Berkeley Rep depends on the support of theatregoers like you
Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer invites you to invest in your future and the future of Berkeley Rep. Discover more about the season and our new subscription packages! We’ve also created a useful list of FAQs about our plans to reopen, our new packages, and our safety guidelines. Rest assured that we will not reopen for live performances until we can do so in a safe manner, which we hope will be spring 2021.
Cambodian Rock Band
Written by Lauren Yee
Featuring songs by Dengue Fever
Directed by Chay Yew
A Signature Theatre Production
The award-winning hit show that rocked audiences across the country and off Broadway comes to Berkeley Rep! In this darkly funny, electric new play with music, a young woman attempts to piece together her family history and bring a Khmer Rouge war criminal to justice 30 years after her father fled Cambodia. With a live band playing contemporary Dengue Fever hits and classic Cambodian oldies, this thrilling story toggles back and forth in time as father and daughter face the music of the past. San Francisco-born, Steinberg Award-winning playwright Lauren Yee receives her Berkeley Rep debut with Cambodian Rock Band, which was developed in our Ground Floor Summer Residency Lab.
Conceived by Saheem Ali
Music and lyrics by Michael Thurber
Book by Jocelyn Bioh
Additional material by Mkhululi Z. Mabija
Directed by Saheem Ali
Berkeley Rep presents the world premiere of a sultry new musical with a book by award-winning playwright Jocelyn Bioh (School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play), a score by composer Michael Thurber, and conceived by director Saheem Ali. A young man returns home to the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya to marry his fiancée and step into his family’s political dynasty. But when he visits Moto Moto—a steamy afro-jazz club and the stomping ground of his youth—he finds himself drawn to a mysterious new singer. Inspired by the myth of Marimba, who created beautiful songs from her heartbreak, Goddess is infused with contemporary romance, ancient magic, and the irresistible vibes of African, jazz, and R&B music.
A Chamber Choir Musical
By Dave Malloy
Directed by Annie Tippe
A co-production with Signature Theatre Company
West Coast premiere
Three-time Tony Award nominee Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) makes his Berkeley Rep debut with his latest award-winning off-Broadway hit, Octet. Eight internet addicts gather IRL to share their stories via a transcendent score for an a cappella chamber choir and an original libretto inspired by online comment boards, scientific debates, religious texts, and Sufi poetry. More than a takedown of our smartphone addictions, Octet is a sublime and revelatory experience that asks how we can find ways to be truly present with each other. Octet was commissioned and received its world premiere at Signature Theatre Company, where Dave Malloy is resident playwright.
the ripple, the wave that carried me home
By Christina Anderson
A co-production with Goodman Theatre
In this world premiere commissioned by Berkeley Rep, playwright Christina Anderson exquisitely evokes a story about justice, legacy, memory, and the ultimate challenge of forgiveness. Janice’s parents are prominent activists fighting for the integration of public swimming pools in 1960s Kansas. As injustice penetrates the warm bubble of her childhood, Janice grows apart from her family and starts a new life far away. When she receives a call asking her to speak at a ceremony honoring her father, she must decide whether she’s ready to reckon with her political inheritance and a past she has tried to forget.
By Martyna Majok
West Coast premiere
Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok brings us an urgent story about the power of perseverance, the promise of safety, and the question of who is entitled to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Two young DREAMers fight like hell to establish a place for themselves in America, the only country they know as home. Berkeley Rep is proud to give this unforgettable play its West Coast premiere.
Book by John Logan
Music and lyrics by The Avett Brothers
Music arrangements and orchestrations by Chris Miller and Brian Usifer
Choreography by David Neumann
Directed by Michael Mayer
Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) blew the roof off Berkeley Rep in 2009 with Green Day’s American Idiot. Now he returns with a captivating world premiere musical, this time featuring a book by Tony Award-winning stage and screen writer John Logan (Red, Broadway’s Moulin Rouge!, Skyfall, Gladiator), and music and lyrics by “America’s biggest roots band” (Rolling Stone) and multiple Grammy Award nominee The Avett Brothers.
