Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By From page B8 | April 18, 2014

California Stage will bring four provocative plays to Sacramento audiences throughout 2014. The theater will open its 23rd season with the world premiere of Nelda Roberts’ captivating new drama “The Vanishing Point,” followed by R.C. Sherriff’s “Journey’s End,” Peter Weiss’ “Marat/Sade” and Rick Foster’s “Love Isadora.”

California Stage is one of six theaters in the United States chosen to present an award-winning world premiere from the American Association of Community Theaters’ first annual AACTNewPlayFest.

“The Vanishing Point” by Nelda Roberts, chosen from 250 entries, tells the powerful story of one family in danger of disintegrating almost as quickly as the fragile Louisiana bayous on which they’ve depended for centuries. The play is running through April 27 and will be directed by Ray Tatar.

Next, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of “The War to End All Wars,” California Stage will present “Journey’s End” by R.C. Sherriff.

This study in war abandons the notions of ‘war” that echo in hometown newsprint or the mouths of politicians in favor of the War lived by those who fight— a surreal “Waiting for Godot” with only cold lead and poison gas to look forward to. The show will run from June 7 through July 6. This will be directed by California Stage Associate Director Mark Heckman.

Immediately following, California Stage will present “Marat/Sade” by Peter Weiss July 19 to Aug. 10.

“Marat/Sade” reveals what happens when the “1 percent” goes too far and takes too much: the eruption of bloody violence and revolution. Set to music and song by the Marquis de Sade in a madhouse south of Paris, “Marat/Sade” shocked American audiences in the 1960s. Last year, the play proved its continued relevance in London with a full remounting of the play at the National Theater. “Marat/Sade” will be directed by veteran Los Angeles Director Kent Johnson.

Finally, California Stage will revive Sacramento playwright and screenwriter Rick Foster’s “Love Isadora.”

This solo show, running Sept 20 through Oct. 14, follows the life of California modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan and stars Elly Award-winner Lori Russo. It will be directed by Drama Desk Award Nominee Janis Stevens, with choreography by New York choreographer Tracy Eisenberg.

California Stage will continue to develop plays for California audiences by presenting first readings of a play-in-progress by Joshua Laskey about Lincoln Steffens. A Sacramento native little known in his home town, Steffens was instrumental in tearing down Tammany Hall — the fabled political racket that ruled New York City for over a century — and has been dubbed the Father of Investigative Journalism. He was a friend of President Theodore Roosevelt and played a prominent role in international politics.

California Stage productions play weekends in the three theater complex R25 Arts Center, 1721 25th St. at 25th Street in Midtown Sacramento. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices are $20 for general admission, $15 for military, students, SARTA members and seniors, and $12 for groups of six or more.

California Stage

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