Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer today announced an ambitious new work, The Waves in Quarantine, a project consisting of six short films that meditates on friendship, loss, and the making of art in this world-changing year, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s 1931 masterpiece. Produced by the Theatre and based on a musical adaptation of Woolf’s novel, The Waves, the film features a celebrated Broadway cast including Alice Ripley (Tony Award winner, Next to Normal) Raúl Esparza (Tony Award nominee, Company, and star of Law & Order: SVU), and Carmen Cusack (Tony Award nominee, Bright Star), directed by two-time Obie Award winner Lisa Peterson with award-winning cinematographer Zelmira Gainza (Luxor, The Outside Story) serving as director of photography.
The Waves in Quarantine will be available for free beginning, April 29 through May 28 and can be streamed on the Berkeley Rep website.
In kitchens and on couches, at beaches and on rooftops, The Waves in Quarantine invites an audience into the creative process. As Virginia Woolf ingeniously excavated the inner lives of six friends in her groundbreaking novel, Peterson and her collaborators create a film in six movements that meditates on themes from the musical adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s masterpiece The Waves.
“The musical adaptation of The Waves is a project that Lisa and Raúl and I have been in a long-term conversation about, since we did a developmental production of it at New York Stage and Film in 2018,” said Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer. “As the pandemic took hold, they began to imagine a way to make use of this time of isolation, shutdown, and longing—whose themes are so poignantly paralleled in Woolf’s novel itself. An extraordinary group of artists assembled around this effort, coming together remotely from far-flung locations, and this series of six short films is constructed to share their exploration of Woolf’s text (as reimagined by Lisa) and the gorgeous music composed by David Bucknam and Adam Gwon. Making films (and making them remotely!) is certainly new territory for Berkeley Rep, but this time has required that we all learn new ways of supporting artists, engaging with audiences, and sharing stories. I am incredibly proud of the form-breaking work that this team has created, and can’t wait to bring it to an audience.”
The Waves musical adaptation was originally produced by New York Theatre Workshop in 1991 and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award (Outstanding Music); it was recently revived and reworked at New York Stage and Film in 2018. This 2021 version, The Waves in Quarantine, was shot at home and outside by the six actors and a team of theatre professionals spanning the United States and Europe, working remotely using DSLR cameras and iPhones.
A virtual opening night is planned for April 29 at 6 p.m. and will include a screening of all six movements and a conversation with Lisa Peterson, Raúl Esparza and Adam Gwon. A second virtual event is scheduled for May 6 and will include a conversation with members of the cast. Both events will be moderated by Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer and Berkeley Rep’s Resident Dramaturg Madeleine Oldham live via Zoom.
Nexus will run April 17 to May 17, with a different couple performing the play each night.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle-based playwright and Encore Spotlight contributor Danielle Mohlman is bridging the digital divide with a three-week run of her two-character play Nexus, with a different quarantined set of actors performing the play live from their living room each night. Nexus, which was developed at Arena Stage from 2013–2014 before premiering at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, NY in 2015, is a modern love story that explores what transpires when two people become addicted to each other. It’s a play about two people who can’t stop seeing each other, a theme that’s become increasingly literal in the age of self-quarantine.
Tickets to Nexus are pay what you can, with ticket sales going directly to the artists involved. The play will be performed on Zoom, with a different set of performers broadcasting live from their living room each night.
Nexus features actors from across the country, representing Seattle, WA; San Diego, CA; New York, NY; Washington, DC; and Jersey City, NJ—among others. Performers include Erika Vetter and Adam Fontana, Jenna Berk and Danny Cackley, Alia Thomaier and Ricky Spaulding, Keiko Green and MJ Sieber, Corinne Magin and Andy Buffelen, Emily Huntingford and Mike Lion, Mariella Klinger and Dave Seamon, and Noelle Viñas and Kevin Vincenti, with additional performers to be announced.
About the Play
When two iPhone-armed strangers meet at a bus stop in Washington, DC, they’re entirely unprepared to spend three years falling in and out of love with each other. But, of course, that’s exactly what happens. This unexpectedly honest and refreshingly modern love story explores what transpires when two people become addicted to each other — putting them metaphorically on display at the Museum of Broken Relationships.
About the Playwright
Danielle Mohlman is a nationally produced playwright based in Seattle, WA. Her plays have been developed or produced at Arena Stage, the Kennedy Center, the Cherry Lane Theatre, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, Rorschach Theatre, Forum Theatre, dog & pony dc, Hubbard Hall, Pinky Swear Productions, Dreamwell Theatre, and Field Trip Theatre, among others.
