Sunday, January 13, 2013

Theatergoing 2012

I promised myself I'd post my 2012 theatergoing list before heading to Berkeley to see my first show of 2013, Troublemaker, this evening.

Maybe I'm the only person who gets anything out of this, but I find it useful to look back on the previous year, and to index my posts -- even if I wrote fewer theater reviews this year than ever before. Still, the number of plays I saw increased from last year. I always say I'm going to give myself a break and see less theater, but that never seems to happen...

  1. The Wild Bride, adapted by Emma Rice, by Kneehigh Theatre (at Berkeley Rep)
  2. God's Plot, by Mark Jackson, at Shotgun Players
  3. Humor Abuse, by Lorenzo Pisoni and Erica Schmidt, at ACT
  4. Jesus in India, by Lloyd Suh, at Magic Theatre
  5. The Mandrake Root, by Machiavelli, produced by ACT's MFA students
  6. Little Brother, adapted by Josh Costello from Cory Doctorow's novel, at Custom Made Theatre
  7. Cabaret, by John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Joe Masteroff, produced by Independent Cabaret Productions
  8. A Taste of Honey, by Shelagh Delaney, produced by Virago Theatre
  9. Tontlawald, adapted by Eugenie Chan, at Cutting Ball
  10. Merchants, by Susan Sobeloff, produced by No Nude Men
  11. Octopus's Garden, by Scott Herman, produced by PianoFight
  12. Red, by John Logan, at Berkeley Rep
  13. Any Given Day, by Linda McLean, at Magic Theatre
  14. Maple & Vine, by Jordan Harrison, at ACT
  15. Voyage, by Tom Stoppard, at Shotgun Players
  16. A Bright Room Called Day, by Tony Kushner, at Custom Made Theatre
  17. Bay One-Acts Program 1, featuring plays by Anthony Clarvoe, 11th Hour Ensemble, Megan Cohen, Stuart Bousel, and Sam Leichter
  18. Bay One-Acts Program 2, featuring plays by Ken Slattery, Bennett Fisher, Erin Bregman, Amy Sass, and Christopher Chen
  19. Act One, Scene Two: The Curtailed Cavalier, improvised by Un-Scripted Theatre based on a scene I wrote
  20. Pussy, by Maura Halloran, at DivaFest
  21. Polaroid Stories, by Naomi Iizuka, produced by ACT's MFA students
  22. Tenderloin, documentary theater directed by Annie Elias, at Cutting Ball
  23. The Odyssey, adapted and staged by We Players on Angel Island
  24. The Great Divide, by Adam Chanzit (loosely adapted from Ibsen's An Enemy of the People), at Shotgun Players
  25. Bruja, by Luis Alfaro (loosely adapted from Euripides' Medea), at Magic Theatre
  26. Emilie: The Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight, by Lauren Gunderson, produced by Symmetry Theater
  27. Fear, by Dominic Savage, at the Bush Theatre (London)
  28. Henry V, by Shakespeare, at the Globe Theatre (London)
  29. Truffaldino Says No, by Ken Slattery, at Shotgun Players
  30. Pint-Sized Plays, by 10 local writers (including me), at Theater Pub
  31. The Scottsboro Boys, by John Kander, Fred Ebb, and David Thompson, at ACT (touring production)
  32. Salomania, by Mark Jackson, at Aurora Theater
  33. The Merchant of Venice, by Shakespeare, at Custom Made Theatre
  34. It's All in the Mix, by Barbara Jwanouskos, produced by All Terrain Theater
  35. Measure for Measure, by Shakespeare, at Theater Pub
  36. Believers, by Patricia Milton, produced by Wily West
  37. War Horse, adapted by Nick Stafford from the novel by Michael Morpurgo, at the Curran Theater (touring production)
  38. Chinglish, by David Henry Hwang, at Berkeley Rep
  39. Weird Romance, by Nick and Lisa Gentile, at the SF Fringe Festival
  40. Precious Little, by Madeleine George, at Shotgun Players
  41. Roughin' It 2, by various local writers, produced by PianoFight
  42. The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, by Kristoffer Diaz, at Aurora Theater
  43. Assassins, by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, at Shotgun Players
  44. The Scotland Company, by Jake Rosenberg, produced by Thunderbird Theatre
  45. An Iliad, adapted by Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare from Homer, at Berkeley Rep
  46. Love in a Time of Zombies, by Kirk Shimano, at Theater Pub
  47. Chrysalis, by Evangeline Crittenden, at Theater Pub
  48. The White Snake, adapted by Mary Zimmerman, at Berkeley Rep
  49. One-Minute Play Festival, by 40 local writers, produced by Playwrights Foundation
  50. Christmas Bells are Ringing, by Jonathan Larson, at Theater Pub
