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"Treasure Island," adapted by Mary Zimmerman, at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2016. Pictured: Steven Epp and John Babbo. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)

Berkeley Rep Announces 2018-19 Season

On the slate for Tony Taccone’s final season: Mary Zimmerman, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Lucas Hnath, and Geoff Sobelle.

BERKELEY, CALIF.: Berkeley Repertory Theatre has announced its 2018-19 season, featuring six plays.

“Since I announced that this would be my final season, people have been asking how I’d like to commemorate that milestone in its programming,” said artistic director Tony Taccone in a statement. “My answer is to keep doing what we’ve been doing—that is, to produce audacious work by masterful artists who have something to tell us. I’m thrilled that Les Waters and Mary Zimmerman, directors whose work I’ve been honored to champion over my tenure here, are among them—and I’m excited to bring artists like our commissioned playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury to our audience for the first time, and acclaimed creator Geoff Sobelle back to Berkeley Rep. I can’t imagine a more inspiring array of work to comprise my last season and Berkeley Rep’s 50th anniversary.”

The season will start with Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Sept.), a coproduction with Huntington Theatre Company, a sequel to Ibsen’s classic that picks up 15 years later with the return of Nora Helmer. Les Waters will direct.

Next up will be Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview (Oct.), a co-commission with Soho Rep, which tackles issues of society and race as a family prepares to their grandmother’s birthday celebration. Soho Rep artistic director Sarah Benson will direct.

Following will be the world premiere of Paradise Square: A Musical for America (Dec.), with music and lyrics by Stephen Foster, book by Marcus Gardley, Craig Lucas, and Larry Kirwan, additional lyrics by Kirwan and Nathan Tysen, arrangements by Kirwan and Jason Howland, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Howland. The musical takes place in 1863 and follows a community of Black and Irish Americans living in New York City whose bonds are broken with the onset of the Civil War. Bill T. Jones will choreograph, and Moisés Kaufman will direct.

The season will continue with Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses (Jan., 2019), a coproduction with the Guthrie Theater, a retelling of Ovid’s myths that bring the classical tales of passion, betrayal, and transformation to a 24-foot wading pool onstage. The play, translated by David R. Slavitt, will be directed by Zimmerman.

Following will be Home (March, 2019), by Geoff Sobelle, an immersive show about the past, present, and future of a two-story house told through dance and live music. The show will feature original songs by Elvis Perkins and Steven Dufala’s scenic conception. Lee Sunday Evans will direct.

Next will be The Good Book (April, 2019), by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson, an exploration of how the Bible was assembled through the stories of a devout young man and an atheist biblical scholar. Peterson will direct.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre, established in 1968, has as its mission to present innovative new plays.

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