Opening night is Sept. 16. Director Oskar Eustis returns to the Bay Area with Rinne Groff's latest play, "a kaleidoscopic collision of history and culture that combines stellar acting with marvelous marionettes," according to Berkeley Rep. Eustis and Patinkin worked on the play at Yale Rep in January 2009. This is a world-premiere co-production from Berkeley Rep, The Public Theater and Yale Repertory Theatre. Its next stop is The Public Theater in February 2011. Casting has not been announced for that engagement.
The Compulsion cast in California will also include Hannah Cabell of Berkeley Rep's world premiere of In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) and Matte Osian of Broadway's Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center and Twelve Angry Men for Roundabout. The ensemble for Compulsion also features three puppeteers: Emily DeCola, Daniel Patrick Fay and Eric Wright.
In the play, according to production notes, "Sid Silver is obsessed. When he learns about a young girl named Anne Frank and her extraordinary diary, he makes it his mission to ensure her tale is heard. But is the manuscript a work of art? A cultural treasure? Once publishers and producers get involved, it becomes 'a very valuable product' — and Silver's good intentions prove to be his undoing. Inspired by the life of Meyer Levin, this important new play takes us on a journey from passion to compulsion."
Rinne Groff’s work has been seen Off-Broadway, at theatres across America, and on TV. Her plays include The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem, produced at Target Margin Theater; Inky, produced at Women's Project; Jimmy Carter Was a Democrat, produced at Performance Space 122; The Moliere Impromptu, produced at Trinity Repertory Company; Orange Lemon Egg Canary, produced as part of Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival of New Plays; The Ruby Sunrise, produced at The Public; and What Then, produced at Clubbed Thumb. She also wrote the book and co-wrote the lyrics for In the Bubble at American Musical Theatre Project and wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the book for Saved at Playwrights Horizons. Groff also wrote for a season of "Weeds" on Showtime.
Patinkin won the Tony Award for his Broadway debut in Evita and was again nominated for Sunday in the Park with George and The Wild Party. He also performed on Broadway in Falsettos, The Secret Garden, The Shadow Box, Trelawny of the 'Wells,' and his solo concerts Celebrating Sondheim, Dress Casual and Mamaloshen. For The Public, he appeared in Dress Casual; Hamlet; Henry IV, Part 1; The Knife; Leave It to Beaver Is Dead; Rebel Women; and The Winter’s Tale. Eustis, artistic director of The Public Theater, has assembled designers Eugene Lee (scenic designer), Susan Hilferty (costume designer), Michael Chybowski (lighting designer), Darron L West (sound designer), Jeff Sugg (projection designer) and Matt Acheson (puppet designer/puppetry supervisor).
The stage manager for this production is Michael Suenkel, Berkeley Rep's resident production stage manager.
For tickets or information, call (510) 647-2949 or toll-free at (888) 4-BRT-Tix or visit berkeleyrep.org.