AlterTheater announces cast for world premiere of new play by Ann Brebner

DATE:  March 28, 2013

CONTACT: Jeanette Harrison


March 2013— AlterTheater continues celebrating the 90th year of longtime associate artist and Marin County cultural icon Ann Brebner, with the world premiere of her new play, THE DEAD GIRL.

Inspired by the changing demographics of Marin County and by a dream of Ms. Brebner’s, THE DEAD GIRL is the story of a multi-racial family torn apart by loss, a family which struggles to rebuild itself.

“Grief isn't really something that we get to talk about in plays,” says Associate Director Reggie D. White. “There aren't nearly enough stories about people, families, being torn-TOGETHER by the loss of a loved one. And these four characters are so rich, so strong, so human. These are our neighbors, our loved ones, our co-workers. I can’t wait for audiences to go on this journey with us.”

THE DEAD GIRL will star longtime Bay Area favorite Charles Dean, known for more than two decades of work—and more than 80 roles—with Berkeley Rep, as well as for appearances on stages throughout the Bay Area, and across the country. On Broadway, he appeared in Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS. Joining Mr. Dean is Emilie Talbot, who previously appeared onstage with him in Aurora Theatre Company’s award-winning production of THE BEST MAN, for which Ms. Talbot was nominated Best Supporting Actress. In addition to her work with Aurora Theatre, Ms. Talbot has appeared onstage at Berkeley Rep, A.C.T., Magic Theatre, SF Playhouse, and San Jose Rep.

Mr. Dean and Ms. Talbot will play the parents of AlterTheater newcomer and UC Santa Cruz graduate Amy Marie Haven, founder of Tomorrow Youth Repertory, a children’s theater group. Rounding out the cast is UC Berkeley graduate David E. Moore, whose credits include San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Marin Shakespeare Company, as well as multiple appearances with African-American Shakespeare Company. Mr. Moore has also appeared with Crowded Fire, California Shakespeare Theater, 6th Street Playhouse, and understudied at Berkeley Rep and Aurora Theatre.

“We’re very excited to celebrate AlterTheater’s 9th year, and Ann Brebner’s 90th year, with the world premiere of Ann’s latest play,” says AlterTheater co-founder Jeanette Harrison. “I think THE DEAD GIRL is the best thing Ann’s ever written—it’s moving, it’s funny, and it’s definitely representative of our community today.”

Developed through AlterTheater’s inaugural playwright residency program, AlterLab, a year-long residency for playwrights, THE DEAD GIRL is the first play to reach the stage by way of AlterLab. AlterLab supports three to five writers as they each write a new play over the course of a year, and is currently in its second year. More about AlterLab:!alter-lab-pr/cj5e

Funding for AlterLab and the world premiere of THE DEAD GIRL is provided in part by The San Francisco Foundation, Theatre Bay Area’s CA$H, and the Marin Community Foundation.


Longtime AlterTheater ensemble member Ann Brebner co-wrote with Laurel Graver Hard Laughter, an adaptation for the stage of Anne Lamott’s first novel, which AlterTheater premiered in 2008. Ms. Brebner has written a memoir entitled All My Mothers, two plays (A Wild Wilde Night and Remember When) for Porchlight Theatre, a children’s book, and three screenplays. Trained at London’s prestigious Old Vic, Ms. Brebner has spent her life working in film and theater. She has directed both new work and the classics, in New York, London, New Zealand, and in the Bay Area, including the award-winning Intimate Apparel for AlterTheater in 2010. As a casting director, she worked on all the major films that shot in San Francisco in the 1960s and 1970s, including Bullitt, Harold and Maude, and many others. She co-founded Marin Shakespeare Company, and led the drive the restore the Rafael Theatre in downtown San Rafael. Ms. Brebner is a returning member of AlterLab, AlterTheater’s playwright residency program: her next AlterLab project will be about her childhood growing up in New Zealand in the 1920s and 1930s.

Charles Dean began his professional career at the Magic Theatre, where he worked with Sam Shepard, before becoming a company member at Berkeley Rep in 1977. At Berkeley Rep, he appeared in 80 plays over nearly 20 years, playing Norman in The Norman Conquests the first year that Berkeley Rep moved into their Addison Street theatre. Also with BRT, he played Hoss in Sam Shepard’s The Tooth of the Crime; Jamie in Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Moon for the Misbegotten; the title role in Tartuffe.  He has appeared locally with A.C.T., Marin Theatre Company, San Jose Rep, Cal Shakes, in New York at the Public Theatre and on Broadway in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas; regionally with the Guthrie, Alliance, Alley Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Seattle Rep, and Center Stage in Baltimore. Recent appearances include Harry in A Delicate Balance at Aurora Theatre; My Fair Lady at San Francisco Playhouse. Throughout his career, he’s been awarded several Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle and Dramalogue awards.

