Artwork for LUV

With people from all over the Bay Area clamoring for something different, something new, Actors Ensemble of Berkeley answers the call with their latest production, Murray Schisgal's "Luv." At first blush (and perhaps second and third), things may seem the usual, but a closer inspection rewards the attentive, as Actors Ensemble has received special permission from Mr. Schisgal (and let's not forget he co-wrote the smash movie "Tootsie") to stage three versions of "Luv," with each show featuring a unique love triangle - one lesbian, one gay, and one straight. Three times the fun - and three times the angst!

"Luv" opens on a bridge, as a hustler/stock broker meets an old school friend who'd like to jump off and end it all. They soon learn they are both searching for love, as the married stockbroker has a hottie on the side, and it'd be mighty convenient if he could foist his sharp-witted spouse on his long-suffering friend. Opening Thursday, April 23rd at our Live Oak Theatre, "Luv" will play Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through May 23rd, rotating the three casts every week. All shows 8pm. General admission $12, Seniors/Students(w/I.D.) $10. Order tickets online at or reservations at (510) 649-5999.

Alan Barkan directs "Luv" and the unique idea of staging the play with three different casts was his (mad?) idea. Seeing how each cast plays within the forms of Mr. Schisgal's play will be an interesting experiment and Mr. Barkan is curious to find out how far the different casts will stretch those forms. He returns to Actors Ensemble after his very well-received production of "Barefoot in the Park" graced the stage in 2008. Mr. Barkan worked as an artist-in-residence at the famed Goddard Repertory Theatre at Goddard College in Vermont as well as a Theatre Teaching Fellow within the department.

Murray Schisgal (born on November 25, 1926) won the Drama Desk Award for his 1963 off-Broadway twin-bill "The Typists" and "The Tiger." In 1965, he made his debut on Broadway with "Luv" for which he earned Tony Award nominations for Best Play and Best Author of a Play. Mike Nichols directed the original cast which consisted of Alan Arkin, Eli Wallach, and Anne Jackson and opened at the Booth Theatre. Mr. Schisgal went on to write, among others, "Jimmy Shine," "An American Millionaire," "Twice Around the Park," and "All Over Town," which earned him a Drama Desk nomination.

When: April 23rd - May 23rd, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 8pm.

What: Play - "Luv"

Who: Actors Ensemble of Berkeley

Where: Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Avenue (@ Berryman) in Berkeley

Public Info: (510) 649-5999

Admission: All shows - $12 General Admission; $10 for Seniors and Students (with I.D.). To order tickets online, go to To reserve tickets, call (510) 649-5999.

Contact: Eric Carlson (510) 525-7511;
Alan Barkan (510) 543-8530;

View press photos.

View cast and crew listing.