Her plays include Stopgap (Field Trip Theatre, DCCAH Larry Neal Award finalist); Nexus (Hubbard Hall, Dreamwell Theatre, Kilroys honorable mention, DCCAH Larry Neal Award finalist, Woodward/Newman Award finalist); Dust (Dacha Theatre, Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center semi-finalist, Finish Line Commission); Halcyon (Seattle Public Theatre, Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center semi-finalist); Rushing (The Scratch, Umbrella Project Writers Group); Voyagers (ACT Theatre, ART/New York); and Frankenstein.
Danielle is an alumna of Playwrights’ Arena at Arena Stage, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship, and the Umbrella Project Writers Group. She is a proud graduate of both Cal Poly Pomona and Emerson College.
Updated May 4, 2020: Nexus was originally scheduled to close on May 3, after a successful three-week run. The production is now scheduled to run until May 17. The extension week will include performances from Claire Idstrom and Dylan Zucati, Leah Sainz-Jones and Ben Swenson-Klatt, Kathryn Metzger and Rob Hille, and Julia Holden-Hunkins and Spencer Funk.
Coming to Bing Concert Hall this December, Hell’s Fury examines the extraordinary life of composer Hanns Eisler. Known for his Marxist politics, Eisler was exiled in turn by three countries—and three of the most powerful ideologies of the twentieth century: Nazi Germany, McCarthyist United States, and communist East Germany.
A highly theatrical recreation of Eisler’s remarkable journey of expatriation
and migration, Hell’s
Fury resonates in a world of borders and ever-increasing fear of the
other. The centerpiece of the production is Eisler’s ironically titled Hollywood Songbook. Written while he was
composing Oscar-nominated movie scores in the early 1940s, the song cycle is a
lyrical outpouring of wit, anger, and pain.
Live talked with Hell’s Fury director
Tim Albery about bringing Eisler’s life and music to the stage.
Stanford Live:How did the idea originate to bring Eisler’s music back to life?
Tim Albery: Listening to a recording of The Hollywood Songbook for the first time at the start of this century, I immediately sensed the inherent theatricality of the songs. As I learned more about Eisler’s extraordinary story, the notion of a “day in the life” of Eisler began to take shape.
I was attracted by the fact that Eisler, although a very distinguished composer, is largely unknown. If fictional, his life story would seem utterly incredible; the fact that, with all its unlikely twists and turns, it is true makes it all the more surprising and strangely exhilarating. And his coruscating self-knowledge deflects any potential sentimentality at his cruel fate.
directorial challenges or surprises emerged as you balanced Eisler’s story with
the historical context and its contemporary echoes, as well as language and art?
As the narrative began to evolve, the happiest surprise was finding that many of the songs, though all written in Hollywood in the 1940s, applied equally well to Eisler’s later life in communist East Germany. It is something of a liberty to repurpose the songs in this way, but once rehearsals began, their use outside of their original context seemed entirely appropriate.
The challenge throughout was deciding how much biographical information
an audience needs and how to include it. I was eager to present an emotional
journey told through songs and not a history lesson, so the story of Eisler’s
travels and travails between the three ideologies of Nazism, capitalism, and communism
is revealed as allusively as possible. The singer and the pianist live out
Eisler’s life within the very real world of a mid-twentieth century recording
studio. The setting is constantly transformed in surprising and unsettling ways
using light, video, and sound to reveal the inner landscape of the songs.
Discovering which should be the final song of the show was crucial. “Elegy 1943” is a cry of pain at the relentless cycle of history: “From age to age we destroy our neighbors because we fear them.” With this song, Eisler immediately becomes our contemporary, as we witness once again the rise of nationalism and populism, and a determined assault on all the valiant attempts since World War II to devise global laws and institutions that would temper the worst instincts of our species.
do baritone Russell Braun and pianist Serouj Kradjian bring to the piece in
their portrayals of Eisler’s personal or musical interiority?
Serouj is the brooding introvert of Eisler’s almost bipolar nature, and Russell the ironic, savage, and playful extrovert. The roles are sometimes merged, sometimes almost reversed. Like twins, they each have something of the other. They co-exist while apparently unaware of each other.
A Canadian who was brought up in Germany, Russell is bilingual and
bicultural, great assets for discovering Eisler. He is also an entirely
instinctive actor, who, in rehearsal, quietly finds his way to the truth of the
moment. Serouj listens and breathes with Russell—voice and piano sound as one.
