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The Vampires

by Harry Kondoleon

Shotgun Players announce the extension of The Vampires.
Performances added on Thursday, May 15; Friday, May 16; and Saturday, May 17.

With humor as biting and incisive as the title implies, Harry Kondoleon's The Vampires takes a sardonic and scathing look at relationships between spouses, siblings, children and society at large. Family skeletons come charging from the closet as two couples attempt to produce a play that speaks to 'real' people, and a theater critic is torn between good and evil (is he a vampire or simply a failure?). The Vampires previews April 10 & 11, opens on April 12 and runs through May 10 at La Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berkeley.

Harry Kondoleon wrote The Vampires in 1984, one year after he received the Obie Award for Most Promising Young Playwright. A graduate of Yale Drama School, and the son of parents named Sophocles and Athena (Cliff and Tina to their friends), Kondoloeon developed an early appreciation of the absurd. He died at the age of 39, leaving a legacy of 17 plays rife with savage humor and twisted relationships that are all too familiar. Above all Kondoleon cultivated a deep appreciation' even love, of those who do not quite fit traditional society. In addition to the darkly comic themes that resonate throughout his work, Kondoleon infuses The Vampires with a magical surrealism that truly makes us believe redemption is at hand.

In The Vampires, Kondoleon gives us a carpenter who longs to create art instead of cabinets; his wife who strives both to support and subvert her husband; and a would-be costume designer trying to keep them all together while pondering if her husband truly is a vampire. An atmosphere of uncouth trickery and dirty play is highlighted by a young heroin addict, who manages to remove the final nail from her family's coffin. In a witty and unnerving journey through a day in the life of a strange suburban household, Kondoleon presents a definition of family that is both twisted and oddly familiar.

This is Shotgun Players' second foray in the world of Kondoleon. In 1999, they performed the highly acclaimed Christmas on Mars. For this production, Artistic Director Patrick Dooley will take the stage as Ian, the addled theatre critic. The Vampires will also feature company members Beth Donohue, (who gave a chilling performance in last year's production of Medea), and Kimberly Wilday, (who has appeared twice as Cassandra for Shotgun, in There Will Be No Trojan War and Troilus and Cressida). The production will be directed by company member Joanie McBrien (co director, Troilus & Cressida), and includes performances by Nina Auslander, David Maier, and Robert Martinez.

Story by Fred Dodsworth for
Berkeley Daily Planet

Review by Fred Avila for
SF Bay Guardian

Review by Betsy M. Hunton for
Berkeley Daily Planet

Review in Berkeley Voice

Directed by Joanie McBrien

Light design : Alex Lopez
Set design : Russ Milligan
Costume design : Marilyn Stanley
Sound design : Chris Paulina

Nina Auslander as Zivia
click for larger image

Zivia: Nina Auslander
CC: Beth Donohue
Ian: Patrick Dooley
Ed: David Maier
Porter: Robert Martinez
Pat: Kimberly Wilday

April 10 and 11 at 8pm

Saturday, April 12 at 8pm

Thursday-Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm until May 17.


Performances added on
Thursday, May 15
Friday, May 16
Saturday, May 17

La Val's Subterranean
1834 Euclid @ Hearst, Berkeley
Click here for a map.

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