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Berkeley Repertory Theatre resident dramaturg Madeleine Oldham, director of the Ground Floor, the company's new-play development center, and playwright Carson Kreitzer, with a cast, prepare a reading at the Ground Floor. (Photo by Cheshire Isaacs)
Resident dramaturg Madeleine Oldham and playwright Carson Kreitzer, with a cast, prepare a reading at Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor in 2018. (Photo by Cheshire Isaacs)

Berkeley Rep Announces 2019 Residencies

Selected writers and writing teams will develop 20 projects this summer.

BERKELEY, CALIF.: The Ground Floor: Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work has selected the participants for its 2019 Summer Residency Lab. The artists, selected from a pool of more than 620 submissions, will develop new works at the company’s Harrison Street campus throughout the month of June.

“These artists have something fresh and personal to say, and are telling their stories in wildly original ways,” said artistic director Tony Taccone in a statement. “We can’t wait to welcome them to Berkeley this June for a month of creating and imagining together.”

The selected artists and their projects include:

The Bengsons’ Ohio, a concert musical chronicling several generations of Shaun Bengson’s family of music-loving pastors affected by congenital hearing loss.

Alex Borinsky and Ezra Furman’s Untitled Project for the New Jerusalem Tavern, a concert for about a group of transangelic humans gathering at the New Jerusalem Tavern before it closes.

Joe Cobden and Hannah Moscovitch will collaborate on “Q & A, a play fashioned as a question and answer session for a fictional play the audience hasn’t seen.

Mathilde Dratwa’s A Play about David Mamet Writing a Play about Harvey Weinstein, which follows a playwright angered by the fact that David Mamet has penned a play about Harvey Weinstein.

Jessica Fechtor’s Jug End, an exploration of empathy, mortality, hunting, taxidermy, magical thinking, and the different kind of guns in different kinds of hands.

Emily Feldman will work on an American comedy in conversation with an ancient Greek tragedy.

Vanessa Garcia, Victoria Collado, and Anna Driftmier will co-create 1000 Miles, a play about what it means to migrate to a new place.

Dave Harris will work on Watch Me, which takes place in the subconscious void of an interracial couple.

Jessica Hang and Ashley Hanson will write their first musical together, The Kim Loo Sisters Musical, about sisters who shared top billing with Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, and Ann Miller.

Julia Izumi will develop a fantastical lecture/performance hybrid about cultural imperialism and identity called Akira Kurosawa Explains His Movies and Yogurt (With Live & Active Cultures!).

Raja Feather Kelly and the feath3r theory will create Wednesday, which reimagines the film Dog Day Afternoon as a queer fantasia.

David Mendizábal, Guadalís Del Carmen, Joél Pérez, and Emma Ramos will work together on The Sábado Gigante Project, a bilingual satirical exploration of one of the most iconic and problematic television shows in Latinx history.

Itamar Moses will develop Ally, about the tribalisms that lurk in all of us and what happens when two of them are in conflict.

Choreographer and director Sam Pinkleton will work with Pig Iron Theatre Company on House of Victory, a large-scale epic dance-theatre ballet about American dancing that is inspired by Aaron Copland and Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring.

Mason Rosenthal will lead fellow Lightning Rod Special co-directors Scott R. Sheppard and Alice Yorke in workshopping Toys Are Us (working title), an ensemble-devised theatre piece  in collaboration with theatre artist/puppeteer Morgan FitzPatrick Andrews and playwright/videographer Paul William Kruse. The

Asha Sundararaman’s India/Indiana, a new musical that weaves together the stories of two women on opposite sides of the globe to explore identity, migration, and coming of age.

Caldwell Tidicue will work on Harriet Tubman: Live In Concert, about the life, times, and impact of Harriet Tubman told through hip-hop and storytelling.

Sanaz Toossi will develop Your Broken Racket, about two friendships—one set in the present, one set in the past—that unfold on a tennis court in Iran.

Tom Toro’s Yes, The Planet Got Destroyed, a theatrical adaptation of Toro’s forthcoming graphic memoir about breaking into the New Yorker while battling depression.

Ikechukwu Ufomadu will create Ike’s Wonderful World of Leisure, an evening-length solo comedic performance structured as a Master Class on Leisure.

“As we prepare for our eighth Summer Lab, we are thrilled to support such an exciting group of artists and projects from across the country and beyond,” said Madeleine Oldham, director of the Ground Floor, in a statement.

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