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Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play

A Cycle In Three Parts

By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Jon Wai-keung Lowe
April 22 to May 21, 2011

 

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley at Live Oak Theatre is very proud to announce the West Coast Premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play, a profound meditation on the meaning of devotion, identity and performance.

"Let's just get the superlatives out of the way- "Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play" is the most exciting, stimulating, and thrilling piece of theater to hit New York since Angels in America. It's a rich, textured tapestry of a play that all followers of serious theater and thought should trek to Brooklyn to see."  Backstage Review

Hailed by The New Yorker as "extraordinary," "bold," and "inventive," Sarah Ruhl's epic Passion Play travels across time from Elizabethan England to late 20th Century America, stopping along the way to catch Hitler's visit in 1934 to observe the 300 year anniversary of the Oberammergau village's production.  Passion Play is nothing less than a chronicle of its eponymous epic's fantastical, lyrical, lustful, funny and heart wrenchingly sad journey through modern time.

Sarah Ruhl has won an avid following across the country of critics and audiences alike for her plays Eurydice, In the Next Room, (or the vibrator play), and A Clean House.  Passion Play's run at AE through April and May coincides with a Berkeley Rep production of Ms. Ruhl's adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters.

The work emphasizes the interplay amongst a vibrant ensemble cast, each performer handling multiple roles across multiple time periods.  The strikingly visual production incorporates innovative shadow techniques and is helmed by Jon Wai-keung Lowe, a director with roots in visual design, having designed for major theatre companies in the Bay Area.  Jon directed David Ives' All In the Timing for AE in 2007.  He has also directed with Subterranean Shakespeare, Pocket Opera, and Cinemasports.  His staging of Green Bamboo Hermitage was named Best of the SF Fringe in 2005.   Jon is Artistic Director of The Visible Theater.


Cast:

Scott Alexander Ayres ....................... Carpenter 1
Jacob Cribbs .................................... Pontius, Footsoldier, P
Ben Grubb .................... ................... Director
Doug Kaufman ................................. Carpenter 2
Justin Liszanckie ............................... John, Eric, J
Meryn MacDougall ............................. Village Idiot, Violet
Norman Macleod ............................... Friar, Englishman, VA, Psychiatrist
Eric Reid .......................................... Machinist, Officer, Yound Director
Elena Ruggiero ................................. Mary 2
Addie Ulrey ...................................... Mary 1, Elsa
Lisa Wang ....................................... Queen Elizabeth, Hitler, Reagan

Production

Director, Set Designer, Projection Supervisor .............. Jon Lowe
Assistant Director ................................................................ Andy Iser
State Manager ..................................................................... Krista Carter
Co-Producer ........................................................................ Jerome Solberg
Co-Producer ........................................................................ Stanley Spenger
Costumes ........................................................................... Jeffrey w. Hamby
Graphics ............................................................................... Norman De Veyra
Light Design ........................................................................ Alecks Rundell
Sound Design ...................................................................... Nathan Lively
Projection Graphics Act 2 .................................................... Paul Feinberg
Projection Graphics Act 3 .................................................... Christine U'Ren
Additional Projection Graphics .......................................... Daniel Thobias, Thanh Tran
Props ..................................................................................... Nayla El-Haber
Pre-Production Photos ....................................................... David Harris
Additional Photos ................................................................. Anna Kaminska
Technical Assistance .......................................................... Jonathan Gordon
Crew .......................................................................................Anna Anderson
Crew ...................................................................................... Clanci Cochran
Crew .......................................................................................Jose Garcia
Crew ...................................................................................... Hilda Schmelling

Our production features innovative shadow artistry by Jon Lowe, Paul Feinberg, Christine U'Ren, and Thanh Tran.


 


NOTE: PASSION PLAY, PART 3: "Originally commissioned by Arena Stage, Washington, DC, Molly Smith, Artistic Director, Stephen Richard, Executive Director"

Wheelchair accessible.  Adult language and mature themes.

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley has been putting on critically-acclaimed works in Berkeley since it's founding by a group of former U.C. Berkeley theatre students in 1957.  Since 1967 we have been performing in Berkeley's 137-seat Live Oak Theater (wheelchair accessible), located next to the Live Oak Park Recreation Center in North Berkeley, just down the street from Berkley's Gourmet Ghetto, and just a few blocks from the Solano Avenue business district.

Thank You

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley is delighted to acknowledge the Berkeley Civic Arts Program and Civic Arts Commission's support in the form of a grant of $5,200.00 awarded in 2016. This will enable us to continue to provide free or low cost opportunities for community members to participate in the life changing activities of theater arts.

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