Welcome to the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley website!

Our Fall Production One-Acts by Nottage, Inge and Hofmann

Poof! by Lynn Nottage
The Killing by William Inge
Our Man in Madras by Gert Hofmann, translated by Michael Hofmann
Directed by Tracy Baxter
Hosted by Ginorma Desmond

Three performances only
Friday/Saturday November 18th/19th 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 20th, 2 p.m.

La Val's Subterranean Theatre
1834 Euclid Avenue, Berkeley, 94710
(below La Val's Pizza)

Free! Donations Accepted - Tickets here: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/actorsensemble/783289

Three provacative, engaging, and mysterious short plays, hosted by the enigmatic and wildly entertaining Ginorma Desmond. Three Performances Only, November 18 and 19 at 8 p.m., November 20 at 2 p.m, 2022.  All performances at La Val's Subterranean Theater, the funky home of edgy East Bay Theater for 30 years, located in the basement of La Val's Pizza Parlor, 1834 Euclid Ave., Berkeley, 94709.  The venue is not wheelchair accessible.  <Click here for show program PDF>

Tickets are free, but donations accepted.  All audience must present proof of vaccination and wear a mask during the performance.

Poof! by Lynn Nottage

Samuel has raised his voice at--and hand to--Loureen many times in the past. But this time, before her shocked eyes, he literally explodes mid-yell—poof!—his ashes falling into a pile on the floor, eyeglasses on top like a cherry. Loureen and her neighbor and good friend, Florence, debate what the hell to do next. From two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage, written when she was only 25, Poof!  balances themes of domestic abuse and friendship in a way that’s funny and touching. With Shelley Doty as Loureen and Brandace Moore as Florence.

Shelley Doty (Loureen) made her dramatic debut in the role of Cynthia in Actors Ensemble's 2021 Zoom production of SWEAT.  (Not counting that play her college roommates wrote and directed).  In the last several years, Shelley’s career as itinerate rock guitarist has steadily expanded and trickled into the realm of theater.  Previous appearances include: “Girlfriend” (by Todd Almond, 2010 Berkeley. Rep); “The Idea of Order”, (by Todd Almond & Lisa Petersen, Workshop Reading 2017, Groundfloor); and “We 3” (by Shelley Doty, Groundfloor, 2018). More info at http://www.skiptheneedle.com.




 Brandace Moore (Florence) is thrilled to be a part of Three for Thought and Actors Ensemble. She recently portrayed Sam in an adapted performance of This is Our Youth.Brandace studied the Meisner Technique, a 2-year intensive acting program, at Empowerhouse Acting Studio in Berkeley, California. When she is not onstage, Brandace loves exploring national parks with her family and friends, outdoor photography, hiking, and studying the filmmaking process.






The Killing by William Inge

Mac picks up Huey, a casual hustler,  at a bar. But when they arrive at his home, Mac stuns Huey by revealing that he doesn’t want sex. He wants a very different kind of intimacy: assistance with his suicide. This play explores themes of loneliness, despair, and religious guilt. Warning: a gun does what guns do. With Braeden Harris as Huey and Casey Robert Spiegel as Mac.

Braeden Harris (Huey) is very excited to be working with Actors Ensemble on this one act showcase! Braeden is most known for his work in Sacramento in such shows as Gumbo(2022), Lost Girl(2022), The Christmas Carol Rag(2021) and more. He received his Associates Degree in Theatre Arts from American River College and is a KCACTF Irene Ryan Nominee. Braeden would like to thank his high school theatre teacher Jennifer Ray for inspiring him to pursue acting.



 Casey Robert Spiegel (Mac) is so excited to return to the Bay Area theatre community. He received his BA in Drama from San Francisco State in 2017. Previous credits include WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD (Hollywood Fringe), BORN YESTERDAY (SF Playhouse), SPEED OF LIGHT (Quantum Dragon), ADVENTURES IN TECH (PianoFight), and many more that he would prefer not to think about.   



Our Man in Madras by Gert Hofmann, translated by Michael Hofmann

Madras has suffered a catastrophic environmental event, and Bob, a contractor assigned to the area by a multinational corporation, is hiding in a cellar, hands burning, left ear gone, wife dead. Know who really doesn’t GAF? Mr. Sieg, who, in an increasingly unhinged phone call, threatens to fire Bob if he doesn’t work on his performance. The story exposes mind-bending corporate callousness in the face of disaster. With Jerome Solberg as Mr. Sieg and Polina Litvak as Jane.

Jerome Solberg (Mr. Sieg) has worked with Actors Ensemble since 2005, and has been on their board since 2007. Mostly that has been behind the scenes, and well, as they say, now for something different. 





Polina Litvak (Jane) is excited to be working with Actors Ensemble again after several years away from the stage. She has worked onstage and backstage with various theatre companies across the Bay, including Theatre Rhinoceros, Ninjaz of Drama, San Leandro Players, and the Playwrights Center of SF. Some of her favorite past roles include Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Sir Humphrey in Knight of the Burning Pestle



Our Host For The Evening

Ginorma Desmond, Host: Ginorma Desmond is a San Francisco based drag performer, appearing in plays, revues, traditional drag cabaret and stand up comedy.







Tracy Baxter, Director: In recent years Tracy Baxter’s lifelong interest in all things theater has taken a more active turn. She’s completed acting classes at ACT, Berkeley Rep, and Cal Shakes, participated in directing and lighting design workshops at Oakland Theater Project, and performed with small but mighty community theater companies such as Theater of Others, Ninjaz of Drama, and the venerable Actors of Ensemble of Berkeley, where she is also a board member, and where she also just made her directorial debut, helming a gripping online production of Lynn Nottage’s SWEAT. Her play, KUDZU 2012, was a semifinalist selection in the Playwrights Foundation’s 2018 Bay Area Playwrights Festival and a finalist selection in the Screencraft 2020 Stage Play Writing Competition. Staged readings of KUDZU 2012 were presented in 2022 by the San Francisco Women’s Theater Festival and San Francisco’s 3Girls Theatre, where she is now a Brady Fellow, an incubator program for writers over 40.

Free! Donations Accepted - Tickets here: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/actorsensemble/783289

Actors Ensemble is the longest-running theatre organization in Berkeley, founded in 1957. We aim to produce quality theatre emphasizing the ensemble, with a community flavor.

Actors Ensemble
P.O. Box 663
Berkeley, CA 94701
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
A 501(3)(c) organization

Photo above "Scared Girl", by Victor Bezrukov courtesy of Wiki Commons and licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Actors Ensemble Facebook Group

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 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