And he can turn on a dime; a serious song morphs into a cocktail bar vamp,
doodling an improvisation for a movie score crashes into one of Eisler’s manic
is it important to bring Eisler’s life and his song cycle—haunted by
McCarthyism, displacement, and, even still, beauty—to a contemporary audience,
most of whom did not live through the horrors and movements that defined twentieth
Displacement is still with us and
growing daily—displacement by war, poverty, and increasingly, climate change. The
response of many governments is to deliberately breed an atmosphere of fear and
contempt for those who can be branded as “not one of us” on grounds of
ethnicity, religion, or political views, which is the essence of McCarthyism. Can
we really say that fascism or uncontrolled capitalism are merely relics of the twentieth
century? And do we not hear contemporary politicians glad, once again, to call
themselves socialist, a term that was a death knell for electability only a few
years ago? The cycle of history does not stop. Eisler’s life story is mirrored
in the lives of countless others today, and it is bracing, salutary, and moving
to hear in his songs how relevant his experience remains.
This Dialogue with Director Tim
Albery was originally published in Stanford Live’s November/December program.
Used with the permission of Stanford Live.
Yesterday SIFF announced that Andrew L. Haines will take
over the role of executive director in January as Amy Fulford steps down from
serving as interim executive director. Fulford served as interim since last
March when former Executive Director Sarah Wilke stepped down.
Haines will come to SIFF after serving as director of marketing and communications at Seattle Rep since 2015, where he was also on the leadership team. Haines was responsible for all promotion and communication of Seattle Rep’s artistic programming and core values. He oversaw the marketing, communications, business operations and patron experience departments. Through his leadership, Seattle Rep increased subscriptions by 45 percent over three years.
Before his role at Seattle Rep, Haines held multiple positions
in sales including executive director of the National Group Sales Division, in
which he was responsible for more than $32 million in annual ticket sales.
Haines showed excitement about his new role saying, “I am honored to join SIFF, one of the preeminent film organizations in North America, as the next executive director. This is an exciting time for SIFF, and I look forward to collaborating with the staff and board to advance the mission, expand audiences, and deepen engagement within the community.”
As executive director, Haines will have the opportunity to share his experience in sales and engagement as the Seattle International Film Festival celebrates its 46th year in 2020, in addition to overseeing the year-round cinema and education programs. A fact that SIFF’s team is enthusiastic about. “I’m looking forward to working with and learning from Andrew, who brings a wealth of experience to SIFF,” said Beth Barrett, SIFF’s artistic director. “We are so pleased to have a leader who has exciting new ideas about audience engagement and enhancing our ability to deliver our mission.”
Stanford Live has added 10 more performances to their 2019-20 Season. Tickets will be available to the public on November 15, 2019. Check out all the great performers, artists and writers coming in the winter and spring of 2020.
A crowd favorite at NYC’s famous piano bar, Marie’s Crisis, Brandon James Gwinn is a singer-pianist, composer-lyricist, and producer lauded as “one hell of an entertainer” by the Bistro Awards. For one night only, Gwinn is bringing his unforgettable piano bar experience to the Bing Studio.
Praised for her captivating stage presence and performances that are technically and musically masterful, Hanzhi Wang is the only accordionist to ever win a place on the roster of Young Concert Artists.
Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and Grammy-winning artist, actor, and activist, Common continues to break down barriers with a multitude of critically acclaimed, diverse roles, and continued success at the box office. Let Love Have the Last Word shares Common’s own unique, personal stories of the people and experiences that have led to a greater understanding of love and all it has to offer.
Colin Quinn is a stand-up comedian from Brooklyn (okay, Park Slope). From MTV’s Remote Control to SNL to Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, Mr. Quinn is not one to take a hint and bow out gracefully.
Gladys “Bobi” Céspedes has been at the forefront of representing and promoting Cuban music in the Bay Area and the United States for over 40 years. On her new album, Mujer Y Cantante, Bobi Céspedes thrills us with her prowess as woman and singer.
As a result of their beginnings, Rodríguez and Martinez share a natural chemistry that makes for a galvanizing musical experience when they come together. Their first duo outing, Duologue, finds the pair exploring a range of moods and influences, from Cuban classics to collaborative original compositions to a number of unexpected favorites.
The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge is known and loved by millions from its broadcasts, concert tours, and over 90 recordings. Founded in the 1670s, the Choir is known for its rich, warm, and distinctive sound, its expressive interpretations and its ability to sing in a variety of styles.
Ross Manson, artistic director of Volcano, recounts how his trip to judge a theatre competition in Iran turned into a discovery of much more.
I traveled to Tehran in February 2011 to adjudicate the Fadjr International Theater Festival. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was president. The Green Movement had been violently suppressed months earlier.
It was an interesting time to be in Iran. While there, I got to know a young writer named Nassim Soleimanpour. He and I went all over Tehran together, and through him, I developed a more nuanced picture of Iran than I had ever gleaned from the western press: two armies, opposing secret police forces, government censors, artists everywhere circumventing the censors. People would come up to me on the street and apologize for their government.
