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Staged Reading: Jizo

By Jane Goldsmith
Directed by Gary Green
One night only, Monday
October 21st, 2019, 8 p.m.
Old Finnish Hall (Pay What You Can)

Jizo:

Fall 2019 Staged Readings GraphicsJizo by Jane Goldsmith interweaves realism and surrealism in the tragicomic story of Jeff and Sarah, a married couple facing Jeff’s terminal illness. Although Sarah has made a suicide pact with Jeff, she gradually finds a reason for living. Jeff’s relationships with his landlord, his neighbor, and his estranged daughter are initially strained at best, but their unexpected acts of kindness—as well as the tough love of an otherworldly Death/Trickster figure—lead Jeff toward peace.  Jizo, in Japanese tradition, is the well-loved form of the Bodhisattva, a being in Buddhist mythology, who compassionately refrains from entering nirvana in order to save others and guide and protect them as they pass into and out of earthly life.

Jane Goldsmith is a Bay Area playwright, screen writer, and published novelist. Her plays were staged at Cal State Summer Arts Festival and have received semi-staged readings at various venues.

In addition to directing multi-age casts, Gary Green has directed productions featuring very talented senior actors associated with Stagebridge and Rossmoor.  He created an acting class for intermediate-level English language learners, which he teaches at University Village in Albany.  Gary is delighted and grateful to work with Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, Jizo playwright Jane Goldsmith, and a wonderfully gifted cast.

CAST BIOS:
GEOFFREY COLTON (Jeff)
Most recently seen in Livermore as Archdeacon Frollo in Hunchback of Notre Dame and in Hayward as Van Helsing in Dracula, for over 50 years Geoffrey has performed Shakespeare, musicals, Gilbert & Sullivan, revues and plays – including Relatively Speaking with AEB in 2014. Also a composer, he has written incidental music for recent productions of Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet and The Importance of Being Earnest.

IRINA DIANOVA (Sarah, Imam)
Irina Dianova is thrilled to be taking part in the AE Fall 2019 Staged Reading Series. She has previously performed with companies including Theatre Lunatico, Ninjaz of Drama, Theater of Others, and Dreams on the Rocks. Irina can next be seen as Mrs. Dilber in Coastal Rep's production of A Christmas Carol, Dec. 6-22 (Half Moon Bay).

EMILY KEYISHIAN (Callie, Buddhist Monk)
Emily Keyishian is a local actor and artist. She has performed in theaters throughout the Bay Area and the East Coast, where she is originally from. You can see her in Town Hall Theatre’s production of The Cherry Orchard in February.

PATRICIA KILROE (Narrator, Sound Operator)
Patricia Kilroe teaches writing and dramatic literature at California College of the Arts. She is also active in dream studies, which on occasion involves enacting dreams theatrically.

JEN HALSING (Cynthia, Rabbi)
Jen Halsing has appeared in the following North Carolina Theatre productions: Ragtime, A Chorus Line, Beauty and the Beast and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

SIMON PATTON (Caleb, Priest)
This is Simon’s first appearance for Actors Ensemble, despite having done theatre in the Bay Area for two decades. When not on stage he spends his time helping colleagues search for some of the missing 90% of the Universe.

BAKI TEZCAN (Death/Trickster)
Baki Tezcan is thrilled to be part of another staged reading with the Actors Ensemble after his appearances in What in the World? and Middletown in January.

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

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