"Few shows can be described as riveting but Off Broadway West’s Bay Area premiere production of The Train Driver by Athol Fugard fits that description precisely."...Linda Ayers-Frederick, SFBATCC

"Two superb actors, Conor Hamill and Melvin Thompson, will keep you on the edge of your seat...This is excellent theatre"...Charles Jarrett, Rossmoor News, SFBATCC

"All of the actors in this wonderful cast bring a new refreshingly, solid meaning to the phrase ensemble acting. Richard Harder's direction is precise and effective"...Flora Lynn Isaacson, SFBATCC

"Ghost, both alive and dead, are haunting the stage at the Phoenix Theatre in Conor McPherson's "The Weir" thanks to some splendid acting of the five member cast and excellent direction of Richard Harder"...Richard Connema, Talking Broadway, SFBATCC
  Jocelyn Stringer as Valerie
Adam Simpson as Brendan
Shane Fahy as Finbar
Keith Burkland as Jack
Brian O'Connor as Jim
Adam Simpson as Brendan
Shane Fahy as Finbar
  Photo Credit: Hiromi Yoshida

"The betrayal Pinter explores is far more complex than the standard love triangle and Director Richard Harder exposes its multiple facets with the precision of a diamond cutter" ...Flora Lynn Isaacson, SFBATCC

"If you enjoy intimate theater where acting is an art, you don't want to miss BETRAYAL at the Phoenix on Mason and Geary" ...Jeffrey R. Smith, SFBATCC
  Brian O'Connor as Jerry
Sylvia Kratins as Emma
Keith Burkland as Robert
Brian O'Connor as Jerry
  Photo Credit: Adam Simpson

Master Harold

"...The superb acting, and direction of Richard Harder, keep the complex staging and dialogue of these sequences flowing seamlessly together with a natural simplicity."
Greg Alonzo, “Stark Insider”

"The trio of actors are magnificently cast...

The absolute purity of the actors' portrayals, is astounding.  It's a treat to be up close and personal in this 50-seat comfortable theater... Kudos to Director Richard Harder for assembling such a finely-tuned ensemble cast...

It's a rare chance to see this timeless play by Athol Fugard."
Cari Lynn Pace, “For All Events"

"Lamont Ridgell is perfect for the role and his rise to anger is palpable as he abandons physicality and inflicts his wounds with words of understanding. Anthony Rollins-Mullins makes the most of his minor role and is a perfect foil as the subservient black who knows his place and always refers to “Master Harold.” Adam Simpson shows true hate in his externalizing his violent inner nature. It is so real, that one wonders if there ever will be reconciliation with Sam."
`MASTER HAROLD'...and the boys fly high at the Phoenix Theatre Kedar K. Adour, MD. “For All Events”

"Five Stars for  ‘Master Harold’…and the boys  at Off Broadway West……. Run, don't walk to see this fine production!"
Flora Lynn Issaacson, "For All Events"

Indulgences in the Louisville Harem by John Orlock

“Paul Stout is marvelous as the flimflam artist Winfield Davis... ...Kim Saunders is stunning as Viola Becker... ...Great costuming by Sylvia Kratins and a stunning set design by Bert van Aalsburg... ...Richard Harder shows an exacting attention to detail rarely evidenced in contemporary theater: this is a piece of art that should not be missed.”
- Jeffrey R Smith - San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle

“In many ways, this production works such magic that it embodies what the best of theatre is all about.  This is a world and people that will continue to live on in my mind… as I continue to ponder the surprise ending.”
- Cy Ashley Webb - StarkInsider

“Both Jocelyn Stringer and Kim Saunders give moving performances as the two sisters with superb Kentucky accents.  Under the meticulous direction of Richard Harder, a good balance was achieved between the extremes of comedy of the con men and the melancholy of the two sisters"
“Richard Harder's direction was crisp, clean and concise.  Indulgences In the Louisville Harem is a natural for the Off Broadway West Theatre Company where the direct addresses to the audience and the comic turns capitalize the theater's intimacy."
- Flora Lynn Isaacson

San Francisco Chronicle - Read article...

A night with Harold Pinter: THE DUMB WAITER and THE LOVER

Hedda Gabler

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"...An excellent production with superb acting."

"...Richard Harder directs Ibsen’s masterpiece with both clarity and careful attention to detail. The play is so closely knit… not one word - nor one silence - is superfluous."
San Francisco Bay Times

"...Palmtag and Harder have artistically conspired to create a Hedda that is as emotionally glacial as a February fjord and as turbid as the winter waters of the North Atlantic."
Reviewed by Jeffrey R Smith of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle

How The Other Half Loves

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“It's a comedy of mounting misunderstandings set off by one affair that engulfs three couples, each from a different English social class. …..the show's bright moments build steadily…..In the end, the women prevail. …… ‘Other Half’ ends on a high note.”
Rob Hurwitt / SF Chronicle

“How refreshing it was, then, to see a decidedly improper production of Alan Ayckbourn’s How The Other Half Loves, produced by Off Broadway West Theatre Company and currently running at the Phoenix Theatre. By dispensing with the subtlety imperative and embracing the script’s existing lunacy, director Richard Harder gives us an uproarious, and eminently theatrical, comedy of errors.”
Lily Janiak / SF Bay Times

The extreme novelty of this production shows the couples in the same space as though they were in separate housing. The brilliant direction depicts lively actors becoming frozen statues in the same room, ignoring each other and coming back to life for the next relevant action.
Albert Goodwyn / Examiner.com

