Harry Potter and the Cursed Child scribe Jack Thorne and composer Nico Muhly, Hamilton Tony winner Daveed Diggs and his Blindspotting co-creator Rafael Casal, Sarah Ruhl, and Dipika Guha have been commissioned to create new works at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. They are the first new partners to be announced since 2019, after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered theatres around the world.
Thorne and Muhly will work on their musical adaptation of Matt Ruff’s novel Set This House in Order. John Tiffany will direct with choreography by Steven Hoggett, both of whom worked with Thorne on Cursed Child.
“Very early on in the pandemic, our Managing Director Susie Medak and I talked about these commissions as a commitment to our artistic community that Berkeley Rep would weather this storm, and a promise to ourselves and our audiences that there would be rich, complicated, beautifully theatrical stories to explore together on the other side,” says Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer.
“Sarah, Dipika, Rafael, Daveed, Nico, and Jack are each such extraordinary storytellers—the ability to support them in crafting new narratives, and anticipating the moment that we can gather together in a theatre in the presence of their imaginations is a source of inspiration for me in these profoundly challenging times.”
Several of the playwrights chosen have worked with Berkeley Rep before. Diggs and Casal, both of whom are from the Bay Area, were members of the theatre’s Teen Council. Ruhl’s work has appeared six times on Berkeley Rep stages, most recently the world premiere of Becky Nurse of Salem. Guha is a participant in Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor Summer Residency Lab.