Cutler, Eifrig, Lichtscheidl, Mudek to Appear in West Coast Premiere of Tiny Kushner

News   Cutler, Eifrig, Lichtscheidl, Mudek to Appear in West Coast Premiere of Tiny Kushner The Guthrie Theater performers who created roles in Tiny Kushner in May, will appear in Berkeley Repertory Theatre's fall West Coast premiere of the collection of five short plays by Tony Kushner. It will run Oct. 16-Nov. 29, opening Oct. 21, in Berkeley, CA.
Tiny Kushner stars Kate Eifrig and Valeri Mudek
Tiny Kushner stars Kate Eifrig and Valeri Mudek Photo by Michal Daniel

Artistic director Tony Taccone, who staged Kushner's Angels in America, Brundibar, Homebody/Kabul and Slavs!, directs a cast that includes J.C. Cutler (a veteran of more than 25 productions at the Guthrie), Kate Eifrig (whose resume includes performances with Eye of the Storm Theatre, the Fifty Foot Penguin Theater, the Jungle Theater, the Guthrie, Ordway Center, the Outward Spiral Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre and Ten Thousand Things Theater Company), Jim Lichtscheidl (who last appeared at Berkeley Rep with Theatre de la Jeune Lune in The Miser), Valeri Mudek (seen at the Guthrie in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Two Gentlemen of Verona).

Tiny Kushner — consisting of Flip Flop Fly!; East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis; Terminating or Sonnet LXXV or "Lass Meine Schmerzen nicht verloren sein" or Ambivalence; Dr. Arnold A. Hutschneker in Paradise; and Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy — will be performed on Berkeley Rep's intimate Thrust Stage. The production is produced in association with the Guthrie.

"For people who think I'm an unbearably long-winded playwright, Tiny Kushner is proof that I can be unbearable in short plays as well!" Kushner said in a statement. "It's always a great moment for me when I have a play opening at Berkeley Rep. It means I get to spend time among the gorgeous and brilliant people of the Bay Area, torturing myself with questions about why I don't move there. And I get to work again with my great friend Tiny Taccone, oops I mean Tony Taccone — who isn't tiny in the least; his talent is gigantic! Though in fact he is considerably shorter than me."

Taccone stated, "The coolest thing about Tiny Kushner is its endless sense of surprise and delight: five little plays that show off the playwright's seemingly endless gifts with an economy that puts no pressure on the bladder. This is a man who can deliver words like food for every part of our starving bodies. And he is funny to boot. Welcome back, Tony Kushner. It's been too long."

In Tiny Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright's "gilded language is guided, as always, by an unwavering moral compass," according to press notes. "Travel to the moon — and to the afterlife — with Laura Bush, Nixon's analyst, the queen of Albania, and a host of real-life tax evaders, all adrift in an increasingly fragile world." Kushner and Taccone first collaborated on A Bright Room Called Day at the Eureka Theatre in 1987. Then Taccone commissioned the playwright's Angels in America, and co-directed its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum in 1992. Berkeley Rep has presented five previous works by Kushner. Taccone staged Slavs! in 1996, Homebody/Kabul in 2002, and Brundibar in 2005, which featured designs by Maurice Sendak. The Theatre also produced The Illusion in 1991 and Hydriotaphia in 1998.

The creative team includes Annie Smart (scenic design), Anita Yavich (costume design), Alexander V. Nichols (lighting and video design), Victor Zupanc (sound design), Marcela Lorca (movement director) and stage manager Kimberly Mark Webb.

For tickets or more information call (510) 647-2949 or toll-free at (888) 4-BRT-Tix or visit berkeleyrep.org.