Aurora Member Events
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Your membership includes Aurora performances every month, even while our stages are dark. In February we'll present another audio drama, Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, as well as a reading of a new play from Dustin Chinn, Colonialism is Terrible, But Pho is Delicious. Later in the season, we'll feature another new play reading and more special events.
Colonialism is terrible, but pho is delicious | February 13, 2021 | 5 PM
Dustin Chinn’s Colonialism is Terrible, But Pho is Delicious took its inspiration from two viral incidents around cultural appropriation and food. [Chef Tyler Akin did a how-to video for Bon Appetit, "PSA: This is How You Should Be Eating Pho," and Dan Pashman of The Sporkful suggested you could improve bibimbap using a bundt pan.] Chinn says he “followed the rabbit hole” and wrote Colonialism; what he dubs “a triptych about the ownership and authorship of food following the journey of Vietnamese noodle soup.” This dark comedy spans centuries, continents, and cultures in its three-part vignette structure. Beginning in 1880s Hanoi, the capital city of 19th-century French Indochina, where a Vietnamese cook finds herself in the kitchen of aristocratic French settlers. Then 1999, a century later, in Ho Chi Minh City, where American diners get their first taste of the local cuisine. Then finally, a present day, gentrifying Brooklyn, where the simmering argument around culture, ownership, and authenticity come to a roaring boil.
Celeste Den starred in the Broadway revival of David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly directed by Julie Taymor and the Broadway International tour of his Chinglish directed by Leigh Silverman in the U.S. and Hong Kong. International credits include the world premieres of Frances Cowhig’s The King of Hell’s Palace at Hampstead Theatre and Jung Chang’s Wild Swans at Young Vic in London. Regionally she has performed at OSF, Berkeley Rep, A.R.T., Goodman Theatre, South Coast Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Baltimore Center Stage among others. Recent film and TV credits include Made for Love, WHAT/IF, 9-1-1, The Blacklist, and the upcoming Music, written and directed by Sia. Kong. International credits include the world premieres of Frances Cowhig’s The King of Hell’s Palace at Hampstead Theatre and Jung Chang’s Wild Swans at Young Vic in London. Regionally she has performed at OSF, Berkeley Rep, A.R.T., Goodman Theatre, South Coast Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Baltimore Center Stage among others. Recent film and TV credits includeMade for Love, WHAT/IF, 9-1-1, The Blacklist, and the upcoming Music, written and directed by Sia.
Elissa Beth Stebbins is a Bay Area actor, teaching artist, and theatre maker, seen most recently in “This is Not Moose & Tweety,” as part of the Playground Innovator Incubator Showcase. Recent credits include Becky Nurse, and Watch Me (Berkeley Rep), Kings, Kiss, The Village Bike, and Caught (Shotgun Players), In Braunau (San Francisco Playhouse Sandbox Series), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. and You For Me For You (Crowded Fire Theatre), The Little Prince (Marin Theater Company), and Minneola Twins (Cutting Ball), among others. Elissa graduated from Santa Clara University, and continued training with Shakespeare and Company, and Atelier Matteo Destro.
Trieu Tran is a stage, screen and television actor. Born in Vietnam, immigrated to Canada and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He has dual citizenship with Canada and USA. He has appeared in numerous theatrical productions through the years. Notably, the role of Alan Strang in Equus (LADCC Nomination) with George Takei @EWP, the title role in Oedipus The King (Portland), The Legacy Codes (Dean Goodman Award) with TheatreWorks. Other favorites include: Rashomon, As You Like It, Merchant of Venice, Henry IV Part One (Hotspur), and the title role in Richard III. Film: Tropic Thunder, Trade of Innocents, How High, Hancock, Desperation, Last Call. TV: Currently a series regular on Netflix’s Altered Carbon portraying the role of the fixer Mister Leung. Others include: The Newsroom, Intruders, Men At Work, Quickdraw (Hulu), Malcolm in the Middle. Uncle Ho To Uncle Sam is his first solo play written with co-author Robert Egan. Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam was first developed at the Ojai Playwrights Conference in 2011. It had its world premiere for Seattle ACT in Fall 2012 (Seattle Times Footlight Award/Gypsy Rose Nomination). Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam also had a run at The Kirk Douglas Theatre, Shakespeare Orange County, PlayMakers Rep (North Carolina).
