Patricia Milton Comedy BAMBOOZLED Premieres At Central Works

Central Works begins its 2018 season of new plays with Bamboozled by award-winning playwright Patricia Milton, opening with a press night on Saturday, Feb 17, and running through March 18 (previews Feb 15 & 16) at the historic Berkeley City Club. Bamboozled was developed by Ms. Milton in the Central Works Writers Workshop, and is inspired by true events. In Central Works 58th world premiere, Abby is a young appraiser touring with the show "Antiques Roadtrip." She's a black woman from L.A. traveling in the south-Shelby County, Tennessee. When she's accused of defrauding a Daughter of the Confederacy out of a fortune in Civil War heirlooms, Abby finds herself on the hook for a million dollars. Her legal team is flailing and her accuser is formidable. Should she cop a plea? Or take a long shot for justice?

The production, directed by Gary Graves, is the fourth writer/director comic collaboration between Central Works' resident playwright and its company co-director. The all female cast includes Chelsea Bearce, Susan Jackson, Stacy Ross (member AEA), and Jeunée Simon, with dramaturgy by Victoria Evans Erville, stage management by Vanessa Ramos, costumes by Tammy Berlin, sound by Gregory Scharpen, and props by Debbie Shelley.

"Most of my plays deal with what we value, and what it costs us," says playwright Milton. "The premise of Bamboozled is simple: we live in a country haunted by slavery and the Civil War. The nation emerged from conflict burdened with trauma and resentments. We have, in the generations since, continued to sustain unjust systems directly traceable to the institution of slavery. I wanted to write a play that challenged stereotypes we hold of the South, North, and West. I wanted to write a play about Southern women that didn't erase women of color. I wanted to write a play that might start a conversation about our nation's systemic economic injustice, stemming from our cotton slavery past."

BAMBOOZLED

A new comedy about family valuables

written by Patricia Milton and directed by Gary Graves

Feb 17 - Mar 18 (previews Feb 15 & 16)

Post-show talk-backs on Sun, Feb 18 & Mar 11

At: The Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.

Performances: Thurs, Fri & Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 5 pm

Ticket prices: $30-$35 online at centralworks.org, $35-$15 sliding scale at the door.

Previews and Thursdays: available seats are pay-what-you-can at the door.

Tickets & info: 510.558.1381 or centralworks.org

Chelsea Bearce (Savannah) is performing her first show with Central Works. She is a Benicia native and some of her favorite roles include Risa in Two Trains Running, Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors and Esther in Intimate Apparel. Chelsea is a stand-up comedian of almost 10 years and also writes and produces sketch comedy and parodies. She has performed comedy all over the country and has a viral music video, Curvy.

Susan Jackson (Opal Anne) has performed as Joan Crawford, Jackie Kennedy, British poet Stevie Smith and Sarah Bernhardt. Other roles include Ouisa, Six Degrees Of Separation; Dr. Bearing in Wit; Martha, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?; "B" in Three Tall Women,and the mother in Look Homeward, Angel. Most recently, she performed the role of Marion Peallin in Death Be Not Loud! with the Southern Railroad Theatre /3Girls Theatre Co./Entropy Productions, (TBA recommended) and last year at the Capital Fringe, where it received a positive review in The Washington Post. She's thrilled to be in Bamboozled, testing her North Carolina Liberal roots.

Stacy Ross (Rochelle) recently appeared in Shakespeare in Love at the Marin Theatre Company. She lives and works in the Bay Area; 2017 credits include Symmetry Theatre (The Other Place), Aurora (Leni), and California Shakespeare Theatre (Much Ado About Nothing). Other theaters where she's worked include ACT, Berkeley Rep, Center Stage (Baltimore) SF Playhouse, Arizona Theatre Company, 59E59 (New York) and the late, lamented San Jose Rep. She is a member of Actors Equity and Playground.

Jeunée Simon (Abby) has worked with Bay Area Children's Theatre Company, Shotgun Players, Bread Box, Ragged Wing, Aluminous, Town Hall Theatre and more. She is a board member at TheatreFirst, where she was seen most recently in the world premiere of HeLa. She is also a company member at the Custom Made Theatre Company, where she recently appeared in Isaac's Eye. Jeunée kicked off 2018 performing with Killing My Lobster in the San Francisco Sketchfest. And finally, she was honored to be the 2017 recipient of the RHE Artistic Fellowship from the RHE Charitable Foundation in partnership with Theatre Bay Area.

Patricia Milton is a Resident Playwright for Central Works and a long-term member of the Central Works Writers Workshop. Plays written for Central Works include: Bamboozled (2018), Hearts of Palm (2016), Enemies: Foreign and Domestic (2015), and Reduction in Force (2011). She is a recipient of the 2015 Outstanding World Premiere Play by Theatre Bay Area for Enemies: Foreign and Domestic, and Reduction in Force was voted 2011 "Best Local Play" in Broadway World's annual poll. Her comedy Believers has enjoyed productions in Monterey and San Francisco, and has played for the past two years in Istanbul, Turkey. Her drama about the death penalty, Without Mercy, was presented at the Newfoundland Women's Work Festival and was produced by Off Broadway West Theatre Company in San Francisco in 2017. Ms. Milton has had more than one hundred productions and readings of her plays internationally, including at the 3Girls Theatre, San Francisco Exploratorium, PlayGround SF, Woman's Will, Women's Theatre Project, Bay Area One Acts, and City Lights Theatre.

Gary Graves (director) has been a resident playwright and company co-director at Central Works since 1998. He has been a part of developing 57 world premiere productions with the company, many of which he has either written and/or directed. Some of the other productions he has directed for the company include Winter, Years in the Hundreds, Edward King, Into the Beautiful North, Hearts of Palm, Enemies: Foreign and Domestic, Machiavelli's The Prince, Lola Montez, Enemy Combatant, The Mysterious Mr. Looney, Misanthrope, Mata Hari, and Pyrate Story. He directed the company's first collaboratively developed script, Roux, at the City Club in 1997. He also leads the Central Works Playwriting Program, and he teaches playwriting regularly at the Berkeley Rep School of Theater.

For over 27 years Central Works has filled a special niche for theater artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, producing more new plays by local playwrights than any other company in the region. "The New Play Theater" utilizes three basic strategies: some are developed in the Central Works Writers Workshop, some are products of the Central Works Method, and some come to the company fully developed.

The Central Works Writers Workshop is an ongoing commissioning program established in 2012. Twice a year, in 12-week sessions, 8 local playwrights are selected to develop projects through informal readings and carefully directed discussions. For more information, visit our website: www.centralworks.org

Central Works Method plays bring together writer, actors and director at the very outset of the playwriting process. In a supportive workshop environment, group research and collective brainstorming contribute to the entire development of the script.

Central Works 2018 Season Continues with:

Palace Wreckers, Inc.

written by Gary Graves

a revenge comedy based on an age old tale

May 12 - Jun10

World Premiere #59: A Central Works Method Play

King of Cuba

written by Cristina García (based on her novel)

a hilarious take on Cuba's legendary leader, "El Comandante"

Jul 21- Aug 19

World Premiere #60: from the Central Works Writers Workshop

Chekhov's WARD 6

adapted by Gary Graves from the Chekhov novella

a classic tale of madness, alienation and moral responsibility

May 12 - Jun10

World Premiere #61: A Central Works Method Play

Performing at the Berkeley City Club 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley

Tickets: $22 - $35 online at centralworks.org or $35 - $15 sliding scale at the door.

Previews and Thursdays: available seats are pay-what-you-can at the door.

For more information call 510.558.1381 or visit http://centralworks.org

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