UC Berkeley Presents THE WEDNESDAY CLUB, A New Musical Based On Songs By Joe Goode Performance Group

The show, running from April 25 to 28, explores the process of collaboration among a group of drama nerds and focuses on LGBTQ+ artists.

By: Apr. 12, 2024
UC Berkeley Presents THE WEDNESDAY CLUB, A New Musical Based On Songs By Joe Goode Performance Group
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UC Berkeley's Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) concludes its 2023/24 season with The Wednesday Club, written and directed by Joe Goode with music direction and composition by Ben Juodvalkis.

This new musical follows a motley group drama nerds-a gay cowboy, a slam poetry genius, a revolutionary poet, a naturalist, a couple of starry-eyed lovers, and a doomsayer-who get together to test out their theatrical innovations every Wednesday evening in a church basement. Based on songs from the repertoire of the Joe Goode Performance Group and focusing on LGBTQ+ artists and their allies, The Wednesday Club looks at the sometimes painful process of collaboration and the wisdom that can be gleaned from listening and slogging through the rough stuff to arrive at a place of trust and belonging.

"I am concerned that it is yet again-or should I say, still-a precarious time for LGBTQ+ rights in this country," said Goode. "I did not want to write an angry protest piece or a political one. I just wanted to show that we are all fragile and human and struggling to understand where we fit in. The Wednesday Club is a piece about trying to belong."

The creative team for The Wednesday Club includes Joe Goode (writer and director), Ben Juodvalkis (music director and composer), Arnel Sancianco (scenic designer), Dominique Fawn Hill (costume designer), Ray Oppenheimer (lighting designer), and Lauren Chang (stage manager). The show features additional music by Lila Blue, Melecio Estrella, Damara Ganley, Jesse Olsen Bay, and Holcombe Waller.

The all-student cast includes: Emma Gardner (Susan), Ryan Gottschalk (Collin), Kaiya Amani Hoareau (Emma), Mirelle Lindquist (Tessa), Gilberto Martinez Martinez (Del), Angelica Mosqueda (Mona C. Black), Vivian P. Nguyen (Micah), Liam Quinn (Major), Nick Reulbach (Simon), Haley Ruth Spencer (Syd), AJ Sohrabi (Father George), and Izzy Villarreal (Minerva).

Performances will run from April 25 to April 28 at Zellerbach Playhouse in Berkeley. General admission tickets are now on sale for $10 to $20 at tickets.berkeley.edu.

About the Creators:

Joe Goode (writer and director) is a choreographer, writer, and director widely known as an innovator in the field of dance for his willingness to collide movement with spoken word, song, and visual imagery. He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007, and the United States Artists Glover Fellowship in 2008. In 2006 Goode directed the opera Transformations for the San Francisco Opera Center. His play Body Familiar, commissioned by the Magic Theatre in 2003, was met with critical acclaim. The Joe Goode Performance Group, formed in 1986, tours regularly throughout the United States, and has toured internationally to Canada, Europe, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Goode is known as a master teacher; his summer workshops in "felt performance" attract participants from around the world, and the company's teaching residencies on tour are hugely popular. He is a member of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.

Ben Juodvalkis (music director) composes original music for dance, film, theater, corporate events, and museum installations. He has created scores for over 50 organizations and has had his music performed on four continents. Ben works from his studio in San Francisco as well as on location with his mobile custom built electronic instruments.

(Photo: Cottonbro Studio)


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