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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Word for Word enlivens stories by Donoghue, Tóibín

Feb 28

Word for Word enlivens stories by Donoghue, Tóibín

There is nothing more comforting than a Word for Word production. This extraordinary company's rich stage adaptations of short fiction for the stage can be thrilling, inventive, moving, incisive, funny and thought provoking. And, in that way that great writing can take you into that zone of alternate experience, they can be comforting. Maybe that's akin to the joy of being read to – there is that element in play, but augmented with the beauty of sets, lights, costumes, music and the combined thrill of both reading and live theater.

The new Word for Word show, Stories by Emma Donoghue and Colm Tóbín now at Z Below, comprises two gentle, emotionally rich stories by Irish writers...

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Bay Area theater 2015: some favorites

Dec 22

Bay Area theater 2015: some favorites

One of the best things about the year-end exercise to round up favorite theatergoing memories of the preceding year is that it can be such a powerful reminder of how much good theater we have in the Bay Area and how many really extraordinary theater artists we have working here. Another element jumps out at me this year and that is how, in addition to great homegrown work, our area also attracts some of the best theater artists from around the world to come and share their work (at the behest of savvy local producers, of course). Herewith, some favorites from the year that was.

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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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