Cast & Creative Team Announced for HERE THERE ARE BLUEBERRIES World Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse

The play runs July 26 – August 21.

By: Jun. 27, 2022
Cast & Creative Team Announced for HERE THERE ARE BLUEBERRIES World Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse

La Jolla Playhouse has announced the cast and creative team for its world-premiere production of Here There Are Blueberries, by Tony Award nominee Moisés Kaufman (Playhouse's 33 Variations) and Amanda Gronich, conceived and directed by Moisés Kaufman. Co-produced with Tectonic Theater Project, the play runs July 26 - August 21 (press opening: July 31).

The cast features Scott Barrow, Charles Browning, Rosina Reynolds, Jeanne Sakata, Elizabeth Stahlmann, Charlie Thurston, Grant James Varjas and Frances Uku, along with UC San Diego MFA students: Abby Huffstetler, Noah Keyishian, Sabrina Liu.

The creative team includes: Derek McLane, Scenic Designer; Dede Ayite, Costume Designer; David Lander, Lighting Designer; UC San Diego Theatre & Dance Faculty Member Bobby McElver, Sound Designer; David Bengali, Projection Designer; Amy Marie Seidel, Dramaturg and Associate Director; Ann James, Intimacy and Sensitivity Specialist; tbd casting co.; Stephanie Yankwitt, CSA and Jacole Kitchen, Casting; UC San Diego Theatre & Dance Faculty Member Lora K. Powell, Stage Manager.

An album of never before seen World War II-era photographs arrives at the desk of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum archivist Rebecca Erbelding. As Rebecca and her team of historians begin to unravel the shocking story behind the images, the album soon makes headlines around the world. In Germany, a businessman sees the album online and recognizes his own grandfather in the photos. He begins a journey of discovery that will take him into the lives of other Nazi descendants - in a reckoning of his family's past and his country's history. Here There Are Blueberries tells the story of these photographs, and what they reveal about the Holocaust and our own humanity.

"We are honored to welcome back Moisés, Amanda and Tectonic Theater Project for this searing new devised work that centers on a recently-discovered photo album from Auschwitz and the shocking aspects of the human psyche it exposes," said Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse.

In partnership with Tectonic Theater Project and the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE), the Playhouse will present a series of free audience talkbacks on the themes and issues in Here There Are Blueberries: August 2: Doctors at Auschwitz: Joseph Mengele and the Role of Medicine in Nazi Germany; August 3: The Next Generation: How do we deal with the sins of our fathers, both literally and metaphorically?; August 16: Ethics in Nazi Germany: Himmler's Posen Speech; August 17: There were Blueberries: the Transformation of Norms and Complicity as the New Normal; August 18: Nazi Crimes and the Complicity of Business Leaders and Professionals.


Moisés Kaufman's Broadway credits include Paradise Square, the recent revival of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song, Rajiv Joseph's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, as well as the Playhouse-developed productions of 33 Variations (writer/director; Tony Award nomination for Best Play) and Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (Obie Award, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Award nominations). West End: Gross Indecency (writer/director, Gielgud Theatre); I Am My Own Wife (Duke of York Theater); This Is How It Goes by Neil LaBute (Donmar Warehouse). Off-Broadway/Regional: The Common Pursuit by Simon Gray (Roundabout Theatre); One Arm by Tennessee Williams (Tectonic Theater Project/The New Group); The Laramie Project (writer/director; Theater in the Square, Drama Desk nomination); The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (writer/director; Alice Tully Hall); Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (writer/director; Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play, Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play and the Joe A. Callaway Award for Direction); Macbeth with Liev Schreiber (Delacorte Theater); Master Class with Rita Moreno (Berkeley Repertory Theater). Opera: El Gato Con Botas (New Victory Theater). Film/TV: The Laramie Project (HBO, two Emmy nominations for writing and directing, Opening Night Selection at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, National Board of Review Award, the Humanitas Prize, Special Mention the Berlin Film Festival); The L Word. Mr. Kaufman is the Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project and a Guggenheim Fellow in Playwriting.

Amanda Gronich has devoted her career to bringing real-life stories to the stage and screen. An Emmy-nominated non-fiction scriptwriter, Amanda created dozens of hours of top-rated programming for diverse broadcast networks. Over a ten-year career in television, she became the Supervising Senior Writer at Hoff Productions and worked as a series writer at National Geographic Television. Prior to this, Amanda was a charter member of Tectonic Theater Project, where she directed the company's Toronto production of Moisés Kaufman's Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and was one of the group of artists who traveled to Wyoming and co-created The Laramie Project, later made into an HBO film. Currently, Amanda works as a playwright and a script development consultant in theatre and documentary television. She also teaches interview-based storytelling as a Master Instructor at the Moment Work Institute, using techniques she developed as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Graduate Program in Educational Theatre, City College New York. She is at work on a book about her original play-devising methods, to be released by SIU Press.

Based in New York City and guided by founder and artistic director Moisés Kaufman, Tectonic Theatre Project develops new plays using the company's trademarked theater-making method, Moment Work, and through a rigorous process of research and collaboration in a laboratory environment. Since its founding in 1991, the company has created and staged over 20 plays and musicals, including Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Laramie Project, Doug Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife and the Tony Award-winning 33 Variations.

La Jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what's new and next in the American theatre, from Tony Award-winning productions, to imaginative programs for young audiences, to interactive experiences outside our theatre walls. Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse is currently led by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse, and Managing Director Debby Buchholz. The Playhouse is internationally renowned for the development of new works, including mounting 108 world premieres, commissioning 60 new works, and sending 33 productions to Broadway - among them the hit musical Come From Away - garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards, as well as the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.