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Paul Loper, Madeline H.D. Brown, Wiley Naman Strasser and Jason W. Wong. in "Antigone" by Sophocles, in a new translation by Daniel Sullivan, at Cutting Ball Theatre in San Francisco in 2015. (Photo by Chase Ramsey)

Cutting Ball Announces Translation-Filled 2015–16 Season

The slate includes Strindberg, de la Barca and a new take on Giraudoux’s ‘Ondine.’

SAN FRANCISCO: Cutting Ball Theater has announced its 17th season, which will include a new August Strindberg translation, a world premiere, a play festival and a reading series.

“The theme for Cutting Ball’s second of three themed seasons is ‘Dreams,’ and this season is a dream season in more ways than one,” said artistic director Rob Melrose in a statement. “Dreams connect people of all cultures and backgrounds and are one of the things that make us human. By looking deeply at dreams this season, and how the theatre can explore them, we pave a way for people who are not familiar with experimental plays to enter our work.”

The season begins with a new translation of Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s Life Is a Dream (Oct. 2–Nov. 1), by resident playwright Andrew Saito. The Spanish Golden Age play explores the line between waking and dreaming life. Paige Rogers will direct.

Next is the the world premiere of Katharine Sherman’s Ondine (Feb. 5–March 6, 2016), a reimagining of Jean Giraudoux’s play of the same title, which was in turn inspired by a mermaid myth. Melrose will direct. Ondine  was developed as part of the 2014 Risk Is This…The Cutting Ball New Experimental Plays Festival.

The final mainstage production will be August Strindberg’s A Dream Play (May 20–June 19, 2016), with a new translation by Paul Walsh. The play follows a girl and her surreal journey to better understand the plight of humanity. Melrose will direct.

The season also includes another installment of Risk Is This… (March 11–26, 2016), which will feature three new works presented as staged readings. The first reading will be Phillip Howze’s all of what you love and none of what you hate (March 1–12, 2016), an exploration of our contemporary social media culture. Rogers will direct. Next will be Alex Johnson’s My Home Is Where (March 18–19, 2016), about a young couple who travel to work at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. Wrapping up the festival will be Bennett Fisher’s Borealis (March 25–26, 2016), a dark comic adventure about a young girl who journeys to Alaska to search for her brother. Rem Myers will direct.

Also part of the season will be the Hidden Classics Reading Series, a series of free weekend readings throughout the year. First up will be Italian playwright Carlo Gozzi’s La Zombeide (Dec. 13), translated by Beatrice Basso and Melrose, about a queen who unknowingly marries a king who is practicing the dark arts. Next will be Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya (March 20, 2016), directed by Rogers.

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