Monthly Archive for: ‘December, 2017’





— SHN announced today that single tickets for the final four productions of the 2017-2018 season, and a special engagement of THE HUMANS, will go on sale to the public on Friday, December 1.

Productions include THE COLOR PURPLE, winner of the 2016 Tony Award® for Best Musical Revival; SCHOOL OF ROCK with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; ON YOUR FEET!, based on the story and music of 26-time GRAMMY Award-winning icons Emilio & Gloria Estefan; and WAITRESS, a musical brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team with music by 6-time GRAMMY nominee, Sara Bareilles.

Tickets will be available beginning Friday, December 1 at 10am PT at or by calling SHN Audience Services at 888-746-1799. Groups of 15 or more may purchase tickets by contacting SHN Group Sales at or 888-746-1799, press 3.




San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Presents ELFSTRAVAGANZA December 8-9, 2017 at Nourse Theater

) – San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) and Dr. Timothy Seelig, Artistic Director have announced the holiday performances for Season 40: Unstoppable, featuring three performances of Elfstravaganza, running December 8-9 at the Nourse Theater (275 Hayes St, San Francisco). Performances are Friday, December 8 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 9 at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets range in price from $25-99 and are available now on or by calling City Box Office at (415) 392-4400.


Elfstravaganza delivers exactly what you expect from SFGMC at the holidays: gorgeous music, jubilant production pieces and heartwarming moments. You’ll hear plenty of classic holiday favorites, alongside some new works that are sure to warm your heart and get you in the festive mood. Over-the-top production numbers will be mixed with stunning, tender moments – all done up with SFGMC’s trademark flair. Additionally, the Chorus is joined by the dazzling drag superstar Katya Smirnoff-Skyy for these performances.

“Elfstravanza is exactly what is sounds like: an extravaganza brought to you by the friendly elves at the North Pole,” writes Seelig. “Some of the difficulties we are experiencing in our country also spill over to the North Pole. It has just become a place full of stress and uncertainty. It’s our job to Make the North Pole Gay – Again. And no one knows how to do that better than this Chorus!”

“Among the stunning new settings of familiar holiday songs are ‘Noel Nouvelet,’ which will take your breath away, ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo,’ ‘Silent Night,’ and ‘Jingle Bells.’” adds Seelig. “We will also present several new pieces for SFGMC, like ‘I Want a Lumbersexual for Christmas,’ ‘Opera Takes a Holiday,’ ‘Nobody Cares About Santa’ from Elf — even a Disco Santa Claus song — and so much more! There are plenty of twists and turns to delight you all evening long.”

Nearly 30 years ago, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus gathered for the first time on Christmas Eve in 1990 at the Castro Theatre to bring the holidays home to those who had none. Thus began the annual tradition of joining together every Christmas Eve at the Castro Theatre for this night of joyous music and heartwarming festivities.

This holiday season will mark SFGMC’s 28th Annual “Home for the Holidays” at the Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street, San Francisco) on Christmas Eve. Performances are Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017 at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Drag superstar Katya Smirnoff-Skyy will be the Chorus’ special guest artist for Home for the Holidays. Tickets range from $30-40 and are available now on or by calling City Box Office at (415) 392-4400.

The Chorus will be taking its holiday show to three other locations around the Bay Area this season. On Friday, December 1, 2017, members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus head to Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse (2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA) to honor World AIDS Day with a very special holiday performance by the vocal ensembles of the Chorus (The Lollipop Guild, SWAG and HomoPhonics).

On Saturday, December 2, 2017, the Chorus celebrates the 27th edition of “Home for the Holidays” in Santa Rosa, presented with longtime partner Face to Face Sonoma County AIDS Network, at 3 p.m. at Santa Rosa High School (1235 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA). Proceeds from the performance will be donated directly to Face to Face, which assists those living with HIV/AIDS in Sonoma County, while providing services and education in the prevention of the disease.

Lastly, on Saturday, December 3, 2016, SFGMC returns to Livermore for two performances of “Home for the Holidays” at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center’s Bankhead Theater at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. (2400 First Street, Livermore).




​ The CURRAN announced today they have commissioned the art exhibit “If You Knew My Story”  across San Francisco in celebration of the CURRAN’s holiday offering of the Steve Martin and Edie Brickell Grammy- and Tony-award nominated new musical “BRIGHT STAR”.

THE CURRAN commissioned seven local artists to create interactive pieces that represent their own personal stories while inviting the members of the community to also share their narratives through the pieces.  The CURRAN is partnering with the Parc 55 hotel, the 826 Valencia Tenderloin Center, the LGBT Center, The People’s Cafe, 826 Valencia and Community Music Center to display the various pieces.

“If You Knew My Story” is the opening number from BRIGHT STAR and the CURRAN wants to recognize the unique stories that permeate the Bay Area community by engaging the community through the medium of art and personal interpretation.

