Berkeley Rep Blog

Category archive: News

Snapshot from the "Ghost Light" press conference

posted by Karen McKevitt on Wed, Jan 11, 2012
in News , Our shows


All the major networks descended on the Roda Theatre today: ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. Why? A special press conference for Ghost Light, which officially opens in a mere few hours. But be sure to watch the news tonight -- Tony Taccone and Jonathan Moscone both had profound, even moving, comments.

(Yeah, the photo's a little dark. I didn't want to disturb everyone with a flash.)

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"Ghost Light" materializes tonight!

posted by Karen McKevitt on Fri, Jan 6, 2012
in News , Our shows

Ghost Light, the much-anticipated world-premiere production, begins previews tonight. In this haunting show, Artistic Director (and playwright) Tony Taccone conjures an imaginary world based on the historic assassination of Mayor George Moscone. The play is helmed by none other than Jonathan Moscone.

GLpre8_lrRobynn Rodriguez and Christopher Liam Moore in Ghost Light. Photo by Jenny Graham

Both Tony and Jonathan were guests this morning on NPR’s Forum with Dave Iverson. Miss it? Listen to it now!

Catch a PBS documentary on the creation of Ghost Light! KQED airs The Memory Be Green starting January 17. Watch a screening at Berkeley Rep! Our free Page to Stage event on January 23 features the documentary followed by a conversation with Resident Dramaturg Madeleine Oldham with writer Tony Taccone and documentary-maker Dave Iverson.

Richard Dodds of the Bay Area Reporter filed “Moscone memories,” an insightful article that traces the creation of Ghost Light back to the release of the film Milk.

The San Francisco Chronicle and Mercury News both tapped the play as one to watch for in the new year, and the SF Examiner published a preview piece just today. Pretty cool! 

Hope to see you at Ghost Light!


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Beginning 2012 with a look back at 2011's best

posted by Kyle Sircus on Wed, Jan 4, 2012
in News , Our shows

Happy New Year, blog readers! January offers all of us a time to commit to resolutions and reflect back on the year that was. In our case at Berkeley Rep, it was certainly a busy one filled with a whole slate of shows, some of which were lucky enough to receive some "best of 2011" nods from theatre critics around the country. In case you missed it, here's a rundown:

  • The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Mike Daisey's controversial new monologue, appeared on critics' lists in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal for its New York and Washington, D.C. runs, respectively. The production made lists in both the Seattle Times and Seattle Weekly, too. Closer to home, Bay Area News Group, Huffington Post, and the SF Bay Guardian all named it as one of their top picks for the year.
  • Anna Deavere Smith's Let Me Down Easy earned the engaging performer the Barrymore Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play. This knockout performance landed in the Top 10 lists in the San Francisco Chronicle, Bay Area News Group, and Los Angeles Times
  • In addition to his Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance, John Leguizamo's Ghetto Klown was awarded the Biggest Laugh of 2011 by Eric Grode in the New York Times
  • Our co-production of Ruined made lists in the San Francisco Chronicle, Idiolect, and the Boston Globe.  
  • Les Waters' staging of Three Sisters made Karen D'Souza's Top 10 list in the Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, and Contra Costa Times.
  • Speaking of Les, Charles Isherwood of the New York Times recently wrote about the year’s “most promising out of town development: The appointment of the director Les Waters to head Actors Theater of Louisville, which hosts the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays.” After eight years as Berkeley Rep’s associate artistic director, Les will be dearly missed in the Bay Area – but everyone wishes him well with his new adventure!

To close out this post, we are so excited that our current production of The Wild Bride was named the "high point of the year" in Robert Hurwitt's San Francisco Chronicle list. The show's been extended until January 22. If you haven't seen it yet, why not add that to your list of resolutions? 

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Critics love "The Wild Bride!"

posted by Karen McKevitt on Fri, Dec 9, 2011
in News , Our shows

The reviews are in and critics love The Wild Bride! It even got a "wild applause" from the Little Man. What can we say? Kneehigh totally rocks!

Here's what the critics are saying:

“The Devil is at the crossroads, a girl is in peril and love is gloriously indestructible in the exhilarating The Wild Bride… A feast of timeless story, irresistible music and wildly imaginative theatricality… Bride is a gift that keeps on giving.” – SF Chronicle

The Wild Bride will steal your heart from start to finish… An ingenious marriage of dance, theater, puppetry and music… Once upon a time has rarely been so intoxicating.” – Bay Area News Group

“Devilishly entertaining … Anyone who believes in magic should see it!” – SF Examiner

“Without question, the great treat of the holiday theater season!” – Chad Jones’ Theatre Dogs (Love the caption, Chad!)

So, tickets are already going fast, so don't wait, reserve your seats now before shows sell out!

WB1_lrPatrycja Kujawska and Stuart Goodwin. Photo by

We'll see ya real soon!



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Saying goodbye to one of our own

posted by Kyle Sircus on Tue, Nov 29, 2011
in At the theatre , General theatre talk , News

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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Happy Birthday, Bill Cain!

posted by Karen McKevitt on Mon, Oct 31, 2011
in News , Our shows

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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Our very own reluctant writer

posted by Kyle Sircus on Mon, Oct 10, 2011
in News

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, 2011
in News , School of Theatre

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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It's National Arts & Humanities Month

posted by Karen McKevitt on Tue, Oct 4, 2011
in News

October is National Arts & Humanities Month, an annual coast-to-coast celebration of culture in America and coordinated by Americans for the Arts. President Obama has issued a White House proclamation that recognizes the value of the arts and humanities and kicks off this month’s celebrations. How can you participate? Check out the Google Events Map to see what events are happening in your community. Or, follow Americans for the Arts on Twitter, and share items from the Arts Action Fund page with your social networks. Join the celebration!


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A Tres Agaves debut at Berkeley Rep

posted by Karen McKevitt on Tue, Aug 9, 2011
in News , Our shows

Lmdecocktail-lr-9642 We have a brand-new specialty drink for the encore presentation of Let Me Down Easy -- and it's making a bit of a debut! Don’t miss the Tres Agaves Margarita, starring Tres Agaves Tequila and -- making its world premiere debut right here at Berkeley Rep --- Tres Agaves’ USDA certified Organic Margarita Mix. For a mere $8, you too can savor this tasty beverage. 




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