Presented by Bob Ernst
(duration 60 minutes)
These performances of towards\away were made possible in part by the generous support of the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.
towards\away. The focus intensifies as the periphery disperses. Our hero is a stranger in a strange land. He finds himself running for his life in an alien landscape being pursued by something or someone he can’t quite make out. “Am I running towards, or am I running away or am I running towards away?” Fear, and a bit of the blues propels him further on into the desert, towards---? In the final moments, the periphery expands. a poetic narrative, accompanied by a percussion score and other exotic instrumentation, all rolled up tight into the personification of “one tiny, spec of hu-man”. Warning: he does get physical. Like the man says; “Do not go gentle into that good night.”
Rob Hurwitt of The San Francisco Chronicle has referred to Mr. Ernst as “a local treasure.” Robert is a co-founder of The Iowa Theater Lab (1968-1972). He did his first solo performance at 2019 Blake St. in Berkeley in 1973. In 1975, he co-founded The Blake St. Hawkeyes, a theater collective devoted to ensemble and the development of original works. During this time, he also created a half dozen more solo works. In 1984, he won a Dramalogue for best director and best over-all production for the musical, Tokens. In 1987, he performed a solo that lasted for for 24 hours and 12 minutes. Which was voted one of the “Best 10” performances of the year by Dennis Harvey/Boulevards. His pocket opera, Catherine’s Care at Alter-Theater was voted Best of the Year by The Guardian in 2007.
Some more traditionally based performances include: Road at the Eureka Theater, Speed of Darkness at Berkeley Rep., King-fish, Playland, Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, The Late Henry Moss(u.s. for Nick Nolte) at The Magic Theater, Audience at Life on the Water, Time of Your Life at ACT & Seattle Rep. Recently, he created another pocket opera, The Changer, which was produced by Alter Theater. Last Fall, he was in a movie with Christopher Lloyd (The Boat Builder). He is also a member of The band, Smooth Toad. All in all, Robert has been doing weird, original stuff as well as more traditionally based acting stuff, in addition to teaching this madness in & around The Bay for 42 years.