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Berkeley Rep Launches 10-Episode Audio Series Titled PLACE/SETTINGS: BERKELEY

Ten Esteemed writers take listeners on an aural adventure to meaningful places around Berkeley.

Berkeley Rep Launches 10-Episode Audio Series Titled PLACE/SETTINGS: BERKELEY

Berkeley Repertory Theatre today announced a new 10-episode series titled Place/Settings: Berkeley as part of their Rep On- Air season. Ten revered writers, each with deep ties to Berkeley, have all crafted a story around a place or a setting within the City of Berkeley that is significant to them.

Place/Settings: Berkeley will debut one story per week starting Tuesday, January 12, 2021 with each episode running approximately 10-15 minutes. Celebrated New Yorker illustrator Tom Toro has created a fold out (physical) map that will be mailed to each ticket buyer. Place/Settings: Berkeley is free to 2021 Berkeley Rep 7- Play subscribers and $10 for others.

Listeners are encouraged to write their own stories of no more than 100 words about a special place in or a meaningful memory about Berkeley that is important to them. These stories will be shared as part of Berkeley Rep's Small Plates series, and hosted on the Berkeleyside website, a sponsor of the project.

"In this pandemic moment, longing for our theatres and all the stories, memories, and history they contain, but knowing that it's going to be a little while before we can return to those spaces, we started to think about how the City of Berkeley could essentially function as our stage," said Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer. "We know that each street we walk down, each building we pass, places we take for granted in our everyday lives, are of great significance to someone. Can we think about the surroundings in which we find ourselves in the same way we think about our theatre space? What has a particular place witnessed? Can its stories be shared? With these questions in mind, we approached 10 extraordinary writers, and are now so excited to get to share their stories with our community."

A virtual opening night is planned for Tuesday, January 12 at 5:30pm and will include a conversation with Itamar Moses, Eisa Davis, and Sean San José. Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer and Berkeley Rep's Resident Dramaturg Madeleine Oldham will facilitate live from the Peet's Theatre.

The Fundamental Kiss, With Overtones by Eisa Davis: corner of Oxford and Center

A young oboist kisses a pianist on a street corner. At long last! But the kiss unlocks pressures, expectations, dreams, and fears. Can we learn to live with uncertainty? To ask for what we need?

night fishing by Philip Kan Gotanda: an imaginary dried-up lake in Tilden Park

On a chilly autumn night, an old fisherman makes his way to the lake in the dark. He casts a line...and reels in the ghost he's been seeking.

The Black Mass Sonata by Daniel Handler: The Musical Offering Café

Bored, lost, and lonely, a teenager stumbles into a café. While eating a cup of soup, he hears a wondrously inscrutable sonata, and begins to sense that being lost might not be such a lonesome condition after all.

West Berkeley West Indian by Aya de León: Franklin School

How do you find your people in middle school - especially when you don't quite fit the mold? A girl experiments, assimilates, adapts, and journeys towards genuine self-love and community.

20 Weeks by Adam Mansbach: Alta Bates

Hope, fear, excitement, and a dizzying array of possibilities unspool across an expectant dad's imagination, as he and his partner navigate medical uncertainties and rediscover each other as almost-parents.

Suicide on Telegraph by Richard Montoya: Robbie's Coffee House and Diner on Telegraph Ave.

It's 1959, and tobacco smoke snakes across the bustling café from its prized corner table, where artists and students debate political treatises, muse on philosophy, and share thrilling new poetry.

The Slide by Itamar Moses: the slide in Codornices Park

A neighborhood park - its playground, sloping hillside, and basketball court; its tunnel to a Rose Garden and many paths - bears witness to a boy, growing up and growing old.

The Third Sphere by Kamala Parks: North Berkeley BART

Straddling the worlds of her divorced parents, Yasmine doesn't feel fully at home in either. Desperate to see her best friend in San Francisco, she embarks on the voyage across the Bay alone, exhilarated at her newfound independence.

The Character Actor by Sarah Ruhl: Berkeley Repertory Theatre

From a perch beyond this life, an actor observes as a group of masked people finally return to the courtyard of Berkeley Rep - to the theatre, the place we made to gather, breathe together, and share the stories that remind us of our humanity.

For the Record by Sean San José: Leopold's Records on Durant Ave.

Sometimes music becomes indelibly linked to specific memories, invoking the people with whom we shared them. Songs by Isaac Hayes, Peter Tosh, Stevie Wonder, the Doors, the Knight Brothers, and Patti LaBelle conjure a deep friendship, one that began on a hot night in 1986 outside Leopold's Records.


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