GenerationTheatre presents The Provoked Wife at the Southside Theater at Fort Mason Center until May 4, 2014.



To be honest, we did not know anything about Sir John Vanbrugh, the author of The Provoked Wife. But we know that Generation Theatre is used to offer great shows on stage. So... we asked David Valayre, the Artistic director of the Company, some questions to get to know better the Company itself, and get some clues about the piece renowned as a great, provocative, smart and funny Restoration comedy.




Can you tell us the story of the company?

GenerationTheatre is a permanent theater company of players and companions.  The company was created in 2008 by Patrick Feigelson and myself, both actors and playwrights.  Soon after the Company's first production, Four Soldiers, I met a very cohesive group of talented actors at the Berkeley Rep' School of Theater, which group joined the company for its second production, DiTCH.  Many actors from the early productions -- for xample, Ket Watters, Andrea Satin, Charles Keen, Malachy Silva, Topher Clark -- remained  for the long run and were soon joined by other "regulars" -- Nathan Putnam, Erica Andracchio, Martha Luehrmann, Joann Grimm, Raymonde McCoy, Terry Stokes, Andrew Page, and more recently Nastassia Maltsava, Jim Gasperini, Al Badgers, Matthew Surrence, Shawn Morgan, Christopher Weddle, Alejandro Torres, etc.  Together, we aspire to be more than the sum of our parts:  To form a living body that feeds on, dreams of, and produces the best drama it can create. We want the best stage work for our audience, and the best audience for our plays.  Our common ambition is nothing short of excellence.


The mission of GenerationTheatre is to promote the appreciation, and enjoyment of text-based theater. Generation Theatre seeks to stimulate intellectual curiosity, combat prejudice, support diversity, and debunk artistic clichés. 



Can you explain your choice with The Provoked Wife and what makes the play contemporary?

We want to bring new works to life and give new life to existing works.     

The Provoked Wife is GenerationTheatre’s fourteenth original stage production, after 4Soldiers, DiTCH: a Comedy, BooKKeepers and Provoquée,  Tartuffe , doorTOdoor, Sea Turtles, Porte A Porte, Audition: A Play, Olivia’s Kitchen, Taking Me For A Ride?, and Marius.


We produced a new French translation and adaptation of the play in 2010, at the (now defunct) Off-Market Theaters.  The audience has adored this 1697 Restoration comedy for its relevance to today's discourse on men/women and husband/wife relations.  In his time, Vanbrugh had offended many sections of his society by his discourse in defense of women's rights in marriage.  We thought it would be fun to tackle the original (with very minor adaptation) and apply it directly to our society (the production is set in the 1920s).


Can you already talk about your next project end of August? 

Most of the year, we're rehearsing two productions concurrently (it is one of cherished principles to rehearse a lot and over long periods of time).  Fanny, Macel Pagnol's second play in the Marseille (or Marius) Trilogy, is no exception to this principle.  We started rehearsing in February and will be rehearsing until the first curtain on August 14, and probably after that too...  Like Marius, Fanny is Pagnol at his best -- that is a subtle cocktail of hilarious exchanges on the background of a provincial tragedy.  All the characters from Marius reappear in Fanny, joined by new ones. Like last year, we intend to turn the Southside Theater into a celebration of Provence, with pétanque games in front of the theater and other activities inside.  Fanny will run until August 31 and tickets should already be available.  

Can you give us 5 addresses or events that you would recommend in SF to our readers (restaurants, cafes, theatres, hairdresser, dog keeper, grocery store, thriftshop... whatever you want and you like!)


For SF and East Bay:

Twentieth Century Café, 198 Gough Street

Gourmet & More, 141 Gough Street

Apple to Pomme English/French translation services, 415.806.4415

Keen Construction, general contractor


Suite Foods Waffle Shop, 331 Cortland Ave.


Karina's Lavender Products 707.480.4352

Snips Children Hair Salon, 5335 Colege Ave., Oakland

The Berkeley Alliance Française, 2004 Woolsey St., Berkeley

Royal Cleaners, 814 San Pablo Ave, Albany

European Books & Media, 6600 Shattuck Ave., Oakland



Oh yes, we forgot to ask. Are there subtitles (like closed captions) during the play?

No subtitles or captions, sorry, but I am positive everyone will "get it"... 




The Provoked Wife

Presented by GenerationTheatre

At the Southside Theater at Fort Mason Center

April 17 - May 4, 2014

To buy your tickets