The workshop — as with the similar developmental run of Sarah Jones' Bridge & Tunnel in 2005 — will be open to the public. The dates are March 9, 11, 12 and 13. Due to the extension of the current show The Pillowman, the Hoch workshop will play at the nearby Gaia Arts Center.
"It's really exciting to welcome Danny back to Berkeley Rep," said Berkeley Rep artistic director Tony Taccone in a statement. "I've been trying for three years to get him to perform on stage again – and he's back with a vengeance. While he’s here, Danny’s workshopping both a solo show about gentrification in New York City and a new musical about the birth of hip-hop."
"I look forward to returning to Berkeley Rep to workshop my new material," Hoch said. "The Bay Area audience has always been very supportive, and a great meter with which to gauge whether things are working or not. Plus, the food is slammin'!"
Little has been revealed about the works, although an announcement boasts, "There's no set, no costumes, no fancy light cues… just Danny and his trademark torrent of words."
Hoch was acclaimed for his solo show Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop, which made its world premiere at Berkeley Rep in 1997. The work earned him two Obie Awards and an Edinburgh Fringe First Award. Hoch founded the Hip-Hop Theater Festival in 2000 which still appears annually in Chicago, New York, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C. and has included more than 75 plays from across the globe. He adapted, co-directed and starred in the film version of "Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop" and had an HBO special "Some People." His acting credits include "American Splendor," "Bamboozled," "Blackhawk Down," "Subway Stories," "The Thin Red Line" and "War of the Worlds." Tickets to the workshops at Gaia Arts Center, 2116 Allston Way in downtown Berkeley, CA, are $15 (high-school students with appropriate ID pay $7) and are available for purchase at (510) 647-2949, toll-free at (888) 4-BRT-Tix or online at berkeleyrep.org.