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By Walter Halsey Davis

Directed by Michael R. Cohen

Fridays & Saturday, January 9th - 31st, 2015 at 8pm

Sunday Matinees January 18th & 25th at 2pm

Panhandle by Emmy Award winning playwright and screenwriter Walter Halsey Davis, a play with music directed by Michael R. Cohen. Photos

Filled with intense drama as well as wry humor, Panhandle follows a cotton farming community desperately trying to hold onto their way of life amidst the twin calamities of the Great Depression and the Dust Bow. Whereas Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath concentrated on the travails of those who pulled up stakes and migrated West, Panhandle focuses on the trials and tribulations of those who tried to keep their home and their family together in the only place they'd ever known as home.

Written by Emmy-award-winning screenwriter and playwright Walter Halsey Davis. Music by Marc Ream and Jeremy Sullivan. Directed by Michael Cohen. Musical coordination by Emmy Pierce. Accompaniment by Alice Montgomery. Costumes by Paula Dodd Aiello. Set design by Lisa Sullivan. Light design by Michael Sweeney. Stage Management by Owen Parry. Technical direction by Robert Gudmundsson.

Presented by Actors Ensemble of Berkeley Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m., January 9th - 31st, 2015. Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. on January 18th and 25th.

Erika Bakse, Ben Grubb, Lee Vogt, Ann Fairlie, Bruce Kaplan, Patrick Glenn, Laura Espino, Jean Barnhart, Walter Davis, David Weiner, Joseph O'Loughlin, David Manspeaker, Patricia Long Davis, Paloma George, Peter Weiss.


Walter Davis attended the University of California Santa Barbara where he took a Bachelor and Masters Degree in English literature, and went on to UCLA where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theater Arts.

Davis' first play, THE TAPIOCA MISANTHROPA (a verse drama cum cosmic vaudeville), was produced for ABC television in Santa Barbara and later broadcast in Los Angeles on the PBS station KCET. "TAPIOCA" won the Lucille Ball Comedy Writing Award and was published by Painted Cave Books in Santa Barbara.

Davis' second play, PANHANDLE, a chronicle of a Texas family's struggle through the Great Depression, was first produced at U.C. Santa Barbara, then the Oxford Playhouse in Los Angeles, the Scott Theater in Fort Worth, North Texas State University, Texas Tech University, and in New York at the Walden Theater. PANHANDLE won the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award, the Texas Bicentennial Playwriting Award, and the American College Theater Festival Playwriting Award (Region V). On the basis of PANHANDLE, Davis was selected to be a playwright in residence for one year at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

He has won an Emmy, a Writers Guild of America Award and two Nominations, an Edgar Allan Poe Award, two Christopher Awards, the Goldwyn Writing Award, the Red Cross Prize at the Monaco International Television Festival, The Peabody Award, The Humanitas Prize,and a Golden Globe nomination

Panhandle Extended Preview from Mercedes Cohen on Vimeo.

Panhandle Opening Nigh Comments from Mercedes Cohen on Vimeo.

Panhandle Rehearsals from Mercedes Cohen on Vimeo.

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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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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