By Lisa Loomer
Directed by Bill Rauch
Co-production with Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Arena Stage
Limited Season · Roda Theatre
March 3–April 2, 2017
World premiere production
Running time: 2 hours and 10 minutes, plus one 15-minute intermission
Roe v. Wade—the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion is still fiercely debated, over 40 years later. In her newest play, acclaimed writer Lisa Loomer cuts through the headlines and rhetoric to reveal the divergent personal journeys of lawyer Sarah Weddington and plaintiff Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) in the years following the fateful decision. In turns shocking, humorous, and poignant, Roe reflects the polarization in America today while illuminating the heart and passion each person has for their cause.
Roe includes gunshot sound effects and the use of an e-cigarette. Berkeley Rep offers an advisory about any stage effect of potential concern to patrons’ health. We don’t offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any concerns about content, please contact the box office.
Lisa Loomer · Playwright
Lisa’s plays include Living Out, The Waiting Room, Distracted, Homefree, Café Vida, Expecting Isabel, Two Things You Don’t Talk About at Dinner, Birds, Bocón!, Maria! Maria Maria Maria, and Broken Hearts. Her work has been produced at Roundabout Theatre Company, Vineyard Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, INTAR, the Public Theater, the Mark Taper Forum, Arena Stage, South Coast Repertory, Kennedy Center, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Trinity Repertory Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Missouri Repertory, and Cornerstone Theater Company and in Mexico, Israel, Egypt, and Germany. Screenwriting credits include Girl, Interrupted and comedies, dramas, and pilots for HBO, CBS, FOX, and Showtime. Lisa received the American Theatre Critics Award (twice), Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, Lurie Foundation Award, Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, Jane Chambers Playwriting Award (twice), Imagen Award, Ovation Award, and Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Bill Rauch · Director
Bill directed the Tony Award-winning All the Way on Broadway and the world premiere of The Clean House at Yale Repertory Theatre, where he is an associate artist, and its off-Broadway premiere (Lincoln Center). Other world premieres include Fingersmith, The Great Society, Equivocation, and By the Waters of Babylon (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Living Out and For Here or to Go? (the Mark Taper Forum); and My Wandering Boy and The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler (South Coast Repertory). He became the OSF’s artistic director in 2007, having been co-founder and artistic director of Cornerstone Theater Company (1986–2006). Honors include the Helen Hayes, TCG’s Visionary Leadership, Fichandler, L.A. Weekly and Garland Awards; Margo Jones Medal; and Emmy and Ovation Award nominations.
Rachel Hauck · Scenic Design
Rachel returns to Berkeley Rep after having designed It Can’t Happen Here and The Madwoman in the Volvo this season. New York design credits include Night Is a Room, Our Lady of Kibeho, and And I and Silence (Signature Theatre Company); An Iliad (New York Theatre Workshop, McCarter Theatre Center, Seattle Repertory Theatre); Grand Concourse, The Patron Saint of Sea Monsters, The Call, and Go Back to Where You Are (Playwrights Horizons); Slowgirl (LCT3); Bright Half Life (Women’s Project); To the Bone (Cherry Lane Theatre); Harper Regan and Bluebird (Atlantic Theater Company); The Tutors (Second Stage Theatre); Orange and Hat & Grace (Soho Rep); This Wide Night (Naked Angels); BAM Next Wave Festival; and the Public Theater. Regional design credits include Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie Theater, the Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse, and many others. Rachel is also the recipient of the Princess Grace Award, NEA/TCG Fellow, and Lilly Award.
Raquel Barreto · Costume Design
Raquel’s regional design credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, Getty Villa, Folger Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, California Shakespeare Theater, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Cornerstone Theater Company, Latino Theater Company, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Magic Theatre, Campo Santo, Chalk Repertory Theatre, and The Cutting Ball Theater. Opera credits include Lucrezia, Bastianello, and The Coronation of Poppea (Opera UCLA) and Un Ballo in Maschera (San Francisco Lyric Opera). She has collaborated with choreographers Barak Marshall (Bodytraffic, Joyce Theater, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Jacob’s Pillow, the Broad Stage), Yolande Snaith, Allyson Green, Robert Moses, and Jeff Slayton. Raquel is on the design faculty at UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and received her MFA from the University of California, San Diego.
