Berkeley RADICAL Vaulting Walls Subscriptions:

Théâtre de la Ville, Paris: 10/21
Kronos Quartet; Rinde Eckert;
Vân-Ánh Võ
: 3/4
Seattle Symphony: 4/8
Ex Machina: 5/5

These artists boldly challenge us to expand our understanding of the world around us, to vault past the limitations of conventional thought and break through barriers that confine us.

Théâtre de la Ville, Paris
State of Siege
(Sat–Sun, Oct 21–22)

The remarkable troupe of Paris' Théâtre de la Ville returns to Berkeley after the smash success of its 2014 performance of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. Again under the inspired direction of Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, the company visits with a new production based on Albert Camus' fantastical yet frightening political allegory about the necessity of resistance in the face of authoritarianism. Demarcy-Mota describes State of Siege as "a distorted mirror of a nightmarish future in which a city is reduced to silence and submission to authority."

Kronos Quartet
Rinde Eckert
Vân-Ánh Võ
My Lai
(Sun, Mar 4)

It was nearly 50 years ago that American soldiers massacred hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese villagers at My Lai. Kronos Quartet's fully-staged collaboration with composer Jonathan Berger and novelist Harriet Scott Chessman revisits the horrors of that day and its aftermath, from the perspective of the heroic helicopter pilot who tried to intervene. Berger's "richly evocative” and "hauntingly beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle) score blends Rinde Eckert's expressive voice with string quartet augmented by traditional Vietnamese instruments played by Vân-Ánh Võ, and an electronic soundscape of helicopters, voices, and snippets of American blues.

Seattle Symphony
(Sat–Sun, Apr 6–7)

The Seattle Symphony Orchestra lives up to its reputation for distinctive and inspired programming with a selection of works that contemplate and commune with the natural world. Each program features a recent work by Pulitzer Prize winner John Luther Adams, who creates hypnotic, immersive soundscapes and has been called "one of the most original musical thinkers of the new century" (The New Yorker). Other works include Sibelius' folk-infused Second Symphony and impressionistic tone poem The Oceanides, plus a series of foreboding instrumental interludes from Britten's opera Peter Grimes.

Ex Machina
(Fri–Sat, May 4–5)

Revered for his expansive theatrical imagination, Canadian director, actor, and playwright Robert Lepage focuses his latest work down to the most intimate scale—a one-man show steeped in his own childhood memories. In this "touching, intimate, powerful" (The Guardian, London) performance, Lepage's commanding presence is amplified by the technical wizardry of his production company, Ex Machina. The production employs everything from archival film footage to shadow puppetry to dollhouse-like miniatures of entire city blocks—creating an elaborately shifting psychological landscape that connects personal history to broader questions of collective memory.