2022 Season

Escape From the Asylum

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written by Patricia Milton
directed by Gary Graves
Mar 19–Apr 17

World Premiere #67
a madcap mystery from the Central Works Writers Workshop

EXTENDED THRU APRIL 24!
FOUR MORE PERFORMANCES: April 21, 22, 23 and 24!

In 2019, we premiered The Victorian Ladies Detective Collectivethree determined “lady” sleuths fighting crime and prejudice in Victorian London. Now they’re back at it! A famous female explorer has been committed to Belfry, a notorious asylum for the mentally ill. Has her unscrupulous husband had her falsely committed just to gain her fortune? The intrepid lady detectives are on the case!

 

 

Listen to playwright Patricia Milton’s conversation with actor Chelsea Bearce: Script Club episode #10!

 


Datebook Theater Pick: “Patricia Milton has a scrumptious way with comedy.
(read more reviews)

 

For more information about the rest of the 2022 season, click here!

 

COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS

For your safety and out of respect for our more vulnerable patrons and staff members, we require proof of up to date vaccination status and masks for all patrons until further notice.  Click here for more information on our safety policies

 

DAY OF PERFORMANCE DISCOUNTS

All remaining seats are available on a sliding scale at noon on the day of the show: $40-$15 (Fri-Sat)
Full pay-what-you-can (Thur & previews)
We reserve seats only for subscribers, it is general seating for all other ticket holders.

Ticket Prices

Advance tickets: $22-40

Information & subscriber reservations: 510.558.1381

Performance calendar

(note 7pm showtime on Saturdays!)

Thu Fri Sat Sun
Mar 17
8pm
Preview
18
8pm
Preview
19
7pm
Opening
20
5pm
24
8pm
25
8pm
26
7pm
27
5pm
31
8pm
Apr 1
8pm
2
7pm
3
5pm
7
8pm
8
8pm
9
7pm
10
5pm
14
8pm
15
8pm
16
7pm
17
5pm
21
8pm
22
8pm
23
7pm
24
5pm

Running Time

100 minutes with a 10-minute intermission

Chelsea Bearce
Alan Coyne
Danielle O’Hare
Jan Zvaifler

Stage Management: Natalia Ramos
Costume design: Tammy Berlin
Prop design: Debbie Shelley
Sound design: Gregory Scharpen

 

Patricia Milton (playwright) is a Resident Playwright for Central Works and a long-term member of the Central Works Writers Workshop. Plays written for Central Works include: Bystanders (audio play produced in 2020), The Victorian Ladies’ Detective Collective (2019), Bamboozled (2018 Outstanding Production; Ensemble; Finalist, Outstanding World Premiere Play, TBA Awards), Hearts of Palm (2016), Enemies: Foreign and Domestic (2015), and Reduction in Force (2011). She is a recipient of the 2015 Outstanding World Premiere Play by Theatre Bay Area for Enemies: Foreign and Domestic. The Victorian Ladies’ Detective Collective was presented by the International House of Theatre outdoors in Copenhagen in July 2020. Her comedy Believers has enjoyed productions in Monterey and San Francisco, and played for three years in Istanbul, Turkey. Her drama about the death penalty, Without Mercy, was presented at the Newfoundland Women’s Work Festival and was produced in 2017 by Off Broadway West Theatre Company in San Francisco. Upcoming at New Conservatory Theatre is an audio version of her comedy The Law of Attraction, commissioned by NCTC. Ms. Milton has had more than one hundred productions and readings of her plays both locally and internationally, including at 3Girls Theatre, San Francisco Exploratorium, PlayGround SF, Woman’s Will, Women’s Theatre Project, Bay Area One Acts, and City Lights Theatre. She is Northern California Regional Rep for The Dramatists Guild, and produces a monthly podcast for the Central Works Script Club.

 

 

Katie Smalls (Chelsea Bearce) and Loveday Fortescue (Danielle O’Hare) are detectives seeking to free wrongly-committed patient.

Central Works presents world premiere #67: Th Escape from the Asylum by Patricia Milton, Mar 19 -Apr 17 at Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.

Photo by Robbie Sweeny

Dr. Florian Von Grabstetter (Alan Coyne), proprietor of the Belfry Institution for Nervous Diseases, prepares to demonstrate his invention: the Intrauterine Magnetic Polarity Apparatus.
Central Works presents world premiere #67: Th Escape from the Asylum by Patricia Milton, Mar 19 -Apr 17 at Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.

 

Photo by Robbie Sweeny

Madame Valeria Hunter, (Jan Zvaifler) is a reluctant medium conducting a séance with her sister Loveday Fortescue (Danielle O’Hare) and a bereaved Herr Dr. Florian Von Grabstetter (Alan Coyne).

Central Works presents world premiere #67: Th Escape from the Asylum by Patricia Milton, Mar 19 -Apr 17 at Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.

Photo by Robbie Sweeny

Detectives Loveday Fortescue (Danielle O’Hare) and Katie Smalls (Chelsea Bearce) hone their umbrella fighting skills during a practice duel.
Central Works presents world premiere #67: Th Escape from the Asylum by Patricia Milton, Mar 19 -Apr 17 at Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.

Photo by Robbie Sweeny

SF Chronicle Datebook Pick: “Local playwright Patricia Milton has a scrumptious way with comedy.”

“Escape from the Asylum is a delightful madcap comedy!” E. Mendel, Berkeleyside

Escape from the Asylum is featured in the SF Examiner’s Fanfare section

“The play is full of Patricia Milton’s typical blend of puns, political satire, and scholarly feminist insight, all played for laughs and maximum damage to patriarchal pomposity.” C. Kruger, TheatreStorm

“this comedic play charms with quirky characters, clever dialog, feminist issues, and a plot twist leading to a surprise ending. The four actors…are delightful.” V.Cordell, Cordell Reports

“Central Works’ Escape from the Asylum returns us to the male-dominated Victorian era, to shine a powerful light on women’s fight for freedom. Their sharp wit surpasses their label as merely ‘ladies.’ ” P.Morin, Theatrius

“this reviewer watch[ed] with glee and admiration the ingenuity and courage of three women who ignore the biases of their world in order to outsmart the men around them as they fight for the rights and lives of women.” E. Reynolds, Theatre Eddys

 

Want to read the play scripts?

Read the Escape from the Asylum script here

Read the 1st play, The Victorian Ladies Detective Collective, here