One of the local artists who contributed to the project, Ryan Montgomery says,”BRIGHT STAR  inspired me to create  a piece that represents what we present to the public as well as the more intriguing but often hidden inner beauty that lies within. By opening up and revealing a complex and intriguing inner story, we encourage more intimate dialog. I believe this is perhaps the most difficult thing to do in daily life and hope the piece serves as personal reminder to continue to try doing just that.”

The CURRAN has also partnered with the San Francisco Public Library on the “IF YOU KNEW MY STORY” campaign and will kick off the holiday season with Bright Star – Music and More, a special musical pop-up event for children and families at the Main Library on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3:30 pm.  The library will host a performance by bluegrass band Alabamajama, and a star-making craft where kids and families will have the chance to express themselves around the theme of “If You Knew My Story.”

Loosely based on an actual event, BRIGHT STAR explores the importance of storytelling as an integral part of the human experience. l BRIGHT STAR tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and 40s. When successful literary editor Alice Murphy, played by Broadway star Carmen Cusack, meets an ambitious young soldier just home from World War II, their connection inspires Alice to confront her past. Together they discover a stunning secret with the power to transform their lives.Propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and powerfully moving performances.

BRIGHT STAR will be the final production of the Curran’s inaugural 2017 season, which included FUN HOME, ECLIPSED, THE ENCOUNTER, TAYLOR MAC’s 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC and Curran’s own SHOW & TELL speaker series.

BRIGHT STAR tickets start at $39. For advance access to BRIGHT STAR tickets, and to be the first to hear about exciting happenings at the Curran, sign-up at


National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)  Rejects 2018 Grant Application for Tony & Obie Award-Winning SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has rejected the Tony and OBIE award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe’s (SFMT) 2018 grant proposal for $25,000. The only other time the SFMT was rejected for an NEA award for their summer show funding was for Oil and Water, which debuted in 2013.

On June 26, 2017, Breitbart News published an article titled “Trump NEA Grants $20k for Lesbian Illegal Alien Musical” using the SF Mime Troupe’s summer musical about immigration, Walls, as a club with which to beat the National Endowment for the Arts. Saying that the NEA was funding “…a San Francisco musical about a criminal illegal alien lesbian with mental health issues who is in love with an immigration agent,” Breitbart News was bolstering the case made by President Trump for defunding the NEA entirely.

Additional attacks against the NEA by way of the SF Mime Troupe have come from Senator (then Representative) Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in 2011, who attacked then NEA-Chairman Rocco Landesman over grants given to the SFMT, and in 2015 Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) who published an article about the SFMT in Volume 2 of “Waste Watch”, discouraging future NEA funding for “strange, hyper-political groups like the San Francisco Mime Troupe”. At the time of his grilling by Flake, Landesman replied that the SFMT would not be able to survive solely on ticket sales.

Indeed, the Mime Troupe does not charge for admission to its park shows, and only a few indoor or small-space shows are ticketed events, due to requests by presenting organizations. Instead, the SFMT relies on donations from patrons and audience members after the conclusion of the show (pass the hat), as well as other grant organizations and foundations, for it’s funding.

Since 2012, the SFMT has received up to $20,000 from the NEA for each production, which does help, but in reality is not enough to cover the cost of health insurance payments for its union members.

“We do not know if this sudden evaporation of funds is a direct result of the relentless attacks on our friends at the NEA” said Michael Gene Sullivan, Collective Member and Resident Playwright at the SFMT. “We hope this will be a temporary circumstance, and that their friends and supporters will contact their representatives to petition for a resumption of funding. If the only people in Congress who talk about free activist theatre are those who oppose it, then theatre of, by, and for the people cannot survive.”

The SFMT will continue to perform shows, free in public parks in the San Francisco Bay Area, and will continue its Youth Theater Project wherein it educates SF youth on social justice and performance, and our Young California Writers Project, the SFMT’s in-school activist playwriting workshop.

To donate to the SF Mime Troupe’s winter appeal to help sustain its educational and performance funding, please visit



TROUPE THEATRE to produce  Anton Chekhov’s classic masterpiece  THREE SISTERS Production Dates: December 8, 9, 15, 16, 2017, at 8:00 p.m.Opening Night: December 8, 2017, at 8:00 p.m.

—Troupe Theatre is thrilled to end its first season with the Russian drama, Three Sisters, written by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. The production will run December 8, 9, 15, & 16, 2017 at EXIT Stage Left (156 Eddy St., SF) Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at

Love, loss, want, and life are abound in Anton Chekhov’s famous masterpiece, Three Sisters. In what should be an idyllic countryside, three sisters wish for the chance to live their dreams in Moscow. As they hope, and wait, and work, surrounded by friends and soldiers, life finds a way to keep moving. Troupe Theatre brings you a piece looking to find what we still adore in Chekhov today.

Three Sisters is directed by Co-Artistic Director, Liam Blaney. The cast includes Lyndsee Bell (Olga), Rosemary Anderson (Masha), Regina Leon (Irina), Evan Favela (Andrei) Devon DeGroot (Natasha), Sam Heft-Luthy (Kulygin), Hunter Ridenour (Vershinin) Casey Robbins (Baron Tuzenbakh), Andrew Tinsman (Solyony), Rebecca Hodges (Anfisa), Carl Lyons (Fedotik), and the cast as Chebutykin and Ferapont.

