1901 Ashby Ave
Berkeley, California

[many other shows, this is just one I'm going to --R]

Some houses have more than one. When two young activists move into a fixer upper in a transitional South Berkeley neighborhood, they open the portal to an incredible past they could have never expected and a present they’re not sure they can handle. Inspired by the true stories of Berkeley’s historic Lorin District, Shotgun Players are proud to present a new look at how families struggle to overcome the obstacles that have become synonymous with “American”.

Based on the powerful model created by Cornerstone Theater in Los Angeles, we've built a new piece of community theatre that puts our neighborhood - our community, and its residents - onstage to tell their stories alongside professional actors. Playwright Marcus Gardley was commissioned by Shotgun Players in 2005 to create a play about the neighborhood once called Lorin that surrounds our theater The Ashby Stage.

And does this neighborhood have a story to tell! There are mid-nineteenth century farmhouses next to liquor stores, elegant Victorians next to low-income housing, a Buddhist temple that sits across the street from a Baptist Church. The personal stories that Shotgun Core Artists collected from the neighborhood are also rich - a young Japanese woman who moved back to the street her grandparents lived on before they were uprooted to internment camps, an elderly African American woman whose family left the segregated south to find prosperity here during the boom times of the shipping industry, and a nineteen year old man who is struggling to find some sanity in his drug riddled neighborhood. The Lorin is still a community in transition.

In Love is a Dream Hose in Lorin we’ll meet fictionalized generations of South Berkeley inhabitants who each have a different chapter of the story to tell. As the neighborhood evolves, so do the relationships, and Gardley deftly weaves the incredible complexities of family and proximity over the vast terrain of this play’s history. Beginning with the Ohlone Indians, and moving up through the proposed Ashby BART Transit village, Love is a Dream House in Lorin is giant in scope— by far the most ambitious project this company has ever undertaken.

Shotgun Players learned of the complex history of the Lorin District in 1999 when we arranged to perform plays at the South Berkeley Community Church. In 2004, when we acquired our own theater in the same neighborhood, there was a strong desire to learn more and to create a production that truly is community theatre: both by telling a story about the community – and by involving its members in both the development and the production itself. Creating work that starts a conversation about important issues in a community will allow us to process, explore and celebrate our vast diversities before they create greater divides.

Shotgun Players production of Love is a Dream House in Lorin will be directed by Aaron Davidman (Artistic Director of Traveling Jewish Theatre). The show features an awe-inspiring cast of 30 people ranging in age from 9 to 69, with members of the local theater community and the neighborhood community. The set will be designed by Lisa Clark, with costumes by Vincent Avery, light design by Richard Olmstead and sound design by Shotgun Company Member Daniel Bruno. Choreography will be created by Shotgun Company member Andrea Weber, and Dena Martinez will Assistant Direct.

Official Website: http://www.shotgunplayers.org/current/2006/LorinDist/index.cfm

Added by raines on October 19, 2006

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