It's Fall in the winter at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The Bay Area venue opens Bridget Carpenter's Fall, a coming-of-age play about a young girl's first swing and sexual steps, Jan. 24. Obie winner Lisa Peterson (Collected Stories, Slavs!) directs this co-production at Baltimore's Center Stage, where the show ran Nov. 16-Dec. 17.
In Fall, 14-year-old scuba aficiando Lydia finds herself forced to attend a Catalina swing camp with her dance-obsessed "freak" parents, Dog (short for Doug) and Jill. But the teenager just discovering her hormones will learn more than the Lindy when she's faced with lessons about love, life and family. During the play, Lydia is shadowed by two dancer characters, Lead and Follow, who mirror her emotional state with their moves.
Carpenter's other plays include The Death of the Father of Psychoanalysis (& Anna), Mr. Xmas, West, Typhoid Mary and Tiny. She received the 1999-2000 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Fall.
Megan Austin Oberle stars as Lydia with Nancy Bell as Jill and Andy Murray as Dog. Also in the cast are Donnie Keshwarz (Gopal), Thomas Christopher Nieto (Mr. Gonzales), Chad Kubo (Lead) and Niloufar Talebi (Follow).
Designing the show are The Scarlet Pimpernel's Andrew Jackness (sets), Tony winner Ann Hould-Ward (costumes), Soctt Zielinski (lighting) and John Gromada (composer/sound designer). Gromada composed for Proof, A Few Good Men and Summer & Smoke on Broadway. Peter Pucci created the swing and scuba choreography. The director of Pucci Plus Dancers, he has created movement at the Manhattan Theatre Club and the Shakespeare Theatre.
Fall began Feb. 19 for a run through March 11. Tickets are $52-15.99. Berkeley Repertory Theatre is located at 2025 Addison Street. For tickets, call (510) 845-4700. Berkeley Rep is on the web at http://www.berkeleyrep.org.
- By Christine Ehren