The Making of a Season with Johanna Pfaelzer | Mechanics' Institute

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The Making of a Season with Johanna Pfaelzer
Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Artistic Director joins the Institute to explore how Berkeley Rep became an international leader in innovative theatre.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre creates ambitious theatre that entertains and challenges its audiences, provokes civic engagement, and inspires people to experience the world in new and surprising ways.

Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer joins Mechanics’ Institute to explore how Berkeley Rep became an international leader in innovative theatre. Pfaelzer will discuss the current season including Cult of Love by Leslye Headland; The Far Country by Lloyd Suh; Galileo by Danny StrongMichael Weiner, and Zoe Sarnak; and Mother Road by Octavio Solis.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its ambition, relevance, and excellence, as well as its adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. Berkeley Rep shows have gone on to win eight Tony Awards, nine Obie Awards, eleven Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, one Pulitzer Prize, and many other honors. Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. To formalize, enhance, and expand the processes by which Berkeley Rep makes theatre, The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work was launched in 2012. The Berkeley Rep School of Theatre engages and educates around 20,000 people a year and helps build the audiences of tomorrow with its nationally recognized teen programs.

This event is co-sponsored by Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

 

Johanna Pfaelzer joined Berkeley Rep in the 2019/20 season as its fourth artistic director. Prior to her arrival at Berkeley Rep, she served for 12 years as the artistic director of New York Stage and Film (NYSAF), a New York City-based organization dedicated to the development of new works for theatre, film, and television. Notable works that were developed under Johanna’s leadership at NYSAF include the Tony Award-winning Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, The Humans by Stephen Karam, Hadestown by Anaïs Mitchell, The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe, Junk and The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music by Taylor Mac, The Homecoming Queen by Ngozi Anyanwu, The Great Leap by Lauren Yee, John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer- and Tony Award–winning DoubtThe Fortress of Solitude by Michael Friedman and Itamar Moses, The Jacksonian by Beth Henley, and Green Day’s American Idiot. In addition, Johanna is proud to have developed the work of many notable writers, both established and early-career, including Jocelyn Bioh, Zach Helm, Halley Feiffer, Billy Porter, Lucy Thurber, Duncan Sheik, V (formerly Eve Ensler), Steven Sater, Jaclyn Backhaus, Patricia Wettig, and Marcus Gardley. She was formerly a producing director of Zena Group, and served for five years as the associate artistic director of American Conservatory Theater. Johanna is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Actors Theatre of Louisville Apprentice Program, and has taught in the MFA Theatre Program at Columbia University School of the Arts. She lives in Berkeley with her husband, Russell Champa, and their son, Jasper.

 

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