And They Have a Plan

And They Have a Plan

Impact Theatre goes out with a bang…and an alien invasion.

Read my review in the East Bay Times and Mercury NewsRead more

Edie’s Got a Gun

Edie’s Got a Gun

The kids are all right, all by themselves:

My review of Crowded Fire’s Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them is on KQED Arts. Read more

Choppy Choppy

Choppy Choppy

Berkeley’s Impact Theatre has a taste for blood, particularly in its Shakespeare productions but also in the new plays that make up most of its fare. So it’s hardly surprising that its latest assemblage of short plays, Bread and Circuses, is themed around violence as entertainment. In fact it’s really an appreciation of Impact as a company, with most of the shorts written by playwrights who’ve done full-length works with the theater in the past, including

Steve Yockey, Lauren Yee, Prince Gomolvilas, Lauren Gunderson and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Read more

Squiddily Diddling

Squiddily Diddling

Playwright Steve Yockey has had plays produced locally by Magic Theatre, Climate Theater and Marin Theatre Company, but it’s good to see that he keeps coming back to Impact Theatre, the pizza-parlor basement company that introduced him to the Bay Area with 2007’s Cartoon. The Fisherman’s Wife, which opened last weekend, is Yockey’s fifth production and third world premiere with Impact.

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A Tighter Titus

A Tighter Titus

Titus Andronicus is William Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy, and for centuries it was also generally considered to be his worst. Although the playwright’s contemporaries loved it, it wouldn’t regain popularity until after Word War II, when all the play’s hand-chopping, child-killing, rape, decapitation and cannibalism no longer seemed as outlandish as it once did. In the age of the slasher flick, Titus’s Grand Guignol elements are once again its primary selling point.

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Prospero’s Bots

1 September, 2011 Theater No comments
Prospero’s Bots

I wrote up Jon Tracy’s steampunk reinvention of The Tempest for today’s Marin Independent Journal, and you can see what I thought of it over yonder.

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High School Inconsequential

High School Inconsequential

There’s a lot of talk in the theater community about how to bring in younger audiences, and one pretty natural way would seem to be to do plays that appeal to the young’uns by being about them. Of course, just because a play has teenage characters, like Grease or Brighton Beach Memoirs, doesn’t mean they’re going to resonate with teens.  I’m stacking the deck by using those examples because they’re period pieces, but it’s a common pitfall for plays by adults about teens to come off as nostalgia pieces or condescending, no matter when they’re set. It’s something that certainly can be done well, but more often it’s not.

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