Welcome to the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley website!

Madame Gufay's Lovelutionaries

By Norah Foster

Directed by Alan Barkean

December 12th & 13th & 19th & 20th, 2014

A new play in a new series from Actors Ensemble featuring new works. Photos

Madame Gufay's Free Speech Lovelutionaries, produced by Actor’s Ensemble of Berkeley and directed by Alan Barkan, will be performed at 8 p.m. on Dec.12-13, 19-20th, 2014 at the Live Oak Theater 1301 Shattuck Ave, in Berkeley.

We have a great cast already in rehearsals: Simone Bloch, Sarang Cho Lee, Chris Habash, Scott Alexander Ayres, Edward Kimak, Tom Westlake, Alicia Barela, Vicki Zabarte, Patrick Glenn, Martha Luehrmann, Chris Cruz, CJ Gross, Cai Shaotian, Caoi Shaotian, and Andrea Granera. And a crew all excited to make magic happen: Carmen Yu, Juliet Pfafker, Harriet Hache.

Play Synopsis

Growing up in the French provinces, Madame Gufay was fascinated by news reports of the Free Speech Movement (the FSM) which fermented on the campus of U.C. Berkeley and resonated worldwide. Now, having returned to school late in life, she has arranged to finish her last semester studying at her own personal mecca, U.C. Berkeley. Madame Gufay is a force of nature, and her wacky, goofy efforts to experience Free Speech in the present day involve most campus life: the administration and academics, the classroom, the library, Sproul Plaza demonstrations and, of course graduation.

Madame Gufay overcomes language challenges, academic arrogance, uncontrollable urges, public drunkenness, lewd and lascivious behavior, to the fulfillment of innocent wacky, goofy dreams. To be sure, Madame Gufay and her activist Lovelutionaries do care passionately about social justice and they advocate for world peace, justice, not to mention lowering tuition for public universities! Madame Gufay's character is based loosely on the famous director Jacques Tati's Mr. Hulot who also had hilarious adventures.

About The Author

Norah Foster, the enticing, engaging and eager retired manager of graduate services at the UC Berkeley Library and new late blooming playwright, wrote Madame Gufay over a period of years, incorporating many events that she personally experienced, as well as plot twists that emanated directly from her vivid imagination. She began working as a volunteer at Actors Ensemble, and as an experiment on our part we produced her play originally as a workshop/staged reading. It showed enough promise (and Norah enough enthusiasm in helping to get to the next step) that we have taken it upon ourselves to produce it as a full play, performed over two weekends in December.


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 ¦

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Federal Tax ID #946139640, since 04-1967