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“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science” – Albert Einstein

One Stone

Written by Trevor Allen
Directed by Elizabeth Craven
Puppetry by Michael Nelson of Magical Moonshine Theater


$25  General Admission
$15  Youth 21 and under
$9  Jr and Highschool Students (Feb 10 only)
 
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Through the magic of puppetry, drama, music and projections, One Stone explores the scientific discoveries, the complex character and the humanitarian ideals that were at the core of Albert Einstein’s work and life. Playwright Trevor Allen shines a brilliant, multi-media light on the man behind the great mind, making his incredible ideas accessible to non-physicists, while igniting his sense of childlike wonder in us all.

Einstein will speak directly to us, while international award-winning puppeteer Michael Nelson of Magical Moonshine Theatre animates puppets from chalkboard notations and objects found on Einstein’s desk and bookshelves. A violinist softly plays the music Einstein himself played, while videos and still images add even more dimension to the experience.

ADDED PERFORMANCE THURS, FEB 16! (Friday-Sunday Sold Out)

Generously underwritten by Sponsor Circle Members Richard & Edith Kapash, and Barton Smith Realtor, with Buffington Clay-Miller

Cast

Einstein

Eric Thompson

Violinist

Jennifer Cho

Puppeteer

Sheila Devitt

Crew

Stage Manager

Ross Tiffany Brown

Puppet Designer

Michael Nelson

Scenic Designer

Joseph Elwick

Video and Still Projections

Elizabeth Craven

Costume Designer

Pam Enz

Lighting Designer

Wayne Hovey

Sound Designer

Albert Casselhoff

AllenTrevor Allen (Playwright) formed black box theatre.com in 2000. He is an award winning Bay Area playwright. Productions include Lolita Roadtrip (San Jose Stage Company), The Creature (Black Box Theatre Company, BATCC award), Tenders in the Fog (San Jose Stage Company, Dean Goodman Award, Original Script), Working for the Mouse! (Impact Theatre), 49 Miles (Crowded Fire Theater), and Chain Reactions (Theatre of Yugen, CAFÉ and The Cutting Ball). He received a San Francisco Arts Commission grant for his play, Zoo Logic. He is a Bay Area Playwrights Festival alumnus and his play, One Stone (Einstein), a collaboration with Lunatique Fantastique was developed through their “Incubator” and “In the Rough” programs. Two of his plays have received the SF Fringe Festival’s “Best Of” awards. His short play, Mamlet, won American Conservatory Theatre’s “Write like David Mamet” contest. He received PlayGround’s Emerging Playwright Award, Playwriting Fellowship and two Alumni full length play commissions for Lolita Roadtrip and Golden Gate Fair. He was a Playwright in Residence at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. He is currently working on scripts for Valley of Sand, a new play about Silicon Valley originally commissioned by San Jose Repertory Theatre and PlayGround, A Treasured Island, his adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel set in a Children’s hospital, and his book-length collection of five of his professionally produced plays has been published by EXIT Press. Both The Creature and Working for the Mouse have been performed at Cinnabar. Trevor holds a BA in Theatre from UCLA and a MFA in Creative Writing from SFSU. He is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild of America.

CravenElizabeth Craven (Director) is a theater artist, teacher and sometimes stage designer.  She began her career in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she was a founding member of The Play Group, an experimental company that toured the U.S. in the 1970s.  She launched her teaching career in Sonoma County at the age of 30, at Santa Rosa High School.  In 1986, she took a part time teaching post at Sonoma State University Theater Arts Department, a job that later became a tenured teaching position. While at SSU, Beth directed award winning stage productions and co-founded Western Union Theater Company in residence at Cinnabar Theater from 1984-1996.  In 1995, Beth was hired as head of the MFA Performance Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she directed for the Clarence Brown Theater Company a LORT theater founded by Ralph Allen and Sir Anthony Quayle. Retiring from teaching in 2005, Beth returned to Sonoma County where she served as Executive Director of 6th Street Playhouse until 2010. In spring of that same year, Beth and a group of local theater artists founded Main Stage West in Sebastopol where she is Artistic Director.

NelsonMichael Nelson (Puppet Design and Choreography), along with wife, Valerie, founded the internationally acclaimed Magical Moonshine Theatre in 1979.  In addition they run the Vallejo Giant Puppet Project, the Forbidden Puppet Cabaret, and the Kelmscott Chaucer Toy Theatre Project.  Nelson studied sculpture with Joe Query and puppetry with Muppet creator Jim Henson at the International Institute of Puppetry in France.  He writes a regular column for the Puppetry Journal and is current president of the San Francisco Bay Area Puppeteers Guild and past president of UNIMA-USA, the U.S. branch of the oldest international theater organization in the world.  www.magicalmoonshine.org


Born in Glendale, California, violinist Jennifer Cho enjoys a career as a violinist in the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Concertmaster of the California Symphony, and frequently performing chamber music and solos throughout the country. She began her studies at the age of 7, and decided to pursue a career as a violinist in high school while studying with Los Angeles Philharmonic Associate Concertmaster Alexander Trager. She attended Crossroads School in Los Angeles before venturing east to The Juilliard School. At Juilliard, Jennifer earned Bachelors and Masters degrees under the direction of Steven Clapp and Robert Mann. For her graduate studies, Jennifer was chosen by the prestigious Jack Kent Cook Foundation to be a Graduate Scholar. This Foundation financially supported her studies until she graduated with her Master’s Degree in 2008. Jennifer can be heard as sloist and Concertmaster of the California Symphony next month.  She will be performing Tzigane by Maurice Ravel.

