By Priya Hutner
Brüka Theatre in Reno has been offering avant-garde productions for the last 23 years. | Courtesy Brüka Theatre
Nov. 4-8 | Biggest Little Theatre Festival
Nov. & Dec. dates | “The Buttcracker 6: Underland”
Jan. & Feb dates |“The Diary of Anne Frank”
March | “The Shapes of Things”
March 10-12 | “Snow White & Rose Red” Theatre for Children
April & May dates | “Deathtrap”
May 21 | “Brüka Prom: A Shakespearean Ball”
June | “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play”
July | “Malvolio or What You Will”
The 2015-16 season will feature productions centered on the theme “Raise Your Voice.” | Courtesy Brüka Theatre
“Brüka is about pushing us to be who we are and proud of what we do. We are a professional theater and we look to create a professional theater experience with a pioneer spirit that is magical.”
– Mary Bennett
The Brüka Theatre in Reno has been offering avant-garde productions for the last 23 years, and this year’s season is diverse and exciting.
“Our mission is create and share innovative theatre,” says producing artistic director Mary Bennett. She notes that each season they choose a theme or vision statement and each production is chosen around that particular theme. This year the theme is “Raise Your Voice.” The productions might influence and inspire people with dreams or be about people that are disenfranchised or have been victims and need to be heard, she says.
“Think respect, inspire, educate and inform, the theater looks to push the boundaries to help people think about things,” she said.
The season kicked off with the play “Desert Cities” about a woman who wants to be a writer but can only write about the truth. The show examines the nature of what is the truth and how one person’s truth is a perception and how one see the layers of truth.
Next up, Brüka Theatre presents The Biggest Little Theatre Festival from Nov. 4 to 8. The festival highlights five original plays, each a one-hour production. Each production is unique and chosen from playwrights who submitted to the theater and are chosen specifically for his or her artistic creativity and uniqueness.
And, then there is the Brüka Theatre’s annual production, “The Buttcracker 6: Underland.” A parody based on the Nutcracker Suite, Bennett describes the story of a Russian Ballet Company in Reno that can’t get across the bridge and the thespians have to act out the play in the Ballet’s absence. The performance has been noted as hilarious and ridiculous and runs from Nov. 27 to Dec. 19.
This season is filled with thought-provoking theater productions which include, “The Diary of Anne Frank;” “The Shape of Things,” which is labeled as a witty and smart lie beneath the studied art of cruelty; “Death Trap,” a mysteriously decadent and thrilling comedy; and “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play,” described as a mythically sly and bracing dark comedy. Rounding out the season is “Malvolio or What You Will” about a transgender person in an intolerant society.
“Brüka is about pushing us to be who we are and proud of what we do. We are a professional theater and we look to create a professional theater experience with a pioneer spirit that is magical. We hope to create a standard for art,” Bennett explains. “We want to keep artists in Reno and to know they have a home here. Reno is an incredible place to have a base doing theater work here and enjoying a wonderful quality of life.”
In addition to performances, the Brüka Theatre also hosts the Artist in the House series, presenting workshops and classes for the community with one-day classes for improv, costume and makeup.
“Theater is blossoming in Reno and it blossoms because of the artists that want to perform. Brüka wants to help give opportunities to artists to create. We are artists that run a theater and we honor the art that we’ve done for years,” said Bennett. “We have seven working theaters in Reno we are on the cutting edge of things happening in Reno,” she added.
The Brüka Theatre is located at 99 North Virginia St. in Reno. For more information, season passes or tickets, visit bruka.org