This spring, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Center Theatre Group present In the Wake, a powerful world premiere from the creators of Broadway's Well. Obie Award-winners Lisa Kron and Leigh Silverman reunite for a searing show which questions whether we as Americans appreciate our freedom. This show begins previews in Berkeley Rep's state-of-the-art Roda Theatre on May 14, opens May 19, and closes June 27, 2010. For the local run, Jack and Betty Schafer and the Strauch Kulhanjian Family serve as executive producers, and the co-sponsor is Wealth Management at the Mechanics Bank. The season sponsors for Berkeley Rep's 41st year of fearless theatre are BART and Wells Fargo.
Get caught up In the Wake. After an idyllic Thanksgiving filled with food, football, family, and friends, a woman discovers how one passionate act can affect everything... her faith in love, her faith in country, her faith in herself. This tale of heartache and hope unfolds against the turmoil of American politics in the 21st century. Kron's plays "combine novelistic complexity with stage smart impudence," says the New York Times. "Wonderfully evocative and often seriously funny, she sets off emotional vibrations that just won't stop." In the Wake debuted on Sunday at CTG in Los Angeles and comes to the Bay Area in May.
"Elections. Breakups. Thanksgivings from hell. Lisa Kron's new play, The Wake, follows a woman on The Edge of a nervous breakdown: type-A journalist Ellen, whose certainty about politics and love gets blown out of the water," explains the Los Angeles Times. In the Wake "promises to generate plenty of conversation - no matter whom you voted for in the last election. Kron's comedy of deprecation and provocative social critique is part Sedaris, part Kushner, yet utterly her own."
Kron told the LA Times, "The play spans the Bush years, but it's not about that time period. It's about the bigger question of the American character: the assumption in this country that there's only so far we can fall. That we will always revert to prosperity and stability. Why do we think that? What is that belief based on? It's a kind of collective blind spot. The play is also about what happens when your personal ethics diverge with the people you're closest to. You thought you felt the same way, but actually there's something so different between you. And there's a lot of humor in the play."
Lisa Kron has been writing and performing theatre since moving from Michigan to New York in 1984. Her work has been performed on Broadway, off Broadway, and around the world. Her best-known plays include Well (which was nominated for a Tony Award, included in Best Plays of 2004, and listed among the year's 10 best by The Advocate, Associated Press, Backstage, Newark Star-Ledger, and New York Times) and 2.5 Minute Ride (which won an Obie Award, Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award, and GLAAD Media Award). Kron teaches playwriting at Yale School of Drama and helped begin an Obie- and Bessie Award-winning theatre group called the Five Lesbian Brothers. Her many honors include Guggenheim, Lark, Lortel, and Sundance fellowships and awards from Creative Capital and the Alpert Foundation. Her current projects include a new musical with composer Jeanine Tesori, as well as commissioned plays from Drew University and the Sloan Foundation with Playwrights Horizons.
Leigh Silverman directed Lisa Kron's Well on Broadway. Her other work includes the world premieres of Beebo Brinker Chronicles with Hourglass Group/37 Arts; Big Times with WET Productions; Blue Door at Playwrights Horizons and Seattle Repertory Theatre; Coraline with MCC Theater and True Love Productions; Creature with New Georges and Page 73 Productions; From Up Here at Manhattan Theatre Club (Drama Desk nomination); Hunting and Gathering at Primary Stages; Jump/Cut at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company/Theater J and Women's Project; Oedipus at Palm Springs at New York Theatre Workshop; The Retributionists at Playwrights Horizons; Well at The Public Theatre, the Huntington Theatre Company, and American Conservatory Theater; and Yellow Face at CTG and The Public. Silverman also directed Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at Second Stage Theatre in Manhattan and Wit at the Vaudeville Theatre in London's West End. She recently staged Of Equal Measure at CTG, and will soon bring In the Wake to The Public. Her other upcoming projects include David Henry Hwang's Chinglish and David Greenspan's Go Back to Where You Are.
In the Wake features a talented cast of accomplished actors: