For Immediate Release 11/16/2021
TheatreFIRST, Berkeley Announces 2022 Season
- Return to in-person theatre with four new works to start in January
- “Welcome Home” season explores meaning of home
- Partnerships with Bay Area organizations to drive community support
November, 15, Berkeley, CA – TheatreFIRST today announced its 2022 Season of electrifying, evocative new works that investigates the question What is Home? New Artistic Director Brendan Simon invites audiences to the newly renovated Live Oak Theatre and experience four stories that explore relationships through the people, places and memories, that help us make meaning, define our path, and shape our lives.
“Art has no more important task than amplifying our painful truths, that we may begin to heal ourselves, our communities, our nation, and our world,” said Simon.
Simon is also committed to making it easy for audiences to access health information and resources when they attend a TheatreFIRST show. “These stories can and should have an impact beyond the stage. That can be made possible through dynamic partnerships with local, health focused organizations.”
- January – Balikbayan Box by Jeffrey Lo and directed by Michelle Talgarrow: Bethany, a Filipino woman, dreams about immigrating to America. In order to get her there, her family has convinced a Filipino-American to help her obtain citizenship status by arranging a marriage between the two. Will they find a way to support each other and create new dreams together?
- April – All that Matters by Brendan Simon and Robert Moreno and directed by Brendan Simon: A new song cycle unpacks the past two years – the joys, pains, highs, lows, gains and losses – and the implications and opportunities in our new reality. The audience is encouraged to consider what’s truly important in life and explore a shared path forward.
- May – Music of Mothers, written and directed by Victoria Erville: The story follows two childhood friends through adolescence, marriage, childbirth, and death. Yet the outside world filled with politics and division might be the one challenge that opens wounds and changes the dynamics between them. What does it mean to be friends for life? How hard will they fight to keep their bond?
- July – Gaslit: A Drag Parody by Chris Steele and Sean Owens and directed by Richard Mosqueda: An intentionally queer, trans, and feminist takedown of an accidentally impactful theatre classic: ‘Angel Street’. Bella Manlyhands hosts this full-length solo adventure that features drag, lip sync, story-telling, parlour games, murderous intrigue, and edible soap.
About Artistic Director Brendan Simon
Brendan Simon is an award-winning creative and performing artist who has dedicated three decades to his craft, and performed and directed on local, regional and national stages. Since 2001, Brendan Simon has worked for Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre (KPET) and is the recipient of Kaiser Permanente’s 2017 Community Health Innovator Award for devising the company’s Resilience Squad programming. Brendan believes the future of theatre exists at the intersection of joyful activism and the visibility of underrepresented communities.
Every aspect of the organization has been put under the microscope, reimagined, and optimized, all to create a storytelling space for all. Visit theatrefirst.com to learn more, and get involved.
Tickets, season memberships and further info available through our website: theatrefirst.com or at
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Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley CA 94709
Season At A Glance
January 9-30, 2022
BY JEFFREY LO
DIRECTED BY MICHELLE TALGAROW
April 10- May 8, 2022
ALL THAT MATTERS
BY BRENDAN SIMON AND ROBERT MICHAEL MORENO
DIRECTED BY BRENDAN SIMON
May 29-June 26, 2022
MUSIC OF MOTHERS
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY VICTORIA ERVILLE
Developed at Three Girls Theatre
July 28- August 7, 2022
GASLIT: A DRAG PARODY
BY CHRIS STEELE AND SEAN OWENS
DIRECTED BY RICHARD MOSQUEDSA
Five years ago,TheatreFIRST was reinvented into a theatre lab of community artists dedicated to pioneering new forms of progressive activism. TheatreFIRST is a nationally acclaimed social and economic equity organization that uses the medium of theatre to challenge our world’s traditional constructs. Leading with mandates of a minimum two-thirds people of color, half female-identified, and one-third LGBTQIA2+ in all aspects of infrastructure and production, we explore and exhibit the unwavering promise of representation for all.