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2018 Winter Staged Reading Series

In conjunction with our main stage production of An Enemy of the People and in collaboration with TheatreFirst's T1 Presents Performance Series Actors Ensemble is proud to organize a staged reading series.

It features important, yet rarely produced, works by Henrik Ibsen, and in addition a production of a play by Ibsen's contemporary, the founder of modern Russian theatre and the predecessor of Chekhov, Alexander Ostrovsky.  All performances begin at 8 p.m. and are Pay-What-You-Can.

The Lady from the Sea
by Henrik Ibsen
directed by Susannah Wood
Monday, January 8th, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

A Protegee of the Mistress
by Alexander Ostrovsky
directed by Jeffrey Trescott
Monday, January 15th, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

John Gabriel Borkman
by Henrik Ibsen
directed by Aaron Murphy
Monday, January 22nd, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Old Finnish Hall Auditorium, 1819 10th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

by Henrik Ibsen
directed by Crystal Brown
Monday, January 29th, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Old Finnish Hall Auditorium, 1819 10th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

The Lady from the Sea is a symbolic play from Ibsen's late period, focusing on issues of romantic longing and its conflict with responsibility.  The main character, Ellida Wangel, was at one time deeply in love with a Sailor, but has since then married Edvard though their son died as an infant.  The Sailor comes back to claim Ellida and she must choose.

A Protegee of the Mistress is a play from the middle period of Alexander Ostrovsky, the playwright most responsible for creating Russian theatrical tradition, and Checkhov's direct antecedent, though they were fated never to meet.  The play concerns a rich noblewoman in the Russian countryside who is in the habit of choosing and promoting favorites, in this case with disastrous consequences for the young girl for which the noblewoman has (in all virtue within her mind) conceived a perfect match.

John Gabriel Borkman is the penultimate play written by Ibsen, and melds both realistic and symbolic themes in its exploration of the title character, who has spent the last eight years in seclusion after having been found speculating with depositors' money during his tenure as bank manager.  He fights with his wife and her twin sister over the future of his son, and at the same time finally confronts his fate.

Rosmersholm is judged as one of Ibsen's greatest works, and yet it is rarely performed.  The protaganist, a rich landowner, attempts to support the modern, liberal development of the local community, but is besieged by his brother Kroll, who accuses him of being a traitor to his class, and at the same time he is tortured by the loss of his wife to suicide and his simultaneous attraction to Rebecca, a woman who has seemingly rejected all moral conventions.

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