Moisés Kaufman & Amanda Gronich's HERE THERE ARE BLUEBERRIES is Coming to Shakespeare Theatre Company

Here There Are Blueberries is based on true events surrounding a mysterious album of never-before-seen Nazi-era photographs.

By: Feb. 01, 2023
Moisés Kaufman & Amanda Gronich's HERE THERE ARE BLUEBERRIES is Coming to Shakespeare Theatre Company
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Shakespeare Theatre Company will present a new work this season from multi-Tony nominated Moisés Kaufman, Amanda Gronich, and Tectonic Theatre Project (The Laramie Project, I Am My Own Wife): Here There Are Blueberries.

Conceived and directed by Moisés Kaufman and written by Kaufman and Amanda Gronich, Here There Are Blueberries is based on true events surrounding a mysterious album of never-before-seen Nazi-era photographs that arrived at the desk of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum archivist Rebecca Erbelding. As Rebecca and her team of historians begin to unravel the shocking story behind the images, the album soon makes headlines around the world. In Germany, a businessman sees the album online, recognizes his own grandfather in the photos, and begins a journey of discovery that will lead him to a reckoning of his family's past and his country's history. Here There Are Blueberries tells the story of these photographs-what they reveal about the perpetrators of the Holocaust, and about our own humanity.

"I am sure STC patrons will appreciate this beautiful and resonant piece," says STC Artistic Director Simon Godwin. "D.C. is where the story of this play began and I am thrilled we get to bring it back."

"It means the world to me to bring this production to Washington where the journey of this play began more than a decade ago," said Moisés Kaufman, Founding Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project. "My very first conversations with Dr. Rebecca Erbelding at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum gave us a map for exploring Karl Höcker's album. It feels just right for it to have a home at STC this Spring."

"The life of this production began in Washington, and was nurtured along the way by Michel Hausmann and Miami New Drama before being given a gorgeous world premiere production at the La Jolla Playhouse," said Matt Joslyn, Executive Director of Tectonic Theater Project. "Now, to be given this invitation from Simon and Chris and the family at Shakespeare Theatre Company is a tremendous honor. On behalf of Moisés, Amanda, Amy, and the scores of artists who played a part in the development of this play, we're profoundly grateful."

"FASPE has been actively supporting Moisés, Amanda, and Tectonic Theater Project's artists through their development process of Here There Are Blueberries for the past five years," said Wayne K. Green, CEO of Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics. "The play is very important to us, and the themes explored align with FASPE's mission of bringing the doctors and other professionals who played such a prominent role in the design and execution of the Holocaust to contemporary examination. We are eager to help Tectonic bring this play to audiences around the world, and we will continue to support meaningful and deeper conversations by connecting Blueberries audiences with world-renowned Holocaust scholars and medical (and other professions') ethicists."

Winner of Theater J's Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize, the world premiere of Here There Are Blueberries was co-produced by Tectonic Theater Project and California's La Jolla Playhouse where the Los Angeles Times named it the Best of Theater 2022, referring to it as "an impeccable production with symphonic subtlety." The San Diego Union Tribune called the production a "chilling world-premiere-engrossing, unsettling, and deeply moving" while BroadwayWorld exclaimed "Here There Are Blueberries should be staged in every major city in America."

Due to a scheduling matter that proved to be insurmountable, the production of Goddess slated for May/June will no longer be part of the 22/23 Season. "We regret not being able to deliver this production as we had originally anticipated," said Godwin. "But I am confident that STC audiences will find Here There Are Blueberries to be a resoundingly revelatory experience."

Here There Are Blueberries will run May 7 through May 28 in Harman Hall. Cast will be announced at a later date. Tickets are on sale now.

Here There Are Blueberries is written by Moisés Kaufman and Amanda Gronich, conceived and directed by Moisés Kaufman, and devised with Scott Barrow, Amy Marie Seidel, Frances Uku, Grant James Varjas, and the Members of Tectonic Theater Project. The design team includes scenic design by Derek McLane, costumes by Dede Ayite, lighting design by David Lander, sound design by Bobby McElver, projection design by David Bengali, dramaturgy and associate direction by Amy Marie Seidel, and production stage management by Joseph Smelser.

