirited and engrossing talk about the origins of Emotional Creature. Here is a short excerpt: "As I traveled, it seemed girls had a particular life, and a tough life, espcially in poverty-stricken countries. In this country too, there's a commodification of girls, how you're supposed to look. On the flip side, girls are amazing. It's very powerful to be a girl when everyone's been told not to be one."



The meet and greet concluded with a presentation of the set design. We're stoked to have Eve, Jo, and the fierce cast of Emotional Creature here at Berkeley Rep!

(Photos by Mary Kay Hickox.)

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Berkeley Rep does Bay to Breakers!

posted by School of Theatre on Mon, May 21

On Sunday morning, four Berkeley Rep employees took a break from preparations for Black n Blue Boys / Broken Men, and laced up their running shoes for Bay to Breakers.They joined over 23,000 other runners (dressed in everything from serious race attire to ball gowns, banana costumes, and birthday suits) in a race across San Francisco and came in 13,432, 13,433, 16,802, and 16,803 place. Not bad for a bunch of theatre geeks!    


Pictured above (L to R): Community Programs Manager Ben Hanna, School of Theatre Registrar Katie Riemann, Education Fellow Hannah Lennett, and Marketing and Communications Fellow Kyle Sircus

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Floating set

posted by Karen McKevitt on Sat, May 19

Whenever she's working on a set for a Berkeley Rep show, Scenic Charge Artist Lisa Lazar emails awesome photos with commentary to the entire staff. Here's her step-by-step of the set for Dael Orlandersmith's Black n Blue Boys / Broken Men, which begins performances on May 25.

Read the entire post

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Teen Council thanks Red patrons for claiming their arts!

posted by School of Theatre on Tue, May 15

By Hannah Lennett, education fellow

If you saw a performance of Red, you probably encountered Teen Council’s young arts advocates on your way out. They stood with buckets full of bracelets, asking for donations to help fund their trips to Washington, D.C. and Boston to advocate for arts education.

Between their calls to “Claim your arts” and the generosity of Berkeley Rep’s patrons, we were able to raise over three times our goal for the campaign, give out over 1,000 bracelets, and learn the last scene of Red by heart!


Next on the fundraising docket in our effort to send our advocates from coast to coast:

Dramathon 2012:

A 24-hour teen play-reading fundraiser extravaganza. Stay tuned for more information about this wild and wacky day of theatre.

Interested in donating to #claimyourARTS?

Visit to make a quick and easy online donation.



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Got $15 and a high school ID?

posted by Cari Turley on Fri, May 11

We're committed to making Eve Ensler's new powerhouse Emotional Creature available to everyone, which is why we've been giving away free tickets to local non-profits serving people in need. But why stop there? You probably already know that we offer half-price tickets to all our shows to people under 30, but for this show -- which speaks so directly to high school students -- we thought we could go a little further.

That's why we're rolling out $15 rush tickets for all high-school students to every performance of Emotional Creature. Starting 90 minutes before each show, we'll sell any open seats for $15 to anyone with a current high school ID. Spread the word!

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RIP Maurice Sendak

posted by Karen McKevitt on Tue, May 8

In November 2005, Berkeley Rep presented the musical fable Brundibar, which was adapted by Tony Kushner and featured a stunning production design by Maurice Sendak, the celebrated children's author who passed away today. 

Artistic Director Tony Taccone says, "We were deeply saddened to hear today that Maurice Sendak had passed away. Maurice was an astonishing, brilliant, hysterical, ornery, loving, ferocious genius of a man.  Working with him on Brundibar was a great thrill for everyone involved. We are honored that we were able to play a part in his theatrical life and will cherish his memory forever."

BrundibarBerkeley Rep's production of Brundibar. Photo by Kevin Berne

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