‘Aubergine’ wins 2017 Glickman Award
Julia Cho’s “Aubergine” is the 2017 winner of the esteemed Will Glickman Award for best new play to premiere in the Bay Area last year, announced Theater Bay Area, a nonprofit that has administered the award since 2004 (though the award itself has been in existence since 1984). The show ran Feb. 5March 27 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, under the direction of the theater’s artistic director, Tony Taccone.
Theatre Bay Area Executive Director Brad Erickson will present the award, which includes a $4,000 purse for Cho, at the organization’s annual conference on March 13 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
A memory play about food’s
unique power to communicate and comfort, “Aubergine” (another word for eggplant) follows a family that reunites, and in a way, comes into being, on the eve of its patriarch’s terminal illness. The play marks the sixth Glickman Award a Berkeley Rep production has received, which is more than any other theater company. Renowned for its creation of new works, Berkeley Rep developed “Aubergine” in its Ground Floor Summer Residency Lab in 2015.
Reviewing the production for The San Francisco Chronicle, theater critic Robert Hurwitt gave the show the paper’s highest rating, writing, “Sweet, savory and uncommonly nourishing, ‘Aubergine’ at Berkeley Repertory Theatre is a theatrical banquet from start to finish.” In the fall, the script went on to an off-Broadway production at Playwrights Horizons, where it was less well received.
Named for Bay Area playwright Will Glickman, the award is voted upon by a panel of local theater critics. This year’s group included Sam Hurwitt, Karen D’Souza, Chad Jones, Jean Schiffman and Robert Avila.
Sab Shimono (left) and Tim Kang play a father and son in Julia Cho’s “Aubergine” at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2016.