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Berkeley Rep’s OVATION 2022

Friday, April 29, 2022

We want to thank everyone who came out on April 29 to help us celebrate our return to live theatre this year at our annual OVATION gala. What a party! From the incredible performances (including an exciting sneak peek at this season’s upcoming production of Goddess) to the generosity of those who raised their digital paddles in support of Berkeley Rep, it was a thrilling night to be amongst friends again. As Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer said, “We know that people are re-entering the world at very different paces, with very different needs and imperatives, but your presence here tonight is evidence to us that you are ready to be back in community together, and we welcome you.”

The evening was also an opportunity to share the story of Berkeley Rep’s return to the stage and its plans for the future. When the pandemic shuttered the Theatre in March 2020, we launched the $20 million Resilience Campaign, raising funds from private and public sources to help Berkeley Rep move beyond survival and toward renewal. To date, $15 million has been secured in support of the commissioning and development of new plays, the expansion of our School of Theatre programs throughout Northern California, and our new community engagement program, In Dialogue. And in September, we will open our new building adjacent to the Roda Theatre, which features a black box studio, classroom, and 45 artist apartments. Thanks to the lead support of Resilience Campaign donors, the new building will be named in honor of Managing Director Susie Medak as we recognize her for 32 years of extraordinary leadership.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who celebrated with us at OVATION, which raised close to $500,000 to support Berkeley Rep’s productions and education programs this season.


Appearances by


Rodrick Covington is honored to support Berkeley Rep, and is thrilled for the upcoming world premiere of Goddess where he will make his Berkeley Rep debut with the portrayal of Ahmed. He appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning, Grammy-nominated revival of Once On This Island and The Lion King where he portrayed Banzai. His favorite off-Broadway credits include Invisible Thread at Second Stage, Joan of Arc at The Public, Central Avenue at Signature Theatre where he won Best Performance and Best Show in the NTMF. His favorite regional theatre credits include the world premiere of Witness Uganda at ART, Pippin at the Mark Taper, Miss Saigon (Best Actor nomination) at North Shore, Pal Joey at Boston Court, The Brothers Size at Syracuse Stage, Venice at Kirk Douglas Theatre, In the Red and Brown Water (Best Actor nomination) at Alliance Theatre, The Brother/Sister Trilogy (Best Actor nomination) at Steppenwolf, and Jelly’s Last Jam (Best Actor nomination) at Alliance. He has a BFA from SUNY Purchase and is also a proud business owner of a wellness studio in NYC for performers, producers, agents, managers, and directors on Broadway/TV/film called Core Rhythm Fitness.


Adrian Blake Enscoe is an actor and musician from Brooklyn, NY. Originally growing up in the rustic outlands of upstate New York, he went on to complete a BFA in Theater at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, before landing in NYC and founded the critically acclaimed, internationally touring acoustic indie folk band Bandits on the Run. In addition to songwriting, singing, and playing guitar with the Bandits — whose last year has included recording their EP Now Is The Time with producer Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Brandi Carlile), producing songs for the Netflix show Storybots, writing and starring in a filmed musical (The Band at the End of the World), and developing an immersive music theatre experience with NYC’s newest park, Little Island NYC — Adrian stars opposite Hailee Steinfeld as Austin Dickinson in the Apple TV+ breakout hit Dickinson, a half hour comedy revisioning the life of Emily Dickinson, which just aired its third and final season. Adrian was honored to join the cast and team in Swept Away to make his Berkeley Rep debut! @adrian.blake.enscoe @banditsontherun


Photo by Stephanie Diani


Broadway: The Last Ship, The Lyons, American Idiot, A Man for All Seasons. NY: Catch as Catch Can (Page 73), Lazarus (NYTW), Tales From Red Vienna (MTC), Assistance (Playwrights Horizons), The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide… (The Public). Regional: Seared (Williamstown), The Glass Menagerie (London’s West End). Film: Ben Is Back, Runner Runner, Frances Ha, All Good Things, A Beautiful Mind. TV: Ray Donovan, Nurse Jackie (Showtime); The Outsider (HBO); Trust (FX); The Family (ABC); Shades of Blue (NBC).


