2017 Season:
Cry Mercy, Forsaken Grace

2017 Bonus Show

Waiting For godot
by Samuel Beckett

A Co-production with Inferno Theatre

Entering the aftermath of the horrific World War II only to be faced with a potentially apocalyptic Cold War in full force, Samuel Beckett captured the pervasive existential crisis felt across the globe in the allegory of two bedraggled companions forever waiting for a stranger named Godot. Considered a seminal masterpiece in the Western canon, Waiting For Godot symbolically captures the absurdity, comedy, and tragedy of humanity's attempt to reckon with a wasteland of humanity's own creation. 

When: January 16 - February 27
Venue: Brooklyn Preserve
1433 12th Ave, Oakland, CA 94606
Tickets: $15-$35 online; pay-what-you-can at the door


2017 Season

February - September 2017

Venue: Brooklyn Preserve
1433 12th Ave
Oakland CA 94606

Single Tickets: $15-$35
- General Admission

Season Tickets: $125
- Discounted tickets
- Bonus ticket for a friend
- Invitation to 1st Rehearsal

Artists Passes: $50
- Highly Discounted tickets
- Bonus ticket for a friend

Under 25 Passes: $25
- Significantly Discounted tickets
- Bonus ticket for a friend

Across the world there is an overwhelming cry for mercy. But, we are falling victim to a pandemic of polarization that forsakes the grace necessary for us to hear the cries of others.

From our households to the streets, from Central America to Syria, from existential crises of the wealthy to the brutalization of the impoverished, from a devaluing of Truth to a fraying of social trust to a loss of faith, Ubuntu, the concept that “My humanity is tied to yours,” is thrown into question: How do we forge solidarity when the effort can seem naive, at best, and a betrayal to one’s sense of justice at worst? How do we recognize that each of us is beholden, bound and yet blinded to our own experience in the world while continuing our fight to bend the moral arc of the universe toward Justice? And, yet, in Shakespeare's words:

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
’Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.
— William Shakespeare

If, then, theatre allows us to experience ourselves in one another, we seek to transcend our visceral dividedness with visceral plays that speak to various vantage points of this universal cry for mercy, in hopes that our rendering of mercy provides us with the grace necessary to save ourselves from our ever increasing pandemic of polarization.


past work
2016 Season

 

The Gospel of Lovingkindness

by Marcus Gardley

January 2016

Following Dance of the Holy Ghosts, Marcus Gardley has gifted the Ubuntu Theater Project with another contemporary drama addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time—gun violence in America. The Gospel of Lovingkindness poetically renders how gun violence can ravage our homes and break our hearts. With song and poetry The Gospel of Lovingkindness is at once an outcry against the cycle of violence; a revelation of humanity’s redemptive strength within the worst circumstances imaginable; and a prayer seeking the cycle’s end with forgiveness, dignity and hope.


EXIT CUCKOO (NANNY IN MOTHERLAND)

by Lisa Ramirez

February 2016

A play by new Ubuntu Theater Project Company Member, Lisa Ramirez, EXIT CUCKOO (nanny in motherland) charts the lives of nannies, mothers and children trying to get by in a complicated social-political matrix that makes the responsibility of parenting and child care a difficult emotionally tangled legal and moral web. This is a tale of daily triumphs by a US Latina solo performer and writer who has received widespread critical acclaim and recently won the Helen Merrill Award for playwriting in New York City.

 

 

 


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I Am My Own Wife

by Doug wright

March 2016

I Am My Own Wife is Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize Winning one person play about Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf—a transgender woman who survived Nazi Germany and East Germany under Stasi surveillance.

Featuring Co-Artistic Director, William Hodgson will play all 40 characters as we explore how the complexity of protecting one’s body in this historical context relates to our present time.


The Grapes of Wrath

By Frank Galati

From the novel by John Steinbeck

April 2016

Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath out of the rage he felt at the way in which forcibly displaced migrants from Oklahoma were treated upon their arrival in California. In our current time of global warming, mass migration, refugee crises, drought, and excessive wealth disparities, the themes coursing through Steinbeck’s classic are alive today and poignant for our time.

Steinbeck characterized the Joad journey as a march. And in our production the Joad family sings and marches on their journey to keep the human spirit alive as we aim to reveal the American myth at the core of this classic.


MÁs

by milta ortiz

May 2016

Más by Milta Ortiz is a docudrama that champions the true story of a Chicano community in Tucson, Arizona struggling to retain their cultural identity as they fight to save Mexican American Studies in the Tucson Unified School District. This play is wrapped in music, dance, and ritual and reveals the real cost of fighting to keep one’s culture alive.

The production is a co-production between Ubuntu Theater Project and Laney College’s Fusion Theatre Project and the Theatre Arts Department led by Michael Torres.


othello

by william shakespeare

June 2016

Othello is Shakespeare's conversion of a morality play into a story that challenges our pre-conceived notions and inspires a more complex outlook upon what we consider Good and Evil. Othello begins the play having converted from Islam to Christianity in order to wed Desdemona. And, arguably, at the end of the play he re-converts to Islam. In Shakespeare's time 'Moor' was a catch-all for every Muslim living within the Ottoman empire--from Spain, to North Africa to the Middle East. The Moor represented a blind spot in the consciousness of the Elizabethans worldview.

America now faces another confrontation with what some have determined to be an 'Other' and our consciousness is once again full of blind spots.


Hurt Village

by katori hall

July 2016

Hurt Village follows a housing project in Memphis, Tennessee when a government Hope Grant ignites the relocation of many of the project’s residents, including the 13 year-old aspiring rapper Cookie and the matriarchs in her family, mother Crank and great-grandmother Big Mama.

This play is a bold, gritty and heart-wrenching piece, which earned Katori Hall the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. As gentrification and affordable housing continue to dominate our national headlines, this play demands our attention and care.