The Little Mermaid[s]

Dec 7 (7pm), Dec 8 (7pm), Dec 9 (2pm/7pm)
OSA Marion E. Greene Black Box Theatre
[Tickets available to the public beginning Nov 15 - Click on CONTACT above.] 

We are proud to present a world-premiere quartet of four one-act plays all inspired by the Little Mermaid narrative popularized by Hans Christian Andersen, featuring the actors in our middle school program. 

THE LITTLE MERMAID (by Matthew Travisano, OSA Theatre Chair / Directed by Nicole Helfer) is the most traditional take on the Little Mermaid narrative and will serve as the text on which the three others will riff. The play takes a Czech version of the Little Mermaid narrative as inspiration, as well finding inspiration in the opera Rusalka by the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak (even re-setting the composer's famous aria "Song to the Moon"). 

MATSYAANGANA (by Achintya Pandey / Directed by Matthew Travisano) moves the narrative to a mythic India and takes inspiration from the epic poem The Mahabharata. Featuring some of the poem's most famous characters, Matsyaangana springs from a central element of the Little Mermaid myth: the price to be paid for love, in the case for one's children. This production features elements of various classical epic theatre traditions: Indian Kathkali theatre, as well as Noh and Kabuki from Japan.

ARIEL [working title] (by Jayne Lyell / Directed by Sologne Patterson) puts a wryly satirical and heartbreaking twist on Andersen's narrative. In this play, a mermaid coincidentally named Ariel, goes through the usual motions of the Little Mermaid story as laid out by a particular film...but in this case the usually absent mother is very much alive. Her story and Ariel's intersect in an unforgettable way. 

TRICKLE (by Penelope Gould / Directed by Cat Simon) sets the narrative today in a rapidly gentrifying Oakland. As Maya changes schools and changes worlds, she exists between the city she knew growing up and the city as it is now. When her friends start to leave because of eviction and housing insecurity, she must wrestle with giving up her connections to her past in order to feel a part of the new city. 




Jan 18 (7pm), Jan 19 (7pm), Jan 20 (7pm), Jan 21 (2pm)
OSA Marion E. Greene Black Box Theatre
[Tickets available beginning Dec 15] 

John Patrick Shanley's blunt exploration of relationships is one of the more celebrated two-character plays in American theatre. Over three scenes, we witness the interactions of Roberta and Danny, two lost souls who find being together just as difficult as being apart. In the process they discover that sometimes the ghosts of our past are not so easily put to rest. Set intimately in the round, this begins what will be an ongoing dedication to bringing small-cast productions to the mainstage. 

Note: Suitable for audiences aged 15 and up. 



...And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi

Feb 22 (7pm), Feb 23 (7pm), Feb 24 (7pm), Feb 25 (2pm)
OSA Marion E. Greene Black Box Theatre
[Tickets available beginning Jan 15] 

Oakland-born playwright Marcus Gardley puts his characteristically poetic and otherworldly twist on American history and epic mythology in this reimagining of Civil War-era Louisiana and Mississippi. We see the intersection of races, genders, histories, and narratives, all overseen by Miss Sissipi herself who draws all of the characters to her waters in which some will be baptized anew and in which some will drown. 

Produced in collaboration with Saint Mary's College of California.