Central Works to Close Season with RECIPE, Opening 10/18

Central Works to Close Season with RECIPE, Opening 10/18

Central Works concludes the 2014 season with "Recipe," a funny new work by Michael Gene Sullivan, opening with a press Night on Saturday October 18 at 8 pm and running through November 23 at the historic Berkeley City Club. Sullivan serves up the laughs in this delicious take on a circle of sweet old grandmotherly bakers, who just happen to be dedicated to the armed overthrow of the United States government. But baking pies and cakes isn't enough to satisfy these four intrepid refugees from the sixties, and their burning desire to "Up the Revolution!" Directed by Gary Graves, "Recipe"is Central Works 45th world premiere and features Velina Brown* (Diane), Tamar Cohn (Ruth), Phoebe Moyer* (Lillian), Lynne Soffer* (Helen) and Jan Zvaifler (Janice), (*member AEA). It's one thing to say "The government is probably listening to my calls," but what do you do when you find out it's true? If it seems that the government that you call "a fascist, surveillance state" has specifically targeted you, is specifically watching YOU (it's not paranoia if they really are after you!), then what? How do you live your life knowing that all your fears may, actually, be true?

"I wrote this play for two reasons," remarks Michael Gene Sullivan, " we need more roles for women actors "of a certain age" that don't call for them to be widows, nuns, or crazy aunts; and sometimes even the most committed revolutionaries need to remember that revolution is not a dinner party. Or in this case - a baking circle."

An award-winning actor, director, as well as the Resident Playwright for the Tony award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe, Michael Gene Sullivan's plays have been performed in theaters throughout the United States. His critically acclaimed stage adaptation of George Orwell's 1984, directed by Tim Robbins, premiered in 2006 at the Actors' Gang, and went on to tour nationally and internationally for six years. This was the first adaptation of the novel endorsed by the Orwell Estate and published in the U.S. in 50 years.

The Central Works world premiere of "Recipe" is sponsored by Erica Nietfeld with foundation support from the City of Berkeley Civic Arts Grants Program, Fleishhacker Foundation, RHE Foundation, and the Wilder Green Fund.

Michael Gene Sullivan (playwright) is also an award-winning actor and director whose political dramas, musicals, and satires include 1600 Transylvania Avenue, Mr. Smith Goes To Obscuristan (With Josh Kornbluth), Godfellas, Red State, Too Big To Fail, Posibilidad Or The Death Of The Worker, this past summer's Ripple Effect (With Tanya Shaffer and Eugenie Chan), and his one person show, Did Anyone Ever Tell You - You Look Like Huey P. Newton? Michael's plays have been performed in theaters throughout the united states, as well as at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, The International Festival Of Verbal Art (Berlin), The Hong Kong Arts Festival, and In Greece, Spain, Columbia, Argentina, Canada, Mexico. In 2000, Michael became Resident Playwright for the Tony award-winning (and despite its misleading name never, ever silent) San Francisco Mime Troupe, and has since written some of the Troupe's most successful political comedies. 1984, his critically acclaimed stage adaptation of George Orwell's dystopic novel of the oppressive present/future, had its world premiere in 2006 at the Actors' Gang, directed by Academy Award winning actor Tim Robbins. 1984 was published in English by Playscripts, Inc. in the United States, and in Catalan by Edicions 1984 in Spain.

Gary Graves (director) most recently directed The Crazed (a new play written by Sally Dawidoff based on the acclaimed novel by Ha Jin) for Central Works. Some of the other 27 new plays he has directed for the company include Medea Hypothesis, Pitch Perfect, Machiavelli's The Prince, Reduction in Force, Lola Montez, Enemy Combatant, The Mysterious Mr. Looney, Misanthrope, Mata Hari, Nightingale, and Pyrate Story. He directed the company's first collaboratively developed script, Roux, at the City Club in 1997. He currently teaches playwriting year-round at the Berkeley Rep School of Theater.

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