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World Premiere of Ari'el Stachel's OUT OF CHARACTER & More Announced for Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2022-2023 Season

The season will also feature four West Coast premieres and more!

World Premiere of Ari'el Stachel's OUT OF CHARACTER & More Announced for Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2022-2023 Season

Today Berkeley Repertory Theatre has announces a new selection of plays for the upcoming 2022/23 season. The six-play subscription series is comprised of an array of highly accomplished artists including Lynn Nottage, Emma Rice, Ari'el Stachel, Jack Thorne, Sanaz Toossi, Lauren Yee, and the return of Berkeley Rep's former Artistic Director Tony Taccone with the world premiere of Out of Character.

The season kicks off in November with the west coast premiere of Emma Rice's critically acclaimed Wuthering Heights, a reimagined version of Emily Brontë's gothic masterpiece with live music, dance, passion, hope, and a dash of impish irreverence, creating an intoxicating revenge tragedy for today. "Finally, we are free again," said Rice. "The lock is springing open and we are flying up into the cool crisp air. And where do I want to land after this heady and long awaited flight? I want to land in Berkeley! I want to visit the theatre that has supported, celebrated, shared, and inspired me for so many years. I want to be a global citizen again and I want to hold on to the friendships that have helped shape who I am as an artist. I simply cannot wait to bring my new company, Wise Children, and our astonishing production of Wuthering Heights to Berkeley Rep - and the United States. It is time! Time to dance again, time to run across the Moor again, and time to dream again. We're on our way. In case you have forgotten me, I will be the wild woman with the wind in her hair, standing on your stage singing 'we're home!'"

The new year, 2023, begins with the return of Lynn Nottage to Berkeley - following the highly successful production of her Pulitzer Prize winning Ruined - with her new Tony-nominated play, Clyde's. Set in a truckstop sandwich shop run by a diabolical boss, Clyde's is a heartfelt comedy of transcendence as the staff of formerly incarcerated individuals rise above their past mistakes and reconnect with the world.

Originally scheduled for the 2021/22 season, the long-delayed and much-anticipated, Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee will take to the Roda stage beginning February 2023. This darkly funny, electric new play with live music tells the story of a Khmer Rouge survivor returning to Cambodia for the first time in 30 years, as his daughter prepares to prosecute one of Cambodia's most infamous war criminals. Yee said, "I got my start post-college at Berkeley Rep as a development intern. And now I'm thrilled to be back in the Bay Area I grew up in, with a show that is near and dear to my heart. A play that showcases the incredible talents of six magical performers and shines a light on Cambodia's indelible rock scene and contemporary LA band Dengue Fever."

Sanaz Toossi's English, winner of the 2022 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play and one of the most acclaimed plays of this spring, will land in the Peet's Theatre in April 2023. Language and identity intertwine in this incisive, funny, and moving seriocomedy set in a classroom in Iran.

In the spring of 2023, the creative team behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, and Steven Hoggett will bring us a supernatural thriller, Let the Right One In. With this show that's part coming-of-age romance, part fairytale, part vampire myth, these theatrical geniuses have crafted an event of exquisite beauty and heart-pounding terror.

Rounding out the 2022/23 season will be the world premiere of Tony Award winner Ari'el Stachel's (The Band's Visit) play Out of Character directed by Tony Taccone. Stachel's new solo show explores the intersections of race, mental health, and survival in a way that's raw, authentic, and entertaining. "As a Berkeley native, I am thrilled to begin a new chapter of my artistic life at Berkeley Rep, where I was first introduced to the power of storytelling," said Stachel. "I am indebted to Tony Taccone, whose mentorship helped me develop my voice as a writer, and to everyone at Berkeley Rep for bringing this work to life. I can't wait to connect with audiences next year as I share this this deeply personal story about identity, culture, and mental health."

"It has been a joy to welcome audiences back to Berkeley Rep over the last six months, to see people coming together to experience the transformative pleasure of live performance," said Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer. "And now as we look ahead to the coming season, I am delighted to be joined by these artists who have crafted stories of thrilling theatricality. They are tender, they are terrifying, they are heartfelt and funny. They allow us to explore the range of the human condition, taking us from haunted forests to roadside diners, from Tehran schoolrooms to windswept moors. Each one of these writers and directors have given me nights in the theatre I will never forget, and I can't wait to share these experiences with the Bay Area community."

Current Berkeley Rep Full Season subscribers have saved more than 70% compared to single ticket buyers, have priority access before the general public, and receive unlimited free exchanges. The 2022/23 season ticket packages will include the same benefits and start as low as $79 for our Passport, $269 for our Flex, and $180 for our Full Season subscription. For more package details, visit berkeleyrep.org.

For the 2022/23 season, Berkeley Rep recognizes the generous support of BART and Peet's Coffee, Berkeley Rep's official season sponsors. Berkeley Rep is also pleased to recognize the following contributors for their generous season support: Stephen and Susan Chamberlin, Bruce Golden and Michelle Mercer, Frances Hellman and Warren Breslau, Wayne Jordan and Quinn Delaney, Gisele and Kenneth F. Miller, Jack and Betty Schafer, and The Strauch Kulhanjian Family.

