Russian absurdist poet Daniil Kharms had a theater company he called Radix ("root" or "origin" in Latin), but it reportedly lasted only one day. The Oakland-based troupe with the same name has experienced better fortune, developing an eclectic repertoire since it was founded in 2013 by cellist/singer Marica Petrey. Rather than following the usual top-down approach, in which a company strives to execute the singular vision of a writer or director, RADIX gathers complementary performers — such as violinist/writer Eli Wirtschafter, actress Hannah Michahelles, or percussionist Mogli Maureal — to devise memorable, innovative, and accomplished plays, compositions, and films, from the bottom up. Often operating out of The Foundry, an industrial space in West Berkeley, this group of game young performers takes inspiration from sources as diverse as Frankenstein, Yukio Mishima, Shakespeare, and 18th century German folklore. RADIX blends songs, instrumentals, and avant-garde sketches to create theatrical experiences by turns moving, hilarious, baffling, and sublime.
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