We're coming soon to Baltimore's Center Stage

X’s and O’s

By KJ Sanchez with Jenny Mercein
Nov 13–Dec 20

“Like the game itself: some of the hits are so hard, they’ll make you uncomfortable, but you won’t want to stop watching.”—San Jose Mercury News (UK)

Baltimore. Loves. Football. And as the season kicks into high gear, Center Stage brings you a deeply moving, ripped-from-the-headlines play about our love for the game. Based on interviews with players, their families, and their fans, X’s and O’s delves deep into the questions that are being asked around dinner tables across the country: what are the dangers of the game? Should our children play? How do we balance our love for the sport with its potential risks? Co-commissioned by Center Stage and Berkeley Repertory Theater, and developed in part through Center Stage’s Play Lab series, X’s and O’s is a celebration of football that fearlessly tackles the sometimes tragic results of our passion for the sport.



check out the production photos of x's and o's at Berkeley Rep

Directed by Tony Taccone

Scenic design by Todd Rosenthal

Costume design by Meg Neville

Lighting and video design by Alex Nichols

Sound design by Jake Rodriguez

Movement by John Sipes

Starring: Bill Geisslinger, Dwight Hicks, Anthony Holiday, Eddie Ray Jackson, Jenny Mercein and Marilee Talkington.

Photo Credit: Kevin Berne



npr reports on x's and o's, our newest play


American Records takes on american football

X's and O's (a football love story)

By KJ Sanchez with Jenny Mercein
Directed by Tony Taccone
Starts January 16 and runs until MArch 1st, 2015.
World premiere

“Handsomely and smoothly directed by Tony Taccone, [X’s and O’s] unfolds on a round stage that looks like a sports-talk TV set, with multiple small and large screens…. Judging by the standing ovation at Friday’s opening, anyone who loves football might want to rush to see Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s world premiere.” – San Francisco Chronicle

“Eye-opening, unnerving yet entertaining...Even if you are not a football fan, it’s hard not to be moved...X’s and O’s is like the game itself: Some of the hits are so hard, they’ll make you uncomfortable, but you won’t want to stop watching!" – Oakland Tribune / Bay Area News Group

“For all the zippy fun in the play – and there’s plenty – this is a play that says loving something blindly or madly is ultimately irresponsible if you’re not also considering the bigger picture. That X’s and O’s asks us to seriously consider the duality of football – its value, its cost, its cultural relevance – is a significant matter…. Credit director Tony Taccone with providing just enough flash with the stadium lights and the near-constant video projections to balance with the generally strong performances from his energetic cast of six.” – Theater Dogs

X’s and O’s certainly deserves to be seen. Whether you’re a rabid fan or someone who watches the Super Bowl just for the commercials, there’s enough pathos, humor, and humanity here to engage and delight! Special note is due ex-49er Dwight Hicks, whose portrayal of a fellow former player is hysterically funny and delightfully honest.” – Talkin’ Broadway

“From the very first moments, the balletic slow motion accompanied by the soundtrack of cheers and electric visuals ropes you in for what will be an entrancing 85 minute ride...A Super Play just in time for a Super Bowl.”  –  Stark Insider 

 X’s and O’s (a football love story) was commissioned by Berkeley Rep, co-commissioned by Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE and developed in Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor. For tickets and more information, please visit: Berkeley Rep.