By Charles L. Mee
Directed by Les Waters
Berkeley Rep welcomes back Charles L. Mee and Les Waters, who have brought so much delight to our audiences with shows such as Fêtes de la Nuit and Big Love. With a wink to Magritte, a nod to Shakespeare, and a toast to the Greeks, Wintertime plunges us gleefully into the center of the strange and surreal terrain we call love. Jonathan brings Ariel to his family’s summer house in the winter woods and plans to propose. Then his mother Maria arrives with her lover Francois, and his father Frank shows up with his lover Edmund—and soon nothing goes as planned. Generously embracing this family in all their chaotic, beautiful humanity, this exhilarating rollercoaster of a play whisks us up the peaks of romance, then down to the depths of jealous despair, never letting us forget that love, like life, is always in motion.
Announcing Rep On-Air virtual programming
In the months between now and spring 2021, Berkeley Rep will bring you new virtual programming that features the kind of innovative storytelling that speaks not only to our time, but also to the things we collectively crave. Stories of hope, compassion, and even connection.
Rep On-Air is automatically included in the Rep 7-Play subscription package, a $100+ value. Rep-Flex and Rep-Passport subscribers will need to purchase single tickets to the paid virtual programs they would like to attend.
Sign up for email and we’ll give you advance notice as single tickets for these virtual shows become available.
Live from Bristol Old Vic
Directed by Emma Rice
Book by Emma Rice
Lyrics by Christopher Dimond
Music by Michael Kooman
Based on the film Les Émotifs Anonymes written by Jean-Pierre Améris and Philippe Blasband
September 26, 2020 · 1pm
Emma Rice has delighted audiences with wondrous shows like The Wild Bride and Tristan & Yseult. And now Wise Children (Emma’s new company), Bristol Old Vic, and Plush Theatricals will produce her critically acclaimed musical adaptation of Romantics Anonymous—performed at Bristol Old Vic and broadcast live, direct to audience’s homes nationally and globally. Tickets to Romantics Anonymous are now on sale.
It Can’t Happen Here
By Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen, adapted from the novel by Sinclair Lewis
Sound design and music by Paul James Prendergast
Directed by Lisa Peterson
October 13, 2020 · 5pm
Written in 1935 during the rise of fascism in Europe, Lewis’ darkly satirical It Can’t Happen Here follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness. In 2016, Berkeley Rep unveiled a new stage adaptation of Lewis’ prescient novel, one week after that production ended, the presidential election roiled our nation. Now, Berkeley Rep reprises that production with the same director, but this time as a radio play in four episodes, just in time for the 2020 presidential election. The production can be heard on October 13 via YouTube. No registration required.
A Paris Love Story
Featuring the music of Claude Debussy
Written and performed by Hershey Felder
Directed by Stefano de’ Carli
Based on the stage play directed by Trevor Hay
Livestream November 22, 2020 · 5pm
VOD available November 22–29, 2020
Piano virtuoso and actor Hershey Felder takes us on his own personal journey to Paris, live from where the story actually takes place as he explores the life and music of Impressionist composer Claude Debussy. In A Paris Love Story, Felder brings to life a visionary who proclaimed nature his religion—creating music of ravishing beauty, color, and compassion, from the sweeping “La mer” to the evocative “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune” and the mystical “Clair de lune.” Join us live for a journey through the magical City of Light and its music.
Stories surround us everywhere, whether we can see them or not. Ten writers—including Eisa Davis, Daniel Handler, and Adam Mansbach—inspired by events in their own personal histories, take us on an aural adventure to specific locations around Berkeley. Audience members will receive a snail mailed surprise, lifting them out of the virtual realm and inviting them to explore the past hidden beneath the present.
The Waves in Quarantine
A Theatrical Experiment in 6 Movements
Conceived by Raúl Esparza and Lisa Peterson
Based on a stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves
Book by Lisa Peterson
Music and lyrics by David Bucknam
Additional music and lyrics by Adam Gwon
Directed by Lisa Peterson
Featuring three-time Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza, this exploration of Virginia Woolf’s innovative novel The Waves is transformed into a digital experience for our current time. The story follows the lives of six friends from first memory to the end of life, while also tracking the progress of the sun through one glorious day. The Waves in Quarantine incorporates dazzling choral music, passages from the novel itself, real-life situations of actors in quarantine, exquisite visual imagery, and more to create a truly unique work of interdisciplinary art.