Skyler Cooper (L) and Elaine Magree (R)
Elaine Magree
Skyler Cooper
Elaine Magree

Elaine Magree has written, directed or performed at The Marsh, The Magic Theatre, California Shakespeare Festival, Z Space, The Working Women’s Theatre Festival, Brava, The Exit Theatre, The People’s Theatre Festival, The National Women’s Theatre Festival and The Minneapolis, Winnipeg and Victoria Fringe Festivals. She taught theatre at Solano College, SF City College, East Bay Center for The Performing Arts and in homeless shelters, recovery centers, and the Sacramento county jail. Her piece Holding the Edge was nominated for TBA best solo show of the year and was recognized with a Sui Generis 2016 Achievement Award.  PussyGrabbeerRevenge is in development as her third solo, or possibly, ensemble piece. Sometimes a wave, sometimes a photon: you can’t be in two places at once, or can you?

Skyler Cooper

Skyler Cooper is thrilled to be performing at TheatreFIRST. Skyler has worked with Crowded Fire Theater, B Street Theater, SF Playhouse, California Shakespeare company, Faultline Theater, Impact theater, and various other companies around the bay area with a strong appetite for gender-bending characters roles.  He has gone from playing Othello the moor (Director, Melissa Hillman) to Queen Margaret ( Director,Jon Tracy). He took some time off from theater to write, produce and direct his award-wining short film HERO MARS about gender-stereotypes in the world of classical theater actor. Skyler trained in acting with Phil Bennett Lab, A.C.T. and a summer internship with the California Shakespeare Company.  Always gratitude for this moment…you for being here with us…and for what art can do!

SUSANNAH MARTIN, PussyGrabbingREVENGE Director

An award-winning director, teacher, and theatre maker, Susannah has taught and directed for organizations throughout the Bay Area. For five years, she was the Joint Artistic Director of Paducah Mining Co., a San Francisco-based theatre ensemble that produced acclaimed work by established playwrights and devised original pieces on complex material such as domestic terrorism, spousal abuse, and poverty in America. During her tenure with Paducah, she was awarded three Dean Goodman Choice Awards. She is also a Bay Area Critic’s Circle, Broadway World, and Shellie Award nominee. Directing credits include productions at Shotgun Players (company member); Mugwumpin (company member); San Francisco Playhouse; La Pena Cultural Center; the San Francisco International Arts Festival; Boxcar Theatre; Town Hall Theatre; Sonoma County Rep; Porchlight Theatre Company; TheatreFIRST; A.C.T.’s Professional Training Program; Sacramento Theatre Company; and countless readings and workshops for companies as varied as the Aurora Theatre Company, Playwright’s Foundation, Marin Theatre Company, Crowded Fire Theatre Company, TheatreWorks, and Z Space. Susannah is currently the Theatre Director and Arts Program Coordinator at San Francisco University High School as well as Guest Faculty at Saint Mary’s College. She taught movement, voice, acting, and composition for the California Shakespeare Theater for twelve years and directed several Shakespeare productions for their 5-week summer conservatory. Susannah received her BFA in Theatre from NYU. She received her MFA in Directing from UC Davis.

DOMENIQUE LOZANO, A One Man Show Director

Ms. Lozano is a Bay Area based Director, Actress and Educator. She was a Resident Artist with the American Conservatory Theater, (ACT), for 15 years, where she served as a core faculty member and director in the MFA Program, a director and teacher in the Young Conservatory and Studio ACT Programs, and as the resident director of the main stage production of A Christmas Carol.  Other directing work at ACT includes MFA Productions of Fuente Ovejuna, The Good Woman of Setzuan, SuenoThe Skin of Our Teeth, Happy to StandSavedReferences to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, as well as productions of Twelfth NightOthello, and The Comedy of Errors for the Will on Wheels tour; and thirteen graduate showcases. Her work with the Young Conservatory includes the world premieres of Staying Wild book by Janet Allard, music and lyrics by Creighton Irons; Home Front book by Craig Slaight, music and lyrics by Creighton Irons; Tim Mason’s The Life to Come; Sarah Daniel’s Dust and Constance Congdon’s Nightingales; West Coast premieres of Jeffrey Hatcher’s Korczak’s Children; Wendy MacLeod’s School Girl Figure; and Darling, book by Brett Rybeck, music and lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver. 

