Best Theater Production: Most transcendent play
Shotgun Players, Love Is a Dream House in Lorin
Even if it did fall apart a little in the second act, Love Is a Dream House in Lorin was a gorgeous tribute to theater's power, both to reveal and transform the community that surrounds it. Written by Oakland native Marcus Gardley, directed by longtime Berkeley resident Aaron Davidman, and produced by Berkeley's Shotgun Players, this sprawling fable of South Berkeley's surprising history reached back through time all the way to the Ohlone, visiting with all kinds of neighbors along the way missionaries, Japanese and African Americans who came to build the Bay Area, kid poets, Vietnam vets, even a clutch of deities and earth and wind spirits. Ambitious and textured, it was a beautiful and engaging production. But Dream House wasn't just a play; it was a chance for a neighborhood to get better acquainted as Shotgun company members fanned out with questions and tape recorders and people from the community filtered in to join the multicultural, multigenerational cast. Addressing issues historical, personal, and political, Dream House gave the Lorin District the chance to celebrate itself an accomplishment of which any theater could be proud.