Tom Stoppard’s unmistakable brand of witty drama has been in high circulation recently, between his adapted screenplay for Hollywood’s Anna Karenina and a recent staging of Arcadia at A.C.T. Probably the best and certainly the most impressive Stoppard staging, however, was Shotgun Players’ production of Shipwreck — part two of the hulking and heady Coast of Utopia series. For a company this small to take on a production this big — a cast of more than thirty signed on for the run, which is spaced over three years — is as much folly as it is an act of splendid devotion. Yet on its own, Shipwreck was enough to sustain a theater lover for some time. Featuring a group of pre-revolution socialist friends (Stoppard’s left-field erudition is a perfect match for the Berkeley and broader East Bay intellectual current) as they gallivant around volatile 19th-century Europe, spouting their theses and romancing one another, Shipwreck is an embarrassment of theatrical riches. Shotgun Players, in spite of its limitations, graciously brought them to life.
.Best Theatrical Production
Shotgun Players' 'Shipwreck'