Moral Humans /
Our 2019 Season, Moral Humans/Immoral Society, explores the systems in which we live—whether economic, political, or social—and the ways in which we struggle to transcend them.
“All the shows in our 2019 season speak to this theme of individuals trying to live ethical lives within enormous systems,” says Ubuntu Executive Director Michael Socrates Moran, “whether they are individuals caught in a system, individuals caught in oppression from a system, or individuals trying to transcend an institution and all that comes with it.”
Mother Courage and Her Children
FEB 8–Mar 3, 2019
Considered by many to be the greatest play of the 20th century, Bertolt Brecht's music-infused drama, translated by Tony Kushner, explores the mechanisms that perpetuate war through the experiences of one embattled woman and her family, directed by Emilie Whelan (A Streetcar Named Desire, Waiting for Lefty).
“Brecht has such an exquisite mind and a revolutionary spirit. He knows how to create an experience in which everyone feels welcome.”
—Emilie Whelan, Director
How I Learned What I Learned
In partnership with Marin Theatre Company and the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Ubuntu presents the Bay Area Premiere of August Wilson’s autobiographical one-man play, directed by Margo Hall. Written in 2003 and originally performed by Wilson himself, the play details his life as a young writer in Pittsburgh, from early jobs and a stint in jail to experiences with racism, music, love, and friendship.
“It is hilarious. You’d think it would be serious, but it is so funny. It’s just him on stage with all these great stories. It’s a major collaboration across the board, and I’m excited.” —Margo Hall, Director
Down Here Below
APR 6–28, 2019
Following the TBA Award–winning TO THE BONE (2017), Ubuntu Associate Artistic Director Lisa Ramirez offers a fresh take on Maxim Gorky’s groundbreaking 1901 drama The Lower Depths, re-locating his unflinching portrait of poverty in 20th-century Russia to a homeless encampment in modern-day Oakland. Ubuntu Artistic Associate Michael French directs this World Premiere ensemble production.
“The Lower Depths was one of those plays that changed the Russian theater in that it offered scenes from everyday life. People either left the theater infuriated because they were seeing real life, or exhilarated because they were seeing real life. DOWN HERE BELOW is set in a homeless encampment in Oakland, and I am writing the play for 25 company members. It’s a monster of a play and we’re really excited to present it.”
—Lisa Ramirez, Playwright
Romeo and Juliet
MAY 18–JUN 9, 2019
Following productions of Othello (2016) and Hamlet (2018), Ubuntu takes on Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy of star-crossed lovers, exploring the way prejudice between two communities fails the younger generation.
“The way everything is going in the country right now, seeing a story of two families that can not get together and talk like adults is really enlightening, and I can’t wait to see our diverse version of this story.” —William Hodgson, Ubuntu’s Founding Co-Artistic Director
florissant & canfield
AUG 31–SEP 16, 2019
This World Premiere from acclaimed playwright Kristiana Rae Colón dives into the community in Ferguson, Missouri following the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in 2014, taking a closer look at grief, activism, and identity as young people form the center of a national political movement.
Long Day's Journey Into Night
OCT 5–27, 2019
Widely considered his finest work, Eugene O’Neill’s Tony- and Pulitzer Award-winning drama follows the Tyrones—a family shaped by addiction, obsession, and regret—through a single day in August as years of secrets begin to emerge.
“One thing that attracts me to this piece is that the characters are all trapped within the institution of the family, while the force of love is trying to break them free. I am also drawn to the fact that this family is made up of recent immigrants, and I am excited to see how this play might reveal the immigrant story in our time.”
—Michael Moran, Ubuntu Executive Director
NOV 8–DEC 1, 2019
Rounding out the season, a centuries-old epic takes center stage in a new one-actor adaptation by Geetha Reddy, featuring Ubuntu Company Member J Jha (Waiting for Godot, Death of a Salesman, Pool of Unknown Wonders).
“This is a work that was always alive and that was often told by a single narrator for specific audiences, and specific times and places. And what we’re hoping to do is re-animate it for our time, and for ourselves.”
—Geetha Reddy, Playwright
Pay-what-you-can for a year of unforgettable theater
As a Subscriber, you will receive:
• One ticket to each production in the 2019 Season
• Free ticket exchanges if you can’t make your original performance date
• One free companion ticket to one performance of your choice (per subscription)
• Priority waitlist for sold-out performances
• Early access to single tickets
When you subscribe at a pay-what-you-can price, you also support local artists and support accessible ticket pricing throughout the season.