Barbara Oliver Returns to Aurora Theatre Company for ANATOL, 4/6-5/13

Aurora Theatre Company founding Artistic Director Barbara Oliver returns to the company for its 20th anniversary season to direct Arthur Schnitzler's (La Ronde) first theatrical work for the stage, ANATOL. This World Premiere translation, commissioned by Aurora Theatre Company, from renowned Schnitzler expert (and Berkeley resident) Margret Schaefer, features Mike Ryan (Shakespeare Santa Cruz) in his Aurora debut as Anatol, along with Aurora veterans Tim Kniffin (Trouble in Mind, The Best Man) and Delia MacDougall (SEX, The Old Neighborhood). ANATOL plays April 6 through May 13 at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley. For tickets ($30-55) and information the public can call (510) 843-4822 or visit

Chronicling the affairs of a melancholy playboy, ANATOL features six interrelated episodes in the love-obsessed life of a bourgeois Viennese philanderer. A gadabout living for pleasure in late 19th-century Vienna, Anatol practices the arts of seduction, adultery, infidelity, and betrayal, encountering a series of mistresses in his search for the perfect faithful lover. Paradoxically, it is the women in his life who gain the upper hand. 

According to press notes, Arthur Schnitzler and Sigmund Freud were contemporaries and fellow admirers. The playwright exhibited an intuitive mastery of behavioral psychology, as evidenced in ANATOL, and in a letter to Schnitzler, Freud said "I have often asked myself in wonder where you could have found this or that secret knowledge which I was able to discover only after arduous examination of the object, and ended up feeling envious of the poet for whom I had always had the deepest admiration."

Aurora Theatre Company founding Artistic Director Barbara Oliver returns to the company to direct ANATOL. Oliver's Aurora directing credits include Henrik Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman, George Bernard Shaw's The Devil's Disciple, the Professional World Premiere of Ellen McLaughlin's The Trojan Women, Ibsen's The Master Builder, and McLaughlin's adaptation of The Persians. For Aurora Theatre Company, Oliver has also directed Ice Glen, Seascape, The Belle of Amherst, Shaw's The Man of Destiny, Saint Joan, The Philanderer, Candida, Mrs. Warren's Profession, and Widowers' Houses, and World Premieres of Ira Hauptman's Partition, LeClanche Du Rand's Transcendental Wild Oats, and Dorothy Bryant's The Panel. She 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. A 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. Oliver stepped down from her role as Artistic Director at the end of the 2003-04 Aurora Theatre Company season.

Following ANATOL, Aurora's 20th anniversary season concludes in June with the company's World Premiere play commission, SALOMANIA, written and directed by Mark Jackson.

For tickets (Previews $34; Regular Performances $30-48; Limited Opening Night Seating $55) the public can call (510) 843-4822 or visit Half-off tickets for Under 30, student, and group discounts available.

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