07 Apr Newsletter – April 2014


Artistic Director’s Corner

Michael StormThere is something really exciting going on in Oakland. After years of multiple groups laying the ground work for theatre in Oakland—including Clive Chafer-led TheatreFIRST—our friends at Ragged Wing Ensemble have picked up the cause. The Flight Deck is the name of their “Shared Performance Venue,” and is located at 1540 Broadway in the heart of downtown Oakland. They seem to have the financial backing to “take flight,” and we are throwing our support behind them in hopes that theatre will finally take hold in Oakland. I know that many of TheatreFIRST’s supporters have been involved with us,because we were one of the groups trying to make theatre in Oakland happen, and I wanted to make sure you knew about the Flight Deck. Check out Ragged Wing’s website for more information. It’s pretty darn cool.

And on that note, don’t forget that we are in the middle of re-vamping the Live Oak Theatre. We have added a new lighting grid, updated the sound system and redesigned the lobby, but there is still much more to do. If you are able to make a donation to our cause we would greatly appreciate it. One of the things we are hoping to add to the theatre in the coming months is the ability to show classic movies on the big screen. We are currently researching and pricing projectors for these types of events.

Just a heads up that we are also in the process of choosing four to five dates for our staged reading series. Yes, FIRSTRead is coming back. These dates will most likely be Mondays in June and July, so keep that in mind. When we have those dates we will let you know.

Lastly, we’re all looking forward to getting started on Fire Work, which marks our first World Premeire since I have been the Artistic Director. It’s an extraordinary play you won’t want to miss!

Thank you so much for your continued support of our performances at the Live Oak Theatre. Keep spreading the word! We are still meeting a lot of people that don’t know there is an indoor theatre at Live Oak Park.



Well guys, we know you were expecting Boy Gets Girl for the finale of our 2014 season, but you’ve been punked! We’ve made the exciting decision to replace Boy Gets Girl with the world premiere of Fire Work by Lauren Gunderson for the last show of our 20th anniversary season.

Developed at The O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Fire Work is a 2011 winner for Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Project. This stunning story of war-torn love will be directed by Mina Morita. You will know Mina as an active Bay Area director, particularly in Berkeley, by her work at Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, Impact Theatre, and Berkeley Playhouse.

Despite the Live Oak Name, The Undead Have Come to Our Theatre.

The bloodlust continues. Virago Theatre Company has brought, from the depths of Hell, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and Coma/Sleeping Beauty, written by Charles Busch and directed by Dale Albright.

One of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom tells the saga of two seductive vampiresses whose rivalry as bloodsuckers (and as actresses!) endures over two thousand years. Expect stops in both 1920s Hollywood and contemporary Las Vegas.

Brought to you by Virago Theatre Company, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom runs from Saturday, March 28th to April 19th. Weekly performances are Thursdays through Saturdays 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm.

“Nothing escapes the demolition of laughter…the audience laughs at the first line and goes right on laughing at the every line to the end!”
— New York Times

Don’t forget the Closing Night Bash with drinks, food, and music. You want more? If you come in drag to any Vampire Lesbians of Sodom performance, free cocktail for you!

General admission tickets are $27.50, with a variety of discounts, and on sale at www.viragotheatre.org.

Fleetwood Mask Makes Its Mark

In the words of Stevie Nicks, “magical things have come true for me time after time after time.” Well, it was true for the audience at the Live Oak Theatre March 22nd and 23rd. Fleetwood Mac returned for one magical, fun-filled night as the renowned Fleetwood Mask. With dancing, drinks, and “Dreams” for everyone, TheatreFIRST was proud to host this raucous event, which included an appearance on Saturday night by members of Acalanes High School’s marching band, helping out on Tusk.

Where Are They Now

Damien Seperi (Escanaba in da Moonlight). Last seen as the alien-abducted, flatulent Jimmer on the Live Oak Stage, Damien is currently working on Communique No.10 with Cutting Ball Theatre. See him at Opening on May 1st! Details at http://cuttingball.com/season/13-14/communique-n-10/

Soren Santos (Orlando). Remember the charming Marmaduke from Orlando? After gracing the Live Oak stage as a variety of characters in Orlando, Soren has been working with ensemble theatre company foolsFURY, as well as understudying for Berkeley Rep’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist. As a member of Counter-Balance Theatre, he continues to teach his Foundations of Flight workshops. More info can be found here: http://counter-balancetheater.com/spring-training/. Soren will be appearing next with Mugwumpin in Super:Anti:Reluctant. Stay Tuned!

Marlene Yarosh (Orlando). Another character (well, many characters) last seen in Orlando, Marlene is happy to say she is working closely with her friends Soren and Anika, members of Counter-Balance Theatre, which teaches workshops on movement for actors. She is also working on the third version of The Seeing Place with foolsFURY. Take a peek at Marlene’s new website!

Paz Pardo (Hanging Georgia). And where has Paz Pardo been after her TheatreFIRST debut? In Bogotá, Colombia doing an itinerant season of her play Movimiento Perpetuo which “is, fittingly, about moving,” she says.

Alex Hersler (Grapes of Wrath). And that lovely, lanky gentleman with the curly hair? Alex Hersler has made a move to the East. In his own words, Alex is “loving it in NYC. Getting settled in.” We look forward to hearing more about his work on the other coast.

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