Lynne Kaufman – Poetic Justice

Lynne Kaufman’s
Poetic Justice

Returns to the Berkeley TheaterStage

Written by Lynne Kaufman
Directed by Sheila Balter
Performed by Lori Holt & Charles Shaw Robinson

Click for Tickets

Online ticket sales close 2 hours before each performance,
and additional tickets may be available for purchase at the door.

October 14 – November 5, 2023
Saturdays at 8pm | Sundays at 5pm

Show Information

Tickets: $25-35 Sliding Scale General Admission Seating | $50 & $100 Reserved Seating

Online ticket sales close 2 hours before each performance,
and additional tickets may be available for purchase at the door.

90 minutes | no intermission | Ages 12+
Please do not bring infants to the show
Content Advisories

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Health, Safety and COVID-19 Information
Our commitment to our patrons

Face Masks and Proof of Vaccination no longer required

About the Show

Poetic Justice is an evening of two literary 1 act plays  that passionately celebrate the literary life. 

 In You Must Change Your Life, discover how Ranier Maria Rilke mentors a young poet and his letters become legendary.

In Divine Madness, explore the tempestuous marriage of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Hardwick, whom he betrays in life and literature.

The Book

Divine Madness is a novelization and expanded version of the play in the form of Elizabeth Hardwick’s fictional diary. It was published by Tailwinds Press in 2022 and is currently nominated for this year’s best fiction by the Northern California Book Awards. Divine Madness will be available for $15 as a prepaid item during ticket purchase.

About the Artists

Charles Shaw Robinson (actor) His work for BRT includes the roles of the Father in Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice and Milton in Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul. Other favorite roles include Leonard in Seminar and Sorn in Stupid F**king Bird (both for the San Francisco Playhouse); Shag in Equivocation (Marin Theatre Company); Iago in Othello (California Shakespeare Theatre); and Henri in Magic Fire, directed by Jack O’Brien (Berkeley Repertory Theatre/Old Globe). Regional Theatre credits include the title roles in Hamlet (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Pericles (Centerstage, Baltimore) Scaramouche (The Empty Space Theatre, Seattle), and Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Word for Word, San Francisco). He was last seen in New York in the American premiere of Frank McGuinness’s Gates of Gold at 59E59 Theaters.  He was honored to be a part of Public Enemy: Flint (Unicorn Theatre) for and with the residents of Flint, Michigan.


Lorri Holt (actor) A longtime leading actress in the SF Bay Area, Holt was a company member for ten years with SF’s groundbreaking Eureka Theatre, where she was featured in more than two dozen productions, and originated the role of Harper Pitt in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.  Ms. Holt’s regional and international theatre credits include Berkeley Rep, American Conservatory Theater, The Wilma in Philadelphia, Birmingham Rep (England), London’s Barbican Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Actors Theater of Louisville, The Rave Festival (NYC), San Francisco Playhouse, San Jose Rep, TheatreWorks, MTC, The Aurora, & long-running commercial productions in San Francisco.  Most recent regional credits: Bertha in Wintertime at Berkeley Rep, and Jackie in Shoot Me When… at San Francisco Playhouse, both in 2021.

Lorri originated the title role in the solo show Who Killed Sylvia Plath? by Lynne Kaufman, at The Marsh in S.F., which received an award for Best Full-Length Performance at the Marsh International Solo Festival in 2020.  She also has her own solo show, Colette Uncensored, about the life & work of the famous French writer, which she co-wrote with poet & translator Zack Rogow.  Colette Uncensored has been performed at The Marsh (SF & Berkeley), London’s Canal Café Theatre, Cerimon House in Portland, at SF’s beautiful Presidio Theatre (2022) and most recently, this summer, at The LIFEs festival in Jakarta & Yogyakarta, Indonesia.  The show was nominated for Best Solo Production and Best Solo Performance by Theater Bay Area & BATCC.

Ms. Holt holds a BA in Theatre from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Writing & Literature from Bennington College in Vermont.  She has published award-winning short stories, as well as feature-length articles in American Theatre magazine. She is at work on a memoir about her ten years as a company actress with The Eureka Theatre in its heyday.

Lynne Kaufman (playwright) is the author of twenty full length plays and four novels, most recently “Divine Madness”. She has had numerous plays  premiered at The Marsh including “Acid Test”, “Two Minds” and “Who Killed Sylvia Plath”, which won best play in The Marsh’s International Solo Festival.

Her play “Daisy in the Dreamtime” was presented by The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles  as a recipient of a Hot Properties Grant from the L.A. Arts Council and  The A.S.K. Foundation    It had its New York City   premiere at The Abingdon Theatre and its university premiere at S.F. State University as the recipient of the  Rella Lossy Playwright’s Award. “Daisy in the Dreamtime” was published in Women Playwrights: Best New Plays and by Dramatic Publishing.  She was  the recipient of The Otis Guernsey Outstanding New Voice in American Theatre Award from The William Inge Theatre Festival.  Her play “William Blake in Hollywood” won The Neil Simon Festival Theatre’s best comedy award.

Her play “Fakes” premiered at Florida Studio Theatre and was optioned for film by 20th Century Fox and for television by Jean Doumanian Productions. “Shooting Simone” premiered at Actors Theatre of Louisville  Humana Festival and received six subsequent regional productions. It was published by Dramatic Publishing.

Four of her plays premiered at The Magic Theatre including “The Couch”, which won The Glickman Award for Best New Play in San Francisco and “Speaking in Tongues”, which  won a  Kennedy Center/NEA/  Fund for New  American Plays Award.  Her play “Our Lady of the Desert” won Theatreworks ‘Best New Play in California Award”.


Sheila Balter (Director) is a core company member of Word for Word who last directed HOME by George Saunders which ran at ZSpace and then toured France. Other directing credits with the company include In the Garden of the North American Martyrs by Tobias Wolff, 4 Adverbs by Daniel Handler (chapters from his book Adverbs), The Islanders by Andrew Sean Greer (LitQuake & France tour), The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (chapters for school tour),Holiday HIgh Jinx: short works by Damon Runyon, Joseph Mitchell, and E.B. White, and The Kugelmass Episode by Woody Allen (City Arts & Lectures).  She has directed for Encore Theatre Company, Brava for Women in the Arts, and  California Shakespeare Theater.  Sheila also works as a Bay Area actress, teacher and coach.