Jane Cox · Lighting Design
Jane designed Amélie, A New Musical at Berkeley Rep. Her Broadway design credits include Machinal; Picnic; All the Way; Come Back, Little Sheba; and Dame Edna’s Back with a Vengeance. Off-Broadway credits with Roundabout Theatre Company, Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage Theatre, the Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theatre, and Classic Stage Company. Regional credits with Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie Theater, McCarter Theatre Center, and American Repertory Theater. International credits include Hamlet (the Barbican). Opera credits with Sydney Opera House, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Minnesota Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera. Adjunct teaching for Princeton University and New York University, company member at Monica Bill Barnes Dance Company. Jane received a Tony Award nomination for Machinal, the 2013 Henry Hewes Design Award, and Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations. She received her MFA from New York University.
Paul James Prendergast · Composition / Sound Design
Paul’s regional credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, Asolo Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Long Wharf Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, East West Players, Florida Stage, Atlantic Theater Company, Playmakers Repertory, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, the Geffen Playhouse, People’s Light and Theatre Company, The Actors’ Gang, Cornerstone Theater Company, Hartford Stage, California Shakespeare Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, the Alley Theatre, and Kennedy Center. International credits include the Edinburgh Festival and Moscow Art Theatre. Other credits include Universal Studios, Disney, and Knott’s Berry Farm (theme parks); Treasure Island, MGM Grand, and Buffalo Bill’s (casinos); J. Paul Getty, Geffen Contemporary, and Autry National Center (museums); and Diavolo Dance Theater, Momix, and Parsons Dance. His work as a singer/songwriter has appeared in films, on recordings, and in music venues nationwide.
Wendall K. Harrington · Projection Design
Wendall’s Broadway credits include The Who’s Tommy (Drama Desk, American Theatre Wing, Outer Critics Circle Awards), Driving Miss Daisy, Grey Gardens, The Capeman, Ragtime, Company, Putting it Together, The Heidi Chronicles, and They’re Playing Our Song. Off-Broadway credits include with Signature Theatre Company, Lincoln Center, and the Public Theater. Opera/ballet credits with Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, La Scala, and New York City Ballet. Wendall is the recipient of the 1998 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Projections, Michael Merritt Award for Design and Collaboration, 2015 Players Club Theatre Person of the Year, and 2015 USITT Distinguished Achievement in Education. She lectures widely on projection design as faculty at the Yale School of Drama.
Joy Dickson · Casting
Joy has worked regionally at Berkeley Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, Ojai Playwrights Conference, the Geffen Playhouse, the Huntington Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Goodman Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Cleveland Play House, Ahmanson Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Pasadena Playhouse, Intiman Theatre, and A.S.K. Theatre Projects. Film/TV credits include Terri, The Tao of Steve, and Lush (Sundance); Stephanie Daley and The Business of Strangers (Sundance, Deauville Film Festival); Easier with Practice (Cinevegas, Edinburgh Film Festivals); Interview with the Assassin (Tribeca Film Festival); The Independent (HBO/U.S. Comedy Arts Festival); Perdita Durango (Toronto Film Festival); Quarterlife (Bedford Falls Productions/NBC); The Men’s Room (NBC); Off Centre (the WB); and The Mullets (UPN). She is an adjunct professor at California Institute of the Arts and received her BA from Smith College.
Rebecca Clark Carey · Voice / Text Direction
Rebecca is head of voice and text at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where she has been the voice and text director for over 30 productions including the world premieres of The White Snake, All the Way, The Great Society, and Equivocation. Other credits include Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie Theater, American Repertory Theater, Royal National Theatre in London, and the Tony Award-winning production of All the Way on Broadway. Teaching credits include the Central School of Speech and Drama, the Oxford School of Drama, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She is co-author of three books, including The Shakespeare Workbook and Video published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.
Tom Bryant · Dramaturg
Tom’s Broadway credits include The Kentucky Cycle and All the Way by Robert Schenkkan. Regional credits include All the Way and The Great Society (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The Great Society (Seattle Repertory Theatre), Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates (the Mark Taper Forum), The Wind Cries Mary (San Jose Repertory Theatre), Discovery of America (Emory University), The Mandrake Root (Long Wharf Theatre), Apollo (Portland Center Stage), and How the World Began (South Coast Repertory, Pacific Playwrights Festival). Film credits include developmental work for HBO, BBC, and Disney. He is a professor of theatre at Crafton Hills College and received his MFA in directing, Carnegie Mellon University.