DevittSheila M. Devitt (Puppeteer) is a San Francisco based actress, and pleased to be making her debut with Cinnabar Theatre. She has worked with Lunatique Fantastique, Theatre of Yugen, and Marin Shakespeare Company, among others. Favorite roles include Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Elvira in Blithe Spirit, and Cecily Pigeon in The Odd Couple. She holds a BFA in theatre from UNM, and a certificate in Stanislavsky Method from MXAT.

Thompson

Eric Thompson (Einstein) This is Eric’s first appearance with Cinnabar. In Sonoma County he has played Shakespearean fools: Macbeth’s Porter, Friar Lawrence, Puck, Bottom, Oberon, Trinculo, Stephano, Feste, Master Ford, Touchstone, Dogberry, and Dromio of Syracuse; for Main Stage West: Vanya in Vanya and Masha and Sonia, and Spike, and Phil in Mauritius; for Sonoma County Rep: Ebenezer Scrooge (7 times), Taddy in Chair on the Ceiling, Goldberg in Birthday Party, Phil in Let’s Play Two, Skeeries in Renaissance, Ben Jonson in Repertory, Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and multiple roles in Bullshot Drummond, The Birdz and Sylvia, and The Bible: The Complete Word of God, Abridged; At Sixth Street Orgon in Tartuffe, Milton in The Final Scene, and at The Raven, Charlie in the The Foreigner. For his day job he teaches religion studies and ancient Hebrew at SRJC.


Brown

Ross Brown (Stage Manager) has been working on all facets of technical theater in Sonoma County for the past decade. He received his Bachelors Degree from Sonoma State University. You may have seen him Stage Managing, Set Building, Light Hanging, Sound Crunching, Wall Painting, Note Taking, and Button Pushing for productions at Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma, Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park, The Green Music Center and Sonoma State University’s Department of Performing Arts, Main Stage West in Sebastopol, and various other community theaters.

CasselhoffAlbert Casselhoff (Sound Designer) is a multi media artist working in Theater, Radio and Film. His theater work includes Sound Design and Original Compositions.  Albert has also created radio programs for national distribution through NPR, APM, PRI and has been heard internationally on CBC in Canada, ABC in Australia, and in New Zealand.  His film projects include documentaries, commercials, and experimental works for live performance. He is thrilled to have his first collaboration with Cinnabar on this multi-faceted production.

EnzPam Enz (Costume Designer) joins Cinnabar for the second time this season, having costumed The Most Happy Fella earlier this year.  She has been designing in North Bay for over 15 years as part of Santa Rosa Players, The Raven Players, 6th St. Playhouse and Spreckels. Pam was 2016 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award from the Sonoma Theater Alliance, and has been recognized for costume design excellence by the Theater Bay Area, Bay Area Critics Circle and the Marquee Theater Journalists Association.

HoveyWayne Hovey (Set Designer) has been working in the technical side of theater for more than 40 years, doing everything from backstage work to set, sound and lighting design and stage management. He has provided set design for Cinnabar’s Jacques Brel is Alive and Well, The Marriage of Figaro, Bad Dates, Mahalia Jackson, and light design for more than 15 shows at Cinnabar, including last June’s The Magic Flute and this season’s opener, The Most Happy Fella.

 

 

There is a certain genre of performance that seeks to recreate the experience of being in the room with a person of note: Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain, Holland Taylor as Ann Richards, Bryan Cranston as LBJ in All The WayOne Stone (Einstein), playing through February 19th only, is in that vein. And what rich material! A Jew who slipped from Hitler’s grasp in 1933 and went on to transform our perceptions of the world thanks to his groundbreaking work in theoretical physics. A pacifist who faced a Sophie’s choice in terms of whether or not to encourage nuclear weapons research, who was offered the presidency of Israel and politely turned it down. And he could be a bit of scamp, too, sticking out his tongue for the camera and all that.
Trevor Allen, therefore, has taken on a challenge of rather epic proportions. The bounty of the source material almost guarantees a certain level of interest from the philosophically inclined, and Allen has created an imaginative, multi-layered approach to presenting a man whose name is synonymous with genius…As Einstein, Eric Thompson has the right sort of giddy energy to play the scamp…There’s humor, and an arc of sorts, but no real throughline or clear theme to pull the audience through the story. If physics fascinates you (as it somehow does math-deficient me), Allen delivers enough to keep your attention…Allen and his collaborators, director Elizabeth Craven and puppet designer and choreographer Michael Nelson, have staged One Stone using a combination of puppetry, projection, props—and a musician (Jennifer Cho)—performing a soundtrack of classical solo violin pieces. Sheila Devitt does a good job with Nelson’s puppets (which are fittingly frumpy), taking us back to points in Einstein’s life: a schoolboy Einstein, a young, Patent Office clerk-era Einstein, and the white-haired, tongue-flashing icon of intellect Einstein was near the end of his life. Cho’s music is lovely, and director Craven wields it well, both as a transitional element and soundtrack to onstage action. It’s always welcome, but never overstays that welcome.
Einstein is so fascinating and said so many insightful (and quotable) things, that you could make an interesting show almost by random. Follow a general birth to death plotline and let him do the talking, and you’ve got something anyone interested in the man and his thoughts could glean something from.
–Talkin’ Broadway

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Eric Thompson as Albert Einstein in One Stone. Puppets by Michael Nelson. Puppeteer: Sheila Devitt. Photos by Eric Chazankin.