The Caucasian Chalk Circle
By Bertolt Brecht
Adapted by Stern, Stern & Auden
Directed by Anna Smith
Weekends in John Hinkel Park, July 1st-16th 2017
(including a special performance Tuesday, July 4th)
Bertolt Brecht's most heartfelt (and funny) play The Caucasian Chalk Circle, written by Brecht in California while in exile from Germany during World War II, it takes story elements from the Chinese Play "Circle of Chalk", the Tibetan Buddhist story "Mahaushadha" with echoes from the Hebrew Bible story "The Judgement of Solomon".
The play features music created by the cast and is set in the chaos of southern Russia and the Caucasus at the end of World War II. The story centers on the peasant girl Grusha, who, while fleeing violence perpetrated in her home city of Nuka, rescues the abandoned child of a member of the ruling class. In her adventures (narrated as a play-within-the-play by "The Singer"), she encounters numerous characters from village and city, including the "corrupt judge with a heart of gold" Adzak and her one true love, Simon. Our production will utilize the acclaimed translation by the husband and wife team James and Tania Stern, assisted by the noted poet W.H. Auden. It will be directed by Anna Smith, director of the Quinan Street Project, and veteran of a long career in East Bay Theatre. Performances begin Saturday, July 1st at 4 p.m. at John Hinkel Park in Berkeley, and continue on weekends at 4 p.m. through July 16th, with a special performance on Tuesday, July 4th at 4 p.m.
Actors Ensemble of Berkeley has been producting high-quality theatre with a community flavor since 1957