About the Creative Team

Moisés Kaufman

Co-Author & Director
Broadway credits include Paradise Square (10 Tony nominations), the recent revival of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song, Rajiv Joseph's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo with Robin Williams, 33 Variations with Jane Fonda (writer/director; Tony Award nomination for Best Play, Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award) and Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (Obie Award, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Award nominations). West End: Gross Indecency (writer/director, Gielgud Theatre); I Am My Own Wife (Duke of York's Theatre); This Is How It Goes by Neil LaBute (Donmar Warehouse). Off-Broadway/Regional: Here There Are Blueberries (Tectonic Theater Project / La Jolla Playhouse), Seven Deadly Sins (Tectonic Theater Project/Madison Wells Live), One Arm by Tennessee Williams (Tectonic Theater Project/The New Group); The Laramie Project (writer/director; Theater in the Square, Drama Desk nomination); The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later(writer/director; Alice Tully Hall); Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (writer/director; Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play, Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play and the Joe A. Callaway Award for Direction); Macbeth with Liev Schreiber (Delacorte Theater); Master Class with Rita Moreno (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). Opera: El Gato Con Botas (New Victory Theater). Film/TV: The Laramie Project (HBO; two Emmy nominations for writing and directing, Opening Night Selection at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, National Board of Review Award, the Humanitas Prize); The L Word. Mr. Kaufman is the Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project, a Guggenheim Fellow in Playwriting, and an Obie Award winner.

Amanda Gronich

Amanda has devoted her career to bringing non-fiction stories to the stage and screen. An Emmy-nominated scriptwriter, she created dozens of hours of top-rated series and specials for diverse broadcast networks, including Discovery Channel, History Channel, and Science Channel. Over a ten-year career in television, she worked as a lead series writer for National Geographic Television and became the Supervising Senior Writer at Hoff Productions. Prior to this, Ms. Gronich was a charter member of Tectonic Theater Project, where she co-wrote Here There Are Blueberries which made its premiere at La Jolla Playhouse, directed the company's Toronto production of Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and was one of the group of artists who traveled to Wyoming and co-created The Laramie Project, later made into an HBO film. Currently, she works as a playwright and a script development consultant in theater and documentary television. She also teaches interview-based storytelling as a Lead Teaching Artist at the Moment Work Institute, using techniques she developed as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Graduate Program in Educational Theatre, City College New York. She is at work founding a non-fiction play development institute. In addition, a book about her original play-devising methods will be released by SIU Press.

Derek McLane

Scenic Design
Broadway designs include: MJ: The Michael Jackson Musical, Moulin Rouge! (Tony Award), Soldier's Play, American Son, Parisian Woman, Beautiful, Follies, Anything Goes, Bengal Tiger..., Million Dollar Quartet, Ragtime, 33 Variations (Tony Award), Little Women, How to Succeed..., The Pajama Game, I Am My Own Wife, Ragtime. He designed the Academy Awards six times as well as four live musicals for television. Winner of multiple Obie, Lucille Lortel, Art Director's Guild, Emmy, Drama Desk, and Tony Awards.

Dede Ayite

Costume Design
Dede is a two-time Tony Award-nominated costume designer whose Broadway credits include American Buffalo, How I Learned to Drive, A Soldier's Play, Slave Play, American Son, Chicken & Biscuits, and Children of a Lesser God. Select Off-Broadway credits include Richard III, Merry Wives (The Public Theater); Seven Deadly Sins (Tectonic); Secret Life of Bees, Marie and Rosetta (Atlantic); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Signature); Nollywood Dreams, BLKS, School Girls... (MCC); Bella: An American Tall Tale (Playwrights Horizons); The Royale (Lincoln Center); Toni Stone (Roundabout). Regionally, Ayite's work has appeared at La Jolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf, Arena Stage, and more. She has worked in television with Netflix, Comedy Central, and FOX Shortcoms. Ayite earned her M.F.A. at the Yale School of Drama and has received an Obie, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes, Theatre Bay Area, and Jeff Award.

David Lander

Lighting Design
Broadway: Torch Song, The Heiress, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Drama Desk Award; Tony and Outer Critics nominations), 33 Variations (Tony and Outer Critics nominations), I Am My Own Wife (Drama Desk and Outer Critics nominations), Dirty Blonde (Drama Desk nomination), Golden Child, among others. Off-Broadway: Too Much Sun, Fran's Bed, Modern Orthodox, among many others. Regional: Ahmanson Theatre, Alley Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, The Old Globe, among others.

Bobby McElver

Sound Design
Bobby is a sound designer for theatre and dance. A former company member of The Wooster Group, he has toured internationally for over a decade and presented works in many major cities around the world. Additional artistic collaborators include Tectonic Theater Project, Andrew Schneider, Faye Driscoll, New York City Players, Kaki King, and Tina Satter (Half Straddle). Off-Broadway: AFTER (The Public Theater); Thank You For Coming: PLAY (BAM, Jacob's Pillow). He has recently joined the faculty in the department of Theatre & Dance at UC San Diego.

