Monday, October 15 , 2018, 11:38 pm | Fair 57º


UCSB Workshop Performance Lets New Play Evolve

LAUNCH PAD, Theater and Dance Department present 'Bernhard'

UCSB’s Fletcher Hoffman and Truly Polite perform in Bernhard.
UCSB’s Fletcher Hoffman and Truly Polite perform in Bernhard. (David Bazemore)

The UCSB Department of Theater and Dance and LAUNCH PAD present a workshop of the new play Bernhard by Lynn Rosen.

The provocative piece, inspired by the current refugee crisis and political trends across the globe, as well as the compelling life of Austrian author Thomas Bernhard, runs Nov. 4  through 13 at the UCSB Performing Arts Theater.

Bernhard is a dark comedy about one young man’s unpredictable and harrowing journey to find his mother during war time, and the challenges he must overcome, not only to survive, but to retain the qualities that make us human: faith, hope and an ability to love.

Anne Torsiglieri, the director of the piece says, "Although the play is loosely based on the early life of Thomas Bernhard, who endured the Second World War, this story of the survival and resiliency of the human spirit is timeless.

"The play could be taking place anywhere war is possible, now, in the past, or in the future. The challenges of remaining hopeful and connected with the world, rather then succumbing to fear, despair, xenophobia, and hatred is a challenge all of us face every day even in the best of times.

"And the intimacy of UCSB’s Performing Arts Theater promises an immersive and visceral theatrical experience," she said.

UCSB’s LAUNCH PAD program brings an established playwright to campus and allows him/her to develop a new play during the rehearsal process, culminating in a fully designed workshop production.

The term “workshop” in this sense means the playwright and director can change and improve the play and the production throughout its run, even until the very last show has previewed.

This process is invaluable for the playwright who can learn about what works and what doesn't, determining which scenes are the most engaging and successful in telling her/his story.

Since its inception in 2005, LAUNCH PAD has produced a series of plays by distinguished authors such as James Still, Idris Goodwin and Alison Tatlock.

Several works such as Appoggiatura, Kingdom City, The Talented Ones and Melancholy Play have gone on to see world premieres and be produced all
over the country.

This year’s playwright, Lynn Rosen is a resident playwright at New Dramatists in New York City.

Her plays have been produced or developed with: TheatreWorks (Silicon Valley), Women's Project, Centerstage (Baltimore), Working Theater, Barrington Stage, The New Group, The New Harmony Project, Red Bull Theatre and The 52nd Project.

Lynn co-writes and co-created the award-winning comedic web series Darwin, which was named one of the Top Ten Best Web Series of 2015 by Paste Magazine.

Bernhard, is under the direction of Torsiglieri who previously directed Top Girls and Cloud Nine at UCSB. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the Juilliard School and was an actor in New York City, performing on and off Broadway before joining UCSB's faculty.

Torsiglieri’s cast of 11 is all a part of UCSB’s BFA acting program.

For tickets and further show information, go online to

— Una Mladenovic for UCSB Theater and Dance Department.


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