Newsletter — September 2015


Artistic Director’s Corner

Storm HS 1510 smallRemember folks, we are doing free Shakespeare in the park this summer to help make it easier for you to corral your friends, family and coworkers and get them to the theatre. It has been absolutely beautiful at John Hinkel Park and there has been lots of picnicking and lots of wine being sold. A good time is being had by all. The cast is just fantastic and they have taken it upon themselves to meet every Friday night for a line through, which is when the cast sits around and speaks all the lines in the play without movement, costumes or props. Of their own accord and on their own time they do this to make sure that after a 5 day layoff (very difficult with Shakespeare) they avoid having any kind of rust. And it has worked! This group is a finely tuned Shakespeare machine. The main goal for TheatreFIRST producing free Shakespeare in the park, you may recall, aside from producing another fantastic show of course, is to get the word about the existence of the Live Oak Theatre. It is the single most important thing for the livelihood of TheatreFIRST. And our sister company, Hawkmoon Theatre Company is helping the cause with several special offers. First off, they do Early Bird pricing, so you can bring friends to a TheatreFIRST caliber show for less money. Hawkmoon has also allowed us to include their show in our season subscription package as a free bonus show and now they are saying that TheatreFIRST subscribers can bring an unlimited number of friends to the show for free. What? Yep, if you are a TheatreFIRST subscriber you have an unlimited number of complimentary tickets available to bring friends to the theatre. And they let us run a two for one ticket code in the program for Much Ado About Nothing. Thank you Hawkmoon. They are definitely doing their part to help keep this gem of a theatre in North Berkeley open to the public and housing great shows. Let’s all come out and support this wonderful production. Tickets are on sale now. And if you can make it to the park this weekend it is the last two performances of Much Ado About Nothing.

Last weekend for Much Ado About Nothing

unnamed Sarah Mitchell as Beatrice and Tim Redmond as Benedick (Adam Tolbert, photographer)

Don’t miss the summer’s hottest show, TheatreFIRST’s Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Jon Tracy and starring company members Stephanie DeMott (Orlando), Soren Santos (Orlando), Shannon Veon Kase (Anton in Show Business) and Marlene Yarosh (Orlando). Also in the cast are TBA Award Nominee, Jennie Brick as Antonia and Bay Area Critics Circle Award Winner, Michael Storm as Dogberry. A terrific cast and original direction has audiences raving. Don’t miss this exciting piece of theatre. Saturdays and Sundays at 4pm at John Hinkel Park through October 4. Free for all and kid friendly!

Subscribers will have seats reserved for them if they have provided us with their date of attendance but the general public may want to arrive early to claim their spot. However with the terraced seating area at John Hinkel Park there are no bad seats and you are welcome to bring chairs if you like as well as a picnic. TheatreFIRST will be serving wine and perhaps a few of our sweet items from the theatre’s café, but just be aware that we will not be providing the elaborate concessions that some companies have done in the past.

The Seafarer cast and beginning rehearsals

The next show at the Live Oak Theatre is Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer and casting is complete. Clive Worsley makes his illustrious return (last seen in Stones in His Pockets) to the TheatreFIRST stage as Richard Harkin along with his counterpart in that show, Kevin Karrick, who will be playing his brother, Sharky. Anyone that saw Stones in His Pockets knows that this is a powerhouse duo and they are accompanied by two Bay Area favorites, Don Wood as Ivan and Justin DuPuis as Nicky. Rounding out the cast is our very own Michael Storm as Mr. Lockhart.

A hilarious comedy by one of Ireland’s best playwrights Conor McPherson, The Seafarer is set on Christmas Eve in Baldoyle, a coastal suburb north of Dublin City. The play centers on James “Sharky” Harkin who attempts to stay off the bottle during the holidays as he contends with his irascible brother Richard and his own haunted conscience. But Richard is committed to celebrating the season with a cast of quirky and endearing characters. One by one the party grows and the ensuing card game has life or death ramifications due to the addition of a mysterious stranger from Sharky’s past. Nominated for multiple Tony Awards as well as the Laurence Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Play, The Seafarer promises to be the high point of your holiday season entertainment.

“…dark and enthralling Christmas fable of despair and redemption…tingles with the author’s acute and authentic sense of what is knowable and unknowable in life…the pick me up play of the season.”
The New York Times

“…a midnight-black comedy, one that wrenches laughter out of the despair of frustrated men whose lives have come to naught… No matter what you expect at the halfway mark, you won’t feel cheated when the curtain falls.”
The Wall Street Journal

“A timeless classic.”
The Hollywood Reporter

This show is presented by our sister company Hawkmoon Theatre Company and they have Early Bird pricing for the first two weekends so don’t wait. Early Bird ticket price is $20 Regular, $10 Seniors and Under 30, and $5 for Students. After the first two weekends prices adjust to $25 Regular, $15 Seniors and Under 30, and $10 for Students. And if you attended Much Ado About Nothing you have a discount code that will get you two tickets for the price of one. It’s Christmas people, get your yuletide on with one of the hottest playwrights to come out of Ireland.