Jeremy Eisen* · Stage Manager
Jeremy is thrilled to be able to continue with Roe here at Berkeley Rep. Jeremy has been stage managing a myriad of productions at various theatres across the country for 25 years, 20 of them at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Arena Stage · Co-Producer
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Director Edgar Dobie, is a national center dedicated to American voices and artists. Arena Stage produces plays of all that is passionate, profound, deep, and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays and impacts the lives of over 10,000 students annually through its work in community engagement. Now in its seventh decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000. Visit arenastage.org.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival · Co-Producer
Oregon Shakespeare Festival was founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935, and has grown from a three-day festival to one of the largest nonprofit theaters in the United States. OSF presents an eight-month season of 11 plays in rotating repertory, including works by Shakespeare as well as a mix of classics, musicals, and new works. Every year, OSF draws attendance of more than 400,000 to nearly 800 performances and employs approximately 575 theater professionals. OSF’s mission statement: “Inspired by Shakespeare’s work and the cultural richness of the United States, we reveal our collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by the kaleidoscope of rotating repertory.” OSF is committed to diversity and inclusion in all areas of its work and in its audiences.
Lavina Jadhwani · Assistant Director
Tess James · Associate Lighting Designer
Kristen Ferguson · Associate Projections Designer
Lawrence Moten · Associate Scenic Designer
Jim Abele* · Ron Weddington / Jay Floyd / Flip Benham
Jim last appeared at Berkeley Rep in The Hairy Ape. New York credits include Hedda Gabler (Broadway) and View of the Dome, Edith Stein, The Country Girl, and Angel City (off Broadway). Regional credits include Opus and The Pleasure of His Company (the Old Globe), The Three Musketeers (Seattle Repertory Theatre), State of the Union (Ford’s Theatre), The Misanthrope (McCarter Theatre Center), The Tempest (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), Arcadia (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), The Normal Heart (Pittsburgh Public Theater), and The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park). Film/TV credits include guest and recurring roles on Code Black, Major Crimes, Transparent, NCIS, Pretty Little Liars, Mad Men, Dexter, The Middle, Cold Case, Big Love, West Wing, 24, NYPD Blue, and Six Feet Under, among others.
Sarah Jane Agnew* · Sarah Weddington
Sarah appeared at Berkeley Rep in Theatre de la Jeune Lune’s Don Juan Giovanni, The Green Bird, and The Miser. Regional credits include Richard II and Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Hamlet (New Victory Theater), Twelfth Night (Shakespeare Theatre Company), The Servant of Two Masters (Yale Repertory Theatre), Sarah Ruhl’s Three Sisters and Behind The Eye (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), The Syringa Tree (Jungle Theater), and Time Stands Still, The 39 Steps, Dollhouse, Major Barbara, Home Place, The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde, and As You Like It (the Guthrie Theater). Sarah was a company member of Theatre de la Jeune Leune from 1997 to 2006, appearing in over 15 productions including The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tartuffe, The Seagull, and The Miser. Film/TV credits include Lady Dynamite, Detective Fiction, and Older Than America. Sarah is a 2012 McKnight Theater Fellow and received the Cincinnati Acclaim Award and Princess Grace Honorarium.
Kenya Alexander* · Roxanne
Kenya makes her Berkeley Rep debut. Regional credits include Beneatha in A Raisin in the Sun (Ebony Repertory Theatre and Kirk Douglas Theatre), Pecola in The Bluest Eye (Cape Fear Regional Theatre), and Hester/La Negrita in In the Blood (Carnegie Mellon). Her international credits include Irina in The Seagull (Moscow Art Theatre). Hailing from Houston, Texas, Kenya received her BFA in acting at Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. During her senior year she accepted an elite invitation to attend a semester abroad at Europe’s premier theatre school, MXAT (Moscow Art Theatre School).
Mark Bedard* · Henry McCluskey / Robert Flowers / Abortion Doctor
Mark is pleased to make his Berkeley Rep debut. He appeared off Broadway in Midsummer Night’s Dream (Pearl Theatre) and Fashions for Men (Mint Theater Company). Before that, he was a company member for several years at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where some of his favorite plays were The Servant of Two Masters, Paradise Lost, She Loves Me, Animal Crackers, and The Cocoanuts, the last of which he adapted. Additional regional credits include Cymbeline (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Touchstone in As You Like It (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), and Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Geva Theatre Center). Please visit markbedard.com.