ABOUT BERKELEY REP

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its ambition, relevance, and excellence, as well as its adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. Over 5.5 million people have enjoyed nearly 500 shows at Berkeley Rep, which have gone on to win six Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, one Pulitzer Prize, and many other honors. Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. To formalize, enhance, and expand the processes by which Berkeley Rep makes theatre, The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep's Center for the Creation and Development of New Work was launched in 2012. The Berkeley Rep School of Theatre engages and educates some 20,000 people a year and helps build the audiences of tomorrow with its nationally recognized teen programs. Berkeley Rep's bustling facilities - which also include the 400-seat Peet's Theatre, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, and a spacious campus in West Berkeley - are helping revitalize a renowned city. Learn more at berkeleyrep.org

BERKELEY REP'S 2022-2023 SUBSCRIPTION SEASON

Wise Children's

Wuthering Heights

Based on the novel by Emily Brontë

Adapted and directed by Emma Rice

A National Theatre, Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic, and York Theatre Royal co-production

West Coast premiere

Roda Theatre

Starts Nov 2022

Acclaimed director Emma Rice (The Wild Bride, Tristan & Yseult, Romantics Anonymous) and her new company Wise Children return to Berkeley Rep with her latest wildly imaginative theatrical experience. Rescued from the Liverpool docks as a child, Heathcliff is adopted by the Earnshaws and taken to live at Wuthering Heights. He finds a kindred spirit in Catherine Earnshaw and a fierce love ignites. When forced apart, a brutal chain of events is unleashed. Emma Rice reimagines Emily Brontë's gothic masterpiece with live music, dance, passion, hope, and a dash of impish irreverence, creating an intoxicating revenge tragedy for today.

Clyde's

By Lynn Nottage

Directed by Taylor Reynolds

A co-production with Huntington Theatre Company

West Coast premiere

Peet's Theatre

Starts Jan 2023

Nominated for the 2022 Tony Award for Best Play! Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage returns to Berkeley Rep for the first time since her extraordinary play Ruined. In this feel-good comic drama, the formerly incarcerated kitchen staff at a truck-stop sandwich shop attempt to rebuild their lives. While their tough-as-nails boss - who slings sizzling insults fast and processed food even faster - tries to thwart their dreams, each staff member is encouraged by the mysterious chef to indulge in imagining, then creating, their perfect sandwich. A buoyant play full of witty dialogue, Clyde's is a transcendent story about people rising above their past mistakes and reconnecting with the world.

Cambodian Rock Band

Written by Lauren Yee

Featuring songs by Dengue Fever

Directed by Chay Yew

A Signature Theatre Production

In association with Alley Theatre

Roda Theatre

Starts Feb 2023

Guitars tuned. Mic checked. Get ready to rock! This darkly funny, electric new play with music tells the story of a Khmer Rouge survivor returning to Cambodia for the first time in 30 years, as his daughter prepares to prosecute one of Cambodia's most infamous war criminals. Backed by a live band playing contemporary Dengue Fever hits and classic Cambodian oldies, this thrilling story toggles back and forth in time as father and daughter face the music of the past. Directed by Chay Yew, this intimate rock epic about family secrets is set against a dark chapter of Cambodian history.

Cambodian Rock Band was developed in The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep's Center for the Creation and Development of New Work.

English

By Sanaz Toossi

West Coast premiere

Peet's Theatre

Starts Apr 2023

Award-winning playwright Sanaz Toossi makes her Berkeley Rep debut with English, winner of the 2022 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. Language and identity intertwine in this incisive, funny, and moving seriocomedy set in a classroom in Iran, where four adult students are preparing for the Test of English as a Foreign Language. But as they pursue fluency in a language that for them represents access, opportunity, and even escape, they find that while English may expand their world, it might also limit their voice.

Let the Right One In

Stage adaptation by Jack Thorne

Based on the Swedish novel and screenplay of the film by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Directed by John Tiffany

Associate Director/Movement Steven Hoggett

A National Theatre of Scotland production

West Coast premiere

Roda Theatre

Starts May 2023

Tony Award winners Jack Thorne and John Tiffany (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), along with Obie Award winner Steven Hoggett, have entertained audiences on both sides of the Atlantic with their exhilarating, cutting-edge brand of theatrical storytelling. Now they bring us a supernatural thriller that's part brutal vampire myth and part coming-of-age romance. Oskar, a bullied boy from a broken home, and Eli, a young girl who moves in next door and rarely leaves the house, become devoted friends. When their neighborhood is haunted by a series of mysterious murders, a shocking truth tests Oskar and Eli's growing love. A hit in London's West End and New York, Let the Right One In makes its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Rep.

Out of Character

Written and performed by Ari'el Stachel

Directed by Tony Taccone

World premiere

Peet's Theatre

Starts Jun 2023

Before he won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (The Band's Visit), Ari'el Stachel grew up in Berkeley, an Israeli American of Yemeni Jewish descent. Then came 9/11. Desperate to avoid taunts and threats at school, Ari hides his Middle Eastern background - setting off a years-long journey of trying on different identities, code switching, and navigating debilitating anxiety. Now a successful stage and screen actor, Ari comes home to Berkeley and joins with former artistic director Tony Taccone to tell his story in his new solo show. Out of Character explores the intersections of race, mental health, and survival in a way that's raw, authentic, and entertaining.



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