Anton’s Well Theater Company is happy to announce auditions for the Bay Area Premiere of two one-acts by Caryl Churchil, ESCAPED ALONE and HERE WE GO, playing at the Julia Morgan Hall and adjacent garden, located at the Thousand Oaks Baptist Church, 1821 Catalina Avenue, Berkeley, 94707 from July 18-August 3. The plays will be directed by Robert Estes.

The auditions will take place at the Berkeley City Ballet dance studios, 1800 Dwight Way, just one block below MLK Way, on Sunday, April 14, 6-9PM and Monday, April 15, 7-10PM. The callbacks (if necessary) will take place on Wednesday, April 17. The auditions will be by appointment only. Sides will be available in advance.

To make an appointment, please email with your preferred date and time. Or call the director Robert Estes at (510) 368-0090. Please review the play info below and let us know which play(s)/scene(s) you’re interested in auditioning for. For more info on the company, please see:

Please be aware that this production will take place in a church hall and an adjacent garden. There will be limited lighting elements and the production will operate on a relatively limited budget. There will be stipends for the actors, ranging from $100-$250, depending on how many actors end up being cast. Overall, it should be a great experience to perform these haunting plays in a site-specific manner, but there may be operational details to roll with.

ESCAPED ALONE has four women characters, Mrs. Jarrett, Vi, Lena, and Sally. According to the script, “They are all at least seventy.” Mrs. Jarrett, is a bit of the outsider. Vi once murdered her husband in self-defense. Lena might be a bit of shut-in. Sally is not afraid to confront other women. The play is a mix of fragments of the conversation between the four women on a number of summer afternoon teas alternating with monologues by Mrs. Jarrett of a poetically dystopian future. The rehearsal process will allow us to take the fragments and build an interconnected world for these four women.

HERE WE GO has an as yet undetermined amount of characters. The play has the following three scenes.

1. The first scene has as few as 3 actors and as many as 10. There are only lines on the page. We will assign them to actors. The age range for the actors is wide: 20s to 100s. Everyone in this age range is welcome to audition. The play is set at a party after a funeral. It’s a relatively short scene, so it shouldn’t have a burdensome rehearsal schedule. Of course, it will still take time to make the scene work, but this might be a good piece to audition for if you have conflicts or less available time during the rehearsal period.

2. The second scene is a monologue from the point of view of someone who has just died. They think themselves to be past middle-age. Everyone who’s past middle-age is welcome to audition. The rehearsal schedule can be a little more open to suggestions as most of the time there will only be the actor, director, and stage manager/assistant director present. Later in the rehearsal process, we may decide to bring in the ensemble to give a physical texture to the scene.

3. The third scene does not have dialogue. Here is the scene description by Caryl Churchill:

“A very old or ill person and a carer. The old/ill person is in nightclothes and is helped by the carer to get dressed, slowly and with difficulty because of pain and restricted movement.

Then to get undressed and back into nightclothes.

Then to get dressed.

Then to get undressed and back into nightclothes.

Then to get dressed…

for as long as the scene lasts.


So, if you’re a great slow mover, have movement training, or are intrigued to work on a wrenching physical scene, please audition. If, by any chance, two people would like to audition together, that is most welcome. If you happen to be old and find it difficult to move…well, whatever works for the scene.

Here is the rehearsal and performance schedule for all the plays:

Rehearsals will begin on Sunday, June 9. We’ll get as many of the cast for both plays together on that day. Since there are two plays being rehearsed with a variable amount of actors, the rehearsal schedule will be to be determined. We’ll rehearse in the Berkeley area. Generally, the rehearsals will fall in the evenings from Sunday to Thursday (with ESCAPED ALONE and the various scenes from HERE WE GO alternating days in some fashion). But if it is convenient for say the 4 women of ESCAPED ALONE to rehearse on Saturday or other times than weekday evenings, we will schedule rehearsals that work best for everyone. The monologue scene may have its own rehearsal schedule.

The tech schedule is as follows (all evenings):

Wednesday, July 10

Thursday, July 11

Friday, July 12

Saturday, July 13

Wednesday, July 17

All performances begin at 7:30 beginning with ESCAPED ALONE, and, then after an intermission, HERE WE GO.

