Just announced: The Oregon Trail closes out the 2014–15 season!
One of the most popular and beloved computer games of all time reveals what it takes to make it through the hardest times in our lives
Rising playwright Bekah Brunstetter makes her Bay Area debut with this powerful, heartwarming play about covered wagons, computer keyboards, and coping with life’s difficulties. The year is 1997, and 13-year-old Jane Goodrich is a bona fide expert at The Oregon Trail. The undisputed master of her characters’ destinies, she knows just when they should embark on their journeys, she knows the best professions to select for her characters, and she knows every trick in the book so her characters avoid dying of dysentery. She’s beaten the game over 100 times.
Her own life, though? Unfortunately, she can’t just control-alt-delete herself whenever she wants to start over. If only life were as seemingly simple as The Oregon Trail.
Ten years later, Jane finds herself crashing on her sister’s couch, simultaneously looking for a job while binge-watching reality TV shows. The sadness she has felt since her pubescent years has only deepened over time. Rediscovering the game and booting it up in an attempt to reclaim a realm where she can succeed, the play splits into past (Missouri 1848) and present (Oregon 2007). As her characters make the arduous journey west, Jane confronts the harsh realities of both eras. The Oregon Trail is an honest reflection of depression as well as a moving testament to the power human beings have to rise to the challenges we all face.
This is a fully staged workshop production. Flying V Theatre has been granted world premiere rights.
More soon about this amazing show, which runs Apr 30–Jun 7. But first, it’s the final weekend of…
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Melissa Hillman
Feb 26–Apr 5
Thu–Sat 8pm · Sun 7pm
Advance tickets: $15*/$20
Door tickets: $20*/$25
Directions to the theatre
*Students/seniors/TBA members/militaryBuy TicketsSubscribeSubscriber reservations
Talk about youngest child syndrome. Richard, the Yorkist Duke of Gloucester, sure isn’t keen on his brother King Edward IV’s being on the throne. The idea of his other brother George in power doesn’t sound so great either. No, Richard wants the crown for himself, and he’ll stop at nothing to claim it. Highly calculating and manipulative, Richard plays his brothers against each other, seduces and tosses noblewomen, and executes anyone he thinks may be in his way. In his relentless pursuit to gain — and retain — the monarchy, his lust for power blinds him from morality, leaving no one — man, woman, or child — unscathed. Written centuries before Scandal or House of Cards, Richard III is the quintessential tale of a political antihero who will do anything to get his way.
Featuring Miyaka Cochrane, Michael Delaney, Mary Ann Mackey, Leontyne Mbele-Mbong, Ashley McKenna, Sean Mirkovich, Kelvyn Mitchell, Jon Nagel, Michelle Navarette, Antoine Pope, Stacz Sadowski, Nancy Sale, and ShawnJ WestView the program
The 20/20 Campaign: Get us to our 20th season with a donation of at least $20
Frankly, it’s a miracle we’ve made it to our 19th season. Most people go to theatre that has a large element of familiarity: a well-known play and/or a well-known playwright and/or a well-known cast member or two. At Impact, we’re on the opposite end of that spectrum: we produce new plays by playwrights most people haven’t heard of (yet), performed and produced by casts and crews who are often artists on the rise, some just starting out. Despite these unfamiliar elements, in our tiny basement space we continue to create amazing live theatre you just can’t see anywhere else in the Bay Area.
We’re creating the kind of theatre that the next generation of theatre patrons wants to see. And we’re creating theatre that’s affordable for everyone. And we’re doing our best to pay our artists as much as we possibly can. But we can’t do that all on our own.
Simply put, we need your help to get us to our 20th season and beyond. That’s why we’ve created the 20/20 campaign. Help us achieve our amazing vision and continue to create the kind of theatre we do by donating at least $20 before the end of 2014. Here’s what your donation can help us afford:
$20A piece of clothing that a character wears on stage
$60One day of our rent each month
$100A piece of furniture on the set
$500Paying an artist to work on a show
$1000A set or costume budget for a show
You can make your gift in a single payment or spread out in recurring payments over an interval of your choice (monthly, quarterly, semiannually). As you can see, it doesn’t take much to be considered a major donor in our eyes. Please help us reach our 20/20 vision with a gift of at least $20. Thank you so much for your support!Donate now!
Need to modify your recurring donation? Click here.
Many, many thanks to the amazing people and organizations listed below. You rock!
Alameda County Arts Commission
City of Berkeley
Paul & Gail Caslavka
Anonymous, in honor of The Theater, The Bard, and my nephew Scott the Troubador
Carol LaPlant & Phil Brown
Anonymous, in memory of Barbara Oliver
Anonymous, in honor of David and Cari Trease
Anonymous, in honor of Diana & Alan Goy
Anonymous, in honor of Stacz Sadowski
3Girls Theatre Company
Benj Azose & MacKenzie Stuart
Noah James Butler
DioAmore Dance & Fitness
Don & Charlene Hillman
Sam & Melissa Marie Hillman
Kahn & Lyon family
Lynn Eve Komaromi
Julie Kuwabara & Chuck Lacson
George Silva Lester
Mary Ann Mackey
Sheila McCormick & Paul Herzmark
Kim Mondelli & Miguel Gonzalez Baidez
Henri Picciotto & Irva Hertz-Picciotto
Andrea Plesnarski & Tom Nugent
J. Elizabeth Smith
Sharon & David Strachan
Dave Weinstein & Mary Barkey
Anonymous, in honor of Bitter Gertrude
Anonymous, in honor of Cheshire Isaacs (2)
Anonymous, in honor of Cthulhu
Anonymous, in honor of Jon Tracy
Anonymous, in honor of Melissa Hillman
Anonymous, in memory of Frank and Sherry Snyder
Anonymous, in memory of Janet Johnston, actor extraordinaire
Alyssa Bostwick & Wayne Rawley
Kevin Brown & Leann Christianson
Josh & Sadie Costello
Marija and David Hillis
His Holiness, Pope Edward of Juicytown
Sabrina Klein & Tom Clement
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Kathy & Hal Rucker
Amy & Miranda Seham
Zoe & Rzo Velasco
Anonymous, in honor of Doric Wilson
Anonymous, in honor of “Go, Melissa!”
