Train Stories

@ The Marsh Berkeley

Sunday September 24, 2023

Ongoing (please specify)

07:30 PM - 9:00 pm

Train Stories  delivers a runaway locomotive of a play that pulses with the mesmerizing rhythms, dreams, and contradictions of being a black man in America. It’s 1948 America, the post-war pre-civil rights period that saw so many African-Americans leaving the south, Jim Crow and our country’s legacy of slavery only to find…they may be better off with the devil they know.

Get a drink at the bar before or after the show and browse the photo gallery by Dianne Woods. Dianne is a well known East Bay Artist who has focused her keen eye on local musicians and performers. Wayne Harris and Dianne have had a long collaboration over the years with various projects from her portrait series to artwork for Wayne’s earlier productions. The photos are inspired and informed by Train Stories. The play takes place in 1948 in a post-war, pre-civil rights era America. Three African-American men connected to the railroad tell their version of a tragic event and in the “telling” reveal the truths, realities and challenges of the great migration of Black folks from the south. Dianne’s work, featured in the play, perfectly captures the period, the romanticism of the railroad and the soul of these three storytellers.

About the Performers

Wayne Harris is an award-winning solo performer, writer, educator, curriculum innovator and musician. His plays include “Mother’s Milk”, “The May Day Parade” and “Jockamo” A gifted artist with wide ranging interests Wayne is passionate about storytelling that combines his lived experience with hopeful declarations for the future. Wayne was invited by the U.S. State Department to travel to the Middle East and perform his play, The Letter; Martin Luther King at the Crossroads. Having just retired from being Program Director for The Marsh Youth Theater in San Francisco,  serving underprivileged students in after-school programs, Wayne now travels extensively throughout the U.S. providing “Improvisation & Performance” workshops for Youth Pageantry groups (marching bands, dance teams etc.) In addition, he is currently a facilitator for FIPPP, an exciting and important project guiding formerly incarcerated adults in creating, producing and performing their stories and partnering with Berkeley Rep in bringing storytelling to programs in San Francisco Jails.

Tony Cyprien, found the stage through improv 11 years ago. Supportive teachers nudged him toward the stage where he won his first MOTH StorySlam and created a new story for the GrandSlam. He  would go on to be invited to two Moth Mainstage performances and for selection on NPR Moth Radio. Other invited storytelling performances of original material included “Bay Area Storytelling Hijacked” (BASH) at Shotgun Players Theater and the “Gather” where invited storytellers collaborated with BATS improvisers. Support, encouragement, and collaboration have included the Marin Shakespeare Company’s Returned  Citizens Theater Troupe and the Formerly Incarcerated People’s Performance Project. He appreciates the early opportunities for solo work at Solo Sundays at Stage Werx and at Marsh Theater through Monday Night Marsh and Tell it On Tuesday as well as other venues throughout the Bay Area.

Kirk Waller plays the role of John Henry in Train Stories, is excited to be a part of this production. Kirk has been involved in storytelling, solo performance and theatre for over 25 years. Recently Kirk played Troy Maxson in Pittsburg Theatre Company’s production of August Wilson’s Fences, which he won Best Performer in a Play (Broadway World 2022). His performances has carried him across across the country and beyond. Kirk is a proud papa of two young men and is recently remarried!

Sunday September 24, 2023

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Cover: $25.00

Various Cover: $25.00 - $35.00

Kirk Waller, The Marsh Berkeley, Tony Cyprien, Train Stories, Train Stories at The Marsh Berkeley, Wayne Harris