Lust, lies and addiction fuel Shotgun’s Phaedra

Oct 07

Lust, lies and addiction fuel Shotgun’s <i>Phaedra</i>

The sensational zing of the Phaedra myth has always come from the incestuous relationship at the story's heart: Phaedra is secretly in love with her stepson, Hippolytus. When that love becomes less of a secret, tragedy ensues.

Everyone loves a titillating love story, especially when there's a taboo to be wrestled to the ground. Euripides apparently wrote two plays involving Phaedra, but only one, Hippolytus, survives. Then, in the late 17th century, Racine wrote a version of Phaedra that has aroused audience interest for more than 300 years. Eugene O'Neill had fun with the Phaedra story in his pulpy Desire Under the Elms, and now Adam Bock, one of North America's most intriguing playwrights, puts his own stamp on the tale.

Bock reunites with Berkeley's Shotgun Players for the world premiere of his Phaedra, and though Bock has a long history with Shotgun (his Swimming in the Shallows will always be a Shotgun highlight for me), this new drama finds him working in mature playwright mode, with echoes of Pinter and Albee bouncing through the silences and percolating under the familial tension.

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Bock, Beck hit `Drunken City’

Mar 29

The arrival of a new Adam Bock play is always an event. Even though the Canadian playwright decided to forgo the pleasures of life in the Bay Area for the rigors of a New York writer’s existence, we still love him. And as long as he sends us a play every now and then (like The Shaker Chair, a Shotgun Players/Encore Theatre Company production from last year),...

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Review: ‘The Shaker Chair’

Dec 21

Dramatic Shaker Chair unseats expectations three stars Stirring Marion loves her new chair. It’s a beautiful wood straight back with woven seats. It’s a copy of a Shaker chair, and though she finds it beautiful, Marion admits that the chair isn’t very comfortable. “The Shakers didn’t believe in sitting around,” she tells us....

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Bock builds a ‘Shaker Chair’

Dec 13

Sure Adam Bock misses his friends in the Bay Area. But the Canadian playwright, who moved from San Francisco to New York about five years ago, really misses the food. “Food in San Francisco is so yummy,” he says. “It’s just not the same in New York. I don’t know what it is about the Bay Area — maybe all that produce or the fact...

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Bock in black

May 23

We can claim Adam Bock as a San Francisco playwright, but that’s really not quite accurate. The talented writer basically used the Bay Area as a way station between his native Canada and the greener pastures of New York. But it must be said, the pastures were pretty green in San Francisco, where Bock made a splash with the man-in-love-with-shark comedy...

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