Trieu is an avid practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Mixed Martial Arts and Boston Redsox fanatic. A lover of Boston Terriers, especially his best friend Captain.
Joseph Patrick O'Malley is a member of Actor's Equity and SAG-AFTRA, having most recently appeared on stage in Cal Shakes' Macbeth, Marin Shakespeare Co.'s Spamalot! and Aurora Theatre Co.'s Creditors, as well as Magic Theatre's Virgin Play Festival (Joshua Harmon's Prayer for the French Republic). During COVID-19, in Playground's Best of Playground - Zoom Fest, as a motion capture artist for 2k Studios/Take-Two Interactive and an independent content creator for Wish. He holds an MFA in Acting from USC and a BA in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University. His film brief. was an official selection of the 2017 Napa Valley Film Festival and is available on Vimeo.
Sortilegios | December 4, 2020 | 7 PM
Travel to the foggy outskirts of San Francisco as magician and Aurora Cabaret veteran Christian Cagigal ("one of the Bay Area's artistic treasures" – SF Chronicle) invites you to an intimate evening of spells, stories, and strange happenings. Christian will reach through time and cyberspace to bring his humor and dark mysteries into your home. In Sortilegios – the Spanish word for spells and charms – the magic won’t only happen on your screen, it will happen in your minds and in your own hands! Join people from across the country as you enter Christian's enigmatic and interactive world.
Single tickets to Sortilegios available here
A first-generation American of Spanish and Salvadoran descent, Christian Cagigal splits his time between San Francisco and New York City: Magician at Speakeasy Magick at the McKittrick Hotel in NYC, Co-Producer for Odd Salon NYC, Owner of the San Francisco Ghost Hunt, and Co-Founder of Fog City Magic Fest. Cagigal has twice been named a Finalist for the Theatre Bay Area Award for Best Solo Performer, recipient of a Mastermind Award by the SF Weekly, and five-time winner of the Best Magician of the Bay Award by the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Tell Tale Hearts | NOVEMBER 28, 2020 | 7 pm
An Evening of Hip Hop Theatre Featuring Carlos Aguirre and The Bay Area Theatre Cypher
Single tickets to Tell Tale Hearts available here
|TELL TALE HEARTS
The Bay Area Theatre Cypher and Carlos Aguirre return to Aurora for the final iteration of TELL TALE HEARTS: An Evening of Hip Hop Theatre. Featuring an eclectic mixture of actors, rappers, poets, and hip hop theatre artists of all descriptions, the Bay Area Theatre Cypher is a freestyle rap collective joined on Aurora's virtual stage by Carlos Aguirre (AKA Infinite) for an evening of intelligent, politically-conscious, locally-sourced, community-minded rap, slam poetry, beatboxing, and hip-hop theatre. The performance will feature Aguirre's rap and beatbox adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart along with a unique blend of improvised freestyle rap and original compositions. Aurora Theatre Company is thrilled to present this performance that takes its stand at the crossroads of theatre, hip-hop, and community.
|Carlos Aguirre A.K.A. INFINITE (actor, musician, vocal percussionist, educator), has been performing both as an actor and hip hop artist in the Bay Area for over 19 years. He has shared the stage with The Roots, Erykah Badu, Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Jam Master Jay, L.L. Cool J, Macy Gray and George Clinton among others. He his currently producing his original rap and beatbox adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart. Carlos shares his experience by teaching at various schools and at-risk environments throughout the Bay Area.|
|Dan Wolf is a rapper, playwright, director, actor, and teacher. His work crosses artistic and cultural borders to combine theatrical performance with the themes, language, music, history, politics, and aesthetics reflected in the hip hop generation. He recently featured on the Undercover Presents tribute album to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Midnight Marauders.” As part of the Resident Playwrights Initiative at the Playwright Foundation, Wolf is developing Curren$y - a theatrical rap show inspired by Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. As the Artistic Director of Sound in the Silence, Wolf works with an international group of partners, artists, students, and participants to create immersive performance experiences at locations such as memorial sites and community centers.|
|Phil Wong is an actor, director, comedian, musician, teaching artist, and rapper born and raised in the Bay Area. He’s a resident artist with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and his influences range from MF DOOM to Guo Maoqian, Slim Shady to Stephen Sondheim. Wong’s recent stage credits include Cutting Ball Theatre, Shotgun Players, Word for Word, Killing My Lobster, Ray of Light, and TheatreWorks.|
FATHER/DAUGHTER | Reading | November 14, 2020 | 5 PM
Two actors play both pairs of lovers in this structurally inventive play that asks how our relationships with our parents and children impact our romantic lives. In parallel stories told 23 years apart, Baldwin is Miranda’s 30-year-old divorced father who is trying to forge a new relationship with a beguiling woman, and Miranda is Baldwin’s 30-year-old daughter, who has found herself in her first serious relationship. What can we learn from the relationships we choose in order to repair the relationships we inherit? Written by Kait Kerrigan and directed by M. Graham Smith.
