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2014 SEASON at the Berkeley City Club  (Download PDF)


Jan 6, 2014 – Central Works carries on tradition as “the new play theater” with 4 world premieres in 24th season

Kicking things off in February, the company unveils The Lion and the Fox, written by Gary Graves and directed by Jan Zvaifler.  In this prequel to Machiavelli and The Prince – one of Central Works most popular productions ever – Niccolo Machiavelli faces off against one of the greatest villains in history, Cesare Borgia.  What really happened between the author of the infamous “handbook for tyrants” and the ideal subject of the little book that changed the world?  A Central Works Method Play.  Feb 22-March 30.

In the spring, a world premiere from the Central Works Writers Workshop: The Crazed.  Based on the acclaimed novel by Ha Jin (winner of the National Book Award and two Penn/Faulkner awards), local playwright Sally Dawidoff details the life of a young scholar coming of age in Communist China on the eve of the Tiananmen Square massacre.  Featuring an all Asian-American cast.  May 17-June 22.

This summer, a terrifyingly delightful offering: Dracula Inquest, adapted from Bram Stoker’s classic horror story by resident playwright Gary Graves.  The year is 1895.  An inspector from Scotland Yard arrives in the bowels of an insane asylum in the seaside town of Whitby, England.  He has come to inquire into a bizarre sequence of gruesome events concerning a mysterious nobleman from Transylvania.  Exactly who is Count Dracula and why has he suddenly disappeared?  A Central Works Method Play.  July 12-Aug 17.

Autumn brings Recipe, a profoundly funny new work by Michael Gene Sullivan, head writer for the Tony award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe.  Sullivan serves up the laughs in this delicious take on a circle of sweet old grandmotherly bakers, who just happen to be dedicated to the armed overthrow of the United States government.  But baking pies and cakes isn’t enough to satisfy these four intrepid refugees from the sixties, and their burning desire to “Up the Revolution!”  A Central Works World Premiere.  Oct 18-Nov 23.

Central Works fills a special niche for theater artists in the San Francisco Bay Area. We produce more new plays by local playwrights than any other company in the region utilizing 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.  Sally Dawidoff’s The Crazed is the third production at Central Works to emerge from this program.

 Plays developed elsewhere, such as Michael Gene Sullivan’s Recipe, come to Central Works through a variety of networking efforts. Recipe first came to the company’s attention when it received a staged reading at Central Works as part of the 2011 Bay Area Playwright’s Foundation, In the Rough series.

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