2023 Season

Mondragola

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written by Gary Graves
directed by Jan Zvaifler
Mar 18–Apr 23

World Premiere #70: a comedy about Machiavelli

*Mondragola: Italian for “The Love Root” (an aphrodisiac)

EXTENDED THRU APRIL 23!
FOUR MORE PERFORMANCES: April 20-23
(limited availability on 4/22)

Things aren’t going so well for Niccolo Machiavelli.  He’s in exile.  The man history will come to know as the author of The Prince, the infamous “Handbook for Tyrants,” is struggling to get by as an itinerant playwright, writing farcical sex comedies to make ends meet.  But a big break comes when he’s invited to present a new play at an elite soiree in Florence.  Little does he know, his play is merely bait to lure the Cardinal of Florence into an assassination plot.  When Machiavelli realizes what’s afoot, he must choose:  is he with the conspirators, or against them?  Either way, he could see his head wind up on the chopping block.  Politics, and playwriting, is a dangerous game!

Listen to the latest Script Club interview here.

 

Rudy Guerrero (member AEA) as Niccolo Machiavelli. 

More images here

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Single Tickets

Fri-Sun: $35-40
Thu & previews: pay-what-you-can

Day of Performance Discounts

Fri-Sun: sliding scale $40-$15 at noon day of show

Information & subscriber reservations

Call 510.558.1381

Please note: We reserve seats only for subscribers; general seating for all other ticket-holders.

Performance calendar

(note 7pm showtime on Saturdays!)

Thu Fri Sat Sun
Mar 16
8pm
Preview
17
8pm
Preview
18
7pm
Opening
19
5pm
23
8pm
24
8pm
25
7pm
26
5pm
30
8pm
31
8pm
Apr 1
7pm
2
5pm
6
8pm
7
8pm
8
7pm
9
5pm
13
8pm
14
8pm
15
7pm
16
5pm
20
8pm
21
8pm
22
7pm
23
5pm

Running Time

65 minutes with no intermission

Acting Ensemble:
Monique Crawford
Rudy Guerrero*
Edwin Jacobs

Steve Ortiz

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

* appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

(r to l): Niccolo Machiavelli (Rudy Guerrero*) instructs Luigi (Steve Ortiz) in the basics of acting in Mondragola, a comedy about Machiavelli.

Central Works presents world premiere #70: Mondragola by Gary Graves, March 18 -April 16 at Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.

Photo by Robbie Sweeny

(l to r): Battista (Edwin Jacobs) and Zenobia (Monique Crawford) agree to perform in Niccolo Machiavelli’s silly comedy; but what are their real motives?

Central Works presents world premiere #70: Mondragola by Gary Graves, March 18 -April 16 at Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.

Photo by Robbie Sweeny

Florence 1522, 50 years before Shakespeare: Niccolo Machiavelli, author of The Prince – the infamous “handbook for tyrants”- has returned to perform his silly comedy Mondragola for the Cardinal de’ Medici.

Central Works presents world premiere #70: Mondragola by Gary Graves, March 18 -April 16 at Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.

Photo by Robbie Sweeny
* appears through the courtesy of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

After 10 years in exile, Niccolo Machiavelli (Rudy Guerrero*) returns to perform his farce, Mondragola, for the Florentine elite…but he gets entangled in far more than silly stage antics.

Central Works presents world premiere #70: Mondragola by Gary Graves, March 18 -April 16 at Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.

Photo by Robbie Sweeney

Mondragola, is a comedic gem.” -Berkeleyside

“Central Works’ season opener lampoons theatre itself, just as much as politics.” –48 Hills

“Playwright Gary Graves has taken facts about Machiavelli and added his own creative twist in a fascinating play” East Bay Times

Mondragola is a SF Chronicle Datebook Pick

Download the program here

Listen to the CW Script Club

Resident playwrights Gary Graves & Patricia Milton discuss the script & and production with resident sound designer Greg Scharpen!

Click here to download the script.

Click here to hear other CW Script Club episodes.

 

Mondragola is one of 5 plays written by Gary Graves inspired by the life of Niccolo Machiavelli. Central Works produced Machiavelli’s THE PRINCE in 2009 and again in 2010.  If you’d like to learn a bit more context about the play and the central character, download the script here:
Machiavelli’s THE PRINCE by Gary Graves

 

Read Machiavelli’s original masterpiece: The Prince

 

Listen to Gary Graves’ and Rudy Guerrero’s interview on KALW:

 

Read about the history of the play La Mondragola by Niccoló Machiavelli
(did you know that Tom Hanks acted in a 1979 production and Wallace Shawn wrote a translation for the Public Theater in 1977?