Aurora Theatre Company to Present A BRIGHT NEW BOISE, 11/8-12/8
Aurora Theatre Company continues its 22nd season with the Bay Area Premiere of Samuel D. Hunter's edgy and earnest A BRIGHT NEW BOISE. Aurora Artistic Director Tom Ross helms this comedy about faith, family, forgiveness, and second chances, featuring Robert Parsons, Patrick Russell, Gwen Loeb, Megan Trout, and Daniel Petzold. A BRIGHT NEW BOISE plays November 8 through December 8 at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley. For tickets ($32-60) and information the public can call (510) 843-4822 or visit auroratheatre.org.
In the break room of a Hobby Lobby craft store in Idaho, the seemingly innocuous Will, an ex-Evangelical cult member who has fled his rural hometown after a scandal involving his fundamentalist church, applies for a job. Will doesn't really want the job, but his estranged son works at the store and Will is a man on a mission - to bond with the boy before the impending Rapture occurs. Enlisting the aid of his new co-workers, a group of eccentric characters who are also struggling to find their way, Will tries to reconnect with his son before the end of the world. Called "funny, compassionate and disturbing all at once" by the LA Weekly, A BRIGHT NEW BOISE offers a quintessentially American slice of life look at the minimum-wage working class and the challenges of modern faith.
A BRIGHT NEW BOISE premiered off-Broadway in 2010 and is the recipient of the 2011 Obie Award for Playwriting and a 2011 Drama Desk nomination for Best Play. About his work for the stage, playwright Samuel D. Hunter said, "The baseline of a lot of my plays is the struggle for meaning and also the struggle for connection between characters...I've always been interested in plays that approach big, potentially controversial topics." About A BRIGHT NEW BOISE, Hunter stated, "There's also just something really interesting about the idea of a break room-it's like this awkward meeting place for a bunch of people who ostensibly have nothing in common other than their place of work. It's all about the tension between the two major themes in the play: banality and divinity."
Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross helms A BRIGHT NEW BOISE. Ross inaugurated Aurora Theatre Company with Barbara Oliver in 1992. He has directed 24 productions for the company, including last season's hit production of Neil LaBute's This Is How It Goes, Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance, The Soldier's Tale (co-directed with Muriel Maffre), Tennessee Williams' The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, the World Premiere of The First Grade, Gore Vidal's The Best Man, Mae West's SEX, and Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party. For Aurora Theatre Company, Ross has also directed acclaimed productions of Marius, Blue/Orange, Betrayal, Lobby Hero, which went on to be presented as a co-production between Aurora Theatre Company, Jonathan Reinis, Inc., and the Napa Valley Opera House, The Shape of Things, The Entertainer,The Weir, Death Defying Acts, Abigail's Party, The Mystery of Irma Vep (co-directed with Danny Scheie), and The Aspern Papers, among others. He also wrote and directed A Karen Carpenter Christmas in both San Francisco and Seattle. Prior to coming to the Bay Area, Ross worked for eight years at The Public Theater in New York as Executive Assistant to Joseph Papp and as co-Director of Play and Musical Development. While in New York, Ross also penned the book adaptation of the New York Drama Desk nominated musical Up Against It, based on Joe Orton's screenplay for The Beatles.