EAST BAY TIMES -- He signed up for a theatre writing course at SFSU in 1999, “and the first day I knew that was where I belonged,” he said.
The detour has certainly paid off for Gardley and the theatre world. Nearly 20 years later, Gardley — who ended up studying theatre and African American studies at SFSU — is considered one of the top young playwrights on the West Coast. His plays, which often touch on civil rights, history, religion and the African American experience, have been extensively produced in the Bay Area and across the country. He’s captured such honors as the Glickman Award for best new Bay Area play and PEN/Laura Pels Award for outstanding drama.
And his stature seems poised to grow with his latest project — the world premiere of Paradise Square: A New Musical at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Gardley is part of a creative team that includes such A-list artists as writers Craig Lucas and Larry Kirwan, famed choreographer Bill T. Jones and director Moises Kaufman. The show opens in previews December 27, with its main run January 10 – February 17.