shotgun players

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Theater Bay Area, October 2006


Editor's Note: In the Neighborhood

-- By Karen McKevitt

Creating community-based theatre isn't a new practice here in the Bay Area. Several companies have engaged audiences, neighbors and/or specific communities in creating a new play that speaks directly to their concerns. This month, Shotgun Players premieres its new play about its home in Berkeley's Lorin District. News of this project, penned by Marcus Gardley, has been circulating for months, and East Bay theatre expert Lisa Drostova revealed a compelling angle to the story. While also covering a bit of the creative process, she also explores how race, class and ideas about gentrification came into play. After all, what comes to the surface in a project when the artistic director is Irish American, the writer and most of the neighborhood is African American and the director is Jewish? Take a look at this cover story for insights, and mark your calendars for one of the most anticipated shows of the season.

Associate editor Amber Adrian has been working for months on her article about high school seniors auditioning for university acting programs. I got the idea for this piece last year, when I met a friend who was in town running auditions for a very prominent, internationally known university. His stories prompted me to think about how students would benefit from the tips and experiences of those who have auditioned for universities--and survived to tell about it.

Of course, there's lots more this month, including a diverse selection of Editors' Picks. You'll also notice that we're keeping track of the world premieres this season in a special sidebar. Be sure you tell us about yours, so we'll have a more accurate count by the end of the season--then we'll really be able to brag about how many new plays premiere in the Bay Area!

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