at Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Sorry, this isn't the same production of Mother Courage starring Meryl Streep, which recently closed in New York. Nor is it Tony Kushner's translation of the great Brecht play, though Kushner is regularly produced by the Rep. Nope, this is David Hare's translation, directed by Lisa Peterson and starring Broadway's Ivonne Coll. This political play was penned during the Nazi regime (the Nazis revoked Brecht's citizenship soon after) and follows an itinerant peddler who indiscriminately sells supplies during a religious war that kills both soldiers and citizens. Yep, it's another one of those classic plays that people call "prescient."
Playing September 8 through October 22

Orson's Shadow at Marin Theatre Company
Former Marin Theatre Company artistic director Lee Sankowich helms the Bay Area premiere of Austin Pendleton's tale of two Hollywood industry giants. In this piece of metatheater, Orson Welles directs Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright in Ionesco's absurd Rhinoceros. Olivier's wife Vivien Leigh adds her volatile ego to the mix. Marin Theatre Company sits right on Mill Valley's main drag, so don't be afraid to cross the bridge, because MTC has been producing solid productions with some of the best actors in the Bay Area for 40 years now.
Playing September 7 through October 8

A Whole Lotta Stuff at CounterPulse
Have you been to CounterPulse yet? Here's your chance to catch the latest new work by the area's most creative minds. After seeing the brilliantly wacky Eat Cake Productions last season, we couldn't pass up this opportunity to tell you about their latest piece, Fish & Chips, an aerial dance/physical comedy/circus piece about politics, love and food. Fish & Chips plays September 7 to 9, along with EmSpace Dance's exploration of the learning process in Continuing Education. Up later this month (September 12 to 14) is some "multimedia movement theater" (we guess this is a new genre): Krista DeNio's Sally:MIA, a techno-tragedy about a human who becomes "post-human," and Jessica Fudim's Sheepish, which apparently features Ms. Peep on a reconnaissance mission for lost loved ones. These shows are also part of the San Francisco Fringe Festival, which we'll cover more next week. Check out CounterPulse's site for more new work in September and beyond.

Photo of Katie Barrett in Mother Courage by Manuel Rotenberg.

For more stage options, check out the listings at the Guardian, the Express, the SF Weekly, and the calendar on Theatre Bay Area's website.

Mother Courage