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A Bright Room Called Day Dazzles San Francisco

Gotchling (Jessica Rudholm) tells a story on New Year’s Eve, 1932, while Paulinka (Megan Briggs) waits her turn. Photo by Jay Yamada

The Gough Street Playhouse in San Francisco is currently performing one of the earlier plays of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Tony Kushner: A Bright Room Called Day. Although the show just opened last week (March 9), it has already been featured in 96 Hours, the San Francisco Chronicle’s “what to do this weekend” section. Kushner is also known for his work in film. The screenplay of Munich, which he co-wrote, was directed and produced by Stephen Spielberg in 2005. But whether he’s writing for the stage or for film, Kushner’s commitment to challenging his audiences, and his habit of introducing innovative juxtapositions of plot, continue to inspire.

A Bright Room Called Day revolves around two storylines. In the first, we observe a handful of characters struggling within the context of Hitler’s ascent to power and the subsequent rule of the Nazi Party in Germany in the 1930s. The second storyline examines the experience of a young woman living in New York in the 1990s, who sees similarities between Hitler and current representatives of the American government. The storylines interrupt each other, forcing the audience to consider the present in the context of the past, and to question our ideas about power and who should hold it.

A Bright Room Called Day runs through April 8, 2012. Tickets can be purchased at a 50% discount on Goldstar here. Many dates are already old out so reserve tickets soon if you plan to go. Also, an inside tip on getting there: the Gough Street Playhouse mentions that Google Maps usually pins their address at an incorrect location. For accurate directions on how to get there, use this link. Parking is sometimes available in the area, but the venue isn’t near a mass transit station. For the most hassle-free transportation to the show, call a taxi. More information can be found by visiting the Custom Made Theater Co. website.