The performance schedule is as follows:

Thursday, July 18, Preview

Friday, July 19, Opening

Saturday, July 20, Performance 3

Wednesday, July 24 Pick-up Rehearsal

Thursday, July 25 Performance 4

Friday, July 26 Performance 5

Saturday, July 27 Performance 6

Wednesday, July 31 Performance 7

Thursday, August 1 Performance 8

Friday, August 2 Performance 9

Saturday, August 3 Performance 10


When I started Anton’s Well in December 2014, I did not know we were doing anything else than producing Harold Pinter’s OLD TIMES.

We did not have a next play scheduled, although I personally knew that I loved, say, John Guare’s HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES or Wallace Shawn’s THE DESIGNATED MOURNER.

I began reading plays with the specific intent of finding a play to produce for Anton’s Well and thus we began exploring playwrights unknown to us previously.

At the same time, there was a big push to change the gender imbalance in plays produced by male playwrights versus female.

Since I already knew so many plays by male playwrights (such as those mentioned above), I focused on reading plays by women.

We applied for the rights to brand new plays by women, but we were denied the rights. Those new plays were soon produced by much bigger local companies, which was gratifying to see.

I continued reading and I found that there were great plays by women written just a few years ago (but in the years before the big push) that had hardly any productions.

So the company has produced the Bay Area Premieres of Melissa James Gibson’s WHAT RHYMES WITH AMERICA, Chloë Moss’s THIS WIDE NIGHT, Alexandra Wood’s THE HUMAN EAR, and debbie tucker green’s dirty butterfly as well as producing Liz Duffy Adam’s OR, and Sarah Kane’s rarely produced 4.48 PSYCHOSIS.

But the story is a little deeper: we did not produce these plays just because we could get the rights. We produced the plays because they fit into the artistic concerns we had engaged with from our very first production.

When we began with OLD TIMES, we were concerned with nuances of power and poverty in language, of memory and misremembering, of psychological conflict, and of making the actors and the audience the co-detectives in the discovering of the who, what, why, how, and when of the play.

As local director and actor and friend of the company Norman Gee said, each individual Anton’s Well play is part of a bigger play.

I love that thought!

And now to continue with our “bigger play,” we’re announcing—rather than just one play, for the first time ever, a season of four plays, all deeply concerned with language.

We begin with the Bay Area Premiere of two one acts by Caryl Churchill, HERE WE GO and ESCAPED ALONE. In fractured language, these plays directly confront the accounting of a past, the encounter of a strange future, and the inevitable fate of us all.

We continue with the Bay Area Premiere of KNIVES IN HENS by David Harrower. The simply named Young Woman, living in a pre-industrial time, yearns to understand the mysteries of her own language.

We end the season with the Bay Area Premiere of Sam Shepard’s PARTICLE OF DREAD: OEDIPUS VARIATIONS. How perfect is this? Shepard imagines the modern shards of the primal myth of father/son/mother in his own signature language.

You can find the info for all three productions at the end of this note.

Well, if you’ve read this far, I hope that you’re intrigued by our season. I know that I could have put in a lot of dazzling pull quotes about each play and playwright and could have said by the author of so and so and by the winner of such and such, but I hope you see that this season reflects and expands the vision of our company.

We’re proud that our small company has won the right to Premiere these plays here. We look forward to sharing these plays with you. We believe that you’ll find them tantalizing, mysterious, compelling, and that once again, you as the audience will join with us in detecting the shaded meanings of language, symbol and emotion found in these plays.

Tickets will go on sale soon. But for now, would you consider making a donation to support the direct costs of this season?

All donations go straight to the actual production expenses such as royalties, rents, and artist stipends.

These plays will have more actors and more set elements than our previous productions. The Shepard play alone has eight actors, which is as many as we had in our last three shows combined. The Harrower play needs a set with specific locations and symbolic power. And the Churchill plays have eight actors (!) in the first piece and four in the second.

I’d be happy to talk to you about sponsoring a specific play or the season itself. Please email me at

But any donation is most welcome. We operate on a small budget so every dollar is a significant part of that budget.

If you would like to donate, please go here:

We would like you to know that Anton’s Well Theater Company is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions to the charitable purpose of Anton’s Well Theater Company must be made payable to Fractured Atlas only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law



By Caryl Churchill. Bay Area Premiere. July 19-August 3. Julia Morgan Room at the Thousand Oaks Baptist Church. 1821 Catalina Avenue Berkeley 94707.


