The House of the Spirits: A Conversation with Isabel Allende and Caridad Svich, moderated by Michael Moran

Lecture | April 25 | 12-1:30 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Osher Theater

 Isabel Allende; Caridad Svich; Michael Moran

 Arts + Design

In the final public lecture of the series, author Isabel Allende will be in conversation with Caridad Svich, theater-maker and playwright, about The House of the Spirits in its may iterations: novel, play, and the upcoming staged performance by the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, directed by Michael Moran at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Playhouse. Michael Moran will moderate.

Chilean author Isabel Allende won worldwide acclaim when her bestselling first novel, The House of the Spirits, was published in 1982. In addition to launching Allende’s career as a renowned author, the book, which grew out of a farewell letter to her dying grandfather, also established her as a feminist force in Latin America’s male-dominated literary world.
She has since written 22 more works, including Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, Stories of Eva Luna, The Infinite Plan, Daughter of Fortune, Portrait in Sepia, a trilogy for young readers (City of Beasts, Kingdom of the Golden Dragon and Forest of the Pygmies), Zorro, Ines of My Soul, Island Beneath the Sea, Maya’s Notebook, Ripper and her latest book, The Japanese Lover. Books of nonfiction include Aphrodite, a humorous collection of recipes and essays, and three memoirs: My Invented Country, Paula (a bestseller that documents Allende’s daughter’s illness
and death, as well as her own life) and The Sum of Our Days. Allende’s books, all written in her native Spanish, have been translated into 42 languages and have sold more than 70 million copies. Her works both entertain and educate readers by weaving intriguing stories with significant historical events. Settings for her books include Chile throughout the 15th, 19th and 20th centuries, the California gold rush, the guerrilla movement of 1960s Venezuela, the Vietnam War and the 18th century slave revolt in Haiti.

Caridad Svich received a 2018 Tanne Foundation Award, the 2012 OBIE Award for Lifetime Achievement in the theatre, a 2018 NNPN rolling world premiere for RED BIKE, 2012 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and NNPN rolling world premiere for Guapa, and the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize for her play The House of the Spirits, based Isabel Allende’s novel, and the 2018 Ellen Stewart Career Achievement in Professional and Academic Theatre Award from Association of Theatre in Higher Education. She has won the National Latino Playwriting Award (sponsored by Arizona Theatre Company) twice, including in the year 2013 for her play Spark. She has been short-listed for the PEN-West Award in Drama four times, including in the year 2012 for her play Magnificent Waste. Her works in English and Spanish have been seen at venues across the US and abroad, among them Arena Stage’s Kogod Cradle Series, Denver Center Theatre, 59E59, The Women’s Project, Woodshed Collective @ McCarren Park Pool, Repertorio Espanol, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, Lighthouse Poole UK, Teatro Mori (Chile), Artheater-Cologne (Germany), Ilkhom Theater (Uzbekistan), Teatro Espressivo (Costa Rica), Welsh Fargo Stage (Wales), Homotopia Festival UK, SummerWorks festival in Toronto, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival/UK.

Michael Socrates Moran is Founder & Executive Director of Ubuntu Theater Project, based in Oakland, where he has directed over 20 productions. Favorite directing credits include: West Coast Premiere of TO THE BONE by Lisa Ramirez, West Coast Premiere of Dance of the Holy Ghosts by Marcus Gardley, World Premiere of Rashomon by Philip Kan Gotanda, World Premiere of Pool of Unknown Wonders by Philip Kan Gotanda, Grapes of Wrath, Death of a Salesman, Othello and Hamlet . He has a BFA with a focus in acting from Boston University, an MFA in directing from the University of California, San Diego and is the recipient of the San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award for Best Director in the East Bay.

Course Description: Co-taught by Peter Glazer and Stan Lai, this series will explore the specific and metaphoric connections amongst Creative action—adapting Stan Lai’s concepts and training—and the possibility of personal, cultural, and social transformation. How do we understand movement, migration, and change both metaphorically and literally? How do artists working in literature, visual art, film, performance, and design explore and enact transformation? Aside from featuring insight into the works and creative methods of Asia’s Stan Lai, the series will also delve into current trends in Latino-American/Latino arts, as well as European and African art and performance.

Arts + Design Thursdays is made possible thanks to support from the Big Ideas Courses Program in the College of Letters & Science at UC Berkeley and from generous supporters of Berkeley Arts + Design. For more information, visit artsdesign.berkeley.edu/thursdays.

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 510-664-4125