Aurora Theatre to Continue 21st Season with New Translation of THE ARSONISTS, 4/5-5/12
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by BWW News Desk
What is the great evil we are failing to face up to today? Award-winning Bay Area auteur Mark Jackson (Salomania, Metamorphosis, Salome, Miss Julie) returns to Aurora Theatre Company to direct British playwright Alistair Beaton's elegant new translation of THE ARSONISTS, Max Frisch's classic comic parable about appeasement (sometimes known as Beidermann and the Firebugs or Fire Raisers), featuring Dan Hiatt, Tim Kniffin, and Michael Ray Wisely, along with Kevin Clarke, Tristan Cunningham, Gwen Loeb, Dina Percia, and Michael Uy Kelly.
Fires are becoming something of a problem, popping up all over town. But Mr. Biedermann has it all under control. In his business life and in the domestic arena, he tries to live a life of blameless middle-class decency. He's a respected member of the community with a loving wife and a booming business, so surely nothing can get to him. It is this sense of bourgeois propriety that renders Biedermann defenseless when two arsonists turn up at his house. Far from kicking them out, he helps them light the fuse in the hopes that appeasement will prevent catastrophe.
Inspired by the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948, this absurdist allegory, about which the The Guardian (UK) said "The Arsonists still burns brightly," and the Los Angeles Times said "Alistair Beaton's rousing new interpretation of Max Frisch's 1958 classic ...stresses the comically deadly plight of a mild-mannered man whose failure to acknowledge the presence of evil is, in itself, the ultimate evil," satirizes the way that people can be manipulated into accommodating the very thing that will destroy them.
The production will run in previews: April 5, 6, 10 at 8pm; April 7 at 2pm; April 9 at 7pm. Opening night is set for April 11, 2013, and the show plays through May 12, 2013. OTHER DATES: Friday Forum: Friday, April 26 - Accommodation Techniques. Script Club: Monday, May 6, 7:30pm - A Raisin in the Sun. Wicked Wisdom: Friday, May 10 - Burning Up.
Performance schedule: Tuesday at 7pm; Wednesday through Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 2pm and 7pm. All performances take place at the Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison Street, Berkeley, Calif.
For tickets (Previews $35; Regular Performances $32-50; Limited Opening Night Seating $60) the public can call (510) 843-4822 or visit auroratheatre.org. Half-off tickets for Under 30, student, and group discounts available.