Zoe Bishop · Melissa / Emily
Zoe makes her Berkeley Rep debut. She spent time performing at Everett KidStage as Splat’s Mom in Splat the Cat, Grandma Georgina in Willy Wonka Kids, Hiccup’s Girlfriend in How to Train Your Dragon, and ensemble in Peter Pan. Zoe participated in weekly improv performances at LA Connections Comedy Club for several months. Her film/TV credits include My Son Wants To Be Gay, Geo Tag, the Healthy Eating video series on Amazon.com, and various commercial work. Twitter: @ZoeCStart, Instagram: @ZoeCStart.
Sara Bruner* · Norma McCorvey
Sara makes her Berkeley Rep debut. Regional credits include Twelfth Night, Fingersmith, Antony and Cleopatra, A Wrinkle in Time, and Black Swan Lab (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Boeing Boeing (Delaware Theatre Company); The Fantasticks (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); Sweeney Todd, Richard III, The Imaginary Invalid, Cabaret, The Taming of the Shrew, The Mousetrap, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Twelfth Night, The Crucible, The Tempest, Hay Fever, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Great Lakes Theater); Little Shop of Horrors, The Spitfire Grill, She Stoops to Conquer, As You Like It, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Scapin (Idaho Shakespeare Festival); and Brilliant Traces, The Physics of Regret, Lobby Hero, The Cherry Orchard, and The Cripple of Inishmaan (Boise Contemporary Theater). TV credits include MDs.
Catherine Castellanos* · Ofelia / Connie Gonzalez
Catherine makes her Berkeley Rep debut. She made her Oregon Shakespeare Festival debut last season in Richard II and originated the role of Connie in Roe. She’s been an associate artist with California Shakespeare Theater for 15 seasons, last seen as Prospero in their community tour of The Tempest. As a company member with the San Francisco-based theatre Campo Santo since 2001, she collaborates and performs in numerous premieres by critically acclaimed and award winning writers. Her regional credits include Magic Theatre, Shotgun Players, American Conservatory Theater, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, La MaMa, the Lensic, the Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep and JAW/Portland Center Stage. She works in restorative justice teaching theatre arts to formerly incarcerated young women at Community Works West/Rising Voices and at San Quentin State Prison.
Gina Daniels* · Aileen / Barbara / Uma / Third Pregnant Woman
Gina last appeared at Berkeley Rep in The White Snake. Broadway credits include All the Way. Off-Broadway credits include Abingdon Theatre Company, The 24 Hour Plays, Incumbo Theater Company, and Summer Play Festival. Regional credits include 10 seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Our Town (Portland Center Stage); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Paper Mill Playhouse); Brokeology (TheatreWorks); Doubt (Kansas City Repertory Theatre); As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, and Dracula (Delaware Theatre Company); An Ideal Husband (Center Stage in Baltimore); Private Lives (Shakespeare Santa Cruz); Medea (Pittsburgh Public Theater); Arden Theatre Company; Geva Theatre Center; Milwaukee Repertory Theater; Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival; Charlotte Repertory Theatre; Willamette Repertory Theatre; Utah Shakespeare Festival; and TheatreVirginia. TV credits include Orange is the New Black. Please visit gina-daniels.com.
Pamela Dunlap* · Molly / Mary
Pamela created the roles of Agnes in A.R. Gurney’s Love and Money (Signature Theatre Company), Lana in The Early Girl (Circle Repertory Company), and Marjorie Baverstock in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 on Broadway. Her regional credits include South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage, the Mark Taper Forum, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Hartford Stage, and Pittsburgh Public Theater. Pamela is guest starring in the new Jill Soloway comedy I Love Dick and will be featured in Suburbicon for the Coen Brothers and the upcoming film Wetlands opposite Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Pamela recurs on Mad Men, Commander in Chief, Maron, Doll, and Em, and was Barb in Girls. She studied with Sanford Meisner, and was a member of Circle Repertory Acting Company.
Richard Elmore* · Doctor Kennedy / Henry Wade / Justice Blackmun
Richard is making his Berkeley Rep debut. He was last seen at Arena Stage in Equivocation. Regional credits include 33 seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and work with Seattle Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Alliance Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center Theatre Company, Utah Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Festival, Virginia Stage Company, Mill Mountain Theatre, Court Theatre, Geva Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, TheatreWorks, Portland Center Stage, and Artists Repertory Theatre. More than 100 radio, television, and print commercials. He is the winner of five Drama-Logue Awards and received his BA from Arizona State University.