It was a complicated place.
On February 14—or Bahman 25 in the Persian calendar—Nassim
and I witnessed a massive but strangely quiet demonstration: no signs, no
slogans, just thousands of people walking calmly towards Tehran’s famous Azadi
Tower. The silence was a technique to avoid police violence. What I didn’t
realize was that the theater jury I was a part of was scheduled to travel
directly through this demonstration. When we were told to get in the minivan,
it was a shock.
We were about to drive through an antigovernment demonstration
in Iran to go to a play! I sat in the back with my camera. Nassim
had warned us about photos. If you take any, he said, do not get caught.
I got caught.
In the middle of the demonstration, the van was
swarmed—young men screaming through the windows, pounding on the van for it to
stop. The sliding door opened and plainclothes Revolutionary Guards reached in
to drag me out.
But they couldn’t reach, and this gave Nassim time to talk.
It was dusk, slipping into night. A surreal blur of electric light illuminated
the minivan and the masses of men. Nassim talked to a series of increasingly
higher-ranking officers, and somehow engineered my freedom through the
cleverness of his words. Nassim is good with words.
I brought Nassim’s play, White Rabbit Red Rabbit, out of Iran. This allegorical examination of control and violence is designed to be read cold by a new actor every night. My company, Volcano, and our partners, premiered it simultaneously in Edinburgh and Toronto. Every night, I’d email notes to Nassim—trapped in Iran—and he’d email me back a new draft for the next night. It became a global hit.
Nassim is part of a generation born during the horrors of
the Iran–Iraq War; a generation that has known no Iran other than the Islamic
Republic. They are smart, well-informed, fearless. A theater artist, Nassim
uses reality as a dramatic technique. As I learned in the minivan in
Tehran, experiencing something for real is a very different experience
than watching it on the news. For humans, nothing is like being there. Nassim
understands this. He puts you, as audience, into a living connection with something
you may not have realized about the world: the thing happening is really happening.
This feature was written by Ross Manson and was originally
published in Stanford
Live’s September/October program.
Used with the permission of Stanford Live.
The stellar cast features many TheatreWorks Silicon Valley veterans, as well as many actors who originated the roles in the 2018 TheatreWorks New Works Festival, where this musical was first work-shopped.
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley rings in the holidays with the
new musical Pride and Prejudice, the 2019 Tony-winning company’s 70th
World Premiere. Based on Jane Austen’s iconic novel, this engaging work features
book, music and lyrics by Paul Gordon, whose musicals include TheatreWorks
Austen’s Emma, Daddy
Long Legs, and the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Jane Eyre. Pride
and Prejudice follows delightfully liberated Lizzie Bennet and dashing,
disdainful Mr. Darcy as they discover the irresistible power of love. A
favorite from TheatreWorks’ 2018 New Works Festival, this brand new musical
romantic comedy will be directed by TheatreWorks’ Founding Artistic Director
Mary Mattison (Lizzie Bennet) Mattison has been seen
onstage at the Northern Carolina Theatre and Theatre Raleigh, and in readings
of Clueless, The Musical and Superhero at The Eugene O’Neill
Theatre Center. Her television credits include CBS’s Blue Bloods.
Justin Mortelliti (Mr. Darcy) Mortelliti was seen on
Broadway in Escape to Margaritaville and Off-Broadway in The New Group’s
Clueless, The Musical and The Columbine Project, for which he
received an Artistic Director’s Achievement Award for Best Lead Actor in a
Drama. His regional credits include starring in the original Las Vegas cast of Rock
of Ages and performing at regional theatres including La Jolla Playhouse
and The Wallis Annenberg Center. His film and TV work includes Netflix’s Orange
is the New Black, CBS’s Numb3rs, AMC’s TURN: Washington’s Spies
and Nickelodeon’s Victorious, in addition to performing as the musical
guest for CBS’s The Queen Latifah Show.
