Grace, God and family in Berkeley Rep’s brilliant Bible

Oct 13

Grace, God and family in Berkeley Rep’s brilliant <i>Bible</i>

Sometimes you experience a work of art – for me that art is usually theater – and it connects you with something bigger and more powerful than your individual experience. You connect with the other audience members, the actors, the designers and, especially, the writer. When that connection is made, the communal heart of theater is so alive, so vast and so inexplicably moving that transcendence does, however temporary, seem a viable option.

Bill Cain’s How to Write a New Book for the Bible is one of those experiences. This world-premiere production at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (a co-production with Seattle Repertory Theatre is the most moving and insightful new play since Margaret Edson’s Wit.

This is an extraordinary play, and it will affect everyone differently.

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Bill Cain opens a new book for Bible

Oct 06

Bill Cain opens a new book for <i>Bible</i>

Bill Cain's last two Bay Area outings, Equivocation and 9 Circles, both at Marin Theatre Company, were absolutely fantastic. So there's reason to be excited about the world premiere of his latest play, How to Write a New Book for the Bible at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. With great compassion, intelligence and humor, Cain writes about his parents and his older brother in a play that flips back and forth in time as Cain cares for his dying mother.

I talked to Cain about the play for an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. Read the story here.

As usual, there wasn't enough space in the story to include all of Cain's interview, so I'd like to include a few more morsels here.

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Marin ignites an inferno with extraordinary 9 Circles

Oct 20

Marin ignites an inferno with extraordinary <i>9 Circles</i>

Craig Marker gives a performance of such magnitude in Marin Theatre Company’s 9 Circles that it almost eclipses the play itself. Obviously the play has to be substantial and artful enough to elicit great work from actors, and that is certainly true of Bill Cain’s script here. But at times it almost seems Marker’s not in a play at all – he’s a flesh-and-blood documentary, a slice-of-life person pushing everyone in the room through a barrage of intense emotions. There’s simply no escaping Marker’s intensity in the 99-seat Lieberman Theatre, Marin’s intimate second stage. Nor would you want to escape. This is without question must-see theater.

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Warm and fuzzy: `Working for the Mouse’ evolves

Apr 14

A man of character, Trevor Allen decided to put his character life behind him. Having detailed what it’s really like to work as a costumed character in Disneyland in his popular solo show Working for the Mouse, Allen made a conscious decision to focus on his burgeoning career as a playwright. Mouse, under the direction of Kent Nicholson, had a great run at...

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Crowded Fire shakes things up (again)

Sep 04

Seems like just yesterday that Crowded Fire Theatre Company announced the departure of founding artistic director Rebecca Novick and the ascension of co-artistic directors (and husband-and-wife) Cassie Beck and Kent Nicholson. Actually, it was more like a year ago. Today the company announced that Beck and Nicholson have “decided to pursue their careers at a...

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Review: `Grey Gardens’

Aug 24

Opened Aug. 23, 2008 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts   Beth Glover (left) is Big Edie and Elisa Van Duyne is Little Edie as they perform “Peas in a Pod” in Act 1 of the TheatreWorks production of the musical Grey Gardens. Photos by Mark Kitaoka `Gardens’ at TheatreWorks is solid production of crumbling musical «« The...

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