AFTER THE REVOLUTION Kicks Off Aurora Theatre Company's 22nd Season Tonight
Aurora Theatre Company opens its 22nd season with the Bay Area Premiere of Obie-winning playwright Amy Herzog's (4000 Miles, Belleville, The Great God Pan) family drama AFTER THE REVOLUTION. Joy Carlin (Body Awareness, Jack Goes Boating,Awake and Sing!) directs this drama about what we do with history and how we appropriate it for our own personal needs. Featuring Adrian Anchondo, Jessica Bates, Peter Kybart, Sarah Mitchell, Ellen Ratner, Rolf Saxon, Victor Talmadge, and Pamela Gaye Walker, AFTER THE REVOLUTION plays tonight, August 30 through September 29 at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley. For tickets ($32-60) and information the public can call (510) 843-4822 or visit auroratheatre.org.
What happens when the person you revere isn't exactly who you think they are? In AFTER THE REVOLUTION, the young, brilliant Emma Joseph is a high achiever shaken to the core by disillusion. She proudly carries the torch of her family's Marxist tradition by devoting her life to the memory of her famously blacklisted grandfather, but when a new book reveals shocking truths about the man himself, the entire family is forced to confront questions of honesty and allegiance they thought had long ago been resolved. Called "smart, engrossing...bold and hilariously moving" by The New York Times, this insightful and often-humorous family portrait, for which Herzog was awarded the 2012 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, examines how the tally of right and wrong in life cannot easily be measured, and questions whether or not the end ever really justifies the means.
About AFTER THE REVOLUTION playwright Amy Herzog said, "the things that we inherit from our families are the things that we really question."Her plays AFTER THE REVOLUTION and 4,000 Miles both mine material about her Marxist grandparents. AFTER THE REVOLUTION, which premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 2010, received Lucille Lortel Award nominations and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, and won a Lillian Hellman Award. Herzog received the 2012 Obie Award for Best New American Play for 4000 Miles, which was also a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Her work has received readings and workshops at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Stage and Film, and Arena Stage, among others, and has been commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre and Playwrights Horizons; she is a Helen Merrill Award recipient, a former Playwrights' Realm Fellow, and was a 2010 Playwright-in-Residence at Ars Nova. She received her MFA from Yale School of Drama and has taught playwriting at Bryn Mawr and Yale. In addition to AFTER THE REVOLUTION and 4000 Miles, works for the stage include Belleville (2011) and The Great God Pan (2012). Herzog was a finalist for the 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Veteran Bay Area actress and director Joy Carlin helms AFTER THE REVOLUTION. Carlin attended the Yale School of Drama and is an original member of Chicago's Playwrights' Theatre; she has been a leading actress, director, and teacher in the Bay Area since 1969. Carlin served as the Associate Artistic Director of the American Conservatory Theater from 1987-1992, was an actor and resident director at Berkeley Repertory Theatre from 1981-1984, and served as its Interim Artistic Director from 1983-1984. For Aurora Theatre Company, Carlin directed last season's hit production of Annie Baker's Body Awareness, as well as productions of Clifford Odet's Awake and Sing!, Bob Glaudini's Off Broadway hit Jack Goes Boating, Terry Johnson's Hysteria, John Guare's Bosoms and Neglect, Arthur Miller's The Price, Conor McPherson's Dublin Carol, David Mamet's The Old Neighborhood, and Michael Frayn's Benefactors. In addition to starring in Aurora Theatre Company's productions of Our Practical Heaven, Thérèse Raquin, and The Belle of Amherst, she has appeared in multiple stage roles at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, and San Jose Repertory Theatre, among others. Carlin is the recipient of numerous Bay Area Critics Circle Awards and Dramalogue Awards for both acting and directing.
Aurora Theatre Company has assembled a gifted ensemble for AFTER THE REVOLUTION.
