Catastrophist unleashes contagious drama – catch it

Jan 31

William DeMeritt is Nathan in Lauren Gunderson’s The Catastrophist produced by Marin Theatre Company and Round House Theatre. Photos courtesy of Marin Theatre Company; Director of Photography Peter Ruocco; Lighting Designer Wen-Ling Liao; Costume Designer Sarah Smith San Francisco playwright Lauren Gunderson was already one of the most admired and produced...

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ACT puts Scrooge in your head this year

Dec 07

James Carpenter revisits the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in American Conservatory Theater’s A Christmas Carol: On Air, an audio adaptation of the beloved annual production. Photo by Kevin Berne. Some years I’ve had it up to hear with A Christmas Carol and want nothing to do with the Cratchits, the crutch and bah humbugs. Other years, I feel like...

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SF Playhouse explores Art on stage on film

Oct 26

SF Playhouse explores <i>Art</i> on stage on film

The Bay Area theater scene has been short on excitement, understandably, these last seven months. So it's beyond thrilling news when a theater company, in this case San Francisco Playhouse announces a new play on an actual stage with actors acting together on a set that has been designed and lit, with nary a Zoom square to be seen.

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Josh Kornbluth saves the world with Citizen Brain

Oct 24

Josh Kornbluth saves the world with <i>Citizen Brain</i>

Josh Kornbluth is really working the Empathy Circuit these days. Unlike, say, the Borscht Belt or the nearly vanished cabaret clubs, the Empathy Circuit isn't any sort of entertainment network. It's the complex wiring that winds through various parts of our brains and allows us to feel empathy – that is, the ability to care about, imagine or even try to feel the feelings of another being.

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ACT Zooms into a new era with Warcraft

Sep 06

ACT Zooms into a new era with <i>Warcraft</i>

Credit creative directors and designers who are working to turn Zoom into a dynamic theater space. American Conservatory Theater kicks off the fall theater, such as it is, with a production that amply demonstrates how effective Zoom can be as a play space. In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar is a co-production with Alaska's Perseverance Theatre, and it's a remount of a production made last spring, at the start of quarantine, with members of ACT's MFA Class of 2022 under the direction of Peter J. Kuo.

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G-L-O-R-I-A! Gloria fascinates, frightens at ACT

Feb 27

G-L-O-R-I-A! <i>Gloria</i> fascinates, frightens at ACT

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Gloria is a fascinating play. It's a lively workplace comedy until it's an unsettling workplace drama. There's a sheen of satire to it but also reality and heart. There's a bracing boldness to it that makes its two hours fly by, and its path is never exactly what you think it will be.

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