Inbal Kashtan & Kathy Simon
Patricia L. Morin
Adam & Traci Wyss
Press Release: Pack Your Bags: The Oregon Trail embarks on its journey to Impact Theatre on May 2, 2015 (March 31, 2015)
Press Release: He Got Game of Throne: The Original Tale of Murderous Political Schemes, Richard III, Opens at Impact Theatre February 28, 2015 (January 28, 2015)
Press photos (all photos by Cheshire Isaacs):
Richard (Sean Mirkovich) lets the audience in on his nefarious scheme to woo the grieving Lady Anne (Ashley Rose McKenna, pictured), whose husband and father he killed, in Richard III at Impact Theatre
Richard (Sean Mirkovich, left) conspires with Lord Buckingham (ShawnJ West) in Richard III at Impact Theatre
Lord Buckingham (ShawnJ West) holds back the furious Queen Margaret (Mary Ann Mackey) in Richard III at Impact Theatre
Now king, Richard (Sean Mirkovich, left) steels himself for battle against Richmond (Antoine Pope) in Richard III at Impact Theatre
King Richard (Sean Mirkovich, right) in the heat of battle with his wounded compatriots Catesby (Mike Delaney, left) and Sir Richard Ratcliff (Miyaka Cochrane) in Richard III at Impact Theatre
Sean Mirkovich plays the quintessential murderous political schemer in Richard III at Impact Theatre
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You know you love what Impact does. Join us for Richard III and The Oregon Trail, and not only will you have a guaranteed good time at least three times a year, you’ll get all the sweet benefits to the left. New this season: each production, every subscriber gets a free soft drink or $2 off a glass of beer or wine, plus an exclusive subscriber-only souvenir button for each production. Bottom line? Subscribing to Impact is the best theatre decision you’re going to make this year.
About Impact Theatre
Melissa Hillman, Artistic Director
Cheshire Isaacs, Managing Director
Read Tuddenham, Production Manager
Jon Nagel, Technical Director
Christina Novakov-Ritchey, Literary Manager
Alice Ly, Associate Managing Director
Luisa Frasconi, Patron Services Manager
Artistic Associates: Miyaka Cochrane, Sarah Coykendall, Mike Delaney, Sarah Isaacs, Anne Kendall, Marissa Keltie, Tunuviel Luv, Maria Giere Marquis, Marilet Martinez, Cassie Rosenbrock, Lizabeth Stanley, Jacqueline Steager, Diana Strachan, Colin Trevor, Reggie White, Jordan Winer
Since 1996 Impact Theatre has spoken to a new generation of theatregoers and longtime enthusiasts alike who want to see something fresh and fearless on stage. Our audience ranges from students to professionals to seniors, all of whom share a taste for exciting, unpretentious theatre that doesn’t conform to traditional assumptions of what constitutes high culture. Impact ensures the continued strength of American theatre by
- featuring new plays by emerging playwrights
- producing vital, contemporary spins on classic drama
- engaging new audiences
- fostering the development of Bay Area theatremakers
Impact shows compel, provoke, and inspire, at prices everyone can afford. We’re looking forward to having you at our next show!
Impact Theatre performs at La Val’s Subterranean, located at 1834 Euclid Avenue in Berkeley. Street parking is usually plentiful right near the theatre.
For more information
Questions? Comments? Please contact us at info at impacttheatre dot com or call us at 510 224-5744.
Want to see your play on our stage?
As our mission is to produce kickass new plays by upcoming playwrights, we generally select only unpublished full-length plays that are either world or regional premieres or have had very few prior productions. Here’s how to have your best shot at getting your play produced at Impact:
1. Your submission should be a single PDF document with the title being “[writer’s last name]_[playtitle].” So if your name is Jane Q. Badass and your play is titled Make Mine a Double, your PDF should have a filename like badass_makemineadouble.pdf. If your play title is long, feel free to title your PDF with a shortened play title.
2. This ought to go without saying, but your script should include a list of characters at the beginning, along with any notes about doubling or tripling. We need to know from the start what the cast size and requirements are.
3. Your email to us should include your play’s production and/or development history.
That’s it! Please email your masterpiece or any questions about the process to Literary Manager Christina Novakov-Ritchey (christina [at] impacttheatre [dot] com). Christina will email you a confirmation upon receipt. Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback for each entry. If we are interested in your script, we will contact you within three months. Thank you for your interest in working with us!