  51. Woyzeck, adapted by Ann-Christin Rommen & Wolfgang Wiens from Georg Büchner's  play, with music and lyrics by Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan, at Shotgun Players
  1. Occupy Theater Pub, by various local writers, at Theater Pub
  2. Helen, by Euripides, at Theater Pub
  3. Waterline, by Claire Rice, at Bindlestiff Studio
  4. The Odes of March, by various local writers (including me), at Theater Pub
  5. Manic Pixie Dream Girl, by Katie May, presented by PlayGround
  6. White Rabbit Red Rabbit, by Nassim Soleimanpour, presented by SF International Arts Festival
  7. The Memorandum, by Vaclav Havel, at Theater Pub
  8. Bal littéraire: La maison bleue, by various French and American playwrights, at the Playwrights' Foundation Des Voix festival
  9. Out There, by Nathalie Fillion, at the Playwrights' Foundation Des Voix
  10. Aulis: An Act of Nihilism in One Long Act, by Christopher Chen, at Cutting Ball
  11. Hit Trip Fall Run Dream Stick Sleep, by James D. Lock, at Theater Pub
  12. Hamlet and Cheese on Post, by various contributors, at Theater Pub
  13. Hestia, or the Rise of Dean Nysus and Dionysus, or Die, oh! Nice, us! by Lily Janiak, at the San Francisco Olympians Festival
  14. Mnemosyne and Themis, or the Broken Frame by Larissa Archer; Mnemosyne and Themis, or Letters from Helicon, Letters from Olympus by Susan Sobeloff; and Athena, the Musical, by Roberta D'Alois and Marilyn Harris Kriegel, at the Olympians Festival
  15. Phoebe & Theia, or How to Get to Tartarus by Amy Clare Tasker and Aphrodite, or The Love Goddess by Marissa Skudlarek, at the Olympians Festival
  16. Hermes, or The Computer that Wanted to Love by Kirk Shimano and Iapetus by Neil Higgins, at the Olympians Festival
  17. Prometheus, or Playing with Fire by Jeremy Cole and Hephaestus, or Heffy by Colin Johnson, at the Olympians Festival
  18. Coeus & Crios by Evelyn Jean Pine and Hades by Robert and Benji Cooper, at the Olympians Festival
  19. Tethys, or In the Deep by Meghan Kathleen O'Connor and Demeter, or In the Silence of Tangerine Groves by Patricia Milton, at the Olympians Festival
  20. Oceanus, or the Death of All Dolphins by Evan Winchester and Caenis & Poseidon by Bridgette Dutta Portman, at the Olympians Festival
  21. Atlas, or Do A Good Turn Daily by Charles Lewis III and Ares & Eris by Claire Rice, at the Olympians Festival
  22. Hyperion by Clinton Winder and Seanan Palmero and Apollo & Artemis, or Twins by Stuart Bousel, at the Olympians Festival
  23. Rhea by Maria Leigh and Hera: The Pregnant Man Play by Barbara Jwanouskos, at the Olympians Festival
  24. Chronos by Christian Simonson and Zeus by Megan Cohen, at the Olympians Festival
  • God's Plot
  • Voyage
  • Pussy
  • Precious Little 
  • The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
  • The White Snake
(clearly, I have a weakness for plays that are a. produced by Shotgun Players; b. have big casts, and/or c. involve people acting like animals)

  • The wordless scene in Red where they prime the canvas to classical music.
  • The set change between the two parts of Any Given Day -- technically amazing, but also the most emotionally charged set change I have ever witnessed. A moment of beauty and a chance to catch your breath, just when you most need it.
  • The entire experience of seeing Henry V as a groundling at the Globe Theater on a drizzly June night (really wish I'd written about this in more detail).
  • Stuart Bousel's decision to cut the casket scenes in The Merchant of Venice and stage them as a dumb show at the start of Act II, perfectly choreographed to the Magnetic Fields' "The Way You Say Goodnight." 
  • The moment in War Horse where the foal puppet turns into the full-size horse operated by three puppeteers.
  • Kirk Shimano's suggestion, in Love in a Time of Zombies, that the four fundamental human emotions are lust, anger, fear, and regret -- and that all other emotions are just a combination thereof.
I don't know if Kirk's theory is true, but I will say that the plays I saw in 2012 dealt with all of those emotions... and also evoked those feelings, and many more, within me. I have no doubt that that will continue with the theater that I see in 2013.

See also: my 2010 and 2011 theatergoing lists.

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