Berkeley Rep Announces Final Casting for FAIRVIEW

Berkeley Rep Announces Final Casting for FAIRVIEW

Final casting for Berkeley Repertory Theatre's upcoming production of Fairview was announced today. Written by Jackie Sibblies Drury, directed bySarah Benson, with choreography by Raja Feather Kelly, the world premiere production comes straight to Berkeley Rep from a critically acclaimed New York run. Previews begin on Thursday, October 4 with regular run of the show opening on Thursday, October 11 and continuing through Sunday, November 4. Individual tickets begin at $30 ($15 if you're under 35) and can be purchased online at berkeleyrep.org or by phone at 510 647-2949.

A co-commission by Berkeley Rep and Soho Rep., the play was developed as part of The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep's Center for the Creation and Development of New Work.

"I can't wait for our audiences to experience Fairview, a groundbreaking piece that subverts our expectations at every turn," says Artistic Director Tony Taccone. "Jackie Sibblies Drury's mastery of her craft is astonishing. As directed by the expert Sarah Benson, Fairview takes us on a wild, funny, surprising ride that leaves us unsettled in the best way, mulling over the ethics of perception and its impacts on the lives of Black Americans."

Among the recent American plays examining racial division, the New York Times notes how this play stands out: "Fairview is a galvanizing addition to this gallery. It is also a glorious, scary reminder of the unmatched power of live theater to rattle, roil and shake us wide awake."

Fairview begins simply enough: It's Grandma's birthday, and Beverly needs the family's celebration to be perfect. But her husband is no help, her brother hasn't arrived, and her teenage daughter may be in trouble. What's more, they are being watched...and judged. Soon, the attitudes and assumptions of these watchers begin to manifest in the family's celebration, forcing them to fight for their very identities.

Jackie Sibblies Drury (Playwright)

Jackie's plays include We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915; Really; and Social Creatures. Her plays have been presented by New York City Players and Abrons Arts Center, Soho Rep., Victory Gardens, Trinity Rep, Woolly Mammoth, Undermain Theatre, InterAct Theatre, Company One, and the Bush Theatre in London, among others. Her work has been developed at the Bellagio Center, Sundance, The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ars Nova, Soho Rep. Writer/Director Lab, New York Theatre Workshop, Prelude, the Bushwick Starr, the Lark, and the MacDowell Colony. She has received many awards, including a Windham-Campbell Literary Prize in Drama, a Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, and a United States Artists Gracie Fellowship.

Sarah Benson (Director)

Sarah has been artistic director of Soho Rep. since 2007. Recent credits include Suzan-Lori Parks' In The Blood (Signature Theatre). For Soho Rep: Richard Maxwell's Samara, César Alvarez and The Lisps' Futurity (Callaway Award), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon (Soho Rep. and Theatre for a New Audience), Lucas Hnath's A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay about the Death of Walt Disney, David Adjmi's Elective Affinities, and Sarah Kane's Blasted (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination). She has also directed at American Repertory Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, and Manhattan Theatre Club. She holds a MFA from Brooklyn College, where she studied with Tom Bullard. In 2016, Sarah won a Vilcek Foundation Prize for Creative Promise.

Raja Feather Kelly (Choreographer)

Raja is the artistic director of the feath3r theory, a Brooklyn-based dance, theatre, and media company and is the first and only choreographer to dedicate the entirety of his company's work to the development of popular culture over the last 30 years. He is the creator of The Warhol Series, including Andy Warhol's DRELLA (I Love You Faye Driscoll); Andy Warhol's 15: Color Me, Warhol; Andy Warhol's TROPICO; and Another Fucking Warhol Production, all of which have been performed to critical acclaim. Raja has worked throughout the United States and abroad (Austria, Germany, Australia, United Kingdom, and France) in search of the connections between popular culture and humanity and their integration into experiential dance-theatre. Off Broadway credits include choreography for Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Lila Neugebauer, Suzan-Lori Parks, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Daaimah Mubashshir, Whitney White, and Rachel Chavkin. Honors include a 2018-19 Carthorse Fellowship at the Buran Theatre, a 2017 Princess Grace Award for a Fellowship in Choreography, a 2017 Bessie Schoenberg Fellowship at the Yard on Martha's Vineyard, the 2016 Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography, and he was a 2016 NYFA Choreography Fellow. Raja received his BA with honors in dance and English from Connecticut College.

Natalie Venetia Belcon (Beverly)

Natalie is thrilled to be making her debut here at Berkeley Rep. Her Broadway credits include Matilda, Avenue Q (original cast), and Rent. Her other credits include The Last Smoker in America (off Broadway), The Glorious Ones (off Broadway), and the original cast of The Bubbly Black Girl. Natalie's TV credits include Play On for PBS Great Performances and other guest starring and recurring roles.

Brooke Bloom (Suze)

Brooke is making her Berkeley Rep debut. Other credits regionally include Marie Antoinette (Irene best actress award) at American Repertory Theater, Lungs at the Studio Theatre, and Becky Shaw (Barrymore best actress award) at the Wilma Theatre. Broadway and other New York credits include Time and The Conways at Roundabout Theatre Company, Everybody at Signature Theatre, Cloud Nine (Drama Desk nomination) at the Atlantic Theater, David Greenspan's Helen Twelvetrees at Abrons Arts Center, You Got Older (Drama Desk nomination and Obie Award) for Page 73, and Somewhere Fun at Vineyard Theatre. She can be seen with regular roles on Netflix'sGypsy, Amazon's Alpha House, and recurring on Amazon's upcoming Homecoming with various guest star appearances. She's had roles in many films, including She's Lost Control (Berlinale premiere, Independent Spirt Awards Best Film nomination) and an upcoming untitled Noah Baumbach film, among others.

