Friday, September 29, 2006

what I got

(This post is from the blog of the Mother of Invention Acting School in San Francisco ( an acting class in San Francisco for serious, motivated students.)

Hi everyone,

I don't allow prospective students to come and watch my classes, as I go to great lengths to attain consistency in attendance in the class and to establish a safe environment for serious work and risk-taking, and I feel that having people drop in to watch would potentially undermine this. I take a hit for this, as there are a lot of students who are curious about the class but don't want to try it out without coming to see it first.

Well, now you have your chance. You still can't come to a class, but you can come and see a production I have directed. My colleague from the Yale School of Drama, David Koppel, asked me to direct him and another actor in a production of Edward Albee's first play, The Zoo Story. The show opens in three weeks (October 19). I am cautiously optimistic that it is going to be a strong show. Full information below. Please come and take a look!

September 19, 2006

Following its popular and critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare's As You Like It, Arclight Repertory Theatre will present Edward Albee's suspenseful tale of isolation and complacency: The Zoo Story . The play runs from Oct. 19th – 28th at the Off Market Theatre Stage 250 in San Francisco. Performances are Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8pm. On Thursday, October 19 th , Arclight Repertory will participate in Theatre Bay Area's "Free Night of Theater" program.

Performances continue Nov 2nd – 18th at the Exit Stage on Taylor Street in San Francisco. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm. Tickets are $20 general admission and $15 for students and seniors (62+). Tickets may be reserved by calling: Brown Paper Tickets (800) 838. 3006. Additional information is available online at .

First performed in New York in 1960, The Zoo Story was Edward Albee's first play, and constitutued a radical departure from the realism dominant in America at the time. In the spirit of European surrealism and the plays of Eugene Ionesco, Albee forged a new kind of drama out of the pain and disorientation inherent in the urban experience in America at mid-century. The play has inspired writers as different from each other as David Mamet and Maria Irene Fornes.

The Zoo Story takes place in New York's Central Park, and presents a gripping encounter between Peter, a well-off, well-intentioned family man leading a life of quiet desperation, and Jerry, a rootless drifter seething with resentment in the face of what Albert Camus has called "the infinite silence of the world." With savage, hard-bitten humor, the play makes plain the costs of complacency and compromise on the one hand, and of an unyielding commitment to the naked truth on the other. As a play which raises questions about the price of head-in-the-sand complacency, it is more timely than ever given world events since the millennium.

The production is directed by Andrew Utter, founder of San Francisco's Mother of Invention Acting School and graduate of the Yale School of Drama's MFA directing program. Andrew has directed professionally for Syracuse Stage in Syracuse, New York, and at universities such as Fordham, Fairfield and Clark. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Fox and Benenson Foundations.

Arclight Repertory founder and artistic director David Koppel, and managing director Ted Barker, will play Peter and Jerry respectively. Dana Ashby, the artistic coordinator, will be acting as stage manager on the production.

Ian Marsh of Marin Shakespeare Theatre serves as set/lighting designer and technical director of the production. Norman Kern is the production's sound designer.

Arclight Repertory Theatre is a professional, nonprofit theatre company based in Alameda, California. Arclight's mission is to use the medium of live performance to pose challenging questions about the complexities of shared, human experience. Arclight strives to produce provocative, engaging, and imaginative plays; to develop new voices for the stage; to adapt challenging, literary material for live performance; and to present previously produced plays in innovative and illuminating ways; and to provide theatrical "outreach" to local middle and high schools which have suffered significant cutbacks in funding for performing arts programs.

About Our Name

Arc lights provided the first electric lighting for theatrical productions and movie sets in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, replacing older, much dimmer gas lamps. Light was produced when electricity jumped or 'arced' across the gap between two charged electrodes Arc lighting is very bright and very powerful--essentially, it is illumination through the production of controlled lightning.

For additional information on Arclight Repertory Theatre or The Zoo Story,contact David Koppel at 510-825-2993 or by email at . You may also visit our website at .

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