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Comment Archives: stories: Arts & Culture: Theater

Re: “Beyond the Doll's House

Making a living as an artist is a challenge. I'm a composer, whose had NEA funding. However, that is no guarantee that commissions will keep coming in .
Most recently, I've opened a piano studio in the Oakland/San Leandro area ( I also run Opera Cultura in the South Bay.
Teaching and being an artistic entrepreneur are key to survival. Keep fighting the good fight. My best, Hector Armienta - Opera Cultura

Posted by Hector Armienta on 03/27/2012 at 5:10 PM

Re: “Beyond the Doll's House

Rachel, I love this and plan to throw out some of these undeniable facts to our 3Girls Playwrights Forum next monday March 26th) at the Thick House. Thanks (or maybe you'd like to come and put another two cents in?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lee Brady on 03/22/2012 at 2:34 PM

Re: “Molière in Modern Medicine

Oh no, I think we ran a correction, too. Thanks, Hurwitt.

Posted by Rachel Swan on 03/01/2012 at 1:50 PM

Re: “Molière in Modern Medicine

No, you were right: Shotgun did produce it in 2004, and Berkeley Rep also staged it in 2006. Lisa Drostova reviewed both of those productions in the East Bay Express.

Posted by Sam Johansen Hurwitt on 03/01/2012 at 12:46 PM

Re: “Molière in Modern Medicine

Ah, thank you. My gaffe. Will fix.

Posted by Rachel Swan on 02/24/2012 at 2:13 PM

Re: “Molière in Modern Medicine

Shotgun didn't do The Miser, Berkeley Rep did in the 05/06 season. With Epps.

Posted by chris gilbert on 02/24/2012 at 1:55 PM

Re: “Mesmerizingly Mesmeric Revelation

Mr Henne is quoted in the E Bay Express, "... Imagine that three hundred years ago someone was saying, 'There's this invisible substance called electricity that pulses through all of us' -- it sounds ridiculous today, but at the time it wasn't inconceivable."
It is NOT ridiculous today. Mr Henne, are you aware of the electron transfer that occurs in the electron transport chain in all the mitochondria of all the cells on earth? It's the same phenomenon that is going on in ALL of the doped silicon chips on earth -- electrons are going to ground from their on/off voltage(s). In the mitochondria, with the electronic impulses "going through all of us", the electrons don't really go to "ground" they go to .... Oxygen! Really! Seriously, they do. The oxygen you breathe, the very same oxygen discovered and elucidated by Antoine Lavoisier, is introduced to two electrons per oxygen atom and then attracts two hydrogen nuclei (aka protons) and thus each oxygen atom becomes a molecule of water! Breath becomes piss. That's biology. That's what's "pulsing through all of us."

Go ahead and look up "electron transfer" in Wikipedia, or in a biochemistry textbook or a biology textbook. It will say what I've just said, about how it's a process that occurs in ALL cells -- plants, animals, yeast, you name it -- and then goes on to say that all this electron transfer is so the cells can have a supply of ATP.

If you're interested, I can tell you the rest of the story, about how ol' Mesmer might've been onto something; and you should NEVER underestimate the Kuhnian recalcitrance of the biomedical establishment.

Posted by Richard Katz on 02/19/2012 at 8:48 AM

Re: “A Hot Mikado for Masquers


Posted by Rachel Swan on 12/01/2011 at 11:00 AM

Re: “A Hot Mikado for Masquers

@ Pam: Thanks for letting us know. It's been fixed :-)

Web Editor

Posted by Ellen Cushing on 12/01/2011 at 10:54 AM

Re: “A Hot Mikado for Masquers

Ms. Swan,
Thank you for the review but one clarification. The "grand dame" was not Peek-a-Boo (Kimberly Miller) but "Gorgeous" Pam Drummer-Williams. Kimberly Miller and Kelly Lotz were the fabulous dancers that open the show.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pam Dani Williams on 11/30/2011 at 10:32 PM

Re: “Hope and Doubt for Actors Ensemble

I stumbled upon AE a few years back. Eager to be involved in theater, I contacted them about volunteer opportunities. Unlike numerous other theatre companies who ignored my queries due to my lack of experience, I actually got a response back. Seasons and numerous plays later, I am still glad that I got involved. Like that first interaction, AE has continued to be supportive and inclusive. Art and theatre are so often seen as being snooty and unapproachable and it often is. With the city’s proposition to lure in a deep-pocket organization, theatre will once again become inaccessible to many people. Even with a devoted supporters, grassroots community theatres do not have the resources to battle the shortsighted vision of the City. Come on Berkeley, show the little guys some much needed (and deserved) love!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Shu Ping Guan on 11/10/2011 at 10:59 PM

Re: “Hope and Doubt for Actors Ensemble

A of E, with the coopertion of Live Oak, has been a very outstanding group, living up to the professionalism of theatre. For sure some of thier choices are not up to par, but they always make the best of it. I have been working with A of E for three years, and not only do their peroformances constantly improve, but the facilities have been greatly improved, making it a more professional space, especially for rental groups.

