The U.S. immigration department disappointed Bay Area performing arts lovers last year when visa issues forced San Franciscos Brava Theater Center to cancel the local premiere of an unprecedented American-Afghan theater collaboration. Happily, things have turned around since then. Having just appeared at the San Francisco International Arts Festival, New York's Bond Street Theatre and Afghanistan's Exile Theatre present their critically acclaimed play, Beyond the Mirror, at the Fury Factory theater festival this week, providing local audiences with not one but three opportunities to experience the haunting production exploring years of occupation and war in Afghanistan. During this years biennial, two-and-a-half-week-long festival, 17 theater ensembles and six dance theater companies from locales as far-flung as Liverpool, England, and Portland, Oregon, present their work. Further highlights include a play about queer Latinos living in Los Angeles during the Reagan era by the SoCal performance trio Butchlalis de Panochtitlan; a drama concerning the impact of a train crash on three individuals lives from the UKs Fools Proof Theatre Company; and a dark comedy dealing with a modern-day plague by the Brooklyn collective Under the Table. In addition to presenting full-scale productions, Fury Factory also features workshop presentations of the latest work by local favorites, including the Deborah Slater Dance Theatre and Just Theater.
June 9-27, 7 p.m., 2009