2016 Season

Totem and Taboo

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Written by David Weisberg
Directed by M. Graham Smith
Produced in: 2016

The performances on Mar 18, 19, 20 are fully reserved.  Please call the box office for information about the waiting list: (510) 558.1381


World Premiere #50: A Central Works Method Play

Inspired by Freud’s famous book of the same title, Totem and Taboo is a grand epic concoction that mixes together elements of farce, surrealism, theater of the absurd, family melodrama, and classic situation comedy.

Ralph used to be a university professor.  Now he’s a pill-popping, stay-at-home “house husband,” raising a 17-year-old son with his wife, Alice, a genetic biologist. While juggling the cooking and the cleaning and the pain-killers, Ralph has also been working on a very long, very complex book, his life’s work: Opting Out of the Social Contract, a critique of liberalism, and its failure to fulfill the promise of a better world. But Ralph is having scant luck finding a publisher for his magnum opus. When a drug-induced hallucination lands him in a real-life episode of The Honeymooners—with cannibalism—Ralph’s world spins out of control.

A hectic, wild, utterly ridiculous, deadly serious, Oedipal family drama.

Production Sponsor: David Harder & Patricia Milton

This play is available for licensing! Please contact us for details.

A wild, Freudian, utterly ridiculous, deadly earnest, Oedipal family drama, 2M/2F

Caleb Cabrera
Deb Fink*
April Green
Bob Greene*

Costume design: Tammy Berlin
Lighting design: Gary Graves
Prop design: Debbie Shelley
Sound design: Gregory Scharpen
Stage manager: Vanessa Ramos

*member AEA

Ralph (Bob Greene*) a former professor turned
pill-popping house husband, cowers behind his
desk after being instructed by TV sit-com character,
Ed Norton, to “follow the raccoon” in
Central Works’ production, Totem & Taboo.

Photo by J. Norrena

Ralph’s son, Toby (Caleb Cabrera), has to explain
to his Dad why he’d rather be a personal trainer than
a college graduate in Totem & Taboo, by David Weisberg.

Photo by J. Norrena

Trixie Norton and Alice Kramden (April Green and Deb Fink*)
from The Honeymooners exchange shopping tips in
Central Works’ production, Totem & Taboo.

Photo by J. Norrena

*member AEA

Ed Norton and Ralph Kramden (Caleb Cabrera and Bob Greene*), unveil the mascot of their beloved Raccoon Lodge during a drug-induced dream journey to The Honeymooners in Central Works, Totem & Taboo by David Weisberg.

Photo by J. Norrena

“Harrowing but hilarious” – A. Gilbert, The Berkeleyside

“There’s a lot there, and it leaves the viewer much to mull over …  Director Graham Smith keeps this all on track, zipping along, hilarious and sly.  All the actors do splendidly, keeping the energy high and wry.” – J. Robles, Repeat Performances and Piedmont Post.

Watch the trailer!

Read Freud’s Totem and Taboo; resemblances between the psychic lives of savages and neurotics.

Watch an episode of The Honeymooners.

Learn more about the Raccoon Lodge


Too tempting to resist: check this out!