17 May Newsletter – May 2014


Artistic Director’s Corner

Michael StormLet’s talk about fundraising shall we? It will be at the forefront of everything for TheatreFIRST for the next few months as we seek show sponsors for Fire Work by Lauren Gunderson, and we begin work on the “to do list” from the City of Berkeley that is part of our lease agreement. The chance to produce a world premiere is an outstanding opportunity, but to produce the world premiere of a Lauren Gunderson play is an amazing opportunity for this theatre company! The type of notoriety that Ms. Gunderson is receiving pretty much ensures that Fire Work will be published at some point, which means that one goes down in history (and print) as the original producer of this seminal work. Not to mention all the wonderful perks that TheatreFIRST provides, such as high profile recognition in ALL publicity and program materials, exposure on the website, recognition in all pre and post show speeches, invitations to private rehearsals for you and your friends, extra tickets to opening night for your guests, AS WELL AS the undying love and appreciation of all the amazing artists that have spent approximately six months working on this piece. And as for our lease requirements, we now must turn our attention towards a wheelchair lift for the lobby of the Live Oak Community Center, a noble endeavor and something that is dramatically needed to make our wheelchair patrons’ visit to the Live Oak Theatre a pleasurable one. We have our first estimate and it is for 23.5K. We will most definitely need your help to make this a reality.

So what does all this mean? Forward this to ANYONE you think can help. When the Kickstarter video is complete we ABSOLUTELY NEED YOU TO CIRCULATE THAT TO ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS, COWORKERS AND FAMILY MEMBERS. We think that people who donate money to the arts are not only amazing people, but are also people who will be interested in donating to help us make the theatre more accessible to its patrons.

Thank you for your continued support of TheatreFIRST.


Getting Fired Up About Fire Work

Now we know it’s old news that Fire Work, by Lauren Gunderson will be the exciting new end to our 20th anniversary season, and first season in our new home, the Live Oak Theatre, but we’re still feeling pretty jazzed over here at TheatreFIRST, especially in light of the most recent workshop of this new, never-before-seen play.

And what about that Lauren Gunderson? Already impressive with her great poise and fantastic work showing up throughout the Bay Area, she has also recently won an award. We are proud to join in the applause for her newest recognition, the 2014 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for I and You. Want to read more…? Check out: http://americantheatrecritics.org/homepublic/2014/4/5/gundersons-i-and-you-wins-2014-steinbergatca-award-citations.html

We are also making incredible group offers on this show for any one of our FOUR previews. Bring your group along and help us develop this wonderful play.

And don’t forget, tickets are on sale now at www.theatrefirst.com/tickets.

Already A Proud Ticket Owner Of A Boy Gets Girl Ticket?

Speaking of tickets. Do not fear. We’ve got you covered. But the devil is in the details, so here’s what you need to know: Fire Work will not share the exact same performance dates as Boy Gets Girl. Fire Work will be running September 26th to October 19th.

Thankfully it’s an easy fix. If you are a subscriber or have already purchased a Boy Gets Girl ticket, please email Michael Storm at mstorm@theatrefirst.com when those new dates are announced. Don’t have a computer: just call at 510.981.8150. Think you’ll forget both those things…? Just click on the ‘contact’ tab at www.theatrefirst.com. You can send an email directly from the site or copy that pesky phone number down again.

What’s On At The Live Oak Theatre now?!

Looking for something to do with your next weekend, well we’ve got a treat for you. Brought to you by Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, Over the Tavern is Tom Dudzick’s comedy about a family struggling and growing together, based in part on his own childhood growing up in a Polish-American community. Called “one of the biggest grass roots successes in American regional theatres” by Chicago critic Chris Jones, Over the Tavern is a funny and heartwarming play that deals with a family growing up over the family tavern in 1959 working class America.


Donna Davis is an award-winning director with broad experience in the Bay Area. She has directed musicals, comedy, drama, melodrama, cabaret, radio plays, premieres, classics, the 2011 production of Doubt for Actors Ensemble, and now she returns to Actors Ensemble for Over the Tavern.

Runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through May 24th. Sunday matinees May 11th and 18th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $12 for students and seniors. Tickets available online at www.aeofberkeley.org. Tickets also available at the Live Oak Theatre door.

What’s Up Next At The Live Oak Theatre?!

Well you might be thinking that our last musical event at the Live Oak Theatre–the stunning Fleetwood Mac tribute band, Fleetwood Mask–was a singular affair. Did you miss it?! Do you feel bad? Shoot. Even though you probably should be disappointed–because it was AWESOME–we’d like to help cheer you up. And we have just the thing…

How about Rockin’ In the Free World?!

Band Photo 2014 (800x536)

Jot it in your calendar or on your hand. June 28th will be an exciting night to relive some old favorites with Tribe of the Red Horse, an equally stunning tribute band to Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Want to see more? Go for it: http://www.tribeoftheredhorse.com. Tickets will be on sale very soon at www.theatrefirst.com/tickets. Tribe of the Red Horse will present a first set of Neil’s acoustic work and then a second set of the rock and roll favorites.

Know A Teen Looking For Something Exciting To Do This Summer?
Jon Tracy. Berkeley Playhouse. Teen Intensive.

There’s not much I can add to this amazing opportunity, other than to say I wish I was still a teenager so I could attend this workshop.

Two weeks to explore, perform, and dig deep into theatre, history, and adolescence. Using ancient Greece as a catalyst, the material will be rearranged, transformed, and re-imagined through dance, percussion, and the use of ancient and contemporary text. It will culminate in what will surely be a stunning final performance.

If you or any other teen you know is looking for something to do between June 16-27 contact Rik Lopes by email at rik@berkeleyplayhouse.org or call at 510-845-8542 x 376.

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