Aurora Theatre Company announces that it will add an additional four performances of its current hit production SALOMANIA, Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross's first new play commission for the company, written and directed by award-winning Bay Area auteur Mark Jackson (Metamorphosis, Salome, Miss Julie).
Workshopped and developed at Aurora in 2010, SALOMANIA features Madeline H.D. Brown (Metamorphosis), Mark Anderson Phillips (Small Tragedy), Alex Moggridge (Betrayed), Liam Vincent (California Shakespeare Theater), Anthony Nemirovsky (Awake and Sing!), Marilee Talkington (Vanguardian Productions), and Kevin Clarke (Shotgun Players). SALOMANIA plays at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley now through July 29 (added performances: July 26, 8pm, July 27, 8pm, July 28, 8pm, July 29, 2pm). For tickets ($30-48) and information the public can call (510) 843-4822 or visit auroratheatre.org.
SALOMANIA is a local story and an international story. It's about any place that has faced or is experiencing significant social, technological, material, and moral change. It's also a tragedy about the death of good sense. While directing Oscar Wilde's fascinating and sensual play Salome at Aurora in 2006, Mark Jackson discovered the extraordinary story of dancer Maud Allan, a San Francisco native who took Europe by storm in the early 1900's with her version of the "Dance of the Seven Veils," which she called "The Vision of Salomé." She became notoriously known as "The Salomé Dancer" and was unexpectedly fraught with a lawsuit that destroyed her career. Whereas Salome was Oscar Wilde's wild take on the infamous Biblical temptress, her unrequited love of the prophet Jokanaan, and her desperate dance, SALOMANIA uses Allan's story as a framework to explore themes of media sensationalism, freedom of expression, and wartime hysteria, themes as relevant today as they were a century ago.
About SALOMANIA, Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle said, "All this - a sexy dancer in diaphanous gear, combat, inflated right-wing paranoia, Wildean aphorisms - and a 'cult of the clitoris.' What's not to like? It's a credit to prolific playwright and director [Mark] Jackson that he not only pulls together all these elements but also makes their juxtapositions easily comprehensible." Karen D'Souza at the San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group declared "[Playwright and director Mark] Jackson lives up to his reputation for bracing ideas and balletic stage pictures here. He cleverly juxtaposes Allan's ludicrous trial with the carnage of life on the trenches during World War I," while Chad Jones at Theaterdogs called the production "...fascinating and at moments electrifying...Through it all, [Playwright and director Mark] Jackson orchestrates the proceedings with lyrical moments of dance...and humor and horror...This is rich, rewarding material." Georgia Rowe at the San Francisco Examiner agreed, stating "[Maud] Allan has long deserved a play of her own, and she gets a brilliant one in Mark Jackson's 'Salomania.'"
Following SALOMANIA, Aurora Theatre Company opens its 21st season in August with the coveted Bay Area Premiere of Kristoffer Diaz's Pulitzer-nominated powerslam of a play THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY, directed by Jon Tracy. Aurora Theatre Company founding Artistic Director Barbara Oliver returns to the company in November to direct WILDER TIMES, a collection of short plays by iconic American playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder, followed by the World Premiere of Anthony Clarvoe's OUR PRACTICAL HEAVEN in January, directed by Allen McKelvey. Award-winning Bay Area auteur Mark Jackson returns to Aurora Theatre Company in April to put his spin on Alistair Beaton's new translation of Max Frisch's West End hit THE ARSONISTS. The season concludes in June with the Bay Area Premiere of Neil LaBute's searing dark comedy THIS IS HOW IT GOES, directed by Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross.