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
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.
We expect this show to include one 15-minute intermission. We’ll update this information, and add running time, once we have confirmation.
Berkeley Rep offers an advisory about any stage effect of potential concern to patrons’ health. We will post this information as soon as it’s available. 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.
Current ticket prices
Premium: $57–100 · Section A: $50–87 · Section B: $29–74
Prices are subject to change at any time. Generally, your best bet is to buy early. Weeknight tickets tend to cost less than weekends. For the consistently lowest prices, see any three or more subscription plays.
Lisa Loomer’s plays include Living Out, The Waiting Room, Distracted, and many others. She received the American Theatre Critics Award (twice), a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, Lurie Foundation Award, Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, Imagen Foundation Award, Jane Chambers Playwriting Award (twice), and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, among others.
Bill Rauch became OSF’s fifth artistic director in 2007, after several seasons at the Festival as a guest director. Among his initiatives at OSF, Bill committed to commissioning up to 37 new plays to dramatize moments of change in American history. Bill co-founded Cornerstone Theater Company, where he directed more than 40 productions and served as its artistic director from 1986 to 2006.
Stay tuned for future casting and creative team announcements.
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…”
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
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.”
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. 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.