In July 2019, Those Women Productions will stage the world premiere of Carol S. Lashof's Witch Hunt, a drama that explores the origins of the Salem witch panic and compels us to consider the ties between that infamous era and our present moment in history. Directed by Elizabeth Vega, Witch Hunt tells the uniquely American story of Tituba, an enslaved Indigenous woman who was one of the first in the Salem community to be accused of witchcraft. As the panic in Salem grows, Tituba must figure out how to survive in a society that inherently distrusts her and refuses to believe her truth. Ultimately, she offers the first false confession, opening the floodgates to the fury that followed.
In most popular accounts of the panic, such as Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Tituba is marginalized and misrepresented. In Witch Hunt, by contrast, Lashof uncovers a compelling story of a captive Indigenous woman in a Puritan family. Kidnapped as a child, Tituba was sold into slavery in Barbados where she was bought by Samuel Parris, who later transported her to Salem Village. By 1692, she had assimilated to Puritan society and adopted Christianity as her religion, but her role in the Parris family and Salem Village was fraught with danger, especially once the Indian wars broke out anew and the English settlers grew increasingly frightened of attack.
Lashof's new drama is timely in its representation of an American community riven by factionalism and nearly destroyed by its demonization of the people it has colonized. Once again, our society is confronted with questions about whose truth deserves to be heard, and once again more powerful figures can feel the ground shifting under their feet.
Cast: Sofia Angelopoulos, Nathan Bogner, Steven Flores, Renee Rogoff, Kitty Torres, and Julie Ann Valdez.
Production team: Quinnton Barringer, Harley Greene, Rachael Heiman, Norman Patrick Johnson, Samuel Raskin, Audrey Ronningen, Claudio Silva Restrepo, and Sigrid Yang.
About the artistic leadership team:
Playwright Carol Lashof makes plays to change the stories we believe in because its the best way she knows to change the world we live in. Her work has been broadcast on BET (Gap, dir. Ryan Coogler) and NPR (The Story, dir. Martin Esslin) and staged on five continents from The Magic Theatre of San Francisco to Peking University in Beijing. Lashof is Professor Emerita at Saint Mary's College of California, the Executive Director of Those Women Productions, and a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Director Elizabeth Vega is the Founding Artistic Director of Those Women Productions. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts from St. Johns College and an MFA in Staging Shakespeare from Exeter University where she studied at the Globe Theater in London and brought her production of Troilus and Cressida to the Dell Theater in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Vega has taught and directed around the Bay Area at such organizations as the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and the Berkeley Rep School of Theater and currently serves on the faculty at Holden High School. Directing credits for Those Women Productions include Woman on Fire (2018) Margaret of Anjou (2016) and Just Deserts (2014) as well as one-act or short plays for Shifting Spaces (2018) Escape Velocity (2017) and In Plain Sight (2015).
Dramaturg Norman Patrick Johnson holds a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from City College of New York and completed the Meisner Technique training program at the Bay City Studios in San Francisco. An Associate Artist with Those Women Productions, he has, most recently, served as director and dramaturg for the world premiere of Nick Mwalukos They/Them for Shifting Spaces (TBA Awards Finalist 2018). He is the director of the Middle School Drama program at The Berkeley School.
The suggested ticket price is $30.00. Everyone is welcome regardless of ability to pay.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS A FLIGHT OF STAIRS DOWN TO THE THEATER (which is located in the basement of a pizza parlor).
Those Women Productions is grateful for the support of the City of Berkeley Civic Arts Grant program, the Theatre Bay Area CA$H Grant program, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation Community Arts program. We are a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas.
La Val's Subterranean Theater (View)
1834 Euclid Ave
Berkeley, CA 94709
|Minimum Age: 10|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|