Poster artwork by Elizabeth Lada.
|Kait Kerrigan (Playwright)
Kait Kerrigan is a playwright, lyricist, and bookwriter. Off-Broadway: The Mad Ones, Henry and the Mudge, and Rosie Revere, Engineer, and Friends. Her work has been developed and performed internationally. Her plays include Disaster Relief, Imaginary Love, Transit, and We Have to Hold Hands. Other musicals include Republic, Unbound, and The Bad Years, an immersive house party. Awards, fellowships, and residencies include the Kleban, Larson, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, I-73 Writer’s Group, Lark Playwright’s Week and Winter Retreat, and MacDowell. Kerrigan is an alumna of Barnard College, and a member of ASCAP, the Dramatists Guild, and founding member of NewMusicalTheatre.com. For more information, visit www.kerrigan-lowdermilk.com.
|M. Graham Smith (Director)
M. Graham Smith is a San Francisco-based Director, Educator and Producer. He has been an O’Neill/NNPN National Directing Fellow, Oregon Shakespeare Festival FAIR Fellow and is a proud Resident Artist at SF’s Crowded Fire. He grew up outside of New York City and has been based in San Francisco for the last fourteen years. He’s directed in New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Portland Oregon, Washington DC, and venues in San Francisco. He directed the West Coast Premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera in SF and Truffaldino Says No at Shotgun Players, winning Best Director for the Bay Area Critics Circle. Recent credits include the World Premiere of Obie winner Christopher Chen’s Home Invasion in SF, Deal with the Dragon at ACT’s Costume Shop & Edinburgh Fringe, Mia Chung’s You for Me for You at Crowded Fire, and James Ijames’ WHITE at Shotgun. He spent five years as Producer of Aurora Theatre’s new play development program and festival The Global Age Project. He teaches in A.C.T.'s actor-training programs, Berkeley Rep School of Theatre and at Barcelona’s premiere Meisner Technique program in Spain. You can visit him online at www.MGrahamSmith.com
|William Thomas Hodgson (Baldwin/Louis) is a acting company member at the Oregon Shakespeare Company where he has played: Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream; Malcolm, Macbeth; Stokes, How to Catch Creation; Romeo, Romeo and Juliet; Dumain, Love’s Labor’s Lost. Locally, his work has been seen at a number of theatres: Dr. Fowler Greenhill in It Can’t Happen Here (Berkeley Rep); Silvius in As You Like It (California Shakespeare Theater); James Hemmings in Thomas and Sally (Marin Theatre Company), Charlotte in I Am My Own Wife (Ubuntu Theater Project); Eamon Jameson in Calligraphy (TheatreWorks); Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical (Berkeley Playhouse). HIs regional credits include: BJJ in An Octoroon (Mixed Blood); Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (La Jolla Playhouse), El Jonny in El Henry (La Jolla Playhouse/San Diego Repertory Theatre); Puck (understudy) in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (PCPA); Bart Simpson in Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play (UCSD); Louis in Angels in America (Santa Fe University of Art and Design). William is the Co-Founder of Ubuntu Theater Project, and was awarded the BroadwayWorld Award for Best Actor and a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and Outstanding Direction. He has an MFA in Acting from UCSD and has trained SFUAD and PCPA.
|Jeunée Simon (Risa/Miranda) has worked with Central Works Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Conservatory Theater Company, TheatreFIRST and more amazing theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area. Simon is a proud recipient of the 2017 RHE Artistic Fellowship. She is a believer in the collaborative nature of original plays and has been honored to be part of the new and emerging work being developed in the Bay Area. Jeunée is a graduate of Stanford University's drama program. Her family hails from Guyana and immigrated to the US when she was 4 years old.|