Thursday, June 3, 2010

TERRORiSTKA burns brightly to the end

It's been a little more than 2 weeks since Terroristka closed and the Thresholders are still feeling the glow. What an incredible process, a beautiful production, and a memorable journey.

Thank you to all who made our first full-length production possible. We could not have done it with out you.

Threshold is so happy to say that we played to capacity houses throughout the run and that we covered all of our costs and paid all of our artists. More than that, we grew our community -- both artists and audience.

The Thresholders are also very excited about the next steps for Threshold. We have a number of announcements about our upcoming projects that we will make shortly.

Until then...still enjoying the afterglow.

Photo by Clay Robeson. Picture above from clockwise from left to right: Addie Ulrey, Alison Ostendorf, Molly Holcomb, Andy Strong, Geof Libby, Kate Jopson, Jessica Holt, Adrienne Krug, Sarah Rose Butler, and Alex Curtis

Monday, May 17, 2010

TERRORiSTKA Production Photos

Threshold is super duper stoked about the new production photos taken by Clay Robseon of TERRORiSTKA which just closed yesterday to a sold-out house, a standing ovation and a shower of rose petals.

To see the full album, click on

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Passion of TERRORiSTKA

Threshold presents the World Premiere of the heartbreaking poetic docudrama TERRORiSTKA by Rebecca Bella, directed by Jessica Holt.

April 30 - May 16, 2010
The Berkeley City Club Theatre
2315 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

For more photos: CLICK HERE

All photos by Clay Robeson.
If you use these photos anywhere, please credit

No reprinting without written permission.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TERRORiSTKA ignites the stage April 30th - May 16

The clock is ticking. It is just a matter of weeks until Threshold’s World Premiere of the heartbreaking poetic docudrama TERRORiSTKA by Rebecca Bella, directed by Jessica Holt, ignites the stage.


TERRORiSTKA marks Threshold’s inaugural production as a fully self-producing theatre company. After producing seven critically-embraced and audience-adored plays at festivals over the last two years, Threshold is thrilled to make its solo debut at the Berkeley City Cub, April 30th – May 16th, 2010.

TERRORiSTKA tells the true story of a young Chechen woman who attempts to flee her war-ravaged country by joining a rebel faction that trains her as a suicide bomber. As the play tracks this woman’s journey from the Caucasus mountains to the crowded streets of Moscow, it contemplates her passage from innocence to menace and finally to an understanding of her own tragedy. On a broader scale, it examines how young people can become entangled in violence and enable the conflicts that destroy their lives. This expressionist drama is an important examination of the psychology of suicide bombers, as well as a serious meditation on women’s involvement in war.


TERRORiSTKA began five years ago when Rebecca Bella was on a Fulbright Scholarship in St. Petersburg, Russia. While there, Rebecca discovered the story of 22 year-old Zarema Muzhakhoyeva who was captured by Russian police after she refused to carry out her suicide mission and walked away from a bomb in front of a crowded cafĂ©. Because the bomb she had abandoned killed an FSB operative assigned to disarm it, Zarema was tried as a criminal in Russian court. And a very rare narrative was revealed: the testimony of a suicide bomber. Rebecca was drawn to Zarema’s story and a play was born.

Three years later, the play found SF-based theatre director Jessica Holt, and her company Threshold. With Jessica at the helm, Threshold welcomed the project of further developing TERRORiSTKA for the stage.

Now, TERRORiSTKA is on the brink of gorgeous theatrical realization! A multidisciplinary theatrical event, combining verse, song, choreography and visual art, this beautifully moving play examines terrorism, globalization, traditional cultures, motherhood and truth.


Director Jessica Holt (Artistic Director, Threshold and Artistic Director, Three Wise Monkeys) helms TERRORiSTKA at The Berkeley City Club (2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA), April 30th – May 16th 2010. The production will feature sound design by Gregory Scharpen (Resident Sound Designer, Central Works), costume Design by Tammy Berlin (Resident Costume Designer, Central Works), scenic design by Chad Owens, lighting design by Alison Ostendorf, movement choreography by Marilee Talkington.


Founded by Jessica Holt, Alex Curtis and Pamela Davis, Threshold: theatre on the verge is a dynamic new company emerging on the Bay Area scene. Grown out of a UC Berkeley directors’ workshop, Threshold is dedicated to creating bold, beautiful theater. Threshold challenges artists and audiences to imagine the edges of the possible in a process-based environment that embraces risk, growth and change. Our work is surprising and immediate and embraces the poetry of language and physical space.


Artistic Director Jessica Holt: “Threshold was founded on the shared belief that theatremaking is alive with risk, alive with language, metaphor, material bodies, and emotional expression. At its best, theatre creates a kind of alchemy of time and space, where imagination is encouraged to take flight. Rebecca Bella’s TERRORiSTKA perfectly complements our vision and mission. We are so proud to be the first company to produce Rebecca’s important play.”


