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Aurora Theatre Presents 'The Busy World is Hushed'

Closing Aurora Theatre Company's 16th season is the Professional West Coast Premiere of Keith Bunin's remarkable new play THE BUSY WORLD IS HUSHED. Robin Stanton, who directed Aurora Theatre Company's astonishing production of Permanent Collection, directs this stirring examination of the contradictions we find within our families and ourselves. Anne Darragh, Chad Deverman, and James Wagner star in THE BUSY WORLD IS HUSHED, playing June 13 through July 20 at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley. For tickets and information ($28-50) the public can call (510) 843-4822 or visit

Hailed as "dramatically and emotionally absorbing . . . poignant and real" by Variety, and "engaging" by The New York Times when it premiered at Playwrights Horizons in 2006, THE BUSY WORLD IS HUSHED is a thought-provoking, moving look at religion, the intricacies of faith, and the complexities of the human heart. Episcopalian minister and bible scholar Hannah hires a ghostwriter to help her write a book about a recently discovered gospel. As they set to work putting her thoughts into print, her troubled gay son wanders back into her life. When family secrets are revealed, only the intercession of a stranger can help make peace.

In addition to THE BUSY WORLD IS HUSHED, which garnered a Lucille Lortel Award nomination, playwright Keith Bunin's work for the stage includes The World Over and The Credeaux Canvas, all three of which were originally produced off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizons. He was most recently represented off-Broadway with the new musical 10 Million Miles, for which he wrote the book. Bunin's other plays include The Principality of Sorrows and The King of Clocks. He has written screenplays for Disney Pictures and Sony Pictures, and is currently writing the screenplay for the film adaptation of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. His essays have been published in American Film Magazine and McSweeney's.

Aurora Theatre Company has assembled an extraordinary ensemble for THE BUSY WORLD IS HUSHED. Bay Area leading lady Anne Darragh returns to Aurora Theatre Company as Episcopal minister Hannah in THE BUSY WORLD IS HUSHED; she most recently appeared in the Company's acclaimed production of The Master Builder. Additional credits include productions at A.C.T (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Marin Theatre Company (The Good German), Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and Eureka Theatre.

Chad Deverman makes his Aurora debut in THE BUSY WORLD IS HUSHED as Hannah's assistant Brandt. Deverman's regional credits include productions at Playwrights Horizons, California Shakespeare Theatre, TheatreWorks, SF Playhouse (First Person Shooter), and Cutting Ball Theatre (Woyzeck). Also making his Aurora debut is James Wagner as Hannah's son Thomas. Wagner recently received his MFA from A.C.T., where her appeared in Candida, directed by Barbara Oliver, and in the main stage production of A Christmas Carol. Additional credits include roles in various independent films.

Director Robin Stanton returns to Aurora Theatre Company, where she helmed the Company's hit production of Thomas Gibbons' Permanent Collection, to direct THE BUSY WORLD IS HUSHED. Stanton has directed productions and development readings for theatres including Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens, and Chicago Dramatists. Often credited with helping to launch the career of acclaimed playwright Rebecca Gilman, Stanton championed Gilman's work in Chicago, resulting in the production of The Glory of Living at Circle Theatre, which garnered Stanton the After Dark Award and Jeff Citation for Best Direction.  Additionally, she served as Producing Artistic Director of Spokane Interplayers Ensemble and was recognized as a finalist for the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Now closing its 16th season, 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, just steps away from BART, 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."

Following THE BUSY WORLD IS HUSHED, Aurora Theatre Company opens its 17th season with an "American Trilogy," presenting three views of the United States at different times in history. The season opens in August with Gore Vidal's seminal 1960's satirical political drama THE BEST MAN, directed by Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross, followed in October by THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE, George Bernard Shaw's comedy set during the American Revolution, directed by Aurora Theatre Company founding Artistic Director Barbara Oliver, and the West Coast Premiere of George Packer's provocative recent Off-Broadway hit (which just received a second extension through June) BETRAYED in January. Mark Jackson, who directed Aurora Theatre Company's acclaimed production of Salome, returns to the Company to helm Swedish master August Strindberg's MISS JULIE in April. Bob Glaudini's unconventional Off-Broadway hit JACK GOES BOATING, directed by Joy Carlin, rounds out the season in June.


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