Lisa Kron and Leigh Silverman Reunite In THE WAKE At Berkeley Rep 5/19

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Lisa Kron and Leigh Silverman Reunite In THE WAKE At Berkeley Rep 5/19

This spring, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Center Theatre Group present In the Wake, a powerful world premiere from the creators of Broadway's Well. Obie Award-winners Lisa Kron and Leigh Silverman reunite for a searing show which questions whether we as Americans appreciate our freedom. This show begins previews in Berkeley Rep's state-of-the-art Roda Theatre on May 14, opens May 19, and closes June 27, 2010. For the local run, Jack and Betty Schafer and the Strauch Kulhanjian Family serve as executive producers, and the co-sponsor is Wealth Management at the Mechanics Bank. The season sponsors for Berkeley Rep's 41st year of fearless theatre are BART and Wells Fargo.

Get caught up In the Wake. After an idyllic Thanksgiving filled with food, football, family, and friends, a woman discovers how one passionate act can affect everything... her faith in love, her faith in country, her faith in herself. This tale of heartache and hope unfolds against the turmoil of American politics in the 21st century. Kron's plays "combine novelistic complexity with stage smart impudence," says the New York Times. "Wonderfully evocative and often seriously funny, she sets off emotional vibrations that just won't stop." In the Wake debuted on Sunday at CTG in Los Angeles and comes to the Bay Area in May.

"Elections. Breakups. Thanksgivings from hell. Lisa Kron's new play, The Wake, follows a woman on The Edge of a nervous breakdown: type-A journalist Ellen, whose certainty about politics and love gets blown out of the water," explains the Los Angeles Times. In the Wake "promises to generate plenty of conversation - no matter whom you voted for in the last election. Kron's comedy of deprecation and provocative social critique is part Sedaris, part Kushner, yet utterly her own."

Kron told the LA Times, "The play spans the Bush years, but it's not about that time period. It's about the bigger question of the American character: the assumption in this country that there's only so far we can fall. That we will always revert to prosperity and stability. Why do we think that? What is that belief based on? It's a kind of collective blind spot. The play is also about what happens when your personal ethics diverge with the people you're closest to. You thought you felt the same way, but actually there's something so different between you. And there's a lot of humor in the play."

Lisa Kron has been writing and performing theatre since moving from Michigan to New York in 1984. Her work has been performed on Broadway, off Broadway, and around the world. Her best-known plays include Well (which was nominated for a Tony Award, included in Best Plays of 2004, and listed among the year's 10 best by The Advocate, Associated Press, Backstage, Newark Star-Ledger, and New York Times) and 2.5 Minute Ride (which won an Obie Award, Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award, and GLAAD Media Award). Kron teaches playwriting at Yale School of Drama and helped begin an Obie- and Bessie Award-winning theatre group called the Five Lesbian Brothers. Her many honors include Guggenheim, Lark, Lortel, and Sundance fellowships and awards from Creative Capital and the Alpert Foundation. Her current projects include a new musical with composer Jeanine Tesori, as well as commissioned plays from Drew University and the Sloan Foundation with Playwrights Horizons.

Leigh Silverman directed Lisa Kron's Well on Broadway. Her other work includes the world premieres of Beebo Brinker Chronicles with Hourglass Group/37 Arts; Big Times with WET Productions; Blue Door at Playwrights Horizons and Seattle Repertory Theatre; Coraline with MCC Theater and True Love Productions; Creature with New Georges and Page 73 Productions; From Up Here at Manhattan Theatre Club (Drama Desk nomination); Hunting and Gathering at Primary Stages; Jump/Cut at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company/Theater J and Women's Project; Oedipus at Palm Springs at New York Theatre Workshop; The Retributionists at Playwrights Horizons; Well at The Public Theatre, the Huntington Theatre Company, and American Conservatory Theater; and Yellow Face at CTG and The Public. Silverman also directed Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at Second Stage Theatre in Manhattan and Wit at the Vaudeville Theatre in London's West End. She recently staged Of Equal Measure at CTG, and will soon bring In the Wake to The Public. Her other upcoming projects include David Henry Hwang's Chinglish and David Greenspan's Go Back to Where You Are.

In the Wake features a talented cast of accomplished actors:

Emily Donahoe (Amy) previously performed at Berkeley Rep with Kathleen Chalfant in Honour and Rita Moreno in The Glass Menagerie. On Broadway, she appeared in 33 Variations, and her off-Broadway credits include Apparition, The Attic, Deathbed, Great Expectations, The Hasty Heart, and Queens Boulevard (the musical). She co-founded and produces all projects for New York's Apparition Productions.
Carson Elrod (Danny) was last seen at Berkeley Rep in Oliver Twist. His Broadway credits include Noises Off and Reckless; off Broadway, he has appeared in Cavedweller at NYTW and in Based on a Totally True Story, Comic Potential, House, and Garden at MTC. His films include Kissing Jessica Stein, Wedding Crashers, and When a Stranger Calls, and his TV appearances include 30 Rock, Carnivale, The Medium, and Out of Practice.
Andrea Frankle (Kayla) has performed with Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Artists Repertory Theatre, Le Chat Noir, Norris Center for the Performing Arts, the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, Southern Repertory Theatre, and the Swine Palace in Baton Rouge. Her screen credits include the movies In the Electric Mist and The Reaping and TV shows like In Plain Sight, K-Ville, and The Riches.
Miriam F. Glover (Tessa) received her MFA from the University of Southern California, where she performed in numerous productions ranging from Shakespeare to Shaw to Brecht. She recently appeared in the West Coast premiere of Danai Gurira's Eclipsed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, directed by Robert O'Hara. Other credits include St. Joan and the Dancing Sickness at Open Fist Theatre's First Look Festival and a workshop of Neighbors at the Matrix Theatre Company.
Deirdre O'Connell (Judy) earned an Obie for Sustained Excellence of Performance for her work at theatres such as Classic Stage Company, Keen Company, LAByrinth Theater Company, Lincoln Center, MTC, New York Stage and Film, NYTW, The Play Company, The Public, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and Signature Theatre Company. Her most recent show was Circle Mirror Transformation at Playwrights Horizons. O'Connell has also appeared extensively on television and film, including Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Fearless, Pastime, and Synecdoche, New York.
Heidi Schreck (Ellen) is a New York-based actor and playwright who most recently appeared in Circle Mirror Transformation at Playwrights Horizons and Drum of the Waves of Horikawa at HERE Arts Center, for which she won an Obie Award. She has also performed or developed new plays with the Foundry Theatre, MTC, NYTW, and Thirteen Playwrights, Inc (13P). Schreck is an original member of Printer's Devil Theater in Seattle and an artistic associate with three Obie-winning companies: Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, and Two-Headed Calf. On film she can be seen in Hedda Gabler and Perfidia.
Danielle Skraastad (Laurie) appeared on Broadway in All My Sons and off Broadway in Anon at Atlantic Theater Company, Carrie at PS 122, Fugue at Cherry Lane Theatre, and The Pain and the Itch at Playwrights Horizons. She also co-created and performed in Big Times, directed by Leigh Silverman. On screen, she has been seen in 27 Dresses, The Business of Story, Fringe, Law & Order, and Mercy.

