A Room with a View - This Summer in John Hinkel Park - Opens July 1, 2023
This summer, Actors Ensemble of Berkeley will be bringing a new adaptation of E.M. Forster's beloved novel, A Room with a View, to the John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre on Saturdays & Sundays July 1st - July 16th plus a special show on Tuesday, July 4th. All shows at 4 p.m. except the Saturday, Sorry no show on July 8th. Free of Charge. Reservations encouraged but not necessary. It helps us to know how many hot-dogs to buy. (Reservations | Photos | Program)
The story of a young English woman who, while on a holiday in Italy, meets a rich ensemble of characters who will change her life and shape her emerging consciousness, A Room with a View was Forster's third novel to be published and his first great success.
Cast Bios and photos below!
Adapted by Bay Area playwright Stuart Eugene Bousel, who has long considered the book and the 1985 Merchant Ivory film of it to be one of his favorites, this production will be directed by local actor/director Andrew Calabrese.
Stage Management by Mary Tran. Costumes by Genevieve Purdue assisted by Adri Schurman and Paula Dodd Aiello. Sound design by Spencer Spencer. Properties by Susan Dunn. Stage Management by Mary Tran assisted by Alyssa Riddell. Set construction by Leif Pearson. Produced by Jerome Solberg.
John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre is at 41 Somerset Pl., Berkeley, CA 94707. Access is via Arlington Avenue, turn right on Southampton, then continue straight onto Somerset. Note that Google Maps will direct you to locations at the top of the park along San Diego Road - quite a hike down. There is very limited parking at the amphitheatre, due to the addition of a playground which swallowed up most of the existing parking. There is some parking along Arlington, Somerset, Southhampton, and San Diego Road - we encourage folks to ride bicycles or use ride services. The closest BART station is the North Berkeley BART. Unfortunately, the #7 AC Transit bus which stops right at the corner of Arlington and Southampton has been discontinued on weekends and holidays - the closest bus stop is at the intersection of Solano Avenue and the Alameda, about an 11 minute walk
The amphitheatre seats well over 200 people and consists of a series of stone steps. Low lawnchairs are acceptable, or bring pillows and/or blankets. The amphitheatre is wheelchair accessible with 5 spots for wheelchairs and 8 spots for wheelchair companions, all at ground level - please make a reservation so we can reserve these spots. In addition, for those with limited mobility we will reserve places in the first few rows. For all others, we encourage you to make a reservation (and make a donation!) so we have some idea of who is coming, but seats are on a first-come/first-served basis. There are two handicap parking spots close to the amphitheatre and some additional spots along Somerset which are reasonably accessible for wheelchairs - we encourage folks to be dropped off.
Meet the Cast!
Sophie Ruf (Lucy) (she/her) is an Oakland based architect. She is delighted for her Actors Ensemble debut. Her most cherished past roles have been Ophelia in Hamlet and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream. When not playing adult dress-up she is likely making jewelry or folding origami.
Tyler Scott Null (George) (he/his) is thrilled to be performing with Actors Ensemble. Outside of the production, Tyler is Exec Director at Tomorrow Youth Repertory, where he directs, produces, (and sometimes writes) plays with young performers. This is Tyler's first time back on the stage since pre-pandemic and he is incredibly excited!
Megan Briggs (Charlotte) (she/her) has performed and directed all over the Bay Area and is excited to be working on this fantastic show! She is co-host of "Cooking, Stage Left" an online and in-person cooking show which recently won Best of Fringe at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. www.cookingstageleft.com
Keith Jefferds (Mr. Emerson) (he/his) Keith is thrilled to be back for his third AE production—and to work with such a wonderful director, cast, and script! Favorite roles through the years: Shelley Levene (Glengarry Glen Ross), King Henry (Lion in Winter), Tartuffe (Tartuffe), Elwood P. Dowd (Harvey), and Boss Mangan (AE’s Heartbreak House).
Lisa Wang (Eleanor/Marion) (she/her) Lisa is thrilled to be returning to the beautiful John Hinkel Park, where she has wonderful memories performing with Actors Ensemble of Berkeley. Prior outdoor theatre productions include: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, The Marriage of Figaro, Pride and Prejudice, and Fortinbras. Lisa is a proud company member at BATS Improv and Berkeley Shakespeare Company. More at improv.org.
Khizer (Izzy) Iqbal (Freddy) (they/them) is a multidisciplinary artist interested in stage performance, circus and games. They recently have been working on visual art and games projects but are really excited to be part of this production of A Room with a View.
Francis Serpa (Cecil) (they/them)- is delighted to be working with Actors Ensemble again, having appeared in Picasso at the Lapin Agile and The Importance of Being Earnest. They went to Florence twelve years ago and long to return.
Stanley Spenger (Arthur/Mr. Floyd) (he/his) longtime Actors Ensemble associate, is the founder of Subterranean Shakespeare, and, during a 25 year period, acted in the Subterranean Cabaret with three of its resident theatre companies: Sub Shakes, Shotgun Players, and Impact Theatre. His most recent roles include King Lear, Falstaff, and Walt Whitman.
Joyce Jacobson (Teresa Alan/Cockney Maid) (she/hers) is delighted to be performing with Actors Ensemble. Over the years she has been seen as Heddy in How to Succeed with Hillbarn Theatre, Veda in Harvey with Pacifica Spindrift Players, and most recently as Ensemble in Living Large an original musical at Potrero Stage. Look for her on Instagram under rejoycerags where she sells her unique clothing and collectables.
Marsha van Broek, (Catharine Alan/Mrs. Vyse) (she/hers) is delighted to be working again with Actors Ensemble. She recently appeared at Ross Valley Players as Lady Lucas in Pride and Prejudice, The Musical. In addition to RVP, Marsha has worked with Los Altos Stage Company, Utopia Theatre Project, SPARC, San Leandro Players, Chanticleers Theatre, and Novato Theatre Company. She enjoys reading, hiking, birdwatching, and playing with her grandchildren. Many thanks to her family for supporting her interest in theatre. www.marshavanbroek.com
Actors Ensemble is the longest-running theatrical organization in Berkeley. An entirely volunteer-run organization, they have produced shows in venues throughout Berkeley consistently since 1957, with free productions in John Hinkel Park since 2013. A Room With A View marks their return to the beautiful John Hinkel Amphitheater after the pandemic and renovation work completed by the City of Berkeley in summer 2022. Actors Ensemble board member Jerome Solberg remarks "When Stuart Bousel presented his concept of A Room With a View to us, we immediately seized upon the project as an ideal vehicle to mark our return to the park. The work is accessible on many levels, with humor, passion, and a zest for life - we anticipate the audience as well as the actors will savor every moment."
This July, we hope you'll join us for this celebration of love, life, and the everlasting "Yes!".
P.O. Box 663
Berkeley, CA 94701
A 501(3)(c) organization