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by Martin Sherman directed by Reid Davis

It is 1998. How does memory work?

When Martin Sherman's Bent opened on Broadway in 1979, the pink triangle was not yet a symbol of gay liberation, living holocaust survivors made up a greater portion of the human population, and HIV (with its accompanying battle-cry activism) was only an ominous rumble in the near distance. By documenting the stories of queer men in Dachau, Bent has given us the now ubiquitous pink triangle and theatrical voice to what was, until 1979, essentially a remarkable footnote to history.

It is 1998. Time begs questions.

How do we represent the nature of what is, for most of us, an unimaginable degree of inhuman behavior? It is possible, as George Steiner has suggested, that the proper human response to these events is silence. And yet as humans we demand representation in the public forum of theatre. We demand to be shown ourselves as we truly are: flawed and glorious, in silence and sound, in stillness and in movement.

Onward, it is 1998: how do we shape time?

Bent asks questions about what our bodies are capable of, what our bodies do. A queer kisses another man. A man pulls a trigger. A man moves rocks from this place to another. A man puts on a jacket and walks. Bent reminds us, in gestures small and large, how our capacity for action is limitless.

Thomas Christopher Nieto as Max
Andrew Alabran as Rudy
Cody Bayne as Wolf
Richard Reinholdt as Captain
Dan Flora as Guard
Randal Wung as Greta
George Maguire* as Uncle Freddy
Jeff Crockett as Horst
*appears courtesy of Actors' Equity Association

Reid Davis, director
Michael Frassinelli, set design and construction
Christine Cilley, costume design and construction
Benjamin Lovejoy, graphic design
Luther Bradfute, sound design
Alex Lopez, lighting design
Cody Bayne, dramaturg
Durand Garcia, fight choreography
Rich Reinholdt, fight captain
Patrick Dooley, artistic director

Opened: Saturday, June 6, 1998
Performed: Thursday & Friday & Saturday at 8:00 pm & Sunday at 7:00 pm
Performed At: Adeline Street Theatre, 3280 Adeline Street, Berkeley
Closed: July 12, 1998

Frederick Luis Aldama for SF Weekly
Heather Wisner for SF Weekly
Chad Jones for The Oakland Tribune
Joanne Sterbentz for The Daily Californian

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