Rebecca Naomi Jones is thrilled to be supporting Berkeley Rep, where she has previously appeared in American Idiot and Passing Strange. For her portrayal of Laurey in Daniel Fish’s acclaimed Broadway revival of Oklahoma!, Rebecca was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Other Broadway performances include Significant Other, Hedwig and The Angry Inch, American Idiot, and Passing Strange. Select off-Broadway performances include Big Love (Drama League nomination), Murder Ballad (Lilly award and Lucille Lortel nomination), Describe the Night (Obie Award for Best Play), and Rosalind in Public Works’ production of As You Like It, a role she will reprise this summer at the Delacorte Theater. Select film and TV credits include Someone Great, The Outside Story, The Big Sick, Passing Strange, Strangers, High Maintenance, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, Inside Amy Schumer, Limitless, and the series regular role of Carolyn Franklin in Nat Geo’s third installment of Genius: Aretha.


Photo by Susan Rosenberg Jones


Rita Moreno has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy. Her countless credits span more than seven decades, beginning with her Broadway debut at age 13. Over her career, she has appeared in more than 40 feature films, and in 2021, she played Valentina in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, a role written specifically for her by Tony Kushner. At Berkeley Rep, she starred in Master Class and The Glass Menagerie, and premiered her one woman show, Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup, directed by Tony Taccone.


Ephraim Sykes was last seen at Berkeley Rep playing David Ruffin in Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations, which later transferred to Broadway and earned Ephraim Tony, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle nominations for his performance. He made his Broadway debut in The Little Mermaid and was in the original casts of Hamilton: An American Musical, Memphis, Newsies, and Motown The Musical. He was last seen in Kathryn Bigelow’s new feature film Detroit, and as Seaweed J. Stubbs on NBC’s Hairspray Live! Ephraim graduated from the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA program with departmental honors and toured with the Ailey II company for two years. His TV/film credits include Marvin in HBO’s Vinyl, Woody Allen’s Crisis in Six Scenes, Marvel’s Netflix series Luke Cage, Leave It on the Floor, Dance Flick, NBC’s Smash, and 30 Rock.

OVATION Onstage: Celebrating the Return of Live Performance was directed by Lorin Latarro, with music direction by Carmel Dean.

Questions? Please contact

Performance & Party Tickets

* Does not include pre-performance reception and dinner

VIP Performance Ticket(s) with preferred seating | $175 each
($75 tax-deductible)

Performance Ticket(s) | $100 each

Live Stream Ticket(s) | $40 each


Sponsor Tickets

Silver Ticket(s) | $1,000 each
($710 tax-deductible)

  • Includes cocktail reception and three-course dinner
  • Priority seating at OVATION performance and cast party

Gold Tickets(s) | $1,500 each
($1,210 tax-deductible)

  • Preferred seating, including cocktail reception and three-course dinner
  • Preferred seating at OVATION performance and cast party
  • No-host invitations to select 2022/23 season opening night performances and celebrations

Bronze Sponsor Package | $6,000
($5,420 tax-deductible)

Your sponsorship underwrites tickets for two Berkeley Rep artists to attend OVATION, and you receive these benefits:

  • Premium tickets for two guests, including cocktail reception and three-course dinner
  • Premium tickets for two guests to the OVATION performance and cast party
  • Recognition in all event materials
  • No-host invitations for two to Berkeley Rep opening night performances and celebrations for the 2022/23 season


Silver Sponsor Table | $7,500
($5,180 tax-deductible)

  • Table for eight guests, including cocktail reception and three-course dinner
  • Priority tickets for eight guests to the OVATION performance and cast party
  • Recognition in all event materials
  • No-host invitations for two to Berkeley Rep opening night performances and celebrations for the 2022/23 season


Gold Sponsor Table | $12,500
($10,050 tax-deductible)