Adrian Achondo, who made his Aurora Theatre Company debut in the company's World Premiere of The First Grade, returns to the Aurora stage as Miguel in AFTER THE REVOLUTION. Regional credits include productions at Shotgun Players, Impact Theater, Pennsylvania Repertory Company, Civic Theatre of Allentown, and Off-Broadway at Emerging Artists Theatre; he has understudied and appeared in workshop productions at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Crowded Fire Theater, and California Shakespeare Theater. Jessica Bates makes her Aurora debut as Emma inAFTER THE REVOLUTION. Credits include productions at The Acting Company, Capital Stage, National Shakespeare Company, Hangar Theatre, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, among others. Stage, film, and television actor Peter Kybart makes his Aurora debut as Morty in AFTER THE REVOLUTION. Stage credits include productions on Broadway (Awake and Sing!, Judgement at Nuremberg, The Diary of Anne Frank), Off Broadway, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse, Huntington Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and McCarter Theatre, among others. Also making her Aurora debut is Sarah Mitchell as Jess. Credits include productions at Shotgun Players, Cutting Ball Theater, Berkeley Playhouse, San Francisco Playhouse, Boxcar Theatre, and Killing My Lobster, among others.
Veteran stage and television actress Ellen Ratner returns to Aurora Theatre Company as Vera in AFTER THE REVOLUTION; she previously appeared in the company's hit production of Awake and Sing!, directed by Joy Carlin. Credits include productions at A Traveling Jewish Theatre, the Roundabout Theatre, Falcon Theatre, and Odyssey Theater. In addition to the stage, Ratner's numerous television credits include roles on shows including Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Nanny, Frasier, and Ugly Betty. Stage, film, and television actor Rolf Saxon makes his Aurora debut as Ben in AFTER THE REVOLUTION. Saxon was in the first class at American Conservatory Theater's Conservatory, worked with the embryonic California Shakespeare Theater (then Festival), and was a founding member of the Berkeley Mime Troupe. Additional regional credits include productions with TheatreWorks and A Traveling Jewish Theatre. He has appeared in numerous West End productions and has appeared in productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal Court Theater.
Victor Talmadge, who was last seen at Aurora Theatre Company in the company's production of Awake and Sing!, returns as Leo in AFTER THE REVOLUTION. Regional credits include productions at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, A Traveling Jewish Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, TheatreWorks, Magic Theater, and San Francisco Playhouse. Additional credits include productions at The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Old Globe Theatre, Actors Theater of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse, Hartford Stage, and Huntington Theater. Also returning to the Aurora stage is Pamela Gaye Walker as Mel; she previously appeared in the company's production of John Gabriel Borkman. Credits include productions at TheatreWorks, Zephyr Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, and Cherry Lane Theatre, among others.
Following AFTER THE REVOLUTION, Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross helms the Bay Area Premiere of Samuel D. Hunter's Obie-winningA BRIGHT NEW BOISE in November. Jon Tracy returns to Aurora to direct the Bay Area Premiere of Johnna Adams' provocative GIDION'S KNOT in January, followed by the Bay Area Premiere of WITTENBERG by David Davalos, directed by Josh Costello in April. The season concludes in June with David Mamet's searing drama AMERICAN BUFFALO, directed by Barbara Damashek. As a special addition to the season, Aurora Theatre Company presents its first fully-staged production in the company's new Second Stage performance space, Harry's UpStage; award-winning Bay Area auteur Mark Jackson directs this sixth addition to the season in April, John W. Lowell's taut two-person drama THE LETTERS.
Voted Best Theater Company in 2012 by SF Weekly, Aurora Theatre Company continues to offer challenging, literate, intelligent stage works to the Bay Area, each year increasing its reputation for top-notch theater. Located in the heart of the Downtown Berkeley Arts District, Aurora Theatre Company, declared "one of the best regional theaters around" by 7x7 magazine, has been called "one of the most important regional theaters in the area" and "a must-see midsize company" by the San Francisco Chronicle, while The Wall Street Journal has "nothing but praise for the Aurora." TheContra Costa Times stated "perfection is probably an unattainable ideal in a medium as fluid as live performance, but the Aurora Theatre comes luminously close," while the San Jose Mercury News affirmed Aurora Theatre Company is "arguably the finest small theater in the Bay Area," and the Oakland Tribune stated "it's all about choices, and if you value good theater, choose the Aurora."