Sharon Rietkerk (Jane) Originating the role of Jane
Bennet in the 2018 TheatreWorks New Works Festival, Sharon Rietkerk returns to
TheatreWorks where she won San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle (SFBATCC)
Award for her performance in Triangle,
a Theatre Bay Area (TBA) award for Marry Me a Little, received a SFBATCC
Award nomination for her performance in The Secret Garden, and was also
seen in Cyrano,
Little Women and the 2015 production of Jane Austen’s Emma. Other
awards include a TBA Award for Born Yesterday at Center REPertory
Company. Rietkerk has also performed onstage at Old Globe Theater, San Jose
Repertory Theatre, 42nd Street Moon and American
Conservatory Theater, in concerts with the San Francisco Symphony and
Chicago Cubs, and was seen in Streaming Musical’s filmed theatrical production
Melissa WolfKlain (Mary) Originating the role of Mary
Bennet in the 2018 TheatreWorks New Works Festival, Melissa WolfKlain returns
to TheatreWorks Silicon Valley where she was nominated for a SFBATCC Award for
her performance in the World Premiere of Tinyard Hill and was seen in
TheatreWorks New Works Festival workshops of Caraboo and Asphalt
Beach. Receiving a 2019 TBA Award nomination for Dames at Sea at
42nd Street Moon, she also won SFBATCC Awards for her performances in Broadway
by the Bay’s Singin’ in the Rain and Crazy for You. Seen in the
national tours of White Christmas and 42nd Street, WolfKlain has
also performed at regional theatres including San Francisco Playhouse, Hillbarn
Theatre and Arizona Repertory Theatre, and her film and TV credits include FOX
TV’s America’s Most Wanted and Lifetime’s The Truth about Jane.
Tara Kostmayer (Lydia) Making her TheatreWorks
Silicon Valley debut, Tara Kostmayer has been seen Off-Broadway in A Chorus
Line at Encores! New York City Center and has performed regionally at
theatres including La Jolla Playhouse.
Chanel Tilghman (Kitty) Making her TheatreWorks
Silicon Valley debut, Chanel Tilghman has been seen in productions at Berkeley
Playhouse and Bay Area Musicals.
Christopher Vettel (Mr. Bennet) Returning to
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley where he was seen in Little Women, Christopher
Vettel plays Mr. Bennet, the patriarch of the Bennet family. Seen in a national
tour of Sunset Boulevard and the 30th Anniversary national tour of Annie,
Vettel has performed in the German company of Really Useful Group’s production
of Sunset Boulevard, the European tour of Cabaret, and Cameron
Mackintosh/JAR production’s Hey, Mr. Producer!. Vettel has also
performed Off-Broadway at New York Musical Festival and Westside Theatre, and
his regional theatre credits include San Jose Repertory Theatre, Barrington
Stage Company, 42nd Street Moon and San Jose Stage Company.
Heather Orth (Mrs. Bennet) Originating the role in
the 2018 TheatreWorks New Works Festival, Heather Orth makes her TheatreWorks
mainstage debut as Mrs. Bennet, the matriarch of the Bennet family. Receiving
2019 TBA Award nominations for her performances in Sweeney Todd at
Hillbarn Theatre, Passion at Custom Made Theatre Company, and Sister
Act at Broadway by the Bay, Orth has won TBA Awards for her performances in
Sister Act at Berkeley Playhouse and The Boys from Syracuse at
42nd Street Moon. Orth has won SFBATCC Awards for her performances in Jesus
Christ Superstar at Ray of Light Theatre and The Secret Garden at
42nd Street Moon, as well as for Chess and Grey Gardens at Custom
Made Theatre Company. Orth has also performed at Feinstein’s at the Nikko and
with Symphony Silicon Valley.
Travis Leland (Mr. Bingley) Seen as Miles Tuck in
last season’s Tuck
Everlasting, Travis Leland returns to TheatreWorks Silicon Valley as
Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy’s charming, well-mannered friend. Leland’s other
TheatreWorks credits include the 2017 production of Rags
and the 2015 production of Jane Austen’s Emma. Leland has also performed
at the Geffen Playhouse and the Wallis Annenberg Center.
Monique Hafen Adams (Miss Caroline Bingley) Originating
the roles of Caroline Bingley and Kitty Bennet in the 2018 TheatreWorks New
Works Festival, Monique Hafen Adams makes her TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
mainstage debut as Miss Caroline Bingley, Mr. Bingley’s snooty sister. Also
seen in TheatreWorks New Works Festival workshops of Eric Hermannson’s Soul
and Past, Present, and Future, Adams’s honors include SFBATCC Awards for
She Loves Me, Company, My Fair Lady, and Camelot at
San Francisco Playhouse and The Liar at Center REPertory Company, as
well as a TBA Award for Threepenny Opera at San Jose Stage Company.
Adams has performed at theatres across the Bay Area including American
Conservatory Theater, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Hillbarn Theatre and Pear
Taylor Crousore (Mr. Wickham) Making his TheatreWorks
Silicon Valley debut, Taylor Crousore plays Mr. Wickham, a handsome soldier who
catches the eye of the Bennet sisters. Crousore’s Off-Broadway credits include
A Musical About Star Wars, NEWSical the Musical and Forbidden Broadway.
He has also performed in The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and at
Carnegie Hall and trained with the Upright Citizens Brigade.
