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Closed October 25, 2003



In a desolate world one tenacious woman stands exposed.

Razor-edged Addie is desperate to protect her home. The land is worthless. Or is it? Around her people are eating worms, planning theme parks and struggling to keep their backs off the ground. The result is a disturbing tangle of personal conviction pitted against greed and gain. In an offering of dark comedy and morally reprehensible acts, Water Principle is a hard hitter on barren terrain.

Eliza Anderson's Water Principle is laced with vicious wit, hunger and the urge to gain a foothold in a reality that is less than promising. Three people are thrown together on an abandoned land to grapple through the guts of it all - each with conflicting notions on issues ranging from property development to what we need to survive. "The play speaks eloquently to this perilous moment in the life of our planet," says Director John Warren. "It's really an allegory about ecological sustainability, hidden under the veneer of a quick-paced black comedy." Acclaimed East Coast playwright Eliza Anderson has made her voice known in the name of dramatic social inquiry. Another of her plays, Mills Girls, tracks the harsh experience of young women working in the textile mills of Fall River, MA. In Water Principle, Anderson creates a world of seemingly endless horizon lines. She cultivates a heightened sense of isolation in a mysterious and vast expanse of our country where there is little to hope for and nothing to spare.

Set around a broken down shack in the middle of nowhere, Addie, Skimmer and Weed alternately form alliances and betray one another in short order. Weed plies Addie with beans in an attempt to seduce her land from her. Addie sleeps with Skimmer to protect herself from Weed. Skimmer bargains with Addie and Weed to make sure all his bases are covered. It's the comic desperation of Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross stewed with the desolation of Beckett's Endgame and set in the eerie world of a Twilight Zone episode.

John Warren is the Artistic Director of Unconditional Theatre, for which he has directed such shows as Greensboro: A Requiem, The Baltimore Waltz, and Lonely Planet. Other favorite productions include Problem Child for Exit Theatre, Dutchman for Bare Bones Theatre, and Patterns of Interference: The John Walker Lindh Project for Tamalpais High School/Marin Theatre Company. Local directing credits also include Lunatique Fantastique, S.F. Shakespeare Festival, Venue 9, Alchemy Works, City Lights, and Bay Area Playwrights Festival. His directing work has received awards from the Bay Guardian and SF Weekly, in addition to Bay Area Critics Circle nominations. He is the author of numerous plays, including Next in Line and Groping for Justice: The Bob Packwood Story, a finalist for the Humana Festival. John is currently the Director of Fiscal Sponsorship & Incubation at Intersection for the Arts, serves on Theatre Bay Area's Board of Directors, and worked previously as General Manager of the Magic Theatre. He studied theatre at Brown University.

The cast features Shotgun artistic associate John Thomas (Troilus and Cressida and Mother Courage), Ian Petroni (We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! and R&J with New Conservatory) and Kate Sheehan, in her first appearance with Shotgun.

Playwright Eliza Anderson currently teaches playwrighting at Brown University and Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island. She has received fellowships from the NEA/TCG, Howard Foundation, Rhode Island State Council for the Arts and the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Fellowship in Creative Writing at Brown University. She has also been a resident at the Edward Albee Foundation and the Royal Court Theatre in London.

This play comes highly recommended by Shotgun Artistic Associate and acclaimed playwright Adam Bock. Bock and Anderson were classmates at Brown University.

East Bay Express by Lisa Drostova
SFWeekly by Michael Scott Moore
Berkeley Daily Planet by David Sundelson
SF Bay Guardian by Robert Avila
West County Times by Jack Tucker

September 18 & 19, 8 pm

Saturday September 20, 8 pm

Fridays-Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm
Through October 19

Friday, October 24, 8PM
and Saturday, October 25, 8PM


Patrick Dooley

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> Click for hi-res printable image

Patrick Dooley

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> Click for hi-res printable image

Kate Sheehan | Addie
Ian Petroni | Skimmer
John Thomas | Weed

John Warren | Director
Patick Dooley | Artistic Director
Aedrey Grey | Stage Manager
Liz Lisle | Production Manager
John Malmquist | Graphic Design
Rob Anderson | Light Design
Marilyn Stanley | Costume Design
Chris Paulina | Sound Design
Meredith Friedman | Assistant Director
Evren Odcikin | Set Design

Eighth Street Studio
2525 Eighth Street, Berkeley

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