By David Harrower. Bay Area Premiere. September 6-29. Brooklyn Preserve. 1433 12th Avenue. Oakland 94606.


By Sam Shepard. Bay Area Premiere. October 18-November 10. Berkeley.

Critics Embrace dirty butterfly!

Both critics who saw dirty butterfly last week came away impressed.

John Wilkins, formerly the lead theater critic at KQED and now beginning his own theater review website The Free Audience, finds the directing “astute,” the “three-person cast…sharp and attuned to each other,” and the production “alive and vibrant.”

Here’s the full review:

Christine Okon sees that the three actors skillfully bring their characters to life and that the “director Robert Estes is to be commended for bringing to light yet another relatively obscure play to Anton’s Well Theatre, taking on the challenge of unprecedented interpretation.”

Here’s the full review:

We have performances Friday-Saturday, 8PM; Sunday, 2PM through October 7 at the Waterfront Theater, 2020 Fourth Street in Berkeley. Tickets are only $17-$20 at the Buy Tickets link above.

dirty butterfly opens on september 21!

Anton’s Well Theater Company is proud to present the Bay Area Premiere of debbie tucker green’s dirty butterfly, a mysterious, poetically taut examination of three people living too close together. The play will run at Berkeley’s Waterfront Theater, 2020 Fourth Street, from September 21 to October 7.

The cast includes Kim Donovan, Mikah Kavita, and Jesse Vaughn. The creative crew is Director Robert Estes, Assistant Director/Producer William D. Razo, Lighting Designer Bert van Aalsburg, and Stage Manager Ayumi Namba.

This play perfectly suits AWTC’s artistic mission of producing complex, contradictory, language driven plays as Lynn Gardner, The Guardian’s critic, says debbie tucker green’s dialogue “is like secret whispers and, like the characters’ lives, it is fragmented and often unfinished.” She finds that “there is a sly, controlled power in this writing.”

Tickets on sale now at the Buy Tickets tab at this website.

Great Critical Response to 4.48 Psychosis / Only 4 Performances Left!

You only have four performances left (Thursday, August 2-Saturday, August 4, 8PM, Sunday, August 5, 7PM) to catch 4.48 Psychosis at the Temescal Arts Center, 511 48th Street, Oakland.

The production has received great critical praise.

Nicole Gluckstern of KQED finds that “Through their unconventional staging they imbue this difficult piece with moments of real beauty and empathy, drawing the audience to bear witness to a human condition that is so frequently ignored, misinterpreted, or rejected.

She cites the three woman cast of Anastasia Barron, Jody Christian, and Adrian Deane as being “strong” and “fearless.”

For her full review:

We enjoyed the attention to detail in critic Kate Tinney’s review. She even mentioned the breathing of the actors.

She sees that “the lighting design by Nathan Bogner is a spectacular anchor throughout the show.”

She writes that “This production of ‘4.48 Psychosis’ makes extraordinary use of physical theater. The actors stretch themselves both emotionally and physically. What’s more, the audience is so close that it can see every knee shake or deep breath as the actors warp themselves from graceful to grotesque and back again.”

For her full review:

Charles Lewis III ranks 4.48 Psychosis as being one of the best shows he’s seen this year. He gives us a grade of A-, so we’ll keep trying hard to get that raised up!

For his full review:

Christine Okon observes that “Director Robert Estes and choreographer Bridgette Loriaux create a visceral and verbal experience where three brilliant performers (Anastasia Barron, Jody Christian, and Adrian Deane) dance, interact, intertwine, explode, recoil and literally throw themselves against the wall…”

She sees that our production renders the play “beautifully.”

For her full review:

Uncompromising 4.48 Psychosis Opens on Friday, July 20!

As playwright Sarah Kane writes in the play, 4.48 Psychosis is composed of the “bewildered fragments” of her mind as she struggles to find sanity.

In one fragment, we learn that “a word on the page and there is the drama.”

Her play is simply words, phrases, monologues, and poetry on the page. There are no specific characters nor a specific location. The play has been produced with one lone female actor, with two females and one male, or with untold other variations of actors. Recently, it was produced as a full scale opera.

