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Culture, The Exhibitionist Rod Gnapp on 'The Monster-Builder,' Architecture and How Art Can Change You

Rod Gnapp on 'The Monster-Builder,' Architecture and How Art Can Change You

Actor Rod Gnapp has known San Francisco playwright Amy Freed since they both went to the American Conservatory Theater, years ago. He says she reminds him of Mark Twain — a funny writer who takes on serious issues, but at…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Aurora Theatre's <i>Mud Blue Sky</i> Soars

Aurora Theatre's Mud Blue Sky Soars

At 35,000 feet, flight attendants are like demigods. Back here on earth? Not so much. Playwright Marisa Wegrzyn portrays the high-low dynamics of three middle-aged flight attendants on layover in a Chicago O’Hare Airport hotel in Aurora’s season opener,…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Chatting With Lisa L'Amour About Her Latest Play, <i>Detroit</i>

Chatting With Lisa L'Amour About Her Latest Play, Detroit

Lisa D’Amour’s play, Detroit (which has nothing to do with the Motor City, except for the unease about economic instability the word can trigger) began with her wanting to put two very different couples next to each other. There’s…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist L. Peter Callender Takes on the Role of Mugabe as a Powerful Man Haunted by Ghosts in "Breakfast with Mugabe"

L. Peter Callender Takes on the Role of Mugabe as a Powerful Man Haunted by Ghosts in "Breakfast with Mugabe"

To play Robert Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, L. Peter Callender read everything he could find about the man known for fighting British colonial rule in his country and treating his opponents brutally once in power. He…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist David Mamet's "American Buffalo": Gambling, the Big Con, and Sales

David Mamet's "American Buffalo": Gambling, the Big Con, and Sales

To get ready to direct David Mamet's "American Buffalo" at the Aurora Theatre Company, Barbara Damashek watched the HBO series The Wire, which is about the breakdown of social systems in Baltimore. "It's about the underside of our culture,…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist "Wittenberg": A Play with Comedy and Heart

"Wittenberg": A Play with Comedy and Heart

As the literary manager of the Aurora Theatre, Josh Costello reads a lot of scripts. And he fell in love with David Davalos' "Wittenberg," a tale of Hamlet as a university student suffering a crisis of faith and torn…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist "Gidion's Knot" at the Aurora Theatre Deals with Unconditional Love

"Gidion's Knot" at the Aurora Theatre Deals with Unconditional Love

When Johnna Adams wrote "The Sacred Geometry of S&M Porn," her father insisted on coming to Orange County to see it. He sat through the onstage nudity, the simulated sex scenes, and through an actor sitting in his lap…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Playwright Explores Faith and Connection in an Idaho Big-Box Store

Playwright Explores Faith and Connection in an Idaho Big-Box Store

Samuel Hunter, the New York-based playwright whose Obie-winning play, A Bright New Boise, comes to the Aurora Theatre this fall, doesn't want to give audiences characters they can pigeonhole right away. "I'm more moved by dramatic stories where I'm…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Aurora's "After the Revolution" Questions Whether Political Idealism is Just Another Family Myth

Aurora's "After the Revolution" Questions Whether Political Idealism is Just Another Family Myth

Rolf Saxon, one of the stars of Amy Herzog's After the Revolution at the Aurora Theatre Company, came to acting in high school. Only it wasn't really acting that interested him. "I was 17 and a bit of a…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Controversial Neil LaBute Unfiltered in 'This Is How It Goes' at the Aurora

Controversial Neil LaBute Unfiltered in 'This Is How It Goes' at the Aurora

Tom Ross, the artistic director of the Aurora Theatre Company, says his favorite playwrights have a unique, distinctive voice - there's no mistaking that you're watching their work. That's one of the reasons he likes Neil LaBute, whose controversial plays…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Podcast Review: <em>The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity</em> Marks Elaborate Entrance for the Aurora's 21st Season

Podcast Review: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity Marks Elaborate Entrance for the Aurora's 21st Season

Theater and professional wrestling have a lot in common. They both have no shame when it comes to flamboyant costumes, they're both, well, fake, and, as the Aurora's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity argues, they're both art forms…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Pulitzer-Nominated Play on Pro Wrestling Is a Slam

Pulitzer-Nominated Play on Pro Wrestling Is a Slam

Playwright Kristoffer Diaz says he can't get away with everything he wants after his play, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, was nominated for a Pulitzer. But it's pretty close. "I'm working on a play now, and I want to…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Interview: <em>Salomania</em>'s Mark Jackson on Maud Allan, Media Sensationalism, and Lesbian Scapegoats

Interview: Salomania's Mark Jackson on Maud Allan, Media Sensationalism, and Lesbian Scapegoats

When playwright and director Mark Jackson was directing Oscar Wilde's play Salome at the Aurora Theatre, he discovered the story of dancer Maud Allan, a San Francisco native who took Europe by storm in the early 1900s with her version…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Catch Comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan in <em>The 2nd (Sorta Annual) Color of Funny</em>

Catch Comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan in The 2nd (Sorta Annual) Color of Funny

You wouldn't think Dhaya Lakshminarayanan's background -- a couple degrees from MIT and working as a venture capitalist -- would be good preparation for becoming a stand-up comic, but Lakshminarayanan disagrees. She says comedy, like the finance and tech world,…
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Culture, Stage Greek tragedy set in San Francisco! Who knew?

Greek tragedy set in San Francisco! Who knew?

I would never have guessed that Aurora Theatre's production of The Trojan Women takes place in San Francisco's Ferry Plaza if I hadn't come across an article in one of the dailies saying as much. The locale isn't mentioned in…
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Culture, Encore Our critics weigh in on local theater

Our critics weigh in on local theater

The Philanderer. George Bernard Shaw's 1893 comedy seems, on the face of it, to be very much of its time: Dealing with a resolutely heterosexual love triangle among the rakish man about town, Leonard Charteris, a young widow, Grace…
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Culture, Stage

Mooi Street Moves

Clive Chafer's semihomeless Theatrefirst company turns the elegant patio room of the Berkeley City Club (where Aurora Theatre once played) into a laundry-and-shoebox-cluttered squat for a biting drama about homelessness and displacement in post-apartheid South Africa. Mooi Street Moves shows…
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Culture, Stage

The Man of Destiny

George Bernard Shaw's 90-minute "trifle" about Napoleon is a fitting swan song for Barbara Oliver in her late career as founding artistic director of the Aurora Theatre. The Aurora has been a local source for great Shaw for over a…
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Best of San Francisco, Arts & Entertainment

Best Local Actor About to Leave Town

Ackerman made her local debut in 1999 with a searing performance as a scrappy miner's daughter in a little black-box show called The Glace Bay Miner's Museum. Since then, she's graduated to roles at the Aurora Theatre, the California Shakespeare…
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Culture, Stage

The Shape of Things

Every now and then the Aurora Theatre puts on a play that seems young and harsh (compared to its sumptuous productions of Shaw) and features Danny Wolohan. Tough! was like that -- a show about teenagers in a needle-littered park,…
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