Class Roster Announced for Moses' Yellojackets at Berkeley Rep

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22 Jul 2008

Casting is complete for the world premiere of Itamar Moses' high school-set drama Yellowjackets, which kicks off the 2008-2009 season at Berkeley Rep Aug. 29.



Berkeley Rep artistic director Tony Taccone directs the production, which will feature a cast of young local actors to inhabit the world of Moses' alma mater, Berkeley High. Commissioned by Berkeley Rep, Yellowjackets will open Sept. 3 and continue through Oct. 12.

The young actors include Shoresh Alaudini, Jahmela Biggs, Alex Curtis, Ben Freema, Lance Gardner, Amaya Alonso Hallifax, Kevin Hsieh, Adrienne Papp, Craig Piaget, Brian Rivera and Erika Salazar.

Press notes for Yellowjackets state: "When the school newspaper publishes an insensitive story, students at Berkeley High suddenly find themselves embroiled in a volatile controversy – and even their teachers seem unprepared to deal with the repercussions. It's a sting that's worthy of the school mascot: the sports teams at Berkeley High are called the Yellowjackets, and The Jacket is the name of the student-run paper."

"Berkeley Rep is, of course, one of the places I was first exposed to theatre," Moses said in a statement, "and Tony Taccone is one of the best people in the country to develop a new play with. So, for me anyway, this is more exciting in many ways than being produced in New York. Yellowjackets is a political play, one that raises a lot of sensitive issues about race, socioeconomics, and education – but it's also a very personal play, in that all of the events are based on things that really happened while I was a student at Berkeley High. So to share my work with Berkeley for the first time, in a play that is actually about Berkeley, is quite special."

The design team features Annie Smart (scenic design), Meg Neville (costume design), Alexander V. Nichols (lighting design), Obadiah Eaves (sound design) and Steve Rankin (fight choreography).

Moses' works include Bach at Leipzig, Celebrity Row, The Four of Us, Reality! and Outrage.

The 2008-2009 season at Berkeley Rep will also include August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Mary Zimmerman's The Arabian Nights, Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore and the world premiere of You, Nero by Amy Freed.

For more information call the box office at (510) 647-2949 or visit berkeleyrep.org.