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The Chalk Circle: Not-quite-Shakespeare in the Park | Berkeley

Actors Ensemble continues it’s 60th year and 5th consecutive season of performances in Berkeley’s acclaimed John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre with 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 features music created by the cast and is set in the chaos of southern Russia and the Caucasus Mountains at the end of World War II.

The play takes story elements from the Chinese Play “Circle of Chalk” and the Tibetan Buddhist story “Mahaushadha,” with echoes from the Hebrew Bible story “The Judgement of Solomon.”

The Chalk Circle: Not-quite-Shakespeare in the Park
– Saturday & Sunday, July 1 to 16, 2017 | 4 pm
– Tuesday, July 4, 2017 | 4 pm
John Hinkel Park, 41 Somerset Pl, Berkeley

The story centers on the peasant girl Grusha, who while fleeing violence perpetrated in her home city of Nukha, 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.

It’s directed by Anna Smith, director of the Quinan Street Project, and veteran of a long career in East Bay Theatre.

All performances are free of charge. The amphitheatre consists of wide stone steps; blankets and/or low lawn chairs are recommended. The performance will last about 2 hours including a 15 minute intermission. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

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