Dani Marcus (Charlotte Lucas) Originating the role in
the 2018 TheatreWorks Festival, Dani Marcus returns to TheatreWorks Silicon
Valley as Charlotte Lucas, a friend of Lizzie Bennet. Playing Harriet Smith in
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s 2007 World Premiere production of Jane
Austen’s Emma, Marcus reprised the role in productions of the musical
across the country at The Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park,
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and in Streaming Musical’s filmed theatrical
production. Marcus was seen in the national tour of A Gentleman’s Guide to
Love and Murder and her New York theatre credits include performances at
National Yiddish Theatre and New York Musical Festival. Marcus won a SFBATCC
Award for her performance in Beggar’s Holiday at Marin Theatre Company
and appeared in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s 2003 production of A Little
Night Music. She has also performed at regional theatres including San Jose
Repertory Theatre, Center REPertory Company and Broadway by the Bay. Marcus was
seen in FX Network’s Lucky and her voice can be heard in Pokémon: The
Dragon Master’s Path and Pokémon: Keeping in Top Forme.
Brian Herndon (Mr. Collins) Originating the role in
the 2018 TheatreWorks New Works Festival, Brian Herndon returns to TheatreWorks
Silicon Valley as Mr. Collins, a pompous clergyman. Playing Mr. Elton in
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s 2007 and 2015 productions of Jane Austen’s Emma,
Herndon reprised the role in productions of the musical across the country at
The Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Repertory Theatre of St.
Louis, Arizona Theatre Company, and in Streaming Musical’s filmed theatrical
production. Herndon has appeared in many TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
productions including Rags, Being Earnest, The Elephant Man,
The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue and the World Premiere of A Little
Princess. Other theatre credits include performances at Marin Theatre
Company, San Francisco Playhouse, Aurora Theatre Company, Center REPertory
Company, 42nd Street Moon, Berkeley Playhouse and Shotgun Players.
Lucinda Hitchcock Cone (Lady Catherine de Bourgh) Originating
the role in the 2018 TheatreWorks New Works Festival, Lucinda Hitchcock Cone
returns to TheatreWorks as Lady Catherine de Bourgh, an imposing noblewoman who
is Mr. Darcy’s aunt. Cone returns to TheatreWorks Silicon Valley where she was
most recently seen in last season’s Tuck Everlasting, in addition to
appearing in Outside
Mullingar, Ragtime and Cabaret. Cone has also performed
in the National Tour of Big River and regionally at American
Conservatory Theater, Berkeley
Repertory Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, The Repertory
Theatre of St. Louis, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Portland Stage Company, San
Jose Repertory Theatre and others. Cone has won SFBATCC Awards for her
performances in River’s End and Lips Together Teeth Apart at
Marin Theatre Company, Night of Hunter at Willows Theatre, and Mad
Sean Fenton (ensemble) Rounding out the ensemble is
Sean Fenton, who returns to TheatreWorks Silicon Valley where he was seen in
the World Premiere of The
Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga and the 2003 production of A
Little Night Music. Receiving a 2014 TBA Award for his performance in Where
the Mountain Meets the Moon at Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Fenton has also
performed at Custom Made Theatre Company, Broadway by the Bay, and Foothill
Tickets for Pride & Prejudice are now available online
or by calling the box office at 650.463.1960.
Berkeley Repertory Theatre announces the highly anticipated
special event of this season, Gatz, which enacts the beloved classic
novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and is directed by John
Collins, to create a once in a lifetime experience.
The theatrical ensemble Elevator Repair Service will make
Rep debut with Gatz, an astonishing tour de force unlike anything
else in contemporary theatre.The winner of two Lucille Lortel Awards, three
Elliott Norton Awards and an Obie Award, Gatz has enthralled audiences
around the globe, from New York to Lisbon and Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi.
Gatz follows an anonymous office worker at a shabby
small business who finds a copy of The Great Gatsby on his desk one
morning and starts to read aloud. At first his coworkers hardly notice. But
after a series of strange coincidences, it’s no longer clear whether he’s
reading the book or the book is transforming him.
“[A] work of singular imagination and intelligence. The most remarkable achievement in theater not only of this year but also of this decade.”
New York Times
Each performance of Gatz runs 6 hours, plus two
15-minute intermissions and a 2-hour dinner break.
(Due to the nature of live theatre, these times may vary
Gatz begins on February 13 and runs through February
23, 2020. Individual tickets are now available and can be purchased online
or by phone at 510.647.2949.
