Welcome to the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley website!

A Particle of Dread

Opening October 18th, 2019
by Sam Shepard
Directed by Robert Estes

A Co-production with Anton’s Well Theatre Company. Performed at  Old Finnish Hall, 1810 10th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710. Auditions TBA early August.

In A Particle of Dread, Sam Shepard takes one of the most famous plays in history—Oedipus Rex—and transforms it into a modern American classic. In this telling, Oedipus, King of Thebes, prophesized to kill his father and marry his mother, alternates between his classical identity and that of contemporary “Otto.” His wife (and true mother), Jocasta, is also called Jocelyn, and his antagonist (and true father) is split into three characters, Laius, Larry, and Langos. Two present-day policemen from the Southwest stand in for the Greek chorus as they investigate the murder case. Dazzlingly inventive, ringing with the timelessness of myth, A Particle of Dread is an unforgettable work that grapples with questions of storytelling and destiny—the narratives that we pass down, and how they shape our lives. It is a play that lingers in the mind long after we finish the last scene.

“Compelling. . . . Filter[s] the Greek myth through the unsettling, maverick mind of Shepard’s open-road Southwest.” —Newsday

“Pure Shepard. . . . A noir thriller with touches of Grand Guignol gore and a sprinkling of surreal humor.” —The New York Post  

“Steeped in blood and horror and passion. . . . There are poetic passages that can chill and excite.” —The Huffington Post

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 ¦