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Before the Dream: The Mysterious Death (and Life) of Richard Wright Critics' Pick Staff Pick

When: Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 7, 5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 20 2008
Price: $9

Oakland Public Theater's Richard Wright Centennial Project to mark the African-American author's 100th birthday on September 4 culminates in the world premiere of Before the Dream: The Mysterious Death (and Life) of Richard Wright, a play by Richard Talavera staged by OPT artistic director Norman Gee. The director doubles as the new programming director of the Noodle Factory, an Oakland underground arts space newly renovated by the Northern California Land Trust into affordable live-work spaces for artists, with a fully-equipped performance space where Before the Dream will be unveiled. The play celebrates the life and work of the author of Native Son and Black Boy, and particularly focuses on speculation about the author's death ranging from bad medical advice to assassination by communists or the CIA. September 4 to 20 at Noodle Factory Performing Arts Center (1255 26th St., Oakland). 510-534-9529.

— Sam Hurwitt


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