If only we had an oracle like Pythia or a fortune-telling crone like the Addams family’s grandma, or even a pretty good Magic 8-ball, we’d have more solid information on how 2021 will unfold in our new, safe, and exceedingly cool-looking updated theater. As it is for everybody in our country today, we don’t know what the next few months will bring. We do know that our community’s health is our first priority, and we won’t open until it’s safe for everyone.
So what happens next?
Well, we get creative. A special radio play will be performed live Halloween weekend, and you might want to have someone to hang on to while you watch – just sayin’. We’ll explore ways of bringing you good theater, in whatever form that might take. And we plan for the day we can open, no matter when that might be.
To that end, we’ve chosen a slate of plays that we can’t wait to see performed in our new space. We think these shows evoke a broad range of the human condition, as well as provide a showcase for the creativity and vision of the directors. What ties them all together is what we’re all holding on to right now; love in all its messy, unpredictable, shape-shifting forms.
As You Like It by William Shakespeare, directed by Rice Majors
Rosalind escapes the strict confines of the court to the unrestrained forest of Arden. There, she finds more than just refuge – and when “All the World’s a Stage,” anything can happen. You’ll love this fresh take on one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, set in San Francisco during the Summer of Love, with original music written by director Rice Majors.
Rocket Man by Steven Dietz, directed by Jacquie Duckworth
Rocket Man is a serious comedy about the road not taken. Donny Rowan has placed everything he owns on his front lawn, along with a sign that reads: “Here’s my life. Make an offer.” He has cut a skylight into his attic and placed his E-Z Boy recliner underneath—where he can sit, staring at the stars. Somewhere in the universe, Donny believes, is a place where all the roads we never chose converge. Rocket Man explores one man’s obsessive desire to find this “parallel world” —and the profound effect of his decision on his family and friends.
Sordid Lives by Del Shores, directed by Carl Smith
Hilarity ensues as two chaotic days unfold following the death of Peggy, a respectable Christian grandmother who died in a seedy motel room after tripping over the wooden legs of her lover. And yep. He’s married to Peggy’s sister’s neighbor who lives in the trailer out back. These two days shake loose many skeletons from the closet (ahem) as this unique menagerie of family and friends wallows in riotous feuds, resentments, remorses, and reconciliations. (Leave the kids at home for this one.)
Compared to What? by Oakland playwright Judith Offer,
directed by Norman Gee
Set in West Oakland in 1926, this rich historically-accurate play tells the story of two Pullman Porters stopping over for rest at Mary Heany’s boarding house. They are caught between the need to form a union and the danger of belonging to one. Young Willie is curious to become a porter. Success, hopes, and dreams are only measured as such when compared to what?
Amélie, the musical by Craig Lucas, Nathan Tysen, Daniel Messé, Jean Pierre Jeunet, Guillaume Laurant, directed by Enrico Banson
Amélie is an extraordinary young woman who lives quietly in the world but loudly in her mind. She covertly improvises small but surprising acts of kindness that bring joy and mayhem. But when a chance at love comes her way, Amélie realizes that to find happiness she’ll have to risk everything and say what’s in her heart. Be inspired by this imaginative dreamer who finds her voice, discovers the power of connection, and sees possibility around every corner.
|When Covid is behind us, we’ll throw open our doors and show off our theater and make some magic together. |
Until then, keep updated on Facebook. And don’t be a stranger, you know? Drop us a line every now and then so we know you’re safe.
Thank you for supporting Masquers Playhouse and all community arts organizations.