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What happens when the people you revere aren’t who you think they are? Recent law school graduate Emma Joseph proudly carries the torch of her family’s Marxist tradition by running a nonprofit organization dedicated to the memory of her blacklisted grandfather. But when a newly published book reveals shocking truths about the man, the entire family is forced to confront questions of honesty and allegiance they thought long ago resolved. Winner of the New York Time’s Outstanding Playwright Award for this play, Amy Herzog’s play 4000 Miles was a recent hit at A.C.T.

Runtime: Approximatey 2 hours with one ten-minute intermission.


*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers
Critics are saying
[Playwright Amy] Herzog's "Revolution" is so well fought it's practically won...heartbreaking and heartwarming... What's most striking about Herzog's script, and director Joy Carlin's production, is the skill with which emotional and political bonds and tensions are woven into an organic family unit. Read Full Review »
- Robert Hurwitt
San Francisco Chronicle
[Playwright Amy] Herzog vividly conjures the timeless allure of radicalism in a society marked by injustice. She also nails the fickleness of social convention...heartbreaking contradictions are the genius of this drama, which doesn't flinch from the quirks and flaws that can make a family reunion as fractious as any political debate. Read Full Review »
- Karen D'Souza
Bay Area News Group
...[After the Revolution is a] smart, moving drama... and a bracingly good one. Read Full Review »
- Chad Jones
Theater Dogs
With long-time Bay Area standout Joy Carlin providing the sharp, fluid direction...this Revolution is a clear success... Read Full Review »
- Leo Stutzin
Huffington Post
...ambitious and timely... the liberal archetypes and political underpinnings at work in [After the Revolution] are perfectly suited to the East Bay, especially Berkeley... Read Full Review »
- Anna Pulley
East Bay Express
...insightful, humorous and moving... Read Full Review »
- Emily S Mendel
Berkeleyside
a thoughtful and invigorating production...it’s been a while since any new work engaged with the world in a big picture, poli-sci sense, and it’s very refreshing Read Full Review »
- Adam Brinklow
EDGE San Francisco
...one of those special plays... prepare to engage politics and family in a whole new way. Read Full Review »
- Rhonda Shrader
Dogmom's Dish
a rare achievement -- taut and suspenseful, with plenty of heart. Read Full Review »
- Georgia Rowe
SF Examiner
...an intimately honest production, poignantly relatable and perennial...[After the Revolution is] a piece of intimacy and availability, history and relevance Read Full Review »
- Anna Horrocks
The Daily Californian
[After the Revolution is] superb...compelling Read Full Review »
- Dan Pine
Jewish News Weekly
Behind the Scenes/After the Revolution


artists

ADRIAN ANCHONDO - Miguel, Emma’s boyfriend
JESSICA BATES* - Emma, Ben’s younger daughter
PETER KYBART* - Morty, a donor to Emma’s fund
SARAH MITCHELL - Jess, Ben’s oldest daughter
ELLEN RATNER* - Vera, Joe’s second wife
ROLF SAXON* - Ben Joseph, Joe’s middle child
VICTOR TALMADGE* - Leo, Joe’s oldest
PAMELA GAYE WALKER* - Mel, Ben’s partner
JOY CARLIN** - Director
AMY HERZOG - Playwright
J.B. WILSON+ - Set Designer 
WESLEY APFEL* - Stage Manager
MIA BAXTER - Properties
CALLIE FLOOR+ - Costume Designer
CHRIS HOUSTON - Sound Designer 
KURT LANDISMAN+ - Lighting Designer

