Aurora Theatre Presents Shaw's 'Devil's Disciple' Starting 10/31

Aurora Theatre Company continues its American trilogy with THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE from the master of English wit George Bernard Shaw. Aurora Theatre Company founding Artistic Director Barbara Oliver, who directed the company’s productions of Shaw’s The Man of Destiny, The Philanderer, Saint Joan, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Widower’s Houses, and Candida, returns to helm this classic Shavian comedy, starring Gabriel Marin, Søren Oliver, and Stacy Ross, and featuring Warren David Keith, Allen McKelvey, Trish Mullholland, Anthony Nemirovsky, Tara Tomicevic, and Michael Ray Wisely. THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE plays October 31 through December 7 at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley. For tickets and information ($28-50) the public can call (510) 843-4822 or visit auroratheatre.org.

In THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE, America is at war with the British and the Redcoats want to hang the local minister in order to demoralize the townsfolk. Richard Dudgeon is a self-proclaimed “devil’s disciple,” but when the British come for the minister, he pretends to be the wanted man. Was it for love, country, or duty, or did the devil make him do it? Poking fun at religious zealotry and political arrogance, and rife with Shaw’s trademark humor and irony, this fictional account of an American “hero” set during the Revolutionary War is the playwright’s first popular success and his only full-length play set in America.

Aurora Theatre Company has assembled a talented ensemble of Company veterans and newcomers for THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE. Gabriel Marin returns to Aurora Theatre Company as Richard Dudgeon in THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE. Marin previously appeared in the Company’s productions of Gunplay and The Glass Menagerie. Additional credits include productions at SF Playhouse (Bug, Our Lady of 121st Street), Magic Theatre (The Rules of Charity), American Conservatory Theater, Marin Theatre Company, Thick Description, Word for Word, Chicago’s Dramatists Workshop, and LA’s Actors Gang.

Stacy Ross returns to Aurora Theatre Company as Judith in THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE; she previously appeared in the Company’s productions of The Man of Destiny, Hedda Gabler, and A Kind of Alaska. Additional credits include productions at California Shakespeare Theater (Arms and the Man), TheatreWorks (Dolly West’s Kitchen), San Jose Repertory Theatre (Major Barbara), Marin Theatre Company (Splittin the Raft), Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Cloud Nine), and American Conservatory Theater (The Constant Wife).

Søren Oliver returns to Aurora Theatre Company as Anthony Anderson; he was seen in the Company’s productions of Saint Joan and A Place with the Pigs, and directed productions of The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek and Alarms and Excursions. Additional credits include a recurring role on the hit WB series Charmed and productions at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Mary Zimmerman’s Argonautika), San Jose Repertory Theatre (Death of a Salesman), Marin Theatre Company (Bleacher Bums), Magic Theatre (Killer Joe), and California Shakespeare Theater, among others. Oliver is the founding Artistic Director of Central Works Theatre Ensemble.

Warren David Keith, who starred in Aurora Theatre Company’s productions of Hysteria, A Life in the Theatre, and Death Defying Acts, returns to the Company as General Burgoyne. A veteran of the Bay Area stage, Keith’s credits include productions at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, TheatreWorks, and Marin Theatre Company, among others.

Trish Mulholland, who was featured in Aurora Theatre Company’s productions of Salome and The Chairs, returns to the Company as Mrs. Dudgeon. Mulholland’s credits include productions with Shotgun Players (Mother Courage, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Man and Superman), Berkeley Repertory Theatre (The Oresteia), and American Conservatory Theater (The Circle), among others.

Rounding out the cast are Michael Ray Wisely (Aurora Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Magic Theatre), Anthony Nemirovsky (California Shakespeare Theater, Center REPertory Company), and Tara Tomicevic (Aurora Theatre Company).

Aurora Theatre Company founding Artistic Director Barbara Oliver returns to the Company to direct THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE. Oliver’s Aurora Theatre Company directing credits include last season’s Professional World Premiere of Ellen McLaughlin’s The Trojan Women, the West Coast Premiere of Ice Glen, Ibsen’s The Master Builder, and Ellen McLaughlin’s adaptation of The Persians, as well as productions of Shaw’s The Man of Destiny, Saint Joan, The Philanderer, Candida, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, and Widowers’ Houses. For the Company, she has also directed Seascape, The Belle of Amherst, and World Premieres of Ira Hauptman’s Partition, LeClanche Du Rand’s Transcendental Wild Oats, and Dorothy Bryant’s The Panel. Oliver is the recipient of several Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, including the first Barbara Bladen Porter Award, as well as Drama-Logue awards for The Show Off and Dear Master. An accomplished Bay Area actress, Oliver has appeared in Aurora Theatre Company productions of The Chairs, The Gin Game, Holiday Memories, Bailegangaire, La Castrata, The Aspern Papers, and Dear Master. An instrumental figure in Bay Area theatre, Oliver stepped down from her role as Artistic Director at the end of the 2003-04 Aurora Theatre Company season.

Irish dramatist and ardent socialist George Bernard Shaw had his first success as a music and literary critic; as a dramatist he authored more than 63 plays during his career. Shaw’s work is leavened by a vein of comedy, but nearly all of his works bear earnest social messages that he hoped his audiences would embrace. Some of Shaw’s most popular works for the stage include Widower’s Houses (1892), The Philanderer (1893), Mrs Warren's Profession (1893), Arms and the Man (1894), Candida (1894), The Man of Destiny (1895), You Never Can Tell (1897), The Devil's Disciple (1897), Man and Superman (1902-03), Major Barbara (1905), Pygmalion (1912-13), Heartbreak House (1919), and Saint Joan (1923). Shaw died in 1950 at the age of 94; he remains the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize (1925) and an Oscar (1938 for Pygmalion).

Following THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE, Aurora Theatre Company presents the West Coast Premiere of George Packer’s provocative recent Off-Broadway hit BETRAYED in January. Mark Jackson, who directed Aurora Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of Salome, returns to the Company to helm August Strindberg’s MISS JULIE in April. Bob Glaudini’s unconventional romantic comedy JACK GOES BOATING, directed by Joy Carlin, rounds out the season in June.

Aurora Theatre Company continues to offer challenging, literate, intelligent stage works to the Bay Area, each year increasing its reputation for top-notch theatre. Located in the heart of the Downtown Berkeley Arts District, Aurora Theatre Company has been called “one of the most important regional theaters in the area” by the San Francisco Chronicle, while The Wall Street Journal has “nothing but praise for the Aurora.” The Contra 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] lives up to its reputation as a theater that feeds the mind,” and the Oakland Tribune declared “it’s all about choices, and if you value good theater, choose the Aurora.”



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