Over the past 20 years in the Bay Area Emilie Talbot has worked at Aurora Theatre (TROJAN WOMEN, THE BEST MAN), Berkeley Rep, A.C.T., Magic Theatre, and San Jose Rep. Elsewhere around the country she has appeared at or spent seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and Fort Worth Shakespeare-in-the-Park among others. A founding member of the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company, she was also a core member of Patrick Stewart’s Paramount Shakespeare Company. She is a graduate of Duke University, CalArts, and Oxford University.

Before landing in the Bay Area, Amy Marie Haven spent several years traveling throughout Asia, Oceania and Latin America after graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Literature and Theatre. She has directed for and acted with many companies in California and internationally, including the award-winning Sleepwalkers Theatre (voted best theatre company of 2009- SF weekly), Four Larks, 142 Throckmorton, The Quixote Project, Rococo Risque and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. She is a co-founder of Tomorrow Youth Repertory, a new children's musical theater non profit in Alameda.

David E. Moore began his professional career with an internship at Marin Shakespeare Company, spent a season with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and in the past year has played Brutus in Julius Caeser at African-American Shakespeare Company; appeared in the West Coast premiere of Good Goods with Crowded Fire; toured with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival in Puss in Boots; and understudied at Aurora Theatre (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety) and Berkeley Rep (Ghost Light). Favorite roles include Truth in Good Goods for Crowded Fire, Booth in Topdog/Underdog for 6th Street Playhouse, and (as a guest artist) Learned Jack in I Dream of Chang and Eng at UC Berkeley, where David previously earned a B.A. in Theater and Performance Studies.

Associate Director Reggie D. White studied theatre at Cal State Hayward and has directed and choreographed for Bay Area Children's Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, and Impact Theatre, where he serves as a Company Member. He also serves as a Company Member for PlayGroundSF and was a recipient of Theatre Bay Area’s TITAN Award in 2012. In addition to directing and acting, White also teaches for Berkeley Rep's School of Theatre. For more information, check out or follow his artistic exploits on Twitter @reggiedwhite.

Dramaturg Duca Knezevic is a theatre scholar and practitioner with teaching credentials on undergraduate and graduate levels. She has worked as a dramaturg for film, radio, and TV. Past employments in the Bay Area include Theatre Rhinoceros and Playwrights Foundation. Extensive knowledge of both history and new tendencies in contemporary arts fuels her constant interests in experiment, multimedia, and utopia of Gesamtkunstwerk, with a strong emphasis on political engagement and responsibility of the artistic community, be it on local or global level.

Our ensemble includes the Bay Area’s best established and emerging artists.

We believe the world can change for the better when artists dream big, take risks, and push themselves to the limits of their imagination….and then take another step.

AlterTheater temporarily transforms storefronts along the downtown San Rafael pedestrian shopping district into performance spaces: it’s theater you can window shop!

The Dead Girl
Written & Directed by Ann Brebner
Associate Director: Reggie D. White
Dramaturg: Duca Knezevic
Starring: Charles Dean, Amy Marie Haven, David E. Moore, Emilie Talbot
Production: Joseph Amic-Angelo, Norman Kern, Janice Koprowski, Christine Plowright

WHAT: After a devastating loss a multi-racial family rebuilds, with the help—and sometimes hindrance—of an unexpected visitor.

WHEN: April 24th - May 19th
Wednesdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays/Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm
No shows Thursdays


PRESS OPENING NIGHT: Saturday, April 27th at 8 pm
(no press at previews, please)

Full list of performances:
Wednesday, April 24th at 7:30 pm: Preview**
Friday, April 26th at 8 pm: Preview**
Saturday, April 27th at 8 pm: Press Opening Night
Sunday, April 28th at 3 pm: Senior Discount Day
Wednesday, May 1st at 7:30 pm Pay-what-you-can performance
Friday, May 3rd at 8 pm**
Saturday, May 4th at 8 pm**
Sunday, May 5th at 3 pm**
Wednesday, May 8th at 7:30 pm
Friday, May 10th at 8 pm
Saturday, May 11th at 8 pm
Sunday, May 12th at 3 pm
Wednesday, May 15th at 7:30 pm
Friday, May 17th at 8 pm
Saturday, May 18th at 8 pm
Sunday, May 19th at 3 pm CLOSING performance

**discounts available, online only at, to these performances

Location: Avant Garde, 1328 Fourth Street (between C & D Streets), San Rafael, CA

About Avant Garde: A unique clothing, jewelry, and furniture shop located on San Rafael's bustling 4th street, Avant Garde offers exceptional values and one-of-a-kind finds for everyone. AlterTheater transforms this beautiful shop into a temporary performance space for Ann Brebner's moving new play.

AlterTheater transforms storefronts along downtown San Rafael’s pedestrian shopping district into temporary performance venues.

Ticket information Individual tickets are $25, or less if you purchase online and attend in the first two weeks of performances,

Other discounts:
Student rush tickets, depending on availability, $15 for full-time students with id.
Senior discount day: Sunday, April 28th at 3 pm.
Pay-what-you-can performance: Wednesday, May 1st at 7:30 pm.