Welcome to the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley website!

Winter Staged Reading Photos

  • "The Lady From the Sea", by Henrik Ibsen, directed by Susannah Wood.  Photos
  • "A Protegee of the Mistress", by Alexander Ostrovsky, directed by Jeff Trescott.  Photos
  • "John Gabriel Borkman", by Henrik Ibsen, directed by Aaron Murphy. Photos
  • "Rosmersholm", by Henrik Ibsen, directed by Crystal Brown.  Photos

Help Us Choose Our 2017 Season!

Please contact us with your suggestions for plays for Actors Ensemble to produce in the 2017 season.

Here are some ideas: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – We earnestly think you will laugh hysterically. The Rivals by Sheridan - Ms. Malaprop runs amock! Lovers … Watch out! Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Prudence? Love? Heartbreak? Or Not … The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Beaumont - The first parody on the English Stage. Who needs the 4th wall? Rhinoceros by Ionesco - Everyone is turning into one …. except Berenger.

Like one of these ideas? Have another one? Or maybe you’d just like to be involved?  Email us with your suggestions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or send us a letter to our P.O. Box:

Actors Ensemble
P.O. Box 663
Berkeley, CA 94701

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley or AEB, as it is nicknamed, began in a casual conversation about theatre between Bill Matheson and George Marchi 1955. This conversation lead to meetings that included Ernest Landauer, Joseph Landisman, George Marchi, Edward Markmann, Al Stern, and Arnold Wolf, and incorporation in 1957. In 1966 we had our first performance at Berkeley’s Live Oak Theatre, and more recently also in the John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre. The philosophy of AEB is attributed to UC Berkeley Professor Fred Harris and his wife Mary. They taught that Dramatic Action is created by the actor through his imagination and awareness of the interaction in the ensemble relationship with all the other

William Martinelli: A passion for theater, always a smile in his eyes

William Martinelli, lifelong resident of Oakland and board member of Actors Ensemble of Berkeley since its incorporation in 1957, died of a lung infection at a medical facility in Oakland on July 13, 2017. Bill was the only child of Doris and Peter Martinelli, born on Jan. 5, 1930. For the majority of his life Bill lived at the family home on the corner of Kansas Street and 35th Avenue in Oakland.

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REVIEW: Five Women Wearing the Same Dress’ gets five stars, wows audiences

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress Daily Californian Review by By

When local director Zara Benner chose the 1993 comedy “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress” for her winter staged reading, she had a tremendous script to vivify. Written by Oscar and Emmy-winning screenwriter Alan Ball (“American Beauty,” “Six Feet Under”), “Five Women” veers back and forth from playful to tragic, providing rich material for the small, almost exclusively female cast.

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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 $8,000.00 awarded in 2017. Also, a thank you to Theatre Bay Area for a grant of $2,500.00.

Actors Ensemble Facebook Group

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley - P.O. Box 663 - Berkeley - California - 94701 ¦ Our Answering Service: (510) 649-5999 ¦