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Aurora Theatre Extends Metamorphosis

Kafka’s harrowing tale of alienation-via-accidental-and-inexplicable-insectification gets a remake by British director David Farr and Icelandic actor-director Gísli Örn Gardarsson. Acclaimed local director Mark Jackson heads up this chilling-yet-funny adaptation of the 1915 novella about a family thrown for a loop when one of them wakes up to find he's turned into a really big bug. 

Tennessee Williams' 'The Eccentricities of a Nightingale' at Aurora Theatre

Tennessee Williams - who brought us Blanche DuBois, and therefore Marlon Brando yelling about Blanche DuBois in a rain-soaked t-shirt (thank you, silver screen) - is celebrating his 100th birthday. Or would be, if he was still alive. Since he's not, Aurora Theatre in Berkeley is doing it for him, by staging a production of The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, a haunting and rarely-produced play about a lonely woman living in pre-World War I Mississippi. 

Collapse: New Play at Aurora Theatre

“‘I'm supposed to make partner by this time. I'm going to have a baby at this time.' It's what Oprah has trained us all to do: You obtain your goals. You control your destiny. I'm not saying I don't believe that, but sometimes there are things out of your control."

Hannah’s life is crumbling around her ears, thanks to infertility, a depressed husband, and looming layoffs. In Collapse, Allison Moore’s new play about how life sometimes skids completely off the rails, a husband and wife react to tragedy by occupying different ends of the same pole. Hannah starts trying to control everything and David sinks into defeat and decides he can’t control anything.

Palomino at the Aurora

Writers often find themselves on unconventional career paths, thanks to the tentative fiscal prospect of writing the next great novel. Thus, Kieran McGrath finds himself staring at the meandering rear end of a horse as it clops through Central Park and straight toward his next resume bullet point: accidental gigolo. Trading his attractive and literary self to wealthy women for financial gain, McGrath thinks he’s found his plot.  

 

Race Relations in Black and White: 'Trouble in Mind' at the Aurora Theatre

In the days of constantly streaming Twitter and Facebook, it’s amazing anything stays relevant for a month, much less decades. But Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress - the first African-American woman to win an Obie award - remains an insightful exploration of racial inequality, even half a century later.

Written during the Civil Rights movement, this play-within-a-play follows a cast of black and white actors mounting a script about anti-lynching (by a white dude, naturally) on Broadway, a premise which opens the proverbial stage door to all manner of cultural side-stepping and socially mandated diffidence. Early in the play, an older black actor advises a younger one to “Laugh, laugh at everything they say.” Where “they” are white people in general, and white theater people in particular.

The First Grade at Aurora Theatre

World premieres are fun because you get to sit smugly with the knowledge that you're one of the first people on the planet to see whatever it is you're seeing. We all like to be smug on occasion. Aurora Theatre is a darn good place to see such premieres, as it pulls down plenty of respect and kudos from the theater-y folks.

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