This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Oct. 28 2007
Price: $17-$25

There's a lot to savor in Shotgun Players' production of Bulrusher, a 2007 Pulitzer finalist by Brooklyn-based Berkeley native Eisa Davis about a girl found floating down the river as a baby, who knows nothing about her parents except that they didn't want her, and that at least one of them was black. Bulrusheris set in Boonville, California in 1955, and Davis makes liberal use of the peculiar local Boontling dialect. An extensive glossary is provided in the program, but the cast doesn't quite make the language sound natural. Co-directors Margo Hall and Ellen Sebastian Chang's staging is well paced and has some marvelous touches, especially the way they use a waterfall to show Bulrusher's connection with the river, but it's hampered by the wooden performance of KiryaTraber as Bulrusher herself. Traber lingers lovingly on poetic monologues, making them sound more flowery than they are, and rushes through dialogue so that it's hard to understand. Bulrusher may be a mystic outsider, but the blank stare Traber points anywhere but where the action is just makes her seem vacant. (At the Ashby Stage through October 28; 510-841-6500 or

— Sam Hurwitt


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