“The Anthrax Factory” to Premiere on Bay Area Stage in April

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Flyer for The Anthrax Factory, a romantic comedy by John Christgau, directed by Hal Gelb. The play opens April 21, 2016 at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, CA

SAN MATEO, Calif. February 1, 2016--The Anthrax Factory: A Romantic Comedy, an original play by award-winning author John Christgau and directed by Hal Gelb premieres on the San Francisco Peninsula on April 21, 2016 at the Little Theater at Hillsdale High School (3115 Del Monte St., San Mateo, CA 94403).

The play runs each night at 7 p.m. through April 23. Tickets are $20 general seating and can be purchased at the door.

The Anthrax Factory: A Romantic Comedy follows the 25th Interrogation Brigade operating at a military prison for suspected Iraqi terrorists. The play’s heroine, Mary, is a young interrogation specialist who concocts a plan to tunnel out of the unfenced Brigade as a symbolic protest and floats rumors of the tunnel to unsettle her harsh and paranoid commanding officer. To further aggravate him, she creates rumors that the prisoners are secretly weaponizing anthrax. As Mary works furiously to feed the rumors and carry on a relationship with a bookish. hypochondriacal enlisted man, the awful realities of the torture of suspected terrorists fuse into a comic nightmare featuring a unique cast of characters.

Christgau and Gelb previously collaborated in 2003 on three one-act plays—“Zip,” “The White Line,” and “The Master Tailor’s Wife,” about the treatment of people of German, Italian and Japanese heritage during the Second World War. The plays were performed under a grant from The California Civil Liberties Public Education Project.

In the past decade, Christgau has published seven works of non-fiction with the University of Nebraska Press. The Bay Area author’s novel Spoon won the Society of Midland Authors prize for Best Fiction. His prizewinning historical monograph Collins Versus The World has been published worldwide, and Mower Count Poems, underwritten in part with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, appeared in 1998.

Hal Gelb has worked in theater, television, print media and film as director, writer, producer and dramaturg. Gelb’s media work has been shown by PBS, KQED, KTVU, KOFY, New York's Museum of Modern Art, the SF Film Festival, the Brussels Conference on the Environment and UN agencies. He has been The Nation’s West Coast theater critic.

The Anthrax Factory: A Romantic Comedy is funded by grants from the Haven Foundation and the Diamond Park Trust.

For more information, visit www.johnchristgau.com, or email jchristgau@aol.com