David Bengali

Projection Design
Credits include Twilight, Los Angeles: 1992 (Signature; Drama Desk Award nom.); The Visitor (The Public Theater; Lortel nom.) 1776, We Live in Cairo (A.R.T.); Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical (Seaview; Drama League nom.); Bollywood Kitchen (Geffen Playhouse); Circle Jerk (Fake Friends; Drama League nom.); Einstein's Dreams (59E59; Drama Desk nom); Girls (Yale Rep); The Great Leap (Atlantic Theater Co.); Frankenstein (Dallas Theater Center); The Temple Bombing (Alliance Theatre); Uncommon Sense (Tectonic Theater Project); In the Moment (The Kennedy Center/Ephrat Asherie Dance); Rockin' Road to Dublin (National Tour). Proud member: USA-829.

Amy Marie Seidel

Devisor, Associate Director, & Dramaturg
Amy is a Company Member at Tectonic Theater Project, where she has traveled the world to research and create new works of theater. She has developed numerous Tectonic productions, including Here There Are Blueberries, Seven Deadly Sins, Treatment & Data, Three Hotels, and Laramie: A Legacy. Select credits outside of Tectonic: Paradise Square on Broadway (Assistant Director), Eternal Flamer! at the Fresh Fruit Festival (Director), A Sacred Song of Thebes at Irondale (Director), and Theater J's Annual Benefit (Director).

Joseph Smelser

Production Stage Manager
STC: Resident Stage Manager; 40 productions including King Lear; Much Ado About Nothing; Our Town; Once Upon a One More Time; The Amen Corner (2021 remount); The Oresteia; The Panties, The Partner and The Profit; The Comedy of Errors; Camelot; Hamlet; The School for Lies; The Secret Garden (also at 5th Avenue Theatre and Theater Under the Stars); The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound (also at Guthrie Theater); Kiss Me, Kate; Man of La Mancha; The Tempest; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; A Midsummer Night's Dream; Strange Interlude; All's Well That Ends Well. REGIONAL: Arena Stage: The Heiress, Let Me Down Easy | Seattle Repertory Theatre: Eight seasons including An Ideal Husband, Play On!, Golden Child, Don Juan, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (with Lily Tomlin) | American Conservatory Theater: The Rivals, The Circle, The Government Inspector, Vigil | Berkeley Repertory Theatre: Journey to the West, An Almost Holy Picture, Having Our Say | Regional Tour: Let Me Down Easy and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (both with Anna Deavere Smith). PERSONAL: Training: Oberlin College: BA.

Tectonic Theater Project

Based in New York City and guided by founder and artistic director Moisés Kaufman, Tectonic Theater Project develops new plays using the company's trademarked theater-making method, Moment Work, and through a rigorous process of research and collaboration in a laboratory environment. Since its founding in 1991, the company has created and staged over twenty plays and musicals, including Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Laramie Project, Doug Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, the Tony Award-winning 33 Variations, and the Drama Desk Award-winning Seven Deadly Sins. Tectonic Theater Project's newest world-premiere play, Here There Are Blueberries, made its debut in a co-production with California's La Jolla Playhouse.

Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE)

FASPE provides a unique historical lens to study contemporary ethics in the professions. FASPE offers fellowships to students pursuing professional degrees in business, journalism, law, medicine, seminary, and design & technology, as well as to early-career professionals in these fields. Fellows in each of FASPE's six programs spend two intensive weeks in Germany and Poland, visiting Auschwitz and key historical sites in Berlin and Krakow, and participating in rigorous seminars led by experts in their respective fields. Fellows begin their studies by examining the roles their professional counterparts played in Germany and elsewhere from 1933-1945, and then draw on historical, cultural, philosophical, literary, and discipline-specific sources to explore the ethical issues facing their fields today. FASPE also provides shorter programs to mid-career professionals that integrate history and contemporary ethical issues. These include tailored onsite ethics training at corporations, law firms, and other professional settings, as well as a condensed version of the program in Europe in which the FASPE fellows participate.

Shakespeare Theatre Company

For more than 35 years, the Tony Award-winning Shakespeare Theatre Company has dedicated itself to being the nation's premier classical theatre. Classical plays are realized best not by originalism but by walking the path Shakespeare himself followed, creating works that spoke to his own contemporary audience. We tell vital stories in audacious forms. We tell stories that are Shakespearean in the deepest sense, even {{ if (and especially when) they are not written by Shakespeare. By focusing on works with profound themes and complex characters, STC's artistic mission is unique among regional theatres: to bring to vibrant life groundbreaking, thought-provoking, and eminently accessible theatre.