World Premiere Stage Adaptation of The Thing About Jellyfish Sets World Premiere at Berkeley Rep | Playbill

Regional News World Premiere Stage Adaptation of The Thing About Jellyfish Sets World Premiere at Berkeley Rep

The Bay Area company will also present Mexodus, Here There Are Blueberries, and more in the 2024-2025 season.

California's Berkeley Rep has revealed its 2024-2025 season, which includes a world premiere for a new stage adaptation of Ali Benjamin's best-selling novel The Thing About Jellyfish, adapted by Keith Bunin. The production will begin performances January 31, 2025, ahead of a February 5 opening night, with performances continuing through March 9.

Tyne Rafaeli will direct the work, about a 12 year-old who escapes into her own imagination to cope with the tragic death of her best friend. The world premiere is being presented in association with Madison Wells Live.

The company's season will open with two West Coast premieres, beginning with Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson's history-hip-hop musical Mexodus. The work looks to uncover the stories behind overlooked portions of the Underground Railroad that led into Mexico, with both Quijada and Robinson also performing the "live-looping" musical. Performances will begin September 13 in the company's Peet's Theatre, with an opening night set for September 18. The run will continue through October 20, with Berkeley Rep Associate Artistic Director David Mendizábal at the helm.

The second West Coast premiere is Mary Zimmerman's The Matchbox Magic Flute, a new take on Mozart's classic opera that uses just 10 singers and five musicians. Performances will run October 18-December 8 in the company's Roda Theatre, with opening night planned for October 23.

Following The Thing About Jellyfish, the theatre will present a new staging of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, adapted by Conor McPherson. Hugh Bonneville will star in the title role in the co-production with Washington, D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre Company. Performances will run February 14–March 23, 2025, in the Rep's Peet's Theatre. Opening night will be February 19.

Next will be Tectonic Theater Project's Here There Are Blueberries, currently making its Off-Broadway debut via New York Theatre Workshop. Moisés Kaufman, who directed the work's 2023 world premiere at La Jolla Playouse and the current Off-Broadway bow, will helm the Berkeley production as well. Written by Kaufman and Amanda Gronich, the piece centers on a mysterious photo album of Nazi-era photographs that holds some shocking secrets. The Berkeley run, performing April 5–May 11 and opening April 9, is being produced by special arrangement with Tectonic Theater Project, Brian and Dayna Lee, and Sonia Friedman Theatre.

The season will close with another world premiere, Jiehae Park's the aves. Centering on an old man and woman sitting on a park bench, the new work ruminates on themes of "human connection, memory, and growing older," according to press notes. Knud Adams is directing the world premiere, with performances running May 2–June 8 in the company's Peet's Theatre. Opening night will be May 7.

The season will also include the previously-announced run of Jocelyn Bioh's Jaja's African Hair Braiding, part of a multi-city tour of the Broadway production.

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