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Aurora Theatre Company

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Theater

Mission: Aurora Theatre Company provides a nurturing environment for theatre artists and artisans to produce and develop plays that place a high value on substance, intelligence, and craft. We strive to enrich the lives of our audience by producing high-quality, thought-provoking work that shines in an intimate setting.

Geographic areas served: Greater Bay Area, CA

Programs: In addition to a five-play performance season, Aurora offers the following community outreach projects: * Youth Theatre Education Project * New Play Development Project * Family Theatre Initiative * Aurora Stories * Free performances for low-income seniors * 1/2 price @ 1/2 hour * pay-what-you-can previews

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Aurora continues to have interesting choices of plays and superb casting and acting. If one can attend a talkback with Michael Mansfield that can be a helpful and interesting appraisal of the current play.

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

THe Little Theater that Can! Aurora Theater is one more wonderful reason for my move to the Bay Area. AFter coming from Chicago with its wealth of good little theater, Aurora was a wonderful discovery for my husband and me. We see challenging theater, either new or "classics", performed with wonderful actors in innovative settings.We have chosen to volunteer usher at this theater to further support their artistic efforts. *Mike's talkbacks are a great treat.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first attended Aurora Theatre plays several years ago, when they performed at a smaller theater in a Julia Morgan building in Berkeley; I was impressed then. Since then I have ushered at Aurora in it's newer stage in downtown Berkeley. I enjoy the intimacy of a small theater which gives one the feeling of being a part of the production-as in almost being in the situation being played.The plays that are chosen are intriguing and thought provoking-often with unexpected a humor. I admire the creativity in the use of a small open stage where sets are changed seamlessly and adroitly-in full view of the audience.An evening with Aurora is an evening well spent!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Aurora is one of those beautiful,small, intimate theaters in the round that invites you into its stage as a participant. The continually oustanding, phenomenal acting delivers great quality of performance with each play. The selection of plays reveals a dedication to expanding horizons and confronting life issues while offering fine entertainment in every way. I just love the Aurora theater, it's a thrill to go there for I know my expectations will be greately met.

10

Donor

Rating: 5

Aurora provides outstanding acting, contemporary and classic productions in an intimate setting where the audience is never more than four rows from the action on stage. In fact the audience is really a part of the play. Currently playing, "The First Grade", is a witty, biting look at two dysfunctional families, and you, the audience, get to be "the first grade".

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Looking for a new and wonderfully entertaining experience ? Check out the Aurora Theatre. The creative variety of offerings,the talented performers, the professionalism and warmth of the staff ...you're in for a treat !

7

Donor

Rating: 5

Great work in a small intimate setting. Challenges its subscribers with work they may not know plus classics and new work. Very high production standards. Fabulous actors and a great crew.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

This small Berkeley theatre is a gem to the community. The Artistic Director offers plays that are often on the cutting edge - if not even before we know the 'edge' is here. Sometimes political, sometimes psychological the plays always offer great entertainment and food for thought.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

It is unusual to find a theatre that is so consistently creative and successful in their presentation of so many varied works. I have enjoyed each play I have seen there; and even for those I have not personally resonated with, I have been able to understand why the theatre chose to present the work. Their plays sometimes stretch the audience and the artists but they always provoke thought.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

This theatre presents a broad spectrum of plays. The patron is very, very close to the actors and the intimacy adds a great deal to the experience. The actors and directors are first class. The ability of the set designers to work with such a small space is incredible. I have never had a bad experience at this theatre. Highest praise for all involved.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We've been seeing all the productions at Aurora for the three years and we have been very happy with them all. They are very well directed and acted, and many quite thought provoking as well as entertaining. Among the best of thids year were Betrayede, Miss Julie, and Fat Pig.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have ushered at the Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley, CA for about four years and I have NEVER seen a play I didn't like. The most recent, The First Grade, was also the first performance by a new author. It was active and insightful and very funny. The theatre itself is small and promotes an intimacy between the actors and audience which is more special. There are also play readings on Monday nights which are free to the public and introduce new writers and allow discussion. I feel enriched by this theatre and its management.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Aurora is an intimate theatre, where you can always expect to see superb acting, important subjects discussed, and always bringing in new material and playwrites. Their excellent productions included The Best Man, The Devil's Disciple, and currently The First Grade. There have been instances when the scripts selected could have used a re-write, and every so often there is a production I could have lived without, but usually they are right on the mark. Trust the Aurora Theatre to provide consistent good theatre.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's a delight to be in an intimate theatre setting with experienced, talented actors performing old or new plays. The Aurora productions are amazing, given the space restrictions for scenery and mobility. There is a felt intimacy as I watch a story unfold and great creativity in the sets and entrances and exits. I've seen almost every play for the past 10 yrs.or so, and have never felt that theproductions were not good. Most are wonderful.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bouquets and judos to Aurora Theatre for their current hit, The First Grade, and for their invaluable Global Age Project initiative that encourages playwrights and directors to explore life in the 21st century and beyond. The First Grade, by Joel Drake Johnson, is one of last year's finds in the Global Age Projects. This smart and witty play about a middle-aged teacher of first-grade who struggles to maintain her lifelong campaign against ignorance and incivility in the face of her own aging/health issues and the unique dysfuntionality of her family is beautifully rendered at the Aurora, with sharp direction and meticulous staging. The acting is a joy; there is not a weak performance in the very accomplished cast. The indisputable jewel of the production, though is Julia Brothers, whose hilarious, poignant portrayal of first grade teacher Sydney goes right to the heart, laughing all the way. This veteran actress, who recently appeared in Elaine May's George is Dead opposite Marlo Thomas and directed by Elaine May, delivers a boffo performance sizzling with sarcasm underscored with tenderness. The entire cast-- Warren David Keith, Rebecca Schweitzer, Paul Santiago, Tina Sanchez, and Adrian Anchondo are strong, energetic, and deliver the goods. First Grade continues at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley until January 28th. If you are looking for an evening of intelligent theatre that examines contemporary issues in a robust, witty and compassionate manner, don't miss this one. Aurora Theatre Copany is located in the heart of the Berkeley Theatre District, at 2081 Addison Street. Box Office: 510-843-4822

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former theater professional and chronic theater attendee, I usher throughout the bay area so that I can see all the interesting and sometimes ground-breaking productions we have locally. Aurora is hands-down my favorite theater company. The casts and direction are unfailingly top-notch and I have never seen anything I did not enjoy immensely and/or find provocative. The space is so intimate that you sometimes feel like you are on the stage. And the theatre is located on a lively block (close to BART)in Berkeley with other theater and music venues so it's always a fun evening.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Aurora Theatre is a small private arena to see wonderful plays. The acting is superb, the atmosphere is intimate and I felt almost like I was watching the show from the comfort of my livingroom. I loved it. The company is organized in that everything works like clockwork. The ushers get there and prepare for the patrons, everyone is seated in a timely fashion and the show starts on time.