Bread & Butter Theatre’s “The North Pool” combines great acting with power dynamics, race, and suicide. Rajiv Joseph’s gem of a ‘two-hander’ pits an Arab-American high school student against a shifty, overbearing white Vice-Principal.

Dr. Danielson (electric Bruce Avery) invites bewildered student Khadim (versatile Zaya Kolia) into his bare-bones office for a “chat.” 

Fascinated, we feel secure in the hands of two masterful actors, who never let us down. In that simple school room, Rajiv Joseph explores love, privilege, and the struggle for self-forgiveness.

– Theatrius


Their duet of anger and passion creates a believable intimacy, because Rothko finds the fight he is looking for. And Ken must struggle to not be blotted out.

What brings them together makes sense on the level of emotion. Their intimacy advances through a coherent, passionately well-acted dance of desperation. Both seek recognition and truth.

– Theatrius


With minimal set and lighting, the production relies heavily on the actors’ skills, which do not disappoint. The nine-member cast, costumed in contemporary garb, certainly does justice to Shakespeare’s complex characters, especially Bruce Avery as Polonius/gravedigger and Nick Jackson as Horatio.

Sally Hogarty and Mark Purdy, The Mercury News