SO Much GREAT Bay Area Theater Happening This Summer!
This morning I sat down to look at my calendar and suffered a panic attack realizing how many amazing things are happening this summer here in the Bay Area. It might seem like it’s a good thing to outsiders (really, it is) but I can’t make it to everything, hence the heaving and wheezing and general spazing out of my mind and body. OY! Why can’t I make copies of myself or build a time machine. WHY?
Well, I might just look into those things, but in the meantime, I think this means that YOU have to go see things in my absence. Yep, that is the ONLY way we’re going to work all this out. I’ll see what I can see, you see everything else, and we’ll meet for coffee and catch one another up, okay? OKAY? You need to go with me on this or the hyperventilating is going to start back up.
What great stuff is happening? SO glad you asked, because here’s (insert drumroll, please):
#RACHEL’S GUIDE TO SUMMER THEATER AWESOMENESS
###Gritty City Repertory Youth Theatre presents: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING by William Shakespeare, directed by Lindsay Krumbein
Running now through June 6 at the Flight Deck in Oakland!
“Wild shenanigans take place at Leonata’s mansion when Don Pedro and his band of brothers come for an extended stay. There’s Benedick, the ladies’ man, Claudio, the romantic, and Don John, a villain of epic proportions. Will Claudio fall prey to Don John’s terrible plot? Will Benedick stay a bachelor forever? Will Gritty City Rep turn this mutha out? The year is 1973, the Afros are even bigger than the bell-bottoms, and there’s a disco inferno burning in everyone’s heart. This is Much Ado About Nothing like you’ve never seen it before!”
And in case you can’t make it out to the show but you still want to support this great youth theater program, Gritty City is having an raising money right now via Indiegogo, support them here:
###Empty Nesters Productions in association with PlayGround and Virago Theatre Company present: EMPTY NESTERS by Garret Jon Groenveld, directed by Amy Glazer
Running now through June 13th at Thick House in SF!
“When Greg and Frances drop their youngest child off at college in Arizona, they take a little vacation to the Skywalk at the Grand Canyon West on their way back to Los Angeles. Facing the prospect of returning to an empty home, these helicopter parents are faced with the question, “What do we want to be when they grow up?””
###Hella Love Productions in association with PlayGround present: HELLA LOVE OAKLAND by Robin Lynn Rodriguez, directed by Rebecca Novick
Running now through June 14th at Thick House in SF!
“Can a conscientious mother choose between raising awareness and raising her kids? This ninety-minute one-act play uses mixed genres of spoken word poetry, turf dancing, meta and traditional theater to tell the stories of three women in the city of Oakland, dealing with issues of equity in education and the experience of gentrification in urban public schools.”
###Shotgun Players presents: HEART SHAPED NEBULA by Written by Marisela Treviño Orta, directed by Desdemona Chiang
Running now through June 14th at the Ashby Stage in Berkeley!
”“Your love is an anomaly. It defies logic, time, and space.” On the anniversary of a tragic accident, Miqueo travels to the desert town of Tonopah, known for having the darkest skies with an abundance of stars. He has come to let go of his grief, but the Universe seems to have other plans. In comes Amara, a rebellious teenager who is more than she appears to be. With an aura of magical realism, Heart Shaped Nebula explores the mysteries of the universe and the human heart.”
###Central Works presents: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s THE YELLOW WALLPAPER Written by Gary Graves, adapted from the short story, directed by Jan Zvaifler
Running now through June 21st at Central Works at the Berkeley City Club
“A classic of early American feminist literature, first published in 1892, Gilman’s haunting short story follows a Victorian woman’s descent into madness. Confined in the attic of an old, dilapidated mansion, as part of a “rest cure” prescribed by her husband, “Jane” begins to see strange forms creeping around behind the torn and ragged yellow wallpaper in the room.”
The brilliant Elena Wright stars in this show, in case you need an extra reason to get those tickets.
###The Breadbox presents: THE PILLOWMAN by Martin McDonagh, directed by Ariel Craft
Running June 12 - June 27 at EXIT Theatre in SF!
“Life imitates art in this comedy so dark you’ll wish you had a flashlight. This Olivier Award winning turn from Irish playwright McDonagh follows Katurian, prolific author of fairy tales more twisted than the Grimms’, as his entire life unravels before him over the course of a single day. Someone’s been torturing and murdering local children in step with Katurian’s fiction and the writer himself will have to answer for their deaths. “The Pillowman” is a fearless exploration of our capacities for cruelty, a culture of police brutality, and the far-reaching impact of our own creations.”
Seriously, The Breadbox puts on some fantastic shows, and Ariel Craft is one of my favorite directors.
###All Terrain Theater presents: Women in Solodarity: Waking Up, directed by Chelsey Little
Running June 12 - June 28 at The Downward Dog in Berkeley!