  • Premium table for eight guests, including cocktail reception and three-course dinner
  • Premium tickets for eight guests to the OVATION performance and cast party
  • Premium recognition in all event materials
  • One pair of VIP house seats for a 2022/23 season performance of your choosing, including donor lounge access
  • No-host invitations for two to Berkeley Rep opening night performances and celebrations for the 2022/23 season


Platinum Sponsor Table | $25,000
($21,760 tax-deductible)

  • Premier table for eight guests, including cocktail reception and three-course dinner
  • Premier tickets for eight guests to the OVATION performance and cast party
  • Premier sponsorship recognition or logo placement in all event materials
  • OVATION Backstage Pass for eight for a private reception after the show
  • A Private Event at Berkeley Rep — VIP tickets for you and your guests for a 2022/23 season performance, including donor lounge access
  • No-host invitations for two to Berkeley Rep opening night performances and celebrations for the 2022/23 season


Can’t attend but still want to support Berkeley Rep’s most important fundraising event of the year?

Make a gift in support of OVATION


Mail in a payment:
Berkeley Repertory Theatre
999 Harrison St
Berkeley CA 94710

Questions? Please contact

OVATION sponsorship and donor-advised funds

Rules for donor-advised funds prohibit the recommendation of grants for any or part of the purchase of sponsorships that include goods and services. However, grants can be recommended for contributions. Sponsors at the Gold and Platinum levels also may recommend a grant in the amount over and above the Silver level, so long as the sponsor purchases a Silver level sponsorship with personal funds and does not receive any benefits associated with the higher-tiered sponsorship levels (i.e., theatre receptions). Sponsors may also choose to waive their sponsorship benefits to make 100% of their sponsorship tax-deductible and eligible for a grant recommendation from their donor advised fund.


Health and safety

Berkeley Rep is a vaccinated company, including staff, artists, and volunteers. All guests must present a vaccination card with booster, a photo of your card, or a digital vaccine record (e.g., with matching photo ID. Negative tests will not be allowed for entry. Masks must be worn at all times unless eating or drinking and must cover the nose and mouth.

Thank you to our generous gala sponsors for their support

Platinum Sponsors

Marcia Grand
Michelle Mercer & Bruce Golden
The Strauch Kulhanjian Family
Gail & Arne Wagner

Gold Sponsors

Narsai & Venus David
Anne & Anuj Dhanda
Peet’s Coffee
Sudha Pennathur & Ed Messerly
Jack & Valerie Rowe
Chris & Mike Rupp, Descendant Cellars
Kelli & Steffan Tomlinson

Silver Sponsors

Bank of America & Emily Shanks
Robin & Rich Edwards
Kerry Francis & John Jimerson
Jill & Steve Fugaro
Steven Goldin
Scott & Sherry Haber
Seymour Kaufman & Kirsten Edgerton
Sandra & Ross McCandless
PNC Bank
Port of Oakland
Len & Arlene Rosenberg
Audrey & Bob Sockolov
Steve & Linda Wolan
Felicia Woytak & Steve Rasmussen

Bronze Sponsors

Susan Chamberlin
Chuck Fanning & Melinda Haag
Randy Laroche & David Laudon
Steven Winkel & Barbara Sahm

In-Kind Sponsors

Guittard Chocolate Company
Ortolan Rosolio
Peet’s Coffee

Ovation Committee

Sandra Eggers | Co-Chair
Christine Rupp | Co-Chair

Ronnie Caplane
Narsai David
Richard Edwards
Robin Edwards
Jill Fugaro
Scott Haber
Sandra McCandless
Sudha Pennathur
Audrey Rose Sockolov
Jean Strunsky
Gail Wagner

Photo by Terry Lorant/Berkeley Repertory Theatre

The OVATION Committee celebrates the 2022 return to live theatre. (l to r) Narsai David, Lynn Eve Komaromi, Johanna Pfaelzer, Jill Fugaro, Audrey Sockolov, Sandra Eggers, Sudha Pennathur, and Susie Medak.

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