Elevator Repair Service
is a New York City-based company that creates original works for live theatre
with an ongoing ensemble. The company’s sources range from found material
(transcripts of trials, old movies, YouTube videos) to literature and
conventional plays (both classical and contemporary). Founded in 1991, ERS has
authored an extensive body of work that includes 19 original theatrical
productions. These have earned the company a loyal following and made it one of
New York’s most highly acclaimed experimental theatre companies. ERS’s
productions share a commitment to risk-taking and reinvention, blending unusual
texts with innovations in theatrical form. The finished works feature ERS’s
signature dynamic performance style and playful sense of humor coupled with a
rigorous commitment to psychologically complex performances. ERS has received
numerous awards and distinctions including an Obie for Sustained Excellence,
The Foundation for Contemporary Arts Theater Grant, and the Theatre
Communications Group’s Peter Zeisler Memorial Award for Outstanding
Achievement. ERS ensemble members have received Obies for Sound Design and
Sustained Excellence in Performance and Lighting Design.
ArtsFund announces the launch of its 50th anniversary year with a proclamation from Mayor Durkan, who has declared October 15, 2019 to be “ArtsFund Day”. The honor officially kicks off ArtsFund’s milestone year.
Founded in October 1969, the Seattle-based nonprofit has
been building community through the arts for 50 years. ArtsFund is one of the
nation’s leading United Arts Funds and has contributed to the vibrancy of the
Central Puget Sound region by supporting the health and vitality of arts and
cultural organizations and the individuals they serve.
ArtsFund Interim President & CEO Sue Coliton stated,
“ArtsFund was founded 50 years ago to generate support for the arts from the
business community. Since then, it has evolved into a leader of the
sector. We work to ensure arts are accessible to all and valued as central
and critical to a healthy society. A future for the arts is a future for
community, and ArtsFund is uniquely positioned to help deliver on that
“Whereas, the City of Seattle recognizes the work ArtsFund has been undertaking for the past 50 years and wishes them continued success.”
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, City of Seattle, from the proclamation
The celebration of 50 years of impact will complement
ArtsFund’s annual fundraising campaign, which runs through May 31, 2020.
Each year, ArtsFund’s fundraising empowers companies, individuals and community
partners to make collective, regional and significant impact strengthening the
community through support of the arts. Revenues from ArtsFund’s annual drive will
support grants and capacity building programs, as well as additional activities
and services strengthening more than 120 organizations throughout the Central
Puget Sound region.
ArtsFund Board Chair Anthony R. Miles added, “As we
celebrate 50 years of impact, we remain focused on realizing ArtsFund’s unique
potential to enhance the role of the arts and creativity in our region. In
addition to grantmaking, ArtsFund’s research, programs and advocacy contribute
to a sustainable, collaborative, informed, equitable and inclusive future. As
the region has grown and evolved ArtsFund has been there every step of the way
for the arts and cultural community. We are committed to empowering the sector
in the years ahead.”
As the region has grown and evolved ArtsFund has been there every step of the way for the arts and cultural community.
Anthony R. Miles, ArtsFund Board Chair
ArtsFund was originally founded as the United Arts Council
of Puget Sound to bring corporate and civic leaders together to help establish
and sustain our region’s arts and cultural institutions. Upon completion of its
inaugural fundraising campaign, the first grant beneficiaries included ACT Theatre,
Northwest Ballet, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Opera, Seattle Symphony
and Seattle Rep—all
organizations still supported by ArtsFund today. Fifty years and a few
name changes later (to Corporate Council for the Arts in 1975 and to ArtsFund
in 2003), ArtsFund has supported nearly 240 arts nonprofits with more than $84
million in grants, and by providing valuable leadership and advocacy.
Anniversary events will include a birthday edition of
ArtsFund’s Celebration of the Arts Luncheon on March 20, 2020. Registration
will open in February 2020.
The full mayoral proclamation can be viewed on Artsfund’s website.
Learn more about ArtsFund’s 50 years of impact and the plans for the year ahead.
A look at the emergence of Afro-Cuban jazz and its spread to the US and Canada.
By the 1940s, the stage was set for the birth of a new kind
of jazz. In the United States, big band orchestras had been including Latin
rhythms in their jazz tunes, as well as rumbas and congas in their repertoires,
and many Cuban musicians were traveling regularly to play in cities like New
York and New Orleans. Others immigrated, especially to New York. Meanwhile,
Cuba had become well-known as a playground for U.S. tourists. Travel to the
island was easy, alcohol flowed freely (it was prohibited at home), and casinos
and live entertainment were in abundance.
