Dear Friends,

I’m writing this in March, exactly one year after we put our season on hold and started working from home. All of us have seen our best-laid plans fall apart, we’ve lost people we love, and we’ve seen forces of hatred threaten our communities and our nation. We’ve had our resilience put to the test. At Aurora, even with our stage dark, we have found ways to continue serving as the storyteller for our community: creating audio dramas instead of plays, working with playwrights to develop their scripts, and hosting conversations and events online in the name of bringing people together and exploring the important issues of this moment. But we are eager to return to what we do best, which is telling stories on our stage. This spring, the latest news about vaccinations is feeling like a light at the end of the tunnel.

And so it is with great excitement that we announce our thirtieth season. If all goes well in the world, our first production will open in person on Addison Street this September. If need be, we’ll present it on video and stream it straight to your home. Either way, we’ll bring five remarkable stories to life with passion and with the kind of connection that we all crave more than ever right now.

First up is Stoop Stories by the much-lauded playwright Dael Orlandersmith; I’m so proud to open our season with this celebration of shared humanity. Three of our plays are world premieres: Kait Kerrigan’s delightful Father/Daughter; This Much I Know, the latest from Eureka Day’s Jonathan Spector; and The Incrementalist, a new Aurora Originate+Generate commission set here in Berkeley from wonderful local playwright Cleavon Smith. We also have the local premiere of Jacklyn Backhaus’s Wives, an uproarious time-bending manifesto of women claiming their power, and one more title to be announced very soon. These are new stories for this new chapter in history, but you’ll find the same dedication to detailed, nuanced storytelling and the same courageous exploration of big ideas that have defined Aurora for thirty years.

We’ve all been through a lot in this past year. Right now, I’m feeling grateful for the support you’ve shown Aurora in this most difficult time. And despite all the challenges we face, I’m feeling hopeful about the future. Please join us for what promises to be a truly inspiring season. I am looking forward.

Josh Costello
Artistic Director