The Reviews Are In!

Read what audiences have to say about Gritty City Rep's theatrical excellence!

Black Salt was beautiful, people were in tears... Robert Paige and Lindsay Krumbein have again written a very clear and conscious show, with a powerful sense of justice and understanding that crosses community borders.”

--Bob Kayodama, Hive Member

“Amazing. There is a clear political commitment but at no point are you being lectured at. Instead, the difficult subject of police brutality is addressed through letting us see a black officer wrestle with her conscience, and the survivor's guilt of the brother of the victim. Sometimes political theatre can hammer us over the head with the message, but here the message is subtle, told with humor, and makes us think about how these issues reverberate through peoples' families."

--Sam Davis, UCOP

“The show was incredibly moving and so relevant to what is happening in our community and in the country right now. The performances blew me away and I was so impressed with the level of emotion in each of the actors. It was raw and beautiful. I loved it!”

--Laura Durand, Oakland Educator

“Sexy. Hilarious. Witty. Fresh. Two hours of gorgeousness. An inspiring breath of fresh air from the typical dreary Shakespeare, starring identities that are far too underrepresented in mainstream media, or even the Bay Area play scene. The set is dynamic and original. The costumes are eye candy. Not only was I impressed by the level of talent and commitment in the young actors, I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. This was by far my favorite interpretation of The Taming of the Shrew. Gritty City nailed it again.”

--Cara McKelvey Phillips, Drama Therapist

“The play was astounding. I was amazed that Gritty City Rep fearlessly took on one of the most difficult Shakespeare plays to put in front of a modern audience. The performers re-contextualized Taming of the Shrew and completely flipped the way I thought about this play on it's head. But best of all, it was hilarious all the way through.”

--Chris Clayman

“I found myself laughing through the entire show until it was over before I knew it! Now that's great theatre, when you lose yourself within the art!"

--Frankie Peterson, III, Professional Dancer

I haven’t been able to stop talking about this play since I saw it last week. I am still processing days later after seeing such a painful and real story told and held by young African American men and women. The players illuminated how our American system and way of life has been dependent upon dehumanizing people, Africans in particular.  I am still sitting on the edge of  my seat, trying to figure out what direction I need to run in to help create change.  This story needs to be told, over and over again.  Especially on Broadway. #ILOVEGRITTYCITYREP.”

--Janine Greer, Mental Health Specialist, Berkeley City College

“This was my first GCR production but most definitely not my last. The actors were incredibly professional and talented, and Reggie’s story moved me to tears.  Everyone needs to see this!”

--Gabriella Momah, professional actor

Caught Up is a powerful, artistically expressive and emotionally moving piece. It’s critical of the prison industrial complex and presents real life dynamic characters, weaving together the lives of those most impacted by incarceration, and the power, resiliency and strength of the human experience."

--Falilah Aisha Bilal, National Black Women's Justice Institute

“Massively entertaining, wildly funny, nuanced and electrifying - I haven’t laughed so hard at a show EVER! It was truly, truly brilliant. And my friends absolutely loved it too. Said GCR's A Midsummer Night's Dream was the best Shakespeare they’ve seen.  Top-notch performances by these young and incredibly talented actors.”

--Cara Phillips, graduate student

“The players in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Gritty City Rep are fearless performers and flawless storytellers.  The production itself is audacious, charming, and a rollicking good time!”

--Shaina Wagner, theatre educator in Richmond

“Entertaining, filled with dazzling creativity, funny, and just a JOY to behold. I am always astounded by the deep talent of these amazing youth. Definitely go out to see A Midsummer Night's Dream! It's an opportunity to support young artists of color here in Oakland!”

--Regina Evans, owner of Regina's Door in Oakland

"New World Disorder was fire! GCR told this story with so much truth and humor. This is the type of theater that excites me!"

--Kehinde Koyejo, professional actor and CEO of the Artist Self-Care Guide


"If you've ever seen a Gritty City show, you'll LOVE New World Disorder! If you've never seen a GCR show, you'll drop your jaw with laughter and awe when you see what this young company has created. Brava, GCR! Best production yet!

--Aldo Billingslea, professional actor and director


"Gritty City’s plays are always poignant and thought-provoking, and New World Disorder is no exception. It left me thinking about my relationship to technology and with the people I care about. This play is also illuminating for me as an educator in understanding my students’ relationships that may develop in the virtual realm. I’m left with a resounding reminder of the importance of human touch in a digital world."

--Jamie Treacy, visual artist and Oakland educator


"For the past 4 years, I've brought my students to see the GCR winter production and once again, with their new show, my students have been blown away. New World Disorder is not just funny, exciting and entertaining, but like so many of Gritty City's productions, it feels necessary."

--Norman Patrick Johnson, theatre artist and Berkeley educator 

"I saw Gritty City Rep's Playfight today and was so impressed. These young men and women blow me away every time and the show's message is relevant and powerful."

--Elizabeth Blevins, Teacher, Oakland

"Huge props to the young adults who brought this compelling and honest story to life. See Playfight! Recommend recommend recommend!"

--David Hunt, Prescott Circus Theatre, Oakland

"Still thinking about Playfight's message about the bravery it can take to ask for help, and give it in return. GCR's actors are an inspiration!!!!!"

--Joel Key, Principal, Oakland

"Thank you so much for the tickets to see your FANTASTIC-KICKASS-SHOW. I loved it and so needed to be in Miami, even just for 2 1/2 hours, in Oakland, lol. The cast of Comedy of Errors were phenomenal! The direction was flawless and the play was funny as hell. I couldn't stop laughing. You are definitely top on my list of kick ass directors in the Bay. Looking forward to seeing MORE!  BRAVO. BRAVO. BRAVO!"  

---Kehinde Koyejo, Artist Self-Care Guide, Oakland 


"The Comedy of Errors was a fantastic.  I was particularly impressed with the quality of the performances and the level of physical acting required to bring the energy of this play to life.  After the play I looked for other, perhaps more traditional versions of the play performed by "professionals and university level actors"... Yours was clearly better.  More innovative, more entertaining, and frankly more interesting.  Keep up the good work"   

---Albert Dyrness, ADVENT Engineering Services, Hayward

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Oakland, CA 94612