Wyatt Pavilion Theatre
“Gibraltar,” a powerful drama that explores how we tell the stories of grief, opens the UC Davis College of Letters and Science’s Department of Theatre and Dance 2017-2018 season. The play is written by Octavio Solis and directed by UC Davis graduate and Granada Artist-in-Residence Kent Nicholson, now director of musical theatre at Playwrights Horizon Theatre Company in New York.
Performances are Nov. 9-11 and 16-18 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 11 and 18 at 2 p.m. in the historic Wyatt Pavilion Theatre on Old Davis Road. The play contains adult themes and situations, and is recommended for ages 18 and up.
In the play, Amy, a widowed San Francisco artist whose husband recently disappeared in a boating accident, arrives home with Palo, a traveler searching for his runaway wife. The pair share stories about other couples’ troubled relationships which are played out in the dreamlike landscape of memory. As they tell their stories, Amy and Palo struggle to confront their own losses.
“Octavio’s work represents the great cultural diversity of the Bay Area and the country,” said Nicholson. “By exploring the universality of love and death through multiple stories, and weaving them through a single narrative, Gibraltar creates a new landscape for storytelling.”
Nicholson earned his MFA from UC Davis in 1995 and worked in theatre throughout California before joining Playwrights Horizon in 2009. In 2006 he returned to direct “Death of a Salesman,” which won a Writers’ Choice Award for best theatrical production on a university campus from the Sacramento News & Review. In New York he has directed “9 Circles” (The Sheen Center), “Long Story Short” (Prospect Theater), “Five Flights” (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), “Wet” (Summer Play Festival) and “Marry Harry” (NYMF, American Theater Group). He has directed at Berkeley Repertory, Seattle Repertory, South Coast Repertory, Village Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars (Houston), Weston Playhouse, TheatreWorks, Marin Theatre Company and Contemporary American Theater Festival.
Octavio Solis is a playwright and director whose works include “Lydia,” “Santos & Santos” and “Mother Joad.” Solis has received numerous grants and awards including an NEA Playwriting Fellowship, the Kennedy Center’s Roger L. Stevens Award and the Will Glickman Playwright Award. Robert Hurwitt, critic for the San Francisco Chronicle said that “Gibraltar” is “Written with soul-searching honesty and breathtaking mastery….The themes are so universal, though, and the characters so truthfully drawn, that its appeal should be widespread.”
Tickets are $18.50 for the public, $17 for faculty/staff tickets and $10 for students and seniors and may be purchased at the UC Davis ticket office, located on the north side of Aggie Stadium, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by phone (530) 752-2471 during the same hours.
For information about other productions or to purchase tickets online, visit http://arts.ucdavis.edu/theatre-and-dance.