Neil Bartlett's Oliver Twist Begs Into Berkeley Rep's New Season

News   Neil Bartlett's Oliver Twist Begs Into Berkeley Rep's New Season
Neil Bartlett's staging of Oliver Twist has been added to close the upcoming Berkeley Repertory Theatre's 39th season. The west coast premiere of will play at the California stage's Roda Theatre May 11-June 24, 2007.

The new adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel played to acclaim in London and now Oliver Twist is being produced in association with New York's Theatre for a New Audience and Massaschusetts' American Repertory Theatre.

"Inspired by the vivid world of the Victorian music-hall," Bartlett's take on the work "uses the original language of Dickens' novel to dramatize one of the most deeply felt stories ever written about childhood," according to a release. The production features a set designed by Rae Smith.

A director, performer, playwright and novelist, Bartlett is known for being a founding member of Gloria Theatre, which co-produced shows such as Berenice and Sarrasine with the National Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Royal Court Theatre and Théâtre de Complicité. He has served as artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith and, while there, staged Kleist's Prince of Homburg and Marivaux's La Dispute with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His original plays include Night After Night and A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep.

The 2006-2007 season (subject to change) also includes:

  • Mother Courage by David Hare (Sept. 8-Oct. 22) - The Roda Theatre
    Lisa Peterson directs the translation of the anti-war epic text by Bertolt Brecht. Gina Leishman provides an original score for the production.
  • Passing Strange (Oct. 20-Dec. 3) - Thrust Stage
    Commissioned by Berkeley Rep and The Public Theater, this world premiere work features a book and lyrics by Stew (singer songwriter of the band The Negro Problem) with music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald. Annie Dorsen — who collaborated on creating the musical — directs the world premiere, which will take audiences "from black, middle-class America to Amsterdam, Berlin, and beyond." The show heads to New York for a spring 2007 run.
  • All Wear Bowlers by Geoff Sobelle and Trey Lyford (Nov. 24-Dec. 24) - Roda
    Aleksandra Wolska directs creator-performers Sobelle and Lyford in the work where two silver screen clowns literally break through the fourth wall of their silent movie.
  • The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh (Jan. 12-Feb. 25, 2007) - Thrust
    Les Waters directs the dark story of a writer who is brought in for questioning when plotlines of his stories — which involve disturbingly gruesome tales — begin to resemble real-life murders.
  • To the Lighthouse by Adele Shank (Feb. 23-March 25, 2007) - Roda
    Waters then stages the world premiere of this work adapted from the Virginia Woolf novel, featuring an original score by Paul Dresher, set in a house "where a couple live, argue, love, and endure; where children play, cry, and grow up; [and] where a woman paints."
  • The Blue Door by Tanya Barfield (April 6-May 20, 2007) - Thrust
    Actor Delroy Lindo (Joe Turner's Come and Gone, "Get Shorty") directs the play, which finds a mathematics professor who during one sleepless night is visited by four generations of ancestors who challenge and enlighten him on "what it means to be black." Subscriptions to the season at Berkeley Rep, 2025 Addison Street in Berkeley, CA are available by calling (510) 647-2949 or toll free at (888) 4-BRT-tix. Single tickets to shows will go on sale in August. For more information, visit


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