The production also showcases the work of four respected designers. David Korins (scenic design) designed Finn in the Underworld and Passing Strange for Berkeley Rep. His Broadway credits include Bridge & Tunnel, Little Miss Sunshine, and Passing Strange. He won an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence for his work on shows like Blackbird, Drunken City, Farragut North, Jack Goes Boating, Miss Witherspoon, Orange Flower Water, Pumpgirl, The Receptionist, Romantic Poetry, Stunning, Swimming in the Shallows, When the Rain Stops Falling, Why Torture is Wrong, and Yellow Face. Meg Neville (costume design) created costumes for Berkeley Rep's productions of Closer, Dinner with Friends, Eurydice, Galileo, Suddenly Last Summer, TRAGEDY: a tragedy, and Yellowjackets. She is an associate artist at California Shakespeare Theater, and her other Bay Area credits include work at A.C.T., the Joe Goode Performance Group, the Magic Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and San Francisco Opera Center. Her many national and regional credits include the off-Broadway production of Eurydice. Alexander V. Nichols (lighting and projection design) has designed, scenery, lights, and projections for dance and theatre companies across Amer ica, including 19 previous shows at Berkeley Rep: Civil Sex, Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West, Continental Divide, Culture Clash in AmeriCCa, Fêtes de la Nuit, The Guys, Honour, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Life of Galileo, Menocchio, Mother Courage, Ravenshead, Rhinoceros, Surface Transit, Taking Over, Tiny Kushner, Wishful Drinking, Yellowjackets, and Zorro in Hell. His work on Wishful Drinking was also seen on Broadway, and Taking Over is one of many off-Broadway credits. Cricket S. Myers (sound design) is a Los Angeles-based, freelance sound designer who collaborated on the off-Broadway production of Marvelous Wonderettes. She has worked with many noted institutions including Boston Court, Circle X, the Colony Theatre Company, CTG, Ebony Repertory Theatre, the Geffen Playhouse, the Hudson Theatre, the Laguna Playhouse, and the Pasadena Playhouse. The stage manager for this production is Elizabeth Atkinson.

Berkeley Rep's audience can enjoy 30 special events during the run:

Low-cost previews take place on Friday, May 14; Saturday, May 15; Sunday, May 16; and Tuesday, May 18.
Teen Night begins at 6:30 PM on Friday, May 14 and includes dinner, a behind-the-scenes discussion with a member of the artistic team, and a performance of In the Wake. Tickets are only $10 for high-school students. For details, call (510) 647-2972 or e-mail school@berkeleyrep.org.
Opening-night festivities are held on Wednesday, May 19, including a pre-show dinner for donors at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza and a post-show party for the audience catered by Bistro Liaison and Raymond Vineyards.
night/OUT on Thursday, May 20 welcomes the LGBT community. This post-show dance party features food from Bistro Liaison and complimentary beverages provided by Raymond Vineyards and Triple Rock Brewery.
Free 30-minute docent presentations about the show take place at 7:00 PM on the following Tuesday and Thursday evenings: May 18, May 20, May 25, May 27, June 1, June 3, June 8, June 10, June 15, June 17, June 22, and June 24.
Post-play discussions moderated by theatre professionals follow the 8:00 PM shows on Thursday, June 3; Tuesday, June 8; and Friday, June 18.
And, on select evenings, patrons can whet their palates for the play with free tastings from these culinary artisans one hour before curtain: Ale Industries (Sunday, May 23 and Saturday, June 16), Artesa Vineyards and Winery (Saturday, May 22; Friday, June 4; Friday, June 11; Saturday, June 12; and Friday, June 18), Kokomo Wines (Saturday, May 29), and paQui Tequila (Friday, May 21; Friday, May 28, Sunday, June 13; and Sunday, June 20).

Tickets for In the Wake start at only $27 to ensure that everyone can experience the best theatre in the Bay Area. Additional savings are available for groups, seniors, students, and anyone under 30 years of age - meaning discounted seats can be obtained for as little as $13.50.

So come to The Wake. The Roda Theatre is located at 2015 Addison Street, near bus lines, bike routes, and parking lots - and only half a block from BART. To purchase seats, or for more information, call (510) 647-2949 or toll-free at (888) 4-BRT-Tix - or simply click berkeleyrep.org.

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