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Page to Stage Presents AMERICAN IDIOT Director Michael Mayer and Producer Tom Hulce In Discussion 9/21

Audiences eager for the world premiere of Green Day's American Idiot at Berkeley Repertory Theatre can get a peek behind the scenes at Page to Stage on Monday, September 21. During this free event in the Roda Theatre, Berkeley Rep's communications manager, Chad Jones, interviews director Michael Mayer and producer Tom Hulce on the set of American Idiot. They will discuss the creation of this groundbreaking show - as well as their previous collaboration on Spring Awakening, which won eight Tony Awards in 2007 - before taking questions from the audience.

Theatres are usually dark on Mondays, but Berkeley Rep makes those evenings glow with Page to Stage, a series of talks which engage brilliant guests in sparkling conversation. Past programs have featured luminaries such as David Edgar, Will Eno, Danny Hoch, Sarah Jones, Tony Kushner, Delroy Lindo, Terrence McNally, Charles Mee, Rita Moreno, Itamar Moses, Salman Rushdie, and Mary Zimmerman. No tickets are necessary for these free events, but seating is limited. Each talk begins at 7:00 PM. The lobby and café open at 6:00 PM, and the Theatre opens at 6:30 PM for general-admission seating. Donors in Berkeley Rep's Friends Circle get an opportunity to meet Mayer and Hulce at an exclusive reception catered by Bistro Liaison.

Green Day won two Grammys - Best Rock Album and Record of the Year - for its multi-platinum American Idiot, which sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. Now the band brings that explosive album to the stage with the director of Spring Awakening. American Idiot follows working-class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East, as they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration - an exhilarating journey borne along by Green Day's electrifying songs. This high-octane show includes every song from the album, as well as several new songs from 21st Century Breakdown. With an onstage band and 19 young performers, American Idiot receives its world premiere at Berkeley Rep, the Tony-winning playhouse that launched last year's provocative rock musical Passing Strange.

American Idiot will run from September 4 through October 11, opening Berkeley Rep's 2009/10 season. The show features the music of Green Day - vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tré Cool - along with Armstrong's lyrics. It is being staged by Mayer, who collaborated with Armstrong on the story. Berkeley Rep presents American Idiot in association with Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman.

Michael Mayer received a 2007 Tony Award, as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, for the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening. His other Broadway credits include After the Fall; An Almost Holy Picture; The Lion in Winter; 'night, Mother; Side Man (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Drama Desk Award and Tony nomination); Triumph of Love; Uncle Vanya; A View From the Bridge (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards and Tony nomination); and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Tony nomination). In addition to Spring Awakening at Atlantic Theater Company, his off-Broadway credits include 10 Million Miles, America Dreaming, Antigone in New York, Baby Anger, The Credeaux Canvas, Everyday Rapture, Hundreds of Hats, Missing Persons, Our House, Round About, Stupid Kids, True History and Real Adventures, and View of the Dome. He also directed the national tours for Spring Awakening, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Angels in America (Jefferson and Carbonell Awards). On London's West End, Mayer staged the current production of Spring Awakening, as well as Side Man and Thoroughly Modern Millie. His films include A Home at the End of the World and Flicka.

As a producer, Tom Hulce's projects include Spring Awakening, winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, and Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, which received an Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. In 2004, he produced the film of Michael Cunningham's A Home at the End of the World, also directed by Michael Mayer. Tom's directing credits include John Irving's The Cider House Rules at Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, and Atlantic Theater Company. As an actor, he appeared in Equus and A Few Good Men on Broadway, The Normal Heart on London's West End, Eastern Standard at Seattle Rep, and Hamlet at The Shakespeare Theater in Washington, DC. His film performances include Amadeus, Animal House, Dominick and Eugene, Echo Park, Fearless, Parenthood, and Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame I and II. He has been nominated for an Academy Award, a Tony Award, four Golden Globes, and an Emmy Award, which he won for The Heidi Chronicles.

American Idiot also features choreography by Olivier Award-winner Steven Hoggett with Tony-winning composer Tom Kitt providing orchestrations, arrangements, and musical supervision. The design team includes Tony-nominee Christine Jones (sets), two-time Tony-winner Kevin Adams (lights), Baryshnikov fellow Andrea Lauer (costumes), and Obie Award-winner Brian Ronan (sound), as well as video designer Darrel Maloney. The music director is Carmel Dean and the associate choreographer is Lorin Latarro.

Tony-winning actor John Gallagher, Jr. plays Johnny, leading an ensemble of 19 young performers that includes Matt Caplan as Tunny, Michael Esper as Will, and Tony Vincent as St. Jimmy with Mary Faber as Heather, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Whatsername, and Christina Sajous as the Extraordinary Girl.

This show is supported by several contributors to Berkeley Rep's Annual Fund. Bill Falik and Diana Cohen, John and Helen Meyer, Sally Smith and Don Burns, the Strauch Kulhanjian Family, and Felicia Woytak and Steve Rasmussen serve as executive producers. The lead sponsor is Levi's®. The show is also sponsored by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.

Tickets for American Idiot start at only $32 - half that for anyone under 30 years of age. For more information, or to purchase seats, call the box office at (510) 647-2949 or toll-free at (888) 4-BRT-Tix - or just click berkeleyrep.org.

Photo courtesy of Berkeley Repertory Theatre



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