Shotgun Players’ production of local playwright Christopher Chen’s stimulating, creative and complex work, Caught, confounded and ultimately conquered the Ashby Stage audience in its opening night performance. The mesmerizing Caught concerns truth and lies in their infinite varieties, and the place of truth in art, journalism and relationships. Since 2014, Caught has been produced in Philadelphia, Chicago, London, Seattle and New York to glowing reviews.
In the oft-told Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the musician Orpheus follows his bride, Eurydice to the underworld to lead her back to life, but he is forbidden to turn his head and look at her. Nevertheless, because he fears that she may not be following him, he glances back and loses his love for all eternity. Contemporary playwright Sarah Ruhl has creatively turned the myth upside down in Shotgun Players’ winning Eurydice.
Astronomy and mysticism don’t normally mix, but they do, and with varying degrees of success, in Marisela Treviño Orta’s 80-minute one-act play, Heart Shaped Nebula, ably directed by Desdemona Chiang. The play chronicles the love story of Dalila and Miqueo, she, an astronomy and Greek mythology fanatic, he, an artist. These star-crossed lovers meet in high school in their small Texas town, a town not unlike Orta’s small hometown in Texas.
We are fortunate to have a company in Berkeley like Shotgun Players— always willing to take risks, to present large and small productions, classics, new material, or new takes on classics, as in Antigonick.
Berkeley’s Shotgun Players launched their new studios at an event on March 2 to celebrate what they hope will become a center for creativity and a hub for emerging performing arts groups in Berkeley.
Mayor Tom Bates last night delivered a picaresque tour of developments in Berkeley in his State of the City address at the Shotgun Theatre’s Ashby Stage.
In Our Town, three-time Pulitzer prize-winning author Thornton Wilder created a profound and intimate exploration into American life and death. And, although it was written over 76 years ago, the Shotgun Players’ version of the drama remains fresh and vibrant — still an important piece of American theater. Congratulations to the Shotgun Players and Director Susannah Martin for this winning production.
The entertaining, creative and comical Harry Thaw Hates Everybody by Shotgun Players at the Ashby Stage in Berkeley is based on a scandal that is still intriguing after more than 100 years.
Sir Tom Stoppard’s famous, award-winning trilogy, The Coast of Utopia (2002), centers on a group of Russian philosophers, radicals, anarchists and socialists in pre-revolutionary Russia (1833-1866). If the subject matter doesn’t sound enthralling, rest assured that one of Stoppard’s gifts is exploring arcane subject matters and infusing them with excitement, humanity and heart.
Shotgun’s mission is to present provocative and relevant theatre at an affordable price. It does so with its own productions, as well as by inviting other theater companies to perform on the Ashby Stage.
A growing number of playwrights grapple with the ethical issues of science and technology. Tom Stoppard was a pioneer, and Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen was a memorable exploration of nuclear physics and the responsibilities of scientists. In the Bay Area, Stanford’s Carl Djerassi, one of the inventors of the Pill, has a minor sideline as a playwright writing about science.
It’s eerie watching Shotgun Player’s new production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins in the middle of a presidential race. You can’t help but wonder about the daily rallies with President Obama in front of masses of supporters. Assassins suggests that the discontented who might seek a single “historic” act are just too common in our society.