Central Works launches their 25th season with Patricia Milton’s new comedy Enemies: Foreign and Domestic, opening with a press night Feb 21 (previews Feb 19, 20), running through March 29 at the historic Berkeley City Club.
A family drama with a sharp political edge, Enemies: Foreign and Domestic by Patricia Milton begins when the rebel among three odd sisters returns home to reconcile with her estranged mother, cultures clash, sibling rivalries erupt, and bombs start falling. Following on the success of her hilarious economic comedy, Reduction in Force, “a timely, witty farce” (SF Examiner) that played to packed houses in 2011, local playwright Patricia Milton returns to Central Works with this darkly comic intersection of foreign “black ops” and family politics…“because counter-terrorism begins at home.” Patricia Milton’s plays have been performed in New York, Boston, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and places in between.
Enemies: Foreign and Domestic is Central Works World Premiere #46, and will be directed by Gary Graves. It features Maura Halloran, Desiree Rogers, Danielle Thys (member AEA), and Jan Zvaifler, with stage management by Vanessa Ramos, costumes by Tammy Berlin, sound by Gregory Scharpen, and props by Debbie Shelley.
The script was developed in the Central Works Writers Workshop, a commissioning program that develops plays through structured script sessions and readings. If scripts are selected for production, the project begins with a series of 4 “Shakedown Sessions.” In these meetings the writer, together with director, actors and designers, further revise and fine-tune the script in preparation for rehearsals.
In 2011, Milton’s Central Works Method play, Reduction in Force, premiered at Central Works. It was voted the SF Broadway World award for “Best Local Play in the San Francisco Bay Area.” Her comedy Solving Sunflowers was a winner of the 2009 Eudora Welty New Play Series, and was a Finalist in the 2010 Players Guild Theatre New Play Competition. It premiered in 2013 at the East Mountain Center for Theatre in New Mexico as the winner of the EMCT New Mexico Centennial Playwriting Contest. The apocalyptic romantic comedy, Believers, was developed at the 2010 Playwrights Revolution at Capital Stage Theatre in Sacramento, Playwrights Center of San Francisco, and Wily West Productions’ 2011 staged reading series in San Francisco and was fully produced in 2012. The Only Virgin in Jubilee County, winner of the 2007 Hill Country Playwriting Festival, premiered at the Hill Country Community Theatre in Texas, and is published by Eldridge Publishers.
Ms. Milton is co-author with Andrew Black of three full-length comedies which have been produced in New York City, Palm Springs, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and elsewhere. Her short works have been published by Original Works Publishing, and the International Centre for Women Playwrights anthology, Mother/Daughter Monologues. In the San Francisco Bay Area, her short plays have been seen at the Exploratorium and PianoFight, and in the One Minute Play Festival, SF Theater Festival, Woman’s Will PlayFest, SF Fringe Festival, and Sheherezade. She is a past President, Playwrights Center of San Francisco, and a member of Theatre Bay Area, Central Works Writing Group, Play Café, International Centre for Women Playwrights, and The Dramatists Guild. She is an Associate Playwright with 3Girls Theatre in San Francisco. Milton’s values are: Laughter, candor, artistic excellence, determination, integrity, generosity, and feminism.
Gary Graves is a playwright and director living in the Bay Area. Since 1998, he has been a company co-director of Central Works. He directs the Central Works Writers Workshop, an ongoing commissioning program, and he has been directing, writing and acting with the company 1994. He received a Ph.D. in Directing at U.C. Berkeley, and an MFA in Playwriting at Southern Illinois University. He currently teaches playwriting at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre.
Central Works fills a special niche for theater artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, producing more new plays by local playwrights than any other company in the region. “The New Play Theater” utilizes three basic strategies: some are products of the Central Works Method, some are developed in the Central Works Writers Workshop, and some come to the company fully developed. Central Works Method plays bring together writer, actors and director at the very outset of the playwriting process. In a supportive workshop environment, group research and collective brainstorming contribute to the entire development of the script. The Central Works Writers Workshop is an ongoing commissioning program established in 2012. Twice a year, in 12-week sessions, 8 local playwrights are selected to develop projects through informal readings and carefully directed discussions. Patricia Milton’s Enemies: Foreign and Domestic is the fourth production at Central Works to emerge from this program.