Thursday, June 29, 2017

Why the North Pool Takes Place in 2007

Play scripts are generally very careful about setting the time and place of the story on the first page of the script, and The North Pool is no exception. For The North Pool we're told that the time is 2007 just before Spring Break and the place is a public high school in America. We wondered why the place was so generic while the time was so specific give that the play was first produced in 2011 in Palo Alto, and then we realized - Spring 2007 is just before the birth of the iPhone. Without the ubiquitous smartphone, threads in the play take longer to unravel, so it's a bit of clever trickery on the part of playwright Rajiv Joseph. Once you've seen The North Pool, take a moment to think about how the story would be different in today's world with Snapchat, Facebook, and smartphones.

Today actually marks the 10th birthday of the iPhone so it's an interesting reminder that while things have changed quite a lot in the past ten years, the thrust of the story has sadly not changed and remains as meaningful as ever.

Friday, June 23, 2017

An interview with the playwright

Playwright Rajiv Joseph and Giovanna Sardelli, who directed the world premiere of The North Pool discuss how the play came to be and the themes that Joseph was addressing when he wrote the script.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The North Pool: Meet the Team


SALIM RAZAWI (Khadim/Producer) is elated to be making his Dragon debut. He most recently performed in Disgraced at San Jose Stage Company and performed in Theatre for the very young with Wheels on the Bus with Bay Area Children's Theatre. Other credits include; TheatreWorks, Broadway By the Bay, Altarena Playhouse, Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, Tri-Valley REP, Tabard Theatre, Livermore Shakespeare Festival, and SF Shakespeare Festival. When not on stage Salim is a director, teaching artist, and stage manager for multiple theatre companies throughout the Bay Area. He thanks you for choosing live theatre tonight! He can also be seen on a featured TEDx Talk.

EDWARD HIGHTOWER* (Dr. Danielson) Edward is delighted to be making his Dragon Productions Theatre Company debut. Most recently, he played Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady at Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre Company. Other favorite roles include: Lord Farquaad in Shrek at Woodminster Amphitheatre (2016 Theatre Bay Area Award), Clown Two in The 39 Steps at San Jose Stage Company, Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music at Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, The Storyteller in Cotton Patch Gospel at Custom Made Theatre Company, and the Emcee in Cabaret at Napa Valley Broadway Playhouse. He has performed with TheatreWorks, 42nd Street Moon and Sierra Repertory Theatre Company. Upcoming performances: Luther Billis in South Pacific at Woodminster Amphitheatre, August 3 – 13;; Billy Flynn in Chicago at Lucky Penny Productions, September 8 –24; BFA: The Boston Conservatory. Website: Edward is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.

Design Team

 JACQUELYN MONTELLATO (Producer/Director) hails from San Jose, California and discovered directing while in high school. She received the Doc Arends Award for Excellence in Directing in upon graduating from San Jose State in 2011, where she directed Proof in 2012. She has assistant directed at San Jose Rep, TheatreWorks, Palo Alto Players, City Lights, and Renegade Theatre Experiment. At Renegade, she co-directed Imperial Fizz (2013) and directed The Whipping Man (2014), which garnered a Silicon Valley Small Theatre Award for Standout Dramatic Production. She directed an off-off Broadway one woman show Confessions of A Personal Trainer (2015). An avid filmmaker as well, her short film, Showgirl, was an official selection in The Accolade Film Festival 2012. She sends a huge thanks to her family, coworkers, and producing partner for their continual support in this production!

ALEX BROWN (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be on The North Pool team! This is her first time serving as a Stage Manager, and she’d like to thank Dragon Productions for giving her this chance. She was previously an Assistant Stage Manager at The Ross Valley Players. When she’s not managing stages, she’s managing college students and their roommate conflicts at her ever-changing day job. She’s also the co-creator and lead writer for an award-winning audio-drama podcast about wayward Eldritch monsters, abandoned amusement parks, quite a few ghost stories, and a group of people living in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Check it out at!

KARL HALLER (Scenic Designer) This is Karl’s first time working with Dragon Productions Theatre, but he has been doing technical theater since he earned the nickname ‘Theater Ninja’ in high school. He is a Jack-of-all-trades, doing everything from sound and lighting to sets. His most recent credits include Technical Director for Quantum Dragon Theatre’s Spell Eternity, and Sound Designer for Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre’s Anything Goes. Karl is a Monster Energy Drink Enthusiast™ but hates writing bios.

LEANNA KEYES (Lighting Designer) is a production manager, lighting designer, and stage manager. She has had the good fortune to work with many Bay Area theatre organizations, including Dragon Productions (Caeneus and Poseidon), The Cutting Ball Theater, 42nd Street Moon, Stanford University, Broadway by the Bay, Performance Design Acronym, and Playwrights Foundation.

CHARLES MCKEITHAN (Master Carpenter) has been working in Bay Area theater for over ten years now as an actor and a carpenter and is happy to be back with the Dragon for another round of fun. His past works include multiple producttions here at the Dragon, Walls of Jericho at the Pear, Collosus at SF Playhouse, and countless productions with Ron Gasparinetti under the guise of Thrust Scenic Design.

ANDREW MONDELLO (Sound Designer) is elated to be joining Dragon for the first time as a part of this project. He loves all things sound related, be it music - which he teaches for a living, or sound designing. He studied sound design on the side while receiving his degree in acting from UC Irvine and is just thrilled for the chance to work his design bone again. Many thanks to producer Salim Razawi who has been his partner in crime on many projects both as an actor and a music director, for this wonderful opportunity.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The North Pool: Meet the Playwright

Rajiv Joseph's Broadway play, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama, and was also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. The show premiered in Los Angeles and moved to Broadway with Robin Williams in the lead role making his Broadway debut. Joseph's other New York productions include Gruesome Playground Injuries, Second Stage Theatre, 2011; Animals Out of Paper, Second Stage Theatre, summer 2008; The Leopard and the Fox (adaptation), Alter Ego, fall 2007; Huck & Holden, Cherry Lane Theatre, 2006; All This Intimacy, Second Stage Theatre, 2006. World premieres of new plays include The North Pool at Theatre Works in Palo Alto; The Lake Effect at Crossroads Theatre in New Jersey; and The Medusa Body at the Alley Theatre. He received his BA in Creative Writing from Miami University and his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal.