Aurora Theatre Co Announces Season of Premieres

Aurora Theatre Co Announces Season of PremieresBerkeley's acclaimed Aurora Theatre Company proudly announces the lineup for its 27th season that opens with the Bay Area premiere of Dominique Morisseau's homage to Motown, DETROIT '67. The West Coast premiere of Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling novel EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED, adapted by Simon Block, follows. August Strindberg's acerbic tragicomedy CREDITORS, in an exciting new version and translation by Scottish playwright David Greig, kicks off the new year. Then the Bay Area premiere of Anna Ziegler's thought-provoking ACTUALLY graces Aurora's second-stage performance space, Harry's UpStage. Next is Oscar Wilde's comedy classic THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. The season closes with the Bay Area premiere of Joan Didion's theatricalized memoir THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING.

"Welcome to Aurora's 27th season!" said Aurora Theatre Company artistic director Tom Ross. "We are bringing you six vibrant plays: two classics, three Bay Area premieres and one West Coast premiere."

Continued Ross, "Looking for common denominators, the theme of excavating the past to better understand the present and future emerges from all six plays. Additionally, in three of our dramas, actors repeatedly break through the fourth wall to directly address the audience. The art of storytelling is alive and well in these fervent works.

"We strive to bring you work that allows us to think deeper, laugh louder and cast wider nets of empathy across our Bay Area community and the world."

The regular season will run September 2018 through July 2019 at the Aurora Theatre in the downtown Berkeley arts district. For single tickets ($33-$65) or subscriptions ($99-$360), the public can call (510) 843-4822 or visit auroratheatre.org. Subscriptions on sale March 29. Single tickets on sale for subscribers July 24 and on sale August 1 to the general public.

In chronological order, the Aurora 2018-2019 season is as follows:

DETROIT '67

By Dominique Morisseau

Directed by Darryl V. Jones

Bay Area premiere

August 31 - September 30 (Opens: September 6)

From the author of the hit Temptations' musical Ain't Too Proud and the Obie award-winning Skeleton Crew, comes the first part of a vital trilogy set in Detroit. It's 1967, Motown music rules, and Chelle and her brother Lank are making ends meet by holding after-hour dance parties in the basement of their home. But when Lank shelters a battered, white woman with a secret past, the siblings clash over more than the family business while riots threaten to burn down the black neighborhoods of the city. Detroit '67, a redemptive story of family and survival, won the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History.

"A DIRECT HEIR TO THE MAGICAL WORDSMITHS NAMED Lorraine Hansberry, Tennessee Williams, AND August Wilson." - HUFFINGTON POST

EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED

From the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer

Adapted by Simon Block

Directed by Tom Ross

West Coast premiere

November 9 - December 9 (Opens: November 15)

Based on the best-selling, critically acclaimed novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, this stunning stage adaptation tells the story of a young Jewish, American writer (also named Jonathan Safran Foer) who sets out for Ukraine to find the woman who he believes saved his grandfather from the Nazis, and the town they wiped off the map. Jonathan's tour guides are a pair of flamboyant Ukrainians, a grandfather and grandson with limited English skills, and secrets of their own. As they travel into the unknown, along with the dog Sammy Davis Jr. Jr., they meet increasingly surreal characters, both fictional and real, and the past and present merge into an unforgettable journey.

"RIVETING...MASTERFUL...THE JOURNEY AND THE PAYOFF ARE HUGE."

- BROADWAY WORLD

CREDITORS

By August Strindberg

Translated by David Greig

Directed by Barbara Damashek

January 25 - February 24 (Opens: January 31)

Written in 1888, the same year he wrote Miss Julie, Strindberg's Creditors is a powerful psychodrama about a sexual triangle taken to destructive extremes. Adolf, a painter who has taken up sculpture, has been befriended by Gustav, who both inspires him and feeds his mind with doubts about Tekla, Adolf's novelist wife. In this real-time, tragi-comic classic, we watch Gustav use his powers of manipulation; first with Adolf, and then with Tekla, as their three-way web of deceit and shifting power grows ever more deadly. This exciting new version by Scottish playwright David Greig (The Events) has been called "both coldly objective and scathingly passionate" by The New York Times.