Charles Browning (Dayton)

Charles was last seen in The Cost at LaMama. Previously, he appeared in the world premiere of I Sing the Rising Sea at Virginia Stage Company, the world premiere ofThe Capables at The Gym at Judson, and The Piano Lesson and Dreamgirls at Gallery Players. His New York credits include Classical Theatre of Harlem, Target Margin Theater, Classic Stage Company, The Lark, Joe's Pub: The Public Theater, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Regional credits include TimeLine Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. He has worked in commercials, industrials, film, and television. Charles earned his BFA from DePaul University, an MFA from Columbia University, and studied at Oxford University (British American Drama Academy).

Chantal Jean-Pierre (Jasmine)

Chantal is thrilled to make her Berkeley Rep debut. Her credits include Our Town at Miami New Drama, Disgraced at Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Intimate Apparel at Dorset Theatre Company, Doubt at Flat Rock Playhouse, A Raisin in the Sun both at Crossroads Theatre Company and Weston Playhouse, Fabulation at the People's Light and Theatre Company, Sheila's Day at Hartford Stage, and The G-Word at LaMama Experimental Theatre Club. A lover of classical theatre, she has played the title role in both Cincinnati Shakespeare and Orlando Shakespeare Festival's production of Antony and Cleopatra; Olivia in Twelfth Night at New York Classical Theatre; Goneril inKing Lear at the Folgers in Washington, DC; Gertrude in Hamlet at the American Globe Theatre, and The Blue Bird and Henry VI at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. She has guest starred on a number of television shows. Find out more at chantaljean-pierre.com.

Natalia Payne (Bets)

Natalia appeared at Berkeley Rep in Three Sisters. New York theatre credits include The Last Match (Roundabout Theatre Company), Me, Myself & I (Playwrights Horizons), New Jerusalem (Classic Stage Company), Jailbait (Cherry Lane Theatre), Aliens with Extraordinary Skills (Women's Project), and deathvariations (59E59 Theaters). Regional credits include Watch on the Rhine (Arena Stage), The Last Match (The Old Globe), Three Sisters and Trouble in Mind (Yale Repertory Theatre), Dirt(Studio Theatre - Helen Hayes nomination), and Memory House (Vineyard Playhouse). TV/film: Law & Order: SVU, Workin' Moms, Ransom, Murdoch Mysteries, Dark Matter, Reign, Sensitive Skin, Cardinal, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, The Word, and Crazy Love. Originally from Toronto, Natalia studied acting at Yale University.

Jed Resnick (Mack)

Jed recently completed a long run in Avenue Q at New World Stages. Broadway/National tours include Avenue Q (Princeton/Rod u.s.) and Rent (Mark). Other New York credits include New York Musical Festival, Ars Nova, b-side productions, and the New York International Fringe Festival. Regional credits include The Last Five Years(Actors Theatre of Louisville), The Seagull (Peterborough Players), Pregnancy Pact (Weston Playhouse), and Williamstown Theatre Festival, Westchester Broadway Theatre, and Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep. He appeared in the film She's Marrying Steve. Proud AEA member and Brown alum. @jedres

Luke Robertson (Jimbo)

Luke's theatre credits include feeling. at New Ohio Theatre, Neva at The Public Theater, and Good Television at the Atlantic Theater Company. Film and television credits include Godless, Mr. Robot, The Americans, Daredevil, Instinct, Vinyl, Elementary, Deception, Forever, and most Law & Orders. MFA Yale School of Drama.

Monique A. Robinson (Keisha)

Monique is ecstatic to make her Berkeley Rep debut. Her credits include Comedy of Errors at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; A Midsummer Night's Dream at Folger Theatre; Two Gentlemen of Verona, EveryMan, and Revolutionary Moments at Shakespeare & Company; The Final Days at A Contemporary Theatre; WaDe N dA waTerat Stage 773; G.O.A.T. at the Queen's Theatre in the Park; Iyom at the Workshop Theatre Company; and Somebody is Sure to Come at LaMama Experimental Theatre Club. Onscreen credits include See You Yesterday (Netflix), Tell Me a Story (CBS), Product of My Environment (NYCIFF Nominee), A Ring, FAWK, and Moni: The Series. Monique received an MFA from University of Washington Professional Actors Training Program. Follow along on the journey at monitherseries.com.

The creative team includes Garrett Allen (associate director), Mimi Lien (scenic designer), Montana Levi Blanco (costume designer), Amith Chandrashaker (lighting designer), and Mikaal Sulaiman (sound designer).

For the 2018-19 season, Berkeley Rep recognizes BART, Peet's Coffee, and Wells Fargo, who have generously renewed their commitment as Berkeley Rep's official season sponsors. Berkeley Rep is also delighted to have Michael and Sue Steinberg, Jack and Betty Schafer, and The Strauch Kulhanjian Family on board as season sponsors.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its ambition, relevance, and excellence, as well as its adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. Over 5.5 million people have enjoyed nearly 500 shows at Berkeley Rep, which have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Its School of Theatre engages and educates some 20,000 people a year and helps build the audiences of tomorrow with its nationally recognized teen programs. Berkeley Rep's bustling facilities - which also include the 400-seat Peet's Theatre, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, and a spacious campus in West Berkeley - are helping revitalize a renowned city. Be a Rep. Learn more at berkeleyrep.org.

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