HOME > Season Archives > 2006 - 2007 Season > Balm in Gilead



Balm in Gilead

By Lanford Wilson
Directed by Kim Rubinstein

@ Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre

May 17 – 26, 2007

About the Play

The Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD OnStage) is pleased to present Lanford Wilson’s first full-length play inspired by conversations he overheard in the New York City cafés he frequented in the early 1960’s. Professor Kim Rubinstein leads a company of talented actors and designers drawn from the Undergraduate Program in Theatre. MFA candidate and Production Stage Manager Jinny Parron leads undergraduate stage managers in running the production.

Set in New York City’s Upper Broadway neighborhood, Balm in Gilead is a grim, non-redeeming three-day look into the lives of the 1960’s drug dealers, prostitutes, junkies, and hustlers who are either prey or preyed upon in Frank’s greasy-spoon diner.  The play, first produced in 1964, featured many unconventional theatrical devices in its off-Broadway debut. Overlapping dialogue, simultaneous scenes and mostly unsympathetic lead characters were just some of the devices that Wilson would continue to develop in his long-standing career as one of America’s foremost playwrights.


About the Author

Lanford Eugene Wilson is a pioneer of the Off-Off-Broadway and regional theatre movements, Born in Lebanon, Missouri in 1937, Wilson attended schools in Missouri, briefly in San Diego (SDSU), and Chicago before moving in 1962 to New York where his plays were produced regularly at Off-Off-Broadway theatres such as Caffe Cino and La Mama Experimental Theatre Company.  Along with long-time associate Marshall W. Mason and others, he founded the Circle Theatre (later Circle Repertory Company), a regional theatre in New York City.

Wilson won a 1980 Pulitzer Prize for the second play of this cycle of plays about the effects of war on a Missouri family, Talley’s Folly. Other plays in the series are The 5th of July, A Tale Told, and Talley’s Son.

About the Director

Director Kim Rubinstein has been actively directing at theatres nationally since 1977. Most recently, she served as the Associate Artistic Director at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut where she directed such works as Noel Coward's Private Lives, Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, and the musical, Guys and Dolls. With a keen interest in new works as well as the classics, she has also directed Jeff Carey's Pan and Boone in Chicago and The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow in Portland and San Jose. Prior to her appointment at the Long Wharf, Professor Rubinstein taught acting at Northwestern University for ten years where she helped shape its highly successful undergraduate acting program. She received three Helen Hayes Awards for her production of Baby with the Bathwater at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, and an After Dark Award in Chicago for Pan and Boone. She was also nominated for the prestigious Alan Schneider Award for Excellence in Directing. Professor Rubinstein joined the UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance this season and will be offering substantial leadership in the provisioning of the undergraduate acting curriculum.


The Cast

The Creative Team

Joseph Baker
Joey Bever
Matt Black
Stanley Brode
Frank Cheng
Mira Chhoeur
Jared Dager
Sara Gephart
Daniel Gordh
Viva Guerrero
Christine Herde


Brian Kelly
Daniel Kim
Donald McKee
Evie Rodriguez
Matt Samuel
Caroline Scippa
Nate Snyder
Nina Sung
Camille Thornton-Allison
Gali Weissberger

Undergraduate students: 
Giao-Chau Ly (Scenic Designer)
Kanoko Takagi (Costume Designer)
Matthew Bright (Lighting Designer)
Scott Nielsen (Sound Designer)

MFA student, Jinny Parron (Production Stage Manager)


May 17, 8 pm Preview
May 18, 8 pm Opening
May 19, 2 pm
May 19, 8 pm
May 24, 8 pm
May 25, 8 pm
May 26, 8 pm


Located at: Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre

Parking Pass Required: Monday through Friday, and are available from attendants on duty at the UCSD Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse one hour before show time.  Cost: $3.00 per vehicle.

Pass Not Required: Saturday, Sunday, and UCSD-observed holidays. 


Advance tickets for this production are available Monday-Friday, noon to 6 pm by calling the Box Office at 858.534.4574 or in person at the Theatre District’s Central Box Office at the Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre. 

At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office at the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre.


General Admission: $15
UCSD Faculty/Staff and Seniors (over 62): $12
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10
*Preview performance on Thursday, May17 th at 7:00pm is offered at the reduced ticket prices of $12/$10/$8

Reserve Tickets

Complimentary Tickets (UCSD Theatre & Dance Department Faculty/Students/Staff ONLY)
Single Ticket Orders
Main Stage non-subscription tickets (PDF)
    Second Stage Black Box Limited Seating Tickets (PDF)

Production Photos


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