Among the bright celebrations of theatrical holidays spectaculars there is a darker sub-genre of plays about families bashing each other yet somehow surviving to fight again next year. The Rep currently has one of these.

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If you remember the 1960s (some of us don’t, after all), you’ll remember Abbie Hoffman, a leader in counterculture thought — and with its world-premiere ‘Steal Heaven,’ San Diego Repertory Theatre has not only drawn a good bead on Hoffman but the importance of dissension’s very place in the American experience.

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San Diego Repertory Theatre is giving “In the Time of the Butterflies,” the story of four sisters’ valiant fight against Dominican Republic strongman Rafael Trujillo’s bloody regime, its English-language world premiere through Jan. 26. Curiously, the entry is missing a lot about its flesh-and-blood antagonist — but a highly developed culture of ensemble carries the performances in this commendable piece about a brutal reign the West can’t afford to forget.

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