‘Aubergine’ wins 2017 Glick­man Award

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - DATEBOOK - By Lily Ja­niak

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.

Ju­lia Cho

Kevin Berne / Berke­ley Reper­tory The­atre 2016

Sab Shi­mono (left) and Tim Kang play a fa­ther and son in Ju­lia Cho’s “Aubergine” at Berke­ley Reper­tory The­atre in 2016.

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