Susan Lynskey* · Linda Coffee / Judy / First Pregnant Woman / Peggy
Susan makes her Berkeley Rep debut. Regional credits include Citizen 13559 and New Visions/New Voices (the Kennedy Center); Roe and Richard II (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Hostage (Center Stage in Baltimore); The 39 Steps and The Laramie Project (Olney Theatre Center, associate artist); Intimate Apparel (African Continuum); Ghost-Writer and The Girl in the Goldfish Bowl (MetroStage); The BFG (the National Theatre); Lisa Loomer’s Living Out (Round House Theatre); Noises Off, Proof, Well, Born Yesterday, Intimations for Saxophone, Book of Days, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Roe (Arena Stage); and The Cripple of Inishmaan (Studio Theatre). Recent film/TV credits include Turn and The Wire. Susan is a Georgetown University professor and recipient of multiple Helen Hayes nominations, the Audience Choice Award, and DC’s Individual Artist Award. Her favorite offstage role: loving pet parent to her famous grey tabby, the inimitable Egg.
Amy Newman* · Helen / Second Pregnant Woman / Ronda
Amy makes her Berkeley Rep debut. Regional credits include Great Expectations and the world premiere of Roe (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Miracle Worker, The Liar, Tribes, The Playboy of the Western World, Red Herring, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of The Christmas Carol, The Cherry Orchard, Ah, Wilderness!, Design for Living, and All My Sons (Artists Repertory Theatre, resident artist since 2014); JAW: A Playwrights’ Festival and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Portland Center Stage); Middletown, Gidion’s Knot, Noises Off, and Or (Third Rail Repertory Theatre); and God’s Ear, Freakshow, and The Long Christmas Ride Home (Theatre Vertigo). Film/TV credits include Grimm. Amy is the recipient of Drammy Awards for Gidion’s Knot and God’s Ear and received her BA from Temple University. This spring she will return to OSF to play Mistress Ford in Merry Wives of Windsor and Calypso/Ensemble in Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of The Odyssey.
* Indicates a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
Get ready for a big, bruising play of the conflicting ideas and emotions roiling at the center of the abortion debate. This is a lively and intelligent look at one of the most divisive issues of our time…Bruner endows Norma with such sass and wit that it’s highly entertaining watching her reinvent herself…Agnew gives Weddington a sense of substance and gravitas that’s compelling…It’s the standoffs between the many formidable women of Roe that the drama has its most incendiary moments.”
Mercury News / Bay Area News Group
What most stirs in Roe are the moments when Loomer simply channels the unalloyed sentiments and arguments of those who put their careers, their privacy, their safety on the line for a woman’s right to choose…Catherine Castellanos as Norma’s long-suffering girlfriend Connie Gonzales offers one of the most haunting portraits of strength you are likely to see on an American stage; she is strong through her quiet, through her rueful wisdom.”
San Francisco Chronicle
If any play might be a worthy candidate for Take Your Daughter to Theater Week, it would be Roe, Lisa Loomer’s survey of the complicated and fiery underpinnings of Roe v. Wade…Your sons could stand a grounding in this vital chapter of constitutional history, too…[Roe is] a useful primer—embroidered by the emotional, religious and political motivations of its adherents and opponents—on one of the most durably contentious subjects of our time. With abundant care, the playwright refracts the complexity of abortion rights through the personal prisms of two emblematic real-life characters…”
Highly theatrical, often delightfully comedic, an artful blend of docudrama, infotainment, and comic strip…Performed with scrappy joie de vivre by Sara Bruner, Norma commands attention as one of the most fascinating female characters on the contemporary stage…And though the life-and-liberty stakes of the drama are dead serious, and its portent now could not be more dire, Director Bill Rauch puts the cast of twelve through paces that have plenty of pricelessly funny payoffs…This work exemplifies and models how to feel where one’s opponent is coming from even if one cannot in conscience condone where they have gone. That alone makes Roe necessary now more than ever.”
The play’s focus isn’t the chemistry between the performers as much as it is the conversation with the audience. Repeatedly thrust outward are questions of where to search for truth, who to trust, how to talk to people on opposite sides of a debate, and the role of poverty and education in the abortion issue. Admirably, Roe leaves viewers to decide for themselves. Remarkably, it doesn’t feel like a cop out.”
