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Crosscurrents

Actress Nilaja Sun brings a New York family and hurricane to Bay Area audiences in 'Pike St'

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Teresa Castracane (cropped)
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Courtesty of Berkeley Rep
Nilaja Sun performing her one-woman show Pike St.

Actress Nilaja Sun has returned to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre with the West Coast debut of her one-woman show Pike St.

Theatre fans may remember her 2008 sold-out run of No Child. In Pike St, she takes us back to 2012 during Hurricane Sandy. The storm was one of the costliest in United States. history, causing 70 billion dollars in damages across 24 states back East. Nilaja invites audiences into the living room of a Puerto Rican family preparing for Sandy in New York City’s Lower East Side, while facing the storms in their own personal lives. From a war veteran battling PTSD to a bedridden child with a brain disease—Nilaja transforms into all of them.

"I wanted to write a play so that when [another hurricane] ever happens we would remember to help the elderly, help the people that are disabled."

KALW’s Jenee Darden spoke with the Obie Award winning actress backstage at the Berkeley Rep.

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She hosts the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds and covers East Oakland for KALW. Jenee has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.