2017 Season

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Waiting for Godot

January - February 2017

We come to theater to watch actors take action, for these actions to move us, for time to pass and to be entertained. If this is true, the title of ‘Waiting For Godot’ alone has beaten us before we have even begun to wrestle with the play itself.

The paradox that ‘absence’ can be overwhelmingly present in our lives, from the most personal level to the most existential, is the essence of Samuel Beckett’s masterwork.

How to render ‘absence’ manifest for all to see is a metaphysical, existential, spiritual and theatrical question worthy of artists trying to meet its demands.   

With this in mind, we experimented with pushing this absence to the extreme. With no sound except for the Oakland street beyond this sanctuary and barely any lights except the lights that accompany this space, we set the play in the metaphorical landscape of an empty church, where two Fools come to wait for their absent King. 

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DEAth of a salesman

February - March 2017

by Arthur Miller
directed by Michael Socrates Moran

How does a person come to terms with their country changing before their eyes?

Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is an iconic portrait of a man grappling with the changing face of America. Re-imagined in Michael Moran’s production as the fever dream of a dying man, Miller’s masterwork resonates with the current national crisis of identity—and becomes a radical call for compassion in the face of irrevocable change.



MARch - april 2017

by Lisa Ramirez
directed by Michael Socrates Moran

When you are unseen, how can you seek justice? When you don't have a voice, how can you defend your rights?

Diving into one of the most explosive conversations of the American political landscape, TO THE BONE follows five undocumented immigrant women struggling to survive the harsh realities of life at an East Coast poultry factory.

Inspired by interviews with undocumented immigrant workers in a poultry factory in upstate New York, Lisa Ramirez's play reveals the strengths and weaknesses, dreams and nightmares of one voiceless segment of the American workforce, and serves as a fierce and fervent cry for women’s rights, immigrants’ rights--and ultimately, human rights. 



June 2017 - with machinalia

by Chris Thorpe
directed by Will Detlefsen

Is it ever possible to see the world from someone else’s political perspective? Are human beings actually capable of respectful disagreement? How can we ever recognize our own bias when we’re surrounded by people exactly like us?

Chris is ready to find out. 

So he, a self-defined liberal, finds a white supremacist to talk politics with in hopes of challenging everything he thinks he believes in. 

Part confessional, part extreme political experiment, Chris Thorpe’s award-winning piece explores the nature of confirmation bias with a brutal honesty that’s sure to surprise, provoke and test you—whatever your political position.



June 2017 - with Confirmation

by Steph Del Rosso
directed by Will Detlefsen                            

A young woman – an office – a job – a flat – a home – sweet home – a man – a question – a marriage – a bed – hotel bed – hospital bed – baby – lovely baby – alive – a love – new love – affair – unfair – a choice – a murder – a court – a trial – a jail – the dark: a life? 

Inspired by Sophie Treadwell’s groundbreaking 1924 expressionist drama about convicted and executed murderer Ruth Snyder, Steph Del Rosso’s Machinalia elegantly interrogates societal expectations placed on women, and the consequences of living within—and without—them.




July - August 2017

by Tori Sampson
directed by William Hodgson

What happens when the revolution on the streets walks through your front door?

Oakland, 1967. In Miss Trish's bar, local 20-somethings work, study, fight, fall in love and dream of a different world. On the streets, the Black Panther Party is organizing armed patrols against police brutality. John Frey, an on-duty officer, will soon be shot and killed. Huey Newton, the co-founder of the Black Panthers, will be charged and stand trial for his murder. 

Tori Sampson's electric new drama brings the African American community of 1960s Oakland richly to life, offering a provocative look at the events that made Huey P. Newton an American household name. 




AUG 25–SEP 17

adapted by Philip Kan Gotanda
directed by Michael Moran

One event. Four versions. Within them, where is the truth? 

After the body of a murdered samurai is discovered in a forest in rural Japan, a notorious bandit claims responsibility for his death. In court, his fellow witnesses—the samurai’s wife, a priest, and a local woodcutter—all give conflicting accounts of the day’s events, causing the priest to question his faith in humanity. 

Acclaimed Bay Area playwright Philip Kan Gotanda’s original adaptation of the classic Japanese short story is a timely drama for an era in which the accuracy of facts are regularly contested; and an incisive parable about the ways in which humanity's relationship to truth impacts the very foundations of society.