In Cal Rep’s Tribades Battle of the Sexes Still Rage On

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Night of Tribades at California Repertory Company

The Night of Tribades opens November 19.

California Repertory Company announces the opening of their second production of the season on November 19, The Night of the Tribades by Per Olov Enquist. Directed by Thomas Cooke, Tribades explores notorious Scandinavian playwright August Strindberg’s decaying personal life as it explodes onstage when the ultimate chauvinist is subjugated by his wife’s lesbian ecstasy.

“I have nothing, absolutely nothing against women. But would you want your daughter to marry one?!!”
– Per Olov Enquist, playwright

Artistic Director Joanne Gordon stresses the contemporary relevance of the play: “It’s exciting that a reflection of white, male domination set over a hundred years ago resonates so strongly today. As in the coming election, men still don’t know what to do with women who won’t play by their rules.”

The Night of Tribades is set at a rehearsal in a rotting Renaissance Theater, where the ever-present danger of falling sandbags and the rusting wheels and cogs of the stage machine are a perfect metaphor for the players’ disintegrating relationships.

Director Thomas Cooke gets to the heart of the play, “This is a turning point for all characters, culminating in a “Battle Royale” for Strindberg between not only a crumbling marriage but also the conventions of society that have trapped him in his male role. His desperation for the truth and inability to find it in the theater, his art and his own life is what leads to his madness.”

Cooke was artistic director of the Clarence Brown Theatre Company (LORT) for 12 years and the Nevada Conservatory Theatre for four years. Active in the development of international theatre partnerships, he is a past President of the Worldwide Training Committee of the International Theatre Institute/UNESCO and is a past Vice-President of the International Theatre Institute/USA. He has directed many international productions and produced events in five countries. He received his MFA from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Florida State University.

Cal Rep performances are in the Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary. The Night of Tribades runs Tuesday through Saturday, November 19-December 11 at 8 pm. Matinees are at 2 pm on Saturdays. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for students, military, and seniors (55 and older). For tickets and information please call (562) 985-5526 or visit

Parking at the Queen Mary is $8 for patrons of Cal Rep performances, $6 for CSULB students and patrons who have dinner aboard the ship. Long Beach Public Transit also runs directly to the Queen Mary.

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