An opening night at Berkeley Rep from a past season. Credit: Muriel Steinke

Berkeley Rep’s 2023-24 season launches in September and includes a pre-Broadway world premiere musical, two West Coast premieres and a number of plays set in California.

2023-24 season subscriptions start at $31 per show. Buy online or by phone at 510-647-2949.

 “These seven plays, each exquisitely crafted by artists who are deeply invested in the specific delights of live performance, reflect Berkeley Rep’s commitment to stories that have both local and global impact,” said Johanna Pfaelzer, the theater’s artistic director.

Selina Fillinger. Courtesy: Berkeley Rep

First, theatergoers will find themselves in Washington, D.C. just in time for the presidential primaries. POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, a gleefully feminist satire by Selina Fillinger, launches the season in September. This raucous comedy celebrates the women behind the scenes who risk their sanity by trying to keep their incompetent boss from unleashing a global crisis.

Then we visit the bucolic town of Boonville in Mendocino County with Bulrusher, a Pulitzer Prize finalist by Berkeley native Eisa Davis (niece of Angela Davis). Set in 1955, Bulrusher follows the title character, a young multiracial woman with a gift for clairvoyance who is living in a predominantly white enclave where people speak their own dialect. When a Black girl from Birmingham arrives, Bulrusher starts to uncover her place in the world. 

Next up in November and December: the first West Coast premiere, Harry Clarke, by Obie Award-winning writer David Cale. This thriller features the exploits of Philip, an awkward Midwestern man leading a double life as the cocky Londoner Harry Clarke. He moves to New York City and, posing as the seductive Harry, charms his way into a wealthy family. This tour-de-force solo show includes 19 different characters.

The new year starts off with Cult of Love by Leslye Headland, co-creator of the time-tripping Netflix series Russian Doll. Cult of Love is the last installment of Headland’s series of plays based on the seven deadly sins.  The show is a fierce comedy that dares to examine a unique brand of religious family cruelty lurking under their Christmas celebration. It opens in late January.

Michael Mayer. Credit: Brigitte Lacombe

Recently named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, The Far Country by Lloyd Suh returns to its roots in Berkeley Rep’s second West Coast premiere. In the wake of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Moon Gyet has arrived at San Francisco Bay’s Angel Island Immigration Station with an invented biography and a new name, both given to him by a man who made the same arduous crossing several years earlier. A breathtaking account of immigration, identity and memory, The Far Country begins March 2024 under the direction of Eric Ting, who helmed the critically acclaimed New York premiere.

Director Michael Mayer — whose credits include Swept Away and American Idiot — returns to Berkeley Rep with another Broadway-bound musical, Galileo. Written by Danny Strong (creator of the series Dopesick for Hulu), with music and lyrics by Michael Weiner and Zoe Sarnak and choreography by David Neumann, Galileo promises to be a dazzling look at the famous astronomer and an explosive collision of science and faith, truth and power. Galileo receives its world premiere in May.

Octavio Solis. Courtesy: Berkeley Rep

The theater’s 2023-24 season wraps up next June and July with a quintessential California story: Octavio Solis’ Mother Road. Solis originally penned this sequel to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where it premiered in 2019. In a reversal of the Joads’ mythic journey from Oklahoma to California, William Joad and Martin Jodes — a Mexican-American farmworker and William’s heir apparent — travel back to Oklahoma, where they reckon with their pasts and forge an unlikely bond. Berkeley Rep will present a brand-new production, staged by Berkeley Rep’s associate artistic director, David Mendizábal. 

In curating the new season, artistic director Pfaelzer said she wanted to celebrate the experiences that are unique to in-person theatergoing, and “to continue to create those life-giving opportunities to share laughter, a gasp, a moment that lifts you to your feet alongside fellow audience members.”  Hear more from Pfaelzer online.

Learn more about Berkeley Rep’s 2023-24 season and how you can become a subscriber at at