Ms. Lozano serves on the Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies faculty at UC Berkeley, where she teaches Acting, Acting Styles and Shakespeare Scene study,  as well as directs, most recently the Fall 2018 production of Tartuffe

Ms. Lozano was an Associate Artist with the California Shakespeare Theater, where she performed leading roles in over 20 productions, most recently the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit, and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. She also served as Master Vocal Coach on numerous productions, including HamletHenry IV pts 1 and 2Othellothe TempestMacbethThe Comedy of Errors, and The Taming of the Shrew.

Additional Bay Area directing credits include The Importance of Being Earnest and The Comedy of Errors (2020) with Livermore Shakespeare Festival; Shakespeare in Love at Las Positas Theatre (2020), The Drawer BoyWelcome Home Jenny Sutter and the critically acclaimed Orlando with TheatreFirst; The Countess with Center REPertory Theatre; Two for the Seesaw with Marin Theatre Company; Inspecting Carol and the West Coast premiere of Jane Martin’s Anton in Show Business with San Jose Stage Company; and The Norman ConquestsHolidayThe Real Thing, and She Loves Me with Napa Valley Repertory Theatre, of which she was a founding member and associate artistic director. Additional acting credits include work with the American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Center REPertory Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Jose Stage Company, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 

Ms. Lozano has taught throughout the Bay Area at such institutions as UC Davis, Saint Mary’s College, Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Las Positas and Solano Colleges.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TheatreFIRST presents

HISTORY KEEPS ME AWAKE: QUEER VOICES IN REP

Feb. 15th – Mar. 7th, 2020

Berkeley, CA – History Keeps Me Awake: Queer Voices in Rep showcases new solo work from Bay Area legends Elaine Magree and Skyler Cooper that examine two story threads within the rich and varied queer community tapestry.

Elaine Magree’s PussyGrabbingREVENGE is a seriously funny take on a seriously unfunny subject. A man won’t take a woman’s NO for an answer. She calls five women, who each call five women, they each call five more, and a resistance action is born. Powered by dorky jokes, Magree asks: is it revenge or justice? Susannah Martin directs.

In A One Man Show, Skyler Cooper charts his course of transformation from a Baptist minister’s daughter afraid to tell her parents she liked girls, didn’t believe in God, and desperately wished to become a man, through the death of his mother that serves as the unexpected catalyst that sets Skyler on his path toward whom he’s always been. Domenique Lozano directs, with Lisa Evans as dramaturge.

The History Keeps Me Awake: Queer Voices in Rep creative team also includes Kristoffer Barrera (Sound/Video), Stephanie Anne Johnson (Light), Nikki Anderson Joy (Costume), Alejandra Rivas (Stage Management), and Jon Tracy (Scenic).

The repertory will also spotlight organizations that identify across the LGBTQIA2+ spectrum through visual installations that begin the event and community discussions that follow each performance.

History Keeps Me Awake: Queer Voices in Rep delivers on TheatreFIRST’s promise to smash traditional models, and hold ourselves to equitable representation mandates (minimum two-thirds people of color, half female identified and one-third LGBTQIA2) that don’t so much mirror the world we have, but the world we want: a coalition of humans centered in their own stories.

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AT A GLANCE:

TheatreFIRST presents

HISTORY KEEPS ME AWAKE: QUEER VOICES IN REP 

Feb. 15th – Mar. 7th, 2020

The Repertory includes:

PussyGrabbingREVENGE
Written and Performed by Elaine Magree

Directed by Susannah Martin

A One Man Show
Written and Performed by Skyler Cooper
Directed by Domenique Lozano

Waterfront Playhouse and Conservatory
2020 Fourth St., Berkeley CA

Single tickets and repertory packages are available now at:

www.theatrefirst.com

Waterfront Playhouse and Conservatory is fully ADA accessible. Contact boxoffice@theatrefirst.com for all accessibility needs.

Other questions? Contact Troy Rockett: boxoffice@theatrefirst.com