East Bay Express
Is Roe a vital, fascinating, beautifully produced history lesson with immediate impact? Absolutely. Loomer’s attempts to tell a reasonably objective version of the story is not only admirable, it’s heroic…There’s not a lot of time for rich character development, so this isn’t a deeply emotion experience, but what it lacks in that area it more than makes up for in the way it offers clarity amid complicated history and reveals, amid the specific details, how being human will always hinge on fear and its progeny: anger, righteousness and gargantuan need…As Norma, Sara Bruner beautifully conveys instability, spark and a survivor’s strength that belies tremendous emotional fragility…Weddington [is] played with intelligence and hauteur by Sarah Jane Agnew…Catherine Castellanos, one of the Bay Area’s finest actors…is shattering.”
The play puts a human face on a historic legal case…Roe tries to deal in grays rather than in blacks and whites. It works painstakingly to make sure both sides of the issue are addressed…This is a powerful work…The moving—and often, gently funny—work is a timely emotional experience directed not at ideologues, but everyday people coming to terms with how tough issues impact actual human beings.”
A taut, beautifully acted, emotionally enthralling production that is part history textbook, part personal drama, and even a little bit of advocacy training…The performances and the stagecraft are nothing short of masterful. Agnew and Bruner are both exquisite as the leads.”
DC Theatre Scene
Official trailer: Lisa Loomer’s Roe
Get a glimpse of the “highly entertaining” and “heroic” play that illuminates the personal stories of the women behind the Roe v. Wade decision.
Hear what audiences have to say about Lisa Loomer’s Roe.
Photos by Jenny Graham
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Docent talks and discussions
Pre-show docent talks
Meet us in the Theatre an hour before the show on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an engrossing presentation about your subscription-season play. Hear about the playwright’s perspective, dive into the historical context, and discover why the script is relevant right now. Each 30-minute talk includes plenty of time for your questions.
Post-show docent-led discussions
Join your fellow audience members after all matinees and share your thoughts on the show.
Page to Stage
Every season, Berkeley Rep hosts Page to Stage, a series of free discussions with eminent theatre artists, designed to give audiences additional insight into the plays and playwrights produced at Berkeley Rep. Past programs have featured theatre luminaries such as David Edgar, Sarah Jones, Tony Kushner, Delroy Lindo, Donald Margulies, Terrence McNally, Charles Mee, Rita Moreno, Salman Rushdie, and the Chicano performance trio Culture Clash.
- Monday, February 27, 2017
Resident Dramaturg Madeleine Oldham interviews acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Lisa Loomer in the Peet’s Theatre
Each talk starts at 7pm and runs about 60 minutes. No tickets are necessary for these free events, but seating is limited. The lobby opens at 6:15pm, and doors to the Theatre open at 6:30pm for general admission seating. Berkeley Rep donors at the Contributor level or higher ($150+) enjoy reserved seating. For more information about Page to Stage or how to become a donor, call 510 647–2906.
Teen Night gives local teens the opportunity to meet for dinner and a behind-the-scenes discussion with a member of the artistic team before attending each subscription-season production at an extremely discounted price.
- Friday, March 3, 2017
Stick around after select Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night performances for discussions co-moderated by professionals from the women’s health services field and a Berkeley Rep staff member. Audiences are invited to join us at Michael’s Second Act, our bar located off the Narsai David Courtyard, where we will discuss themes from the play and the lasting debates surrounding Roe v. Wade.
- Wednesday, March 8, 2017
- Thursday, March 9, 2017
- Wednesday, March 15, 2017
- Thursday, March 16, 2017
- Friday, March 17, 2017
- Tuesday, March 21, 2017
- Wednesday, March 22, 2017
- Thursday, March 23, 2017
- Wednesday, March 29, 2017
- Thursday, March 30, 2017
Public panel discussion
Berkeley Rep partners with the UC Berkeley Law School on a public panel discussion about Roe v. Wade. This free event will be moderated by Melissa Murray, interim dean, Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law, and faculty director, Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice Berkeley School of Law; and Jill E. Adams, executive director for Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice. They will be joined by Dr. Carole Joffe from UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. The discussion will examine the historic case at the root of Berkeley Rep’s production of Roe and look to the future of reproductive rights and justice legislation in today’s political climate.
- Sunday, March 26, 2017
The event will take place at 5pm at the Osher Studio, 2055 Center Street.