Mother Road | Mechanics' Institute

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Mother Road
with acclaimed playwright Octavio Solis and director David Mendizábal

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 - 6:30 pm

Join acclaimed playwright Octavio Solis in conversation with director David Mendizábal on their upcoming production of Mother Road at Berkeley Repertory Theater. One of the most celebrated living writers of the Mexican-American experience, Octavio Solis pens a 21st-century tale inspired by John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. William Joad has no heir to bequeath the family farm to — until he learns about Martín Jodes, a young Mexican-American migrant worker descended from Steinbeck’s protagonist Tom Joad. In a reversal of the Joads’ mythic journey, William and Martín embark on a road trip from California’s migrant farm camps back to Oklahoma, where they reckon with their brutal pasts and forge an unlikely bond. Along their journey on the Mother Road, they gather a chorus of travelers. Witness Solis’ soaring poetry, gritty realism, and mythic scope as he captures the intersection of people, cultures, and migration in the American West.

Berkeley Rep creates ambitious theatre that entertains and challenges its audiences, provokes civic engagement, and inspires people to experience the world in new and surprising ways. Attend this discussion and receive 20% off this season’s tickets for Mechanics’ Institute members and community!



Author of over 20 plays, Octavio Solis is considered by many to be one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America. His works include Mother Road, Hole in the Sky, Alicia’s Miracle, Se Llama Cristina, Ghosts of the River, Quixote, Lydia, The Pastures of Heaven, June in a Box, Lethe, Gibraltar, The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, The 7 Visions of Encarnación, El Otro, Man of the Flesh, Prospect, El Paso Blue, and La Posada Mágica. His works have been mounted at the California Shakespeare Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and others. His collaborative works include Cloudlands, with music by Adam Gwon, Burning Dreams, cowritten with Julie Hebert and Gina Leishman and Shiner, written with Erik Ehn. Solis is a Thornton Wilder Fellow for the MacDowell Colony, New Dramatists alum and member of the Dramatists Guild. He is working on commissions for the Arena Stage, SF Playhouse and South Coast Repertory Theatre.

David Mendizábal is a director, designer, and Associate Artistic Director at Berkeley Rep, where they directed Sanctuary City. David serves as a Producing Artistic Leader of The Movement Theatre Company (2019 Obie Award) and is a founding member of The Sol Project (2022 Obie). Directing credits include: the bandaged place (Roundabout/NYSAF), Mushroom (People’s Light), Notes on Killing… (Soho Rep), and Don’t Eat the Mangos (Magic). David is a Princess Grace Award recipient. Alumnus of Soho Rep Project Number One, Ars Nova Vision Residency, Drama League Directors Project, LAByrinth Intensive Ensemble, LCT Directors Lab, artEquity, NALAC, and TCG Leadership U. Photo by Brandon Nick



Meet the Author(s)

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