“Off Broadway West Theatre Company's production, smoothly helmed by Richard Harder, makes the most of the complex staging as both time and space collapse over intersecting dining tables.”
Robert Avila / SF Bay Guardian

The Beauty Of The Father

“Rarely does this much recognized success and promising new talent all converge within an intimate theater like the Phoenix of San Francisco. With such a superlative cast, it is difficult to discern where prudent casting ends and great directing by Richard Harder begins.
    Natasha Chacon is the Aspidistra that keeps BEAUTY OF THE FATHER flying. As Marina, she is absolutely endearing: exuberant and courageous, while as vulnerable and fragile as a tundra flower.
    Great performances by Chris Holland as the compromised Karim and Durand Garcia as the Artist Emiliano, round out this superb cast.
    If you enjoy intelligent theater that is exotic, romantic, emotional and as richly complex as Catalonian sangria, then BEAUTY OF THE FATHER is not to be missed.”

Jeffrey R Smith, San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle
- February 2010

“There's some piquancy to the unraveling of this romantic ménage, and real poetry in the language and perspective afforded through the magical realistic presence of Lorca...
    ...Artistic director Richard Harder helms a strong cast, which helps make the going worthwhile.”

Robert Avila, Bay Area Guardian
- February 2010


“Director Peter Tripp has gathered a superb cast who bring exquisite acting and energy to their characterizations.”
    “This director has a vision and a mission and he brings them to full coalition with a resulting stellar production.”
    “Richard Harder is simply brilliant! Every fiber of his soul becomes Eddie Carbone, right down to his dialect and body language. He is bound to be on the short list at award ceremony time next year for this outstanding performance!”
    “While everybody in the cast contributes greatly, Glen Caspillo, very nearly steals the thunder with his gut wrenching, heart-pounding portrayal as the betrayed family member."

Charles Jarrett, Rossmoor News.
- July 13, 2009

“While you may have seen A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE sometime between its inception in 1955 and the present, “you ain’t seen nothing” as the Brooklynese would say, until you witness the stunning performance of Richard Harder as he unfurls the tragic fate of Eddie Carbone: a man accelerating in a descending spiral of madness, anger, jealousy and self-destruction...”
    “...we see the real genius of director Peter Tripp and the acting talent of Richard Harder spring to life. A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE is a metaphor for our times.”

Jeffrey R Smith, San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle
- July 2009


"...Off Broadway West Theatre Company seems to thrive on risk, the daring, the provocative and successfully pushing the theatrical envelope. The show is riveting: it is a dark, noir, comedy filled with unsentimental familial cruelty that seems to resonate with the audience.”
    "Graham Cowley is the tent pole that keeps this apsidistra flying.”
    "Sylvia Kratins, as the mysterious Ruth, is superb as she slowly unfurls her character; tantalizing the audience every inch of the way.”

Jeffrey R Smith, San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle
- April 2009


"This production is every bit as elevating as it is hilariously entertaining ... visual and physical comedy clarifies, augments and reinforces the poetic, bawdy, erudite, ironic and refined humor of Shakespeare."   
Jeffrey Smith
The Alameda Sun
October 9, 2008

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" ... one of the wildest productions of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew ... If you want to have rip and roaring time watching this large cast go through all of the high jinks of the two hour and fifteen minute comedy, go see The Taming of the Shrew."
—Richard Connema
Talkin` Broadway
All That Chat

Read Full Review

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"Director Joyce Henderson has garnered the talents of a select group of professional actors to deliver this marvelously funny fictional tale....... The cast selected for this production is pluperfect in every respect!"   
Charles Jarrett, For All Events
—Charles Jarrett
For All Events

"Rarely does an intimate, under 99-seat, theatre achieve such superlative production standards......... If you enjoy a bit of history mixed in with your comedy, and appreciate a theater company that goes the extra kilometer to provide you a class act, this is your show."
—Jeffrey R Smith of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle


“A Streetcar Named Desire“
at The Phoenix Theatre promises a hunky Stanley Kowalski (played by gorgeous Kamran Alexander) in the classic drama by gay playwright Tennessee Williams.”
— Jim Provenzano,
Bay Area Reporter

“The complex mix
of reactions and responses among the characters is
richly textured...”
— Albert Goodwyn,
Bay Times

“Kudos must go to
Barbara Michelson-Harder, Drew McAuliffe and Kamran Alexander for their
superb acting.”
— Charles Jarrett,
Rossmore Review

Nominated by San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle: Best Entire Production
Best Male Performance - Kamran Alexander

Best Female Performance - Barbara Michelson-Harder


“The story is engrossing, the characters are appealing, but the plot complications are surprising. ”
— Albert Goodwyn,
Bay Times

“Director Richard Harder turns the audience around several blind corners and you really don't know what is fact and what is fiction.
This makes for vivacious theatre, even with the surprise ending.”
— Richard Connema,
Talking Broadway

“This play will hold you riveted from the time the klieg lights begin to glow until the cast has taken their final bows or curtsies.  Dietz makes excellent use of language:
like a marine mammal trainer at Sea World, Dietz gets English to jump through flaming hoops. ”
—Jeffrey R. Smith of the
San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle

Nominated by San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle:
Best Entire Production
Best Female Performance - Joyce Henderson
Best Male Performance - Michael Medici
Best Director - Richard Harder

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