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Culture, Stage The House Edge: Berkeley Rep and Aurora Stack the Decks Against Their Audiences

The House Edge: Berkeley Rep and Aurora Stack the Decks Against Their Audiences

A kerchief-laden servant. Three sisters of varying degrees of goodness and shades of pigmentation. An older, housebound woman who's lost her mind but has a direct line to the dead. And a heroine forced to choose between autonomy and community,…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Oakland Playwright Explores New Orleans Ancestry in a World Premiere at Berkeley Rep

Oakland Playwright Explores New Orleans Ancestry in a World Premiere at Berkeley Rep

Poet and playwright Marcus Gardley grew up in West Oakland, but his relatives (who were also his neighbors), came from New Orleans, which influenced him as much as the Bay Area did. He's always been interested in his ancestry,…
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Culture, Stage "... and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi" falls short of epic ambitions

"... and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi" falls short of epic ambitions

Since the early 1990s, just about any American playwright of even moderate ambition has dreamed of writing the next Angels in America. Tony Kushner's two-part "gay fantasia" made its world premiere at San Francisco's Eureka Theatre Company in 1991, eventually…
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Culture, Stage The Rosies of Richmond make riveting subject matter in <i>This World in a Woman's Hands</i>

The Rosies of Richmond make riveting subject matter in This World in a Woman's Hands

The image of a strapping white woman in a headscarf and overalls flexing her guns under the slogan "We Can Do It!" has become a cultural icon in this country since graphic artist J. Howard Miller created the poster bearing…
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Calendar, Night&Day Putting It Out There

Putting It Out There

The final weekend of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival finds fest alumni and stage newbies gathering to see their visions realized in work that packs a punch. It includes Marcus Gardley's every tongue must confess (Aug. 3), a mournful yet…
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Culture, Stage We've Got Issues

We've Got Issues

In the past, the expression "community theater" pretty much meant one thing to me: endless church-hall productions of Annie Get Your Gun starring the local dentist and his wife. Though the role amateur dramatics plays in communities — providing an…
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