Wonderful women in Word for Word’s Aunt Hagar

Nov 20

Wonderful women in Word for Word’s <i>Aunt Hagar</i>

What you remember from Word for Word's production of All Aunt Hagar's Children, a full theatrical adaptation of the short story by Edward P. Jones, are the women. Such women. They make an impression on the audience the way they make an impression the story's narrator, a nameless young man who returned to his native Washington, D.C., nine months ago after serving in the Korean War.

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Sublime stories from Word for Word and Alice Munro

Mar 08

Sublime stories from Word for Word and Alice Munro

Any celebration of Alice Munro merits attention, but when that celebration comes from Word for Word, the ever-astonishing local company that transforms short fiction into brilliant theater with complete fidelity to the original text, attention must not only be paid but also reveled in and savored.

Word for Word brought a Munro story to life in 1999 ("Friend of My Youth"), and the intervening years have brought more acclaim for the Canadian writer and a Nobel Prize for literature. Now that she is rightly revered for her masterful prose, Munro is given a full Word for Word evening in Stories by Alice Munro: "The Office" & "Dolly," a sort of career bookend.

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2013: The year’s best Bay Area theater

Dec 23

2013: The year’s best Bay Area theater

If you’re looking for the year’s best, you can shorten your search by heading directly to Word for Word, that ever-amazing group that turns short works of fiction into some of the most captivating theater we see around here. This year, we were graced with two outstanding Word for Word productions. You Know When the Men Are Gone – Word for...

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Twenty years on, Word for Word as brilliant as ever

Aug 19

Twenty years on, Word for Word as brilliant as ever

Here we thought Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart were giving a master class in the fine art of the theater. Turns out there's an equally good master class happening at Z Below, the climate-controlled new space (formerly Traveling Jewish Theater) underneath Z Space. That's where the geniuses (genii?) behind Word for Word are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a sharp-tongued, warmhearted show called In Friendship based on the stories of Zona Gale.

The nine women who founded the company, including artistic directors Susan Harloe and JoAnne Winter, are all performing in the show (all together for the first time, which seems hard to believe). So there's more going on here than just another show.

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Great stories, theater and heart in Word for Word’s Men

Feb 03

Great stories, theater and heart in Word for Word’s <i>Men</i>

Sometimes it's too easy to forget we're a nation at war, and that's not at all a good thing to be able to say. But it's true, especially here in the Bay Area bubble, where the war seems especially far away. For that reason, among many others, Word for Word's You Know When the Men Are Gone is a powerful and important piece of theater. Not to mention a moving and beautiful one.

It's nice to see Word for Word, the extraordinary company that turns short fiction into fully staged works of theater without changing the original text, working in such a contemporary mode.

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