Fat Pig, Speech & Debate and John Gabriel Borkman Announced for Aurora Theatre Season

News   Fat Pig, Speech & Debate and John Gabriel Borkman Announced for Aurora Theatre Season Berkeley's Aurora Theatre Company will stage works by Neil LaBute, Clifford Odets, Stephen Karam, Henrik Ibsen and a world premiere by Joel Drake Johnson for its 2009-10 season.

Launching the season will be Odets' Awake and Sing!, running Aug. 21-Sept. 27. Joy Carlin directs the Depression-era drama that "depicts the too true-to-life economic hardships confronted by working-class families during the 1930s, documenting their dreams and disappointments, hopes, fears and follies in the face of the American dream."

Tony nominee Barbara Damashek (Quilters) will stage Neil LaBute's Fat Pig, which runs Oct. 30-Dec. 6. "Conventionally good-looking Tom falls for Helen, a bright, funny, sexy woman, who happens to be plus-sized. Forced to explain his new relationship to his perplexed friends, Tom must come to terms with his own preconceived notions of love and attraction."

The holidays arrive with the Aurora's original work The Coverlettes Cover Christmas, running Dec. 9-27. Darby Gould, Katie Guthorn and Carol Bozzio Littleton appear as the Coverlettes, who "dust off their harmonies and their bee-hives to perform some of pop music's greatest girl group hits and holiday classics, with a few unexpected musical detours in between."

The world premiere of Joel Drake Johnson's The First Grade will kick off the New Year from Jan. 22-Feb. 28, 2010. Aurora artistic director Tom Ross stages the production that follows "the sometimes hilarious, sometimes frightening journey of a woman whose attempts to save her physical therapist from harm leads her into a chaos that includes a class of first graders, her depressed daughter, her Ritalin-addicted grandson, and an ex-husband with whom she still shares a home."

Following will be Henrik Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman, from April 2-May 9, 2010. Aurora founding artistic director Barbara Oliver directs the timely new version by David Eldridge, which originally premiered at the Donmar Warehouse. "The Borkman family fortunes have been brought low by the imprisonment of John Gabriel Borkman, who used his position as a bank manager to speculate illegally with his clients' money, ultimately losing the financial investments of hundreds of people. After serving eight years in prison for embezzlement, Borkman has spent the last five years making plans for a comeback, pacing alone in an upstairs room. Meanwhile downstairs, his estranged wife and her sister vie for the loyalty of Borkman's only son." The Aurora season comes to a close with the Bay Area premiere of Stephen Karam's Speech & Debate, running June 11-July 18, 2010. Robin Stanton directs the dark comedy in which "three teenage misfits in Salem, Oregon discover they are curiously connected by a sex scandal that's rocked their hometown. When the trio (a 'drama geek,' a 'queeny boy,' and a budding school newspaper reporter) form an unlikely alliance to seek out and disclose the truth, secrets become currency, the stakes escalate, and their connection grows deeper in their quest for fame and free speech."

Single tickets and season subscriptions are currently available by phoning (510) 843-4822, or by visiting AuroraTheatre.

The Aurora Theatre is located at 2081 Addison Street, Berkeley CA.