"A ROLLER-COASTER OF SEX, LIES AND REVENGE." - TIME OUT NY

ACTUALLY

By Anna Ziegler

Directed by Tracy Ward

Bay Area premiere

Performances will take place in Aurora's second-stage performance space,

Harry's UpStage, in the Nell and Jules Dashow Wing

March 8 - April 21 (Opens: March 14)

Investigating the hot-button topics of gender and race politics, Anna Ziegler ("newly and justly hot" - The New York Times) tells a story about our crippling desire to fit in. Amber and Tom, both freshmen at Princeton, spend a drunken night together. Soon after, they find themselves in front of an academic inquiry: they agree they were drinking, that they were attracted to each other, and that sexual consent was given...but they do not agree whether it was withdrawn. As the two students, one black and one white, tell their stories to the audience, the truth becomes murkier, and we are left wondering how to find certainty and justice when there are three sides to every story.

"CRAFTED WITH COMPASSION, INTELLIGENCE AND INSIGHT." - THEATREMANIA

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

By Oscar Wilde

Directed by Josh Costello

April 12 - May 12 (Opens: April 18)

One of the funniest comedies ever scribed, Oscar Wilde's most popular play has entertained theatre-goers for over a century. Everyone is in love with Ernest, the irresistible bad boy of London society. The trouble is Ernest doesn't exist. Oscar Wilde fills this uproarious farce with delicious bon mots and sparkling wit, as two pairs of young lovers scramble to untangle their own web of lies and win the approval of the imperious Lady Bracknell. A wildly entertaining "trivial comedy for serious people," it sparkles with dazzling plays on words and hilariously unlikely situations.

"THE MOST PERFECT COMEDY IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE." - LONDON TELEGRAPH

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING

By Joan Didion

Directed by Nancy Carlin

Bay Area premiere

June 21 - July 21 (Opens: June 27)

In this dramatic adaptation of her critically lauded, National Book Award-winning memoir, Joan Didion transforms the story of the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband, novelist John Gregory Dunne, and the illness of their daughter, Quintana, into a stunning one-woman play. In her grief, Didion found herself living inside self-protective delusions, in the form of "magical thinking," for she knows if she falls into the "vortex" of reality, she will be lost. Bringing her trademark style of cool observation, along with a personal and heartbreaking story, Joan Didion has made a singularly moving, theatrical experience.

"AN INTENSELY PERSONAL YET UNIVERSAL STORY OF HOPE IN THE FACE OF INESCAPABLE LOSS." - PLAYBILL

FOR CALENDAR EDITORS:

WHAT:

Berkeley's acclaimed Aurora Theatre Company announces the lineup for its 27th season that opens with the Bay Area premiere of Dominique Morisseau's homage to Motown, DETROIT '67. The West Coast premiere of Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling novel EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED, adapted by Simon Block, follows. August Strindberg's acerbic tragicomedy CREDITORS, in a new translation by Scottish playwright David Greig, kicks off the new year. Then the Bay Area premiere of Anna Ziegler's thought-provoking ACTUALLY graces Aurora's second-stage performance space, Harry's UpStage. Next is Oscar Wilde's comedy classic THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. The season closes with the Bay Area premiere of Joan Didion's theatricalized memoir THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING.

The regular season will run September 2018 through July 2019 at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley.

SCHEDULE:

DETROIT '67

By Dominique Morisseau

Directed by Darryl V. Jones

Bay Area premiere

August 31 - September 30 (Opens: September 6)

EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED

From the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer

Adapted by Simon Block

Directed by Tom Ross

West Coast premiere

November 9 - December 9 (Opens: November 15)

CREDITORS

By August Strindberg

Translated by David Greig

Directed by Barbara Damashek

January 25 - February 24 (Opens: January 31)

ACTUALLY

By Anna Ziegler

Directed by Tracy Ward

Bay Area premiere



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