With stories by: Mari Amend, Melissa Keith, Chelsey Little, and Jennifer Lynne Roberts.
“Open your eyes, look into yourself, and WAKE UP to the power of solo female performance. “Waking Up!” features works by female playwrights and solo performers about finding yourself, discovering truth, and knowing that, at some point, the masks we all wear will have to come off.”
Women in Solodarity has a habit of selling out, so don’t wait to get your ticket for this!
###Aurora Theatre presents: DETROIT by Lisa D’Amour, directed by Josh Costello
Running June 19 - July 19 at Aurora Theatre in Berkeley!
“Lisa D’Amour’s Detroit, a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, is a wickedly funny satire about our uncertain, deflating economic times. Barely middle class Ben and Mary fire up the grill to welcome Sharon and Kenny, a couple who moves in next door (suspiciously without furniture). But as this foursome bonds over backyard barbecues, remembered dreams and helping hands, their neighborly connection turns dangerous, threatening to destroy more than just their friendship.”
True story, I just read this play a few weeks ago, and I was thought, “Man oh man, I really want to see this done!” And then the next day I saw that Aurora was about to open the show just a mile from my place! I really can’t wait for this one.
###DIVAfest presents: Loud & Unladylike Festival
Readings June 25 - 27, and July 9 - 11 at the EXIT Theatre in SF!
Brand-spanking-new plays by Claire Rice, Tracy Held Potter, and me! This is going to be so, so, so, so great. We’re getting ready to announce our casts AND the writers for the 2016 festival! Here are the dates of each play:
A is for Adeline by Tracy Held Potter (6⁄25 & 7⁄9)
The Effects of Ultraviolet Light by Claire Ann Rice (6⁄25 & 7⁄11)
Code Name: Brass Rose by Rachel Bublitz (6⁄27 & 7⁄11)
There will be a talkback after each reading, AND the writers will be making edits in between the two presentations, so you might want to come to all of the performances so you can see what we kept and what we threw away.
So buy, buy, buy yourself a seat. Or two. Or ten, you have a lot of friends, right?
###Killing My Lobster presents: KML Gets a Prenup!
June 26 and 27 at PianoFight in SF!
“We know – you’ve already gotten a million invites to weddings this Summer. Half of them are out of state, and if you go to one more wedding with a cash bar, you might kill the Universal Life Church Officiant. We cordially invite you to a night of comedy focused on just how ridiculous the wedding season can get! (KML is registered at CVS Pharmacies, but your presence is the real present.)”
Killing My Lobster is great. If you haven’t seen one of their shows since Millie DeBenedet and Allison Page took over, stop torturing yourself.
###Custom Made Theatre Co. presents the San Francisco premiere of GREY GARDENS: THE MUSICAL book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, and lyrics by Michael Korie, directed by Stuart Bousel
Running now through July 5th at Gough Street Playhouse in SF!
“Based on a true story, Grey Gardens is a musical exploration of the American dream gone wrong and what it means to become a social pariah. It’s also an exploration of women, the relationship between mothers and daughters, how love can turn into dependency, and how, in a society where women’s roles and options are limited, particularly in the aristocratic class, the very things that make one exceptional could ultimately be what damns them to a life in decay and shadows. Featuring an intimate, musical score that borrows as much from Stephen Sondheim as the eras in which it is set, Grey Gardens is the perfect chamber musical that will use the intimacy of Gough Street Playhouse to haunt as well as delight.”
So far I have heard only FABULOUS things about this production, and they’re selling so well they’ve already put in an extension. My recommendation? Buy those tickets ASAP!
###No Nude Men presents: DESK SET by William Marchant, directed by Stuart Bousel
Running July 9 - 25 at the EXIT Theatre in SF.
“Dusted off and polished-up, this clever comedy about four women researchers who find their careers threatened by technological advancements that produce a machine capable of replacing them is surprisingly relevant, touching on everything from gender roles in the workplace to the ever changing expectations of professionals in the post tech-boom world. Though No Nude Men keeps the comedy in its 1950s setting, it won’t be hard for today’s audiences to draw the connections that make this piece more of the moment than ever. Add in more than a dash of retro kitsch, including nightly games and drink specials, and there’s no question this will be a show everyone is talking about!
“Featuring a stellar cast of local actors: Megan Briggs, Andrew Calabrese, Alan Coyne, Lisa Drostova, Abhi Kris, Allison Page, Carina Lastimosa Salazar, Marissa Skudlarek, Jeunee Simon, Alejandro Torres, Kitty Torres, Nick Trengove.”
This cast. THIS CAST! Yeah, Desk Set is going to be killer.
###The 38th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival presented by Playwrights Foundation
Running July 17 - 26 at Tides Theatre in SF!