ADRIAN ANCHONDO is delighted to be returning to the Aurora Theatre Company stage, having previously appeared in The First Grade. Other credits include Voyage at Shotgun Players, Don’t Ask at NCTC, Into the Clear Blue Sky with Sleepwalkers Theatre, The Fisherman’s Wife as well as The Play About the Naked Guy at Impact Theatre. He has also understudied at CalShakes for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Berkeley Rep for The White Snake, Tiny Kushner and The Arabian Nights. He would like to thank his partner JC for supporting his career for 13 years. This performance is dedicated to his late mother, Caroline. facebook.com/AdrianJAnchondo
ELLEN RATNER* is thrilled to be back at Aurora Theatre Company where she appeared in the 2009 production of Awake and Sing! under the direction of Joy Carlin. Most recently she appeared in the musical When You’re in Love the Whole World is Jewish directed by Jason Alexander. She has acted in productions at The Traveling Jewish Theater, Theater on the Square, the Intersection, Montgomery Theatre-Philadelphia, Samuel Beckett Theatre-NYC, Greenway Court Theater-L.A. TV credits include: The New Normal, Prime Suspect, Frasier, Seinfeld and many more. Film: Punching the Clown (2009 Slamdance Audience Award)
JESSICA BATES* is thrilled to be performing with Aurora Theatre Company! NY credits include: Medea (Riverside Theatre), Love in the Time of Unemployment (Gershwin Hotel), The Magnificent Cuckold (East River Commedia Theatre) American Dreams, Lost and Found (Lucille Lortel Theatre) 365 Days/365 Plays (The Women’s Project). National tours: Twelfth Night, Hamlet (The National Shakespeare Company), American Dreams Lost and Found, As You Like It (The Acting Company). Regional theatre includes: Noises Off (Idaho Shakespeare Festival) Or, (Capital Stage), The Voysey Inheritance (Milwaukee Rep), The Mask of Moriarty, Travesties, The Seagull, Tonight at 8:30, Henceforward (Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre), Cyrano De Bergerac (Hangar Theatre). Theatre abroad includes: Mind The Gap (UK Tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival), Miss Julie (Man in the Moon Theatre, London), The River Merchant’s Wife (Edinburgh Fringe Festival).
PAMELA GAYE WALKER* What We’re Up Against, Magic Theatre; John Gabriel Borkman, Aurora Theatre Company; The Last Schwartz - Zephyr, L.A.; Brooklyn Boy, TheatreWorks. Off-Broadway: Hauptmann. Regional: Sea Marks, Royal George, Chicago, Jefferson Award; Hannah Free, Victory Gardens, Chicago (Actress of the Year); Stieglitz Loves O’Keeffe, L.A. (Best Actress); Little Shop Of Horrors. Film: Wooly Boys with Peter Fonda; The Incredibles; Last Rites with Randy Quaid; Trifles. Pam is a writer and director for theatre/film and President of Ghost Ranch Productions. She recently wrote/directed the feature film Shakti’s Retreat. She teaches acting at Pixar Animation Studios. pamelagayewalker.com
PETER KYBART* Recent appearances: Lear (Virginia Stage Company), David Malter in The Chosen (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Broadway: Awake and Sing! (Tony award for Best Revival), Judgement at Nurenberg (National Actors Theatre), The Diary of Anne Frank. Off-Broadway: Albee’s Beckett and Frisch’s Andorra. Has appeared with numerous repertory theatres throughout the United States. A native of Berlin, Germany; began his career in Australia and trained in London for the theatre; appeared in plays by Kleist and Shakespeare among others in Germany, Switzerland and Austria for 14 years. Recent films: the mayor of NYC in Spike Lee’s Inside Man; Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna’s.
ROLF SAXON* was in the first class of ACT’s Young Conservatory, worked with the embryonic Cal Shakes and was a founding member of the Berkeley Mime Troupe. Moving to London to train at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he decided to stay and worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court, regionally and in the West End while also appearing in television and film. Recent work includes the UK tour of Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune and locally for TJT and TheatreWorks. Having just finished directing the feature film After Ever After, he will appear in two others this year, Us and The Book of Daniel. www.rolfsaxon.com
SARAH MITCHELL is delighted to make her debut at Aurora and to work again with Joy Carlin. Recent stage credits include Guys and Dolls (Adelaide) with Berkeley Playhouse; Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Chloe) with New Conservatory Theatre Center; and Counter Attack (Courtney) with Stagebridge. Other recent credits include Beardo, The Farm, and The Norman Conquests with Shotgun Players, Seussical with Berkeley Playhouse, Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party with SF Playhouse, and ...And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi with Cutting Ball. She is also a company member of Killing My Lobster, SF's premier sketch comedy group, where she has directed, produced, and performed.
VICTOR TALMADGE* was last seen at Aurora Theatre Company in Awake and Sing! In the Bay Area he has worked at venues including Shakespeare Santa Cruz, A Travelling Jewish Theater, The Berkeley Rep, ACT, TheatreWorks, The Magic Theater, The San Francisco Playhouse. He worked on Broadway in the world premiere of David Mamet’s November. Off Broadway: The Public Theater, Playwright’s Horizons, MTC, Second Stage, Ohio Theater, Performing Garage, Harold Clurman, South Street Theater, Perry Street Theater, Soho Rep., Ensemble Studio Theater. Regional: Stratford Theater of Canada, Old Globe, Actors Theater of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Indiana Rep, Huntington Theater, Arizona Theater Co., Kansas City Rep, Court Theater, Buffalo Shakespeare. Mr. Talmadge boasts extensive film and television credits. He most recently finished filming two pilots for NBC, The Sixth Gun and After Hours.
*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers

A Conversation with Amy Herzog

By Josh Costello, Literary Manager

Amy Herzog 400JC: There are parallels between the family in After the Revolution and some of your own relatives. What was it like to grow up in such a politically-minded family?


