Berkeley’s Shotgun Players celebrates 20 years on stage

The bee bursts onto the scene (from L to R: Will Hand, Juliana Lustenader, Josh Pollock (Banjo), Anthony Nemirovsky). Photo by Pak Han.

The Berkeley theater company Shotgun Players started performing 20 years ago in the basement of a Berkeley pizzeria. Now it’s got its own building, but the company has stuck with its founding principles: taking on little-known or brand new plays, and working hard to create theater for the community.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the company is presenting an entire season of world premieres: five brand news plays.

This aired on Crosscurrents on 12/6/11.

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San Francisco’s Jewish Theatre Prepares to Close

(L to R) Melissa Quine, Galen Murphy-Hoffman, David Mendelsohn, and Cassidy Brown in TJT's production of In the Maze of Our Own Lives; photo by Ken Friedman.

The Jewish Theatre in San Francisco is closing at the end of its current season. In its 34 years, the company has produced original plays and reproductions ranging from works inspired by Yiddish poetry and Biblical traditions, to plays about the experiences of German Jews between the world wars, and the conflict in the Middle East.

KALW’s Molly Samuel went to see the play that opens The Jewish Theatre’s final act. It’s a Depressionera story that resonates with the economic reality the theater and many other arts organizations are facing today.

This aired on Crosscurrents on 11/10/11.