Brown/Trinity Rep Announce December Thesis Show NEVA

Brown/Trinity Rep Announce December Thesis Show NEVAThe Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program presents its December thesis show, Neva, directed by Kate Bergstrom (Brown/Trinity Rep MFA '18). Written by Guillermo Calderón, and translated into English by Andrea Thome, the play follows the rehearsal of three actors in 1905 St. Petersburg, who humorously dance around the topics of love and revolution while a labor riot rages outside. Performances run November 30 through December 10 at the Pell Chafee Performance Center, 87 Empire St., Downtown Providence. Tickets are on sale now at Trinity Rep's box office, by phone (401) 351-4242, or online at

Neva is set in St. Petersburg in 1905, with the Bloody Sunday riots happening in the space just beyond the stage. Anton Chekhov's grieving widow arrives at a rehearsal room and is joined by two actors-an art-loving son of a wealthy family, and a revolutionary- minded young woman. Their passion, performances, and politics stir up a whirlwind of contradictions and memories amidst sex, love, and humorous self-loathing, as they wait for the unknown Russia to come.

Director Kate Bergstrom was drawn to the piece for its unusual blend of comedy and existential crisis. "The characters are obscene, but I love them. I identify with all three of them," said Kate. "They are presences. But with the humor, Calderón wrote the play to ask 'What is art in the time of political unrest? What is art in a time when people are dying on the street?' The characters are asking 'How do I deal with myself as a political body and as an artist? And as a human?' That's something I'm grappling with now, in our current political climate."

The Brown/Trinity Rep directing MFA is a three year program that includes participation in studio and academic course work, and direction of several productions before graduation. Directing students must direct a workshop of a contemporary/modern play with the Brown/Trinity Rep acting students, then put together three full productions of plays with moderate technical support. These productions include one new play, one classical verse play, and one play of the directors' choosing. In their third year, the directing students put on their thesis project, a production utilizing the third year acting students with full design and production support. It is the final opportunity for directing students to showcase their abilities and vision, and bring attention to a work they believe is important.

Kate Bergstrom, Central Coast Broadway World's 2016 Person to Watch, is a performance artist and third-year MFA directing candidate A. Brown/Trinity Rep. She is artistic director of On The Verge Summer Repertory Company in Southern California and freelances as an artist internationally. Her eclectic work has been seen at REDCAT, La Mama Umbria, UCLAlive!, Highways Performance Space, Brown University, UCLA, Theatre at Monmouth, LACMA, and more, and featured in Performance Magazine and ITCH dance journal. A graduate of UCLA's School of Theatre, Film & Television, her thesis production of Woyzeck with an all fem-identifying cast was featured as a season department show. In 2013 she conceived and directed Wholed, a performance about Alexander Haig at REDCAT in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Kate was the head of Drama at Laguna Blanca School from 2012-2015 and artistic director of Stripped Scripts. ?Recent productions for Brown/Trinity Rep include The Children's Hour as an operetta, a touring production of The Taming of the Shrew, and Erin Courtney's A Map of Virtue. In Monmouth, Maine, she directed Three Days of Rain by Richard Greenberg, and wrapped Michael Perlman's West Coast premiere of At the Table at On The Verge. Her directorial work has been described as intimate, provocative, colorful, and haunting, and focuses on ruptures in the status quo. Her examinations focus on the inherent queerness of performativity, the excavation of internalized misogyny, and the blurred lines between the self and other in gender, political, and socioeconomic identities in storytelling.

Performances for Neva run November 30 - December 10, 2017 at the Pell Chafee Performance Center, 87 Empire Street, Providence, RI. General admission is $15 with a discounted price of $10 for seniors and $7 for students. Tickets are on sale now online at, by calling (401) 351-4242 or at Trinity Rep's box office at 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI.

The Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Programs provide a three-year professional training program for eighteen students under the auspices of an Ivy League university and Rhode Island's Tony Award-winning theater company. Brown University's Department of Theater and Performance Studies is internationally recognized for the quality of its faculty and instruction. Trinity Rep, with its deep tradition of resident artists, provides powerful artistic assets and creates a firm foundation for a new generation of theater artists.

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