AH: My immediate family was not radical, though my dad was the son of the person Vera is based on—he had a very radical upbringing, but my upbringing was much more just Northeast liberal kind of intellectual. I wasn’t quite as close to it as the characters in my plays, but I have all these grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins much more steeped in the political Left. I’d say my experience of that was very unquestioned pride when I was young; I really liked it, I thought it was cool. Before I had the powers to really analyze it I just had a generic sort of feeling of pride about it, and as I’ve gotten older I have a different kind of pride, which is a more examined kind of look at what members of my family fought for and what they stood for and what they stood up against in the face of a lot of difficult pressure. It wasn’t until I was probably a teenager that I really became aware that my upbringing was really unusual, and that to most people Communism was in fact a dirty word—that was really surprising to me when I figured it out.


JC: The play hinges on different understandings of what it meant to be a Communist in the United States in the middle of the 20th century. What do you think people today should remember about that situation?


AH: I think people should remember that the Communist movement was an extremely hopeful and positive force in most ways in the US in the 30s and 40s, and that the people who were persecuted in the 50s under McCarthyism were generally unjustly treated and it was a really ugly chapter in American history. And that we shouldn’t let that be clouded by our understanding of Communism as people living in the 21st century who know about the horrors of Stalin—those are two different things.


JC: Can you share any insights about your writing process? Do you have a regular routine? What gets you excited as a writer?


AH: I don’t have a regular routine. I write when I have a deadline or when I’m just really excited to be writing something. When I’m really troubled by something and when I can’t quite work my way through it just by thinking about it: that’s probably when it seems like time to write a play and that’s another way of working my way through it. I’m excited by the questions that really don’t seem to have answers. The things we take with us from our parents or our peer groups and the things that we discard, you know what we can live with and what we can’t.


Glossary for After the Revolution

Mumia Abu-Jamal

A radio journalist and former Black Panther who was arrested in 1981 for the murder of a policeman in Philadelphia. His original death sentence, following a trial that has been described as unfairly biased, was commuted to life in prison in 2012 after numerous appeals.

Leonard Weinglass

Mumia’s lead defense attorney, author of Race for Justice: Mumia Abu Jamal’s Fight Against the Death Penalty. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg G US citizens executed in 1953 after being tried for passing secrets to the Soviet Union, including information about the atomic bomb.

Joseph McCarthy

US Senator from Wisconsin, 1947- 1957, known for his persecution of supposed Communists within the US Government. Inspiration for the term McCarthyism, the practice of making unsubstantiated accusations of treason for political purposes.

Blacklisted

Being denied employment due to membership in a particular group or because of particular political beliefs. The Hollywood blacklist, for example, denied employment to screenwriters and other industry professionals who had been accused of having Communist sympathies or who refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

OSS

The Office of Strategic Services, a United States intelligence agency during World War II. Forerunner of the CIA. “Joe Joseph” worked for the OSS during World War II.

Communism

A political, social, and economic theory holding that the Capitalist system will be replaced by a stateless and classless society where all political and economic power will be held in common by all workers. The Leninist theory – which led to the creation of the USSR – posited a transitional phase where a revolutionary “vanguard party” would establish a socialist state holding all power for the benefit of the working class.

American Communist Party

A political party established in 1919, with over 70,000 US members by the late 1930s; fought for trade unions and for civil and democratic rights.

Venona Project

A US/British intelligence project, made public in 1995, that intercepted and decoded Soviet missives during and after World War II. The decryptions, made possible because a one-time code book was re-used, revealed information about Soviet espionage efforts within the United States – including evidence implicating Julius Rosenberg.

Trygve Lie

Norwegian politician; first Secretary General of the United Nations (1946-1952). “Joe Joseph” was appointed as Special Assistant to Trygve Lie in 1949.

production photos
Photos by David Allen
*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers
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