Mario Bauzá, who emigrated from Cuba to the US in 1930, is
usually held up as the pioneer of Afro-Cuban jazz. In 1943, as director of the
New York big band Machito and the Afro-Cubans, he composed “Tanga,” considered
by many musical historians to be the genre’s first single. This new style
consisted of jazz with Afro-Cuban rhythms including the clave, which is the
basis for almost all Cuban music. Latin elements and African percussion
instruments such as timbales, bongos, and congas were part of the mix. Bauzá
had a further key role in Afro-Cuban jazz: introducing fellow Cuban émigré
Chano Pozo to Dizzy Gillespie in 1947. As the popularity of swing and big bands
faded, Gillespie, a leader in the new bebop jazz style that fused nicely with
Afro-Cuban rhythms, hired Pozo, making him the first regular conga player in an
American jazz big band. Soon after, they recorded the standard “Manteca.”
“Soon after the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the United States cut diplomatic relations with Cuba, putting an end to the back-and-forth of musicians for about 20 years. With the 1961 United States–backed Bay of Pigs invasion fresh in its mind, the government of Fidel Castro labeled jazz and rock as dangerous foreign influences.”
The mambo craze of the 1950s heightened interest in rhythms
from Latin America, and the evolution of Afro-Cuban jazz continued, mostly in the
United States. For example, in New York, Havana-born Chico O’Farrill, an important
arranger, composer, and bandleader, worked with many artists, including Benny
Soon after the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the United States cut
diplomatic relations with Cuba, putting an end to the back-and-forth of
musicians for about 20 years. With the 1961 United States–backed Bay of Pigs
invasion fresh in its mind, the government of Fidel Castro labeled jazz and
rock as dangerous foreign influences. Nonetheless, they recruited Jesús “Chucho”
Valdés, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, and other
outstanding musicians for the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna, created
in 1967. The group was allowed to perform jazz, but in a manner that could
be tolerated by the government.
Seeking greater creativity, Valdés, Sandoval, and D’Rivera
became key members of Irakere, founded in 1973 and directed by Valdés, during
what was known as the “five grey years” (1971–76). During this period of increased
cultural orthodoxy, Cuba became more integrated into the Soviet bloc and African
culture was considered backward by many apparatchiks. Irakere pushed ahead
nontheless, incorporating popular Cuban dance, Afro-Cuban folkloric, and even
classical music. With a heavy horn section, it also included funk influences from
American and Canadian-American groups like Earth, Wind & Fire and Blood,
Sweat & Tears. When Gillespie, Stan Getz, and a few other American jazz
musicians visited Cuba in 1977, they found the band at the forefront of a rich
music scene. Invited to the United States the following year, the band won a
1979 Grammy award for its first album, recorded live in part at Carnegie Hall.
Arguably, Irakere remains Cuba’s most important jazz band to date.
The ability of artists to travel between the United States
and Cuba has continued to wax and wane according to the politics of the day.
D’Rivera and Sandoval defected to the United States in the 1980s, where they
have had tremendous success. A plethora of American-born artists have taken up
the genre, many of whom have performed at the annual Havana Jazz festival that began
Given the difficulties inherent in getting visas both to
leave Cuba and to enter the United States, a good number of Cuban artists have
ended up in Toronto after collaborating and touring with Jane Bunnett, the
renowned Canadian sax player and flautist. Bunnett has been traveling to Cuba
to perform and record with Cuban musicians since the 1990s. One of her latest
projects, the Afro-Cuban jazz band Maqueque, is comprised of young Cuban women.Some
of these artists have already left Maqueque to start their own groups, only to
be replaced by Bunnett with musicians from what seems to be a never-ending
talent pool from the island.
“Valdés is firmly rooted in Cuba, but there now exists a considerable diaspora of Cuban musicians not only in the United States and Canada, but in Europe and other Caribbean countries as well.”
In order to concentrate more on piano playing, Valdés
started his own band in 1998, while continuing with Irakere until 2005. Chucho
Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers emphasizes African percussion instruments
and often includes vocals. Similarly, his latest project, the trio Jazz Batá,
focuses on Yoruba music and Batá drumming. Both groups exemplify the current
trend of small ensembles and soloists. Valdés has said that he was discouraged
from taking up the Batá project in the 1970s, but Jazz Batá has him looking
once again toward the roots of Afro-Cuban music and a “deeper Cubanization of jazz
and the classic piano jazz trio.”
Valdés is firmly rooted in Cuba, but there now exists a
considerable diaspora of Cuban musicians not only in the United States and
Canada, but in Europe and other Caribbean countries as well. Non-Cuban
musicians have also embraced the music, with the result that Afro-Cuban jazz
can be enjoyed live year-round in a number of countries, as well as during the
festival season. The genre has slowly evolved over the decades and has seen a
rise in the technical talents of its musicians, but continues to hold to its Afro-Cuban
This feature was written by Celeste Mackenzie and was originally
published in Stanford
Live’s September/October program.
Used with the permission of Stanford Live.