The exciting new plays and playwrights featured in this year’s festival include:
Tearrance Chisholm · Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies
Kara Lee Corthron · Welcome to Fear City
Christine Evans · Galilee
Lauren Gunderson · The Revolutionists
Sam Lahne · #julys
Brendan Pelsue · Read to Me
Geetha Reddy · On a Wonderverse
“Innovation and transformation drives this year’s festival, featuring SEVEN local and national playwrights presenting their ambitious, groundbreaking new works this Summer. Take part in shaping today’s cultural landscape: see the development of tomorrow’s great American plays firsthand and meet the brilliant artists who build them.”
AND if you get your tickets before July 1st, you get an Early Bird discount! The more you know!
###Custom Made Theatre Co. presents a reading of OF SERPENTS & SEA SPRAY by Rachel Bublitz, directed by Ariel Craft
Oh hey! That’s me! And that’s my play! I’m super excited to let you know that after a week long workshop Custom Made will stage a reading of my full length play Of Serpents & Sea Spray on Friday July 24th!
”“Serpents” is the story of an orphan named Iro who is the subject of ridicule by other children and punishment by uncaring foster parents. During one of her many tours through solitary confinement in the closet, Iro’s imagination brings the her with a mission: find Pegasus. On her quest, taking with her only books and her imaginary friend Annika, Iro hides herself on an ocean liner, joins a circus, and has many other adventures, and along the way finds the truth about the death of her parents.”
The reading is free and will be at The Gough Street Playhouse in SF.
###All Terrain Theater presents: SIX MONSTERS: A SEVEN MONSTER PLAY by Savannah Reich, directed by Sydney Painter
Running July 31 - August 15 at the EXIT Theatre in SF!
“This is All Terrain Theater’s sixth season of producing original plays, and our first time producing work by Minneapolis-based Savannah Reich, a recent graduate of the Carnegie Mellon University Dramatic Writing MFA program and 2015 winner of the National Student Sloan Screenplay Competition, whose stage plays have been toured around the East Coast.”
Tickets are not quite on sale yet, so stay tuned! I will post this link when it is available.
###3 Girls Theatre 4th Annual New Works Festival
Running August 3 - 9 at Thick House in SF!
“For this year’s New Works Festival, 3GT Celebrates Risky Women: Having Fun & Wreaking Havoc! We return to Thick House in San Francisco from August 3 – August 9 for a full week of unique original events showcasing some of the biggest risk-takers in American theater– women playwrights! We’ll re-stage the finalists from our Salon Reading Series, present a series of readings by collaborators based on our theme, produce special Festival performances of LezWrites! and GirlTalk, and host a vibrant assortment of risky women as speakers during the week.”
This entire festival is FREE! But, you do need to reserve your spot ahead of time because things get full!
###Chinese Ballroom Improv at PianoFight
The first Wednesday of all the months starting June 3rd and ending never, go to PianoFight and laugh at the awesome improv Chinese Ballroom offers up. Do it, do it, do it.
“Bay Area team Chinese Ballroom performs a mix of long form and short form improv games using suggestions from the audience. Fun for the whole family, if the whole family is ok with cussin’…”
###SF Neo Futurists presents: Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind
Running now until forever in many different spots!
It’s THIRTY plays in only SIXTY minutes! Oh, the madness. If you have not yet checked out the Neo Futurists, give it to yourself as a summer goal, you won’t regret it.
“The Neo-Futurists are a collective of wildly prolific writer/director/performers who create: heater that is a fusion of sport, poetry and living-newspaper.
“Non-illusory, interactive performance that conveys experiences and ideas as directly and honestly as possible.
“Immediate, unreproducible events at head-slappingly affordable prices.
“Work that embraces those unreached or unmoved by conventional theater – inspiring them to thought, feeling and action.”
###Saturday Write Fever
Join SF Theater Pub at the Cafe at EXIT Theatre every 2nd Saturday of the month to create and watch the newest theater you’ll ever see preformed (probably).
“It all takes place in the EXIT Cafe (156 Eddy Street) from 8:30-8:50 pm for registration, followed by a 9:00 pm writing sprint where writers have 30 minutes (more or less) to script original monologues based around that night’s pre-generated prompts. We cast actors from the crowd (no experience necessary), then at 9:30 pm, they perform the work on stage in the café for an on-the-spot, one-night-only, instant festival! Come join in the communal creativity, either as writer, performer, or audience!”
This is one of my favorite Saturday night activities, it should be one of yours as well! For more info, visit the Facebook event page for the next SWF: https://www.facebook.com/events/477929019038762/
So there you have it, I’ll take some, you take some, we’ll meet and fill one another in on what we missed, yes? And don’t worry, the fun isn’t coming to a stop, because once we’re done with Summer, we’ll have the SF Fringe Festival!