Berkeley Rep Announces Teen One Acts Festival
Today the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre announced the presentation of its 17th annual Teen One-Acts Festival. The 2019 festival features three plays written by Bay Area high school students: Help Wanted: A Witness, written by Nandi Maunder, a senior at The Branson School; Oneironauts, written by Eleanor Boes, a junior at Marin Academy; and a staged reading of Dream Collector written by Zeke Gerwein, a senior at Oakland School for the Arts. The festival will take place on Saturday, April 6 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 2pm at Berkeley Rep Peet's Theatre. Adult tickets are $15 and youth tickets are $10. Tickets are available online at https://www.berkeleyrep.org/teenoneacts and in person at the performance.
The Teen One-Acts Festival is an annual event produced by members of the Teen Council at Berkeley Rep. The plays are created by teens, allowing them to build and produce theatre from the ground up. As teens experience every step in the process of creating theatre, they are guided by Berkeley Rep's fellows in the artistic, production, and administration departments. The festival provides teens access to professional facilities and technology that allows them hands-on opportunities to experience the arts.
Festival organizers and producers are eager to continue showcasing more diverse voices and stories that reach new theatregoers to cultivate the next generation of theatre audiences and professionals. The shows in the 2019 festival focus on themes of memory and truth as the characters in each play seek to make sense of their past. These plays take audiences through both past and future as characters grapple with new revelations about their lives.
"There's nothing quite like seeing your words come to life. It's surreal and scary and hilarious and incredibly incredible, most of all," says Eleanor Boes, the playwright of Oneironauts and a member of Berkeley Rep's Teen Core Council. "I am so grateful for the Teen One-Acts because it's such a unique opportunity, and I've learned so much from it, from collaborative skills to effective revision strategies to the logistics of putting on a festival. The Teen One-Acts is amazing because you get to see the really exciting product of a process that is completely driven by young people."
ABOUT THE PLAYS
Help Wanted: A Witness
Sixteen-year-old Shiloh is about to learn a hidden truth in her family after discovering a note written by her mother, Akeelah. With help from her friend Niecy and her grandmother Lita, Shiloh begins a journey that brings her to an emerging sense of self and a better understanding of the world around her.
In the spring of 1969, Calliope meets the mysterious Huntress through very extraordinary circumstances. Decades later, Calliope's memories of their meeting reveal an uncomfortable truth about Huntress through powerful storytelling, compassion, and friendship.
It's 2045 and the future is a dystopia run by governmental institutions that "collect their citizens' dreams." Will underground artist Kainat be able to successfully launch a rebellion against the California Bureau of Dreams and Entertainment or will poet Ori Stein and dream collector Joe Garcia derail her efforts? This compelling play explores the intersection of technology, art, capitalism, and the value of imagination.
Help Wanted: A Witness will be directed by Marina Carlstroem, a senior at Marin Academy; Oneironauts will be directed by Naseem Avali, a senior at Oakland School for the Arts; and Dream Collector will be directed by Ben Levine, a senior at The College Preparatory School.
The cast of Help Wanted: A Witness includes Ivy Davis, Autumn-Rain Anderson, Malia Lee, and Aniya Cooper. The cast of Oneironauts includes Alex Arinkin, Scarlette Carter, Sebastian Thomas, Lily-Karin Dandenell, Maera Klein, and Jade Rogers. The cast of Dream Collector includes Luke Thomas, Lucas Martin, Jude Bennett, Farish DiFonzo, Aidan Crowley, and Megan Crane.
The creative team for the festival includes Fidela Bisseret-Martinez (Assistant Director/Stage Manager for Help Wanted: A Witness), Milo Bailey (Assistant Director/Stage Manager for Oneironauts), Simon Bhuller-Ridoan (Dramaturg), Dina Fukunaga (Lighting Designer), Kayla Hansen (Costume Designer), and Zohar Naaman (Scenic/Props Designer). Emielyn Das and Avelina Rivezzo-Weber are producers.
Having first opened its doors in 2001, the School of Theatre offers programming as eclectic as the productions onstage at Berkeley Rep, reaching some 20,000 people in the Bay Area each year. Driven by an expanding community of inspired, curious, and creative theatre lovers, the School's programming provides opportunities for engagement on a variety of levels.
The Berkeley Rep Teen Council brings together a diverse group of teens (grades 9-12) from all over the Bay Area. They write, direct, and perform in their own productions, see plays at local theatres, explore different artistic departments through interactive workshops, and get a behind-the-scenes look at what happens at Berkeley Rep through interviews with professional artists.