In our vision, we have three wonderful local actors, Anastasia Barron, Jody Christian, and Adrian Deane, who portray the fragmented, contradictory, conflicted, beautiful, ferociously imaginative world of Sarah Kane’s charged words.

Together, the three women bring startling vividness to the language of searing pain and searching humanity found in every fold of 4.48 Psychosis.

For The New York Times, the language in 4.48 Psychosis “creates the most persuasive and authentic portrait of what it means to be terminally depressed…ever encountered in a theater.”

Yet, the Times finds, in its uncompromising encounter with depression, the play is also “breathtakingly beautiful.”

We hope that our production can both feel and express the deep pain and terrible beauty of Sarah Kane’s relentless examination of her own psyche.

The creative crew for 4.48 is the same one that produced last year’s “astonishing” Tender Napalm: Director Robert Estes, Assistant Director/Producer Wm. Diedrick Razo, Choreographer Bridgette Loriaux, and Lighting Designer Nathan Bogner.

4.48 Psychosis opens on Friday, July 20. Just one week away! Tickets (only $17-$20) are now on sale at the Buy Tickets tab on this website.

The play runs Fridays and Saturdays, 8PM, Sundays 7PM from July 20 to August 5 (with one Thursday performance on August 2, 8PM) at the Temescal Arts Center, 511 48th Street, Oakland.


We also hope that you might consider financially supporting Anton’s Well. Please know that any donation you make will have a powerful impact for our company. We do not have high overheard (wait, we don’t have any overhead!).

All of your donation will go to the direct costs of producing our plays in 2018, which means your contribution will go to good stipends for our actors and designers, royalties to the playwrights, and, rent to the remaining non-profit art venues.

In addition to 4.48 Psychosis, in September, we will present dirty butterfly by debbie tucker green, which will be the Bay Area Premiere for one of England’s most challenging contemporary playwrights.

For all of this to happen, we need you!

If you would like to donate, please go here:

We would like you to know that Anton’s Well Theater Company is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions to the charitable purpose of Anton’s Well Theater Company must be made payable to Fractured Atlas only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Auditions for Bay Area Premiere of dirty butterfly by debbie tucker green

Anton’s Well Theater Company is happy to announce the audition date for the Bay Area Premiere of debbie tucker green’s grittily poetic play, dirty butterfly, running at Berkeley’s Waterfront Theater from September 21-October 7.

Jo is being abused by her male partner. Amelia and Jason live next to Jo and respond to the abuse in different ways. Jason can’t help himself as he raptly listens through the common wall to Jo’s encounters. Amelia moves to a different part of her house to get away from hearing Jo. Through the taunt interaction of the three characters, the play elliptically and poetically explores the conflicted human response when we see another person suffer.

Amelia, late 20s-early 40s, black female, protective of Jason, frustrated that her life has been interrupted by Jo. She confronts Jo.

Jason, late 20s-early 40s, black male, insecure, can’t help himself becoming obsessed by what he hears in Jo’s home.

Jo, late 20s-early 40s, white female, being abused by her male partner. She taunts Jason at times, clashes with Amelia.

The play creates the opportunity for a great deal of character exploration for the three actors. The Guardian in London said that the play was filled with “secret whispers.”

Facility with English accents important. You don’t have to be perfect, but need the skill to work on a London Caribbean accent for Amelia and Jason, and a working class accent for Jo.

The audition will take place at the Waterfront Theater, 2020 Fourth Street, Berkeley, on Sunday, July 8, from 1-4PM. Sides will be provided in advance. Or, you may bring in a dramatic British monologue, but that is not required.

The audition will be run by appointment. Please email with your preferred time or call the director Robert Estes at (510) 368-0090. For more info on the company, please see:

There is a competitive stipend. AEA ok (BAPP).

Rehearsals will begin on Sunday, August 12. The rehearsal schedule will most likely run Mon-Thurs, 7-10PM; Sunday, 7-10PM. However, it may be possible to tailor the schedule to best fit the needs of the actors. For instance, if the three actors have morning availability, we may rehearse then sometimes rather than in the evening.

The performance schedule is September 21 to October 7, Friday-Saturdays, 8PM; Sunday TBD (either 2PM or 7PM). The Waterfront Theater is located at 2020 Fourth Street in Berkeley.