Sunday, March 21, 2010

TERRORiSTKA: Spotlight on Rebecca Bella


Rebecca Bella is a poet, playwright, and translator. She received her BA from Brown University in 2002, and an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2005. Upon graduation from Brown, with a degree in Comparative Literature, she received both Brown’s Pushkin Prize and the Michael Harper Prize, the latter for the creation of the artists' book Sweet Homeland, based on a reading of Tolstoy's War and Peace. In 2003, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue Russian poetry translation in St. Petersburg, a project that would result in the documentary film "Poets Address: St. Petersburg" (2008). She continued her writing at Boston University, where she studied poetry with Robert Pinsky, translation with Rosanna Warren, and playwriting in the Playwrights’ Theatre with Derek Walcott.

Rebecca’s poetry has appeared in 236, Poets 11 an anthology of San Francisco poets selected by city laureate Jack Hirschman, Left Curve and various small publications. Her translations have been published in various journals including, A Public Space and The Saint Petersburg Review, and in As It Turned Out, a book of poetry by Dmitri Golynko, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008. She also participated in the San Francisco International Poetry Festival of 2009 as a Russian translator. An early version of her play TERRORiSTKA was published in The Oregon Literary Review in 2007, and she is currently working on a new play and a book of poems. Rebecca teaches Writing Composition and World Literature at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


First Rehearsal of TERRORiSTKA
by playwright/poet extraordinaire Rebecca Bella began with a bang last night.

Our stellar cast -- Kate Jopson, Sarose Butler, Alex Curtis, Geof Libby, Molly Holcomb, Adrienne Krug, and Andy Strong attacked the first read-through with dynamic energy and play.

It was a strong, fun, surprisingly funny first read that revealed the heart of this moving, true-life story of a young Chechen woman who, in an attempt to flee her war-ravaged country, joins a rebel faction that trains her as a suicide bomber.

We pondered the face of Zarema Muzhihoyeva (above) and the image that started Rebecca on her playmaking journey. We recognized that under different life circumstances, we could be her.

This is a play about mistakes. What mistakes do we make that we can't take back? How do we unmake our mistakes? How do we take back the past and remake the future?

Rebecca was on hand to give us a deeper glimpse into the world. A Russian scholar and translator, she is an invaluable resource for us as we begin to construct this haunting world.

We listened to the Chechen separatist anthem which begins the play, the Russian lullaby that breathes within it, and the Russian pop song that pervades it:

The play barrels down the tracks like a freight train, picking up speed as it hurtles itself to the pressure point. On the other side, we realize that a story that at first seemed foreign now seems familiar and very much our own.

Looking forward to Day Two.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rave Reviews for BOA offerings from Threshold and Playpen!

We couldn't be more excited about the positive reception for the two short plays Threshold and our sister company Playpen have contributed to the 9th Annual Bay One Acts Festival (BOA).

Audiences and critics have been unanimous in their praise and affection for the The Catcher in the Rye, Cancelled by Jon Brooks and Three Little Words by Tim Bauer, directed by Artistic Director Jessica Holt and Core Member Alex Curtis, respectively.

The SF Bay Times calls Catcher a "well-staged riotous parody" and the eight-member acting ensemble" don't miss a beat. Three Little Words is "truly hilarious and not to be missed."

Check out Linda Ayres-Frederick's comprehensive SF Bay Times review for a full recap:

Congratulations all!

Photos: Clay Robeson

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Threshold is Newly Fiscally Sponsored by CounterPulse!

Threshold is thrilled to announce that it has been accepted into the CounterPULSE Fiscal Sponsoship Program! We are so excited to be part of the CounterPulse family.

To learn more about CounterPulse, click here:

Look for more information about what this all means for us and our upcoming production of TERRORiSTKA soon!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Threshold Announces Cast Line-Up for Terroristka

Threshold is so pleased to announce our cast for Terroristka by Rebecca Bella, to play at Berkeley City Club May 3-16, 2010.

Zarema Sarah Rose Butler
Jailbird Kate Jopson
Mohamed Geof Libby
Rustan Alex Curtis*
Fatima Adrienne Krug
Lena Molly Holcomb
Official Shadow Andy Strong**

* Threshold Core Member
** Currently playing in the Threshold piece Catcher in the Rye adapted by Jon Brooks to open at BOA 9 at Boxcar Theatre, SF Feb 18 - Mar 13, 2010

This is an incredible group of people! Threshold is honored to work with them, many of whom are new to Threshold. The one thing that unites us all is a passionate commitment to this rich material.

Rehearsals begin in March!

More soon....