P.s. It would be nice to see Waiting for Godot....

Posted by Alecks Rundell on 11/08/2011 at 6:29 PM

Re: “Hope and Doubt for Actors Ensemble

With arts funding practically non-existent these days, little theatre holds on in the Bay Area through the continued efforts of very hard-working mostly unpaid theatre artists making a shoe string stretch beyond the laws of physics. AE is among the longest-standing of these theatre communities and Berkeley should be proud to have partnered with it over the decades. I can't imagine what Berkeley is thinking to abandon its long collaboration just when times are tougher than ever for the city's arts scene. I hope they come to their senses and work with the theatre to maintain city resources.
Michele Delattre

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michele Delattre on 11/07/2011 at 7:51 PM

Re: “Hope and Doubt for Actors Ensemble

This article raises a lot of questions about the way that the City of Berkeley conducts business. It would behoove them to keep a symbiotic relationship with AE, which seems to be threatened by these actions.
There aren't very many theater companies like AE, that are able to make consistently thoughtful amateur productions.

Posted by Max Chervin on 11/07/2011 at 11:34 AM

Re: “Hope and Doubt for Actors Ensemble

I have lived in Berkeley for 35 years. I have attended many AE productions. I have performed in a couple. I have read the city's RFP and Jerome Solberg's appeal. The RFP smacks of "let them eat cake". It seems enrichment of citizens' cultural opportunities is very low on the city's priorities. I suggest this is not a recent trend that can be passed off as a result of economic times. Rather than trying to turn Live Oak into a money cow by outsourcing the city should be working with AE to bring theater to students and seniors and others who cannot afford Berkeley Rep (let alone Shotgun Players). Consideration might be given to using the theater for local amateur music groups, or stand-up comics concerts. As a taxpayer I consider support of, and education in, theater, music, etc. a service my city should actively provide...Ket Watters

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ket Watters on 11/07/2011 at 11:33 AM

Re: “Hope and Doubt for Actors Ensemble

It has enriched my soul to participate in and be a spectator at Actors Ensemble of Berkeley productions. The leadership team of Jerome Solberg and Stanley Spenger and all the others who dedicate their time and talent to this long-lived but still scrappy theater company provide great value to the community, which should not be discounted because the city has dollar signs in its eyes. That is a malady that has afflicted us far too long, and it is heartening that so many people are now attempting to find a cure. Et tu, Berkeley?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Matthew Surrence on 11/05/2011 at 1:32 AM

Re: “Don't Think of the Children

sounds like a very intriguing play, i searched dana jepsen, wondering if this is one and the same, he was my acting for screen instructor at Pima Community College in Tucson.

Posted by Pia Alicia Pilar Mogollon on 11/05/2011 at 12:47 AM

Re: “Hope and Doubt for Actors Ensemble

Has no one noticed that community theatre groups are struggling hereabouts? And that it is very unlikely that any existing non-profit is waiting in the wings, with a bucket of money, ready to pour it into fixing up a space that belongs to someone else? All to take over a modest venue in a shared community center? On terms to be dictated by the City?

Seems to me that AE and the City need to sit down and talk about their shared interests, and see what they can work out together, so that the building can be improved gradually without uprooting a going concern.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Phil Reed on 11/03/2011 at 11:03 PM

Re: “Hope and Doubt for Actors Ensemble

Actors Ensemble provides a valuable community service, and has been doing so for decades. In addition to its own productions which are open to all to participate in, the hard working, collectively-run group maintains the theater and rents it to organizations at very low cost. Over the decades there have been few if any complaints, injuries, problems and many, many stories of personal growth, friendship and professional development (including my own). This is the type of group Berkeley is all about. Shame on the City of Berkeley for springing an unfair RFP on the this partner in good standing. A terrible move on the part of the City. I hope AE can make it through this.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rose Anne Raphael on 11/03/2011 at 10:34 AM

Re: “Hope and Doubt for Actors Ensemble

I know from being somewhat on the inside, (Jerome Solberg's Mom), that these actors give 300% of themselves to maintain quality shows, which includes scenery, lighting, sound system, costumes, music when appropriate, special effects. advertising, etc. The plays are very well directed as well as produced by some very talented actors who just do it out of love for creativity, comradery with the community, and those who appreciate the fine literary fare they produce and enjoy. I think the city is out of line to demand all the things mentioned which I think they know will bring this group down...ultimately finding another venue, or just quitting altogether. This would be such a great loss of good entertainment. It sounds to me like a bureauracratic move to make the city look good with the new refurbished playhouse, when in reality they want someone with deep pockets to foot the bill
for them. I wonder if they do this, if they will get the quality actors holding the playhouse together, as well as the already popular reputation and community support this group has now. Mary Solberg

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mary Solberg on 11/02/2011 at 11:31 AM

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