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!