The Creative Team also includes Adeline Smith (Set Design), Emily Powell (Costume Design), Sophia Craven (Light Design), James Ard (Sound Design), Nicole Maimon and Kassidy Friend (Choreography), Natasha Koroleva (Dramaturgy), and Caitlin McFann (Stage Manager).



An original, immersive theater experience about space exploration, contingency planning and the watchful eye of the Moon.

January 3 –28, 2018Opening night: Friday, January 5 at 8 p.m.

San Francisco’s adventurous, award-winning devised theater ensemble Mugwumpin returns next year in the world premiere of IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER, an immersive theater experience about space exploration, contingency planning and the watchful eye of the Moon. Co-presented by Z Space in association with Intersection for the Arts, In Event of Moon Disaster opens in previews on January 3 and runs through January 28. The opening night is scheduled for Friday, January 5 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, $15 for previews, and may be purchased online at or by phone at 415-626-0453.


“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the Moon to rest in peace.” Thus begins the speech that Nixon would have given had the Apollo XI astronauts not returned to earth in 1969. “The words remain as a poignant artifact of the worst-case-scenario contingency planning behind one of our country’s most ambitious and hopeful endeavors,” said Mugwumpin Artistic Director Natalie Greene, who also directs the show. “The title, In Event of Moon Disaster, is taken directly from this speech which has served as the launch pad for our play.”

Transforming Z Below’s black box theater into “a radically different performance space,” In Event of Moon Disaster takes audiences on an intimate journey backwards and forwards in time, blending story, video, live music and dance in an investigation of its source text. Among the questions it addresses are: What secret truths are hidden in the cosmos? What magic powers does it hold? And how do we plan for an uncertain future?

The performance unfolds under the watchful eye of the Moon. In folklore and mythology, for thousands of years the Moon has been characterized as female and potent. In Event of Moon Disaster dramatizes the opposition between this idea of a mystical, feminine Moon and the patriarchal forces that propelled the space race and compelled nations to colonize beyond the Earth.

Mugwumpin developed the play collaboratively over a period of two years, with each company member wearing some combination of hats – writer, performer, designer, director, producer, dramaturge. Ultimately, certain individuals took the lead in one area or another. In Event of Moon Disaster is performed by Stephanie DeMott, Isa Musni, Nayeli Rodriquez, Soren Santos, Erin Mei-Ling Stuart and Don Wood, with production and video design by Wolfgang Lancelot Wachalovsky and Darl Andrew Packard, lighting design by Ray Oppenheimer, sound design by Teddy Hulsker, costume design by Christine Crook and props, stage and production management by Allie Khori. Natalie Greene directs.

The play marks Greene’s first turn as Mugwumpin artistic director. In this position she succeeds Christopher W. White. A company member since 2010, Greene has performed in Future, Motive, Power; The Great Big Also; and Super:Anti:Reluctant, among other Mugwumpin productions. In addition to her work with Mugwumpin, she is Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Performing Arts & Social Justice at the University of San Francisco, where she directs the intergenerational performance company, Dance Generators. She is a longtime artist-in-residence with the San Francisco Arts Education Project, and has performed in the companies of Deborah Slater, Erin Mei-Ling Stuart, Kim Epifano, Mary Armentrout and more.

“I love the way Mugwumpin’s creative inquiry is not restricted by traditional disciplinary structures or hierarchies,” said Greene. “Mugwumpin artists are invited to bring their full selves into the room and onto the stage, and that’s why I got involved. For this production, we’re working with performers from three different generations, which is one of the ways that we’re consciously trying to diversify the voices in the room. I am honored now to serve as the company’s artistic director during this time of heightened social consciousness, and I look forward to broadening the company’s engagement with issues that matter within our community.”



EXIT Theatre is excited to welcome Nicole Gluckstern as the EXIT’s newpublicist. Ariel Craft, who has served as publicist for the last twoyears, will be stepping down from her position at the company. Thistransition is effective Monday, December 18th. For all press and publicity related correspondence, your contact remains the

Nicole Gluckstern (Incoming Publicist) has been involved with the performing arts from a young age – as a performer, producer, technician, lighting designer, stage manger, house manager, and award-winning arts journalist – and has traveled internationally in several of these capacities


SCOTUS Theater in association with Word for Word Performing Arts Company Present YOU SHOULD HAVE THE BODY: READINGS ON JENNINGS V. RODRIGUEZat Z Space in San Francisco One Night Only: Saturday December 16, 2017 at 7pm

On Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 7pm at Z Space, SCOTUS Theater, in association with Word for Word will present its third installment—“You Should Have the Body: Readings on Jennings v. Rodriguez.” The event, sponsored in part by California Humanities Foundation, will feature a reading by lawyers and professional actors of the arguments in Jennings v. Rodriguez. An expert panel discussion will follow.

The program’s name—“You Should Have the Body”—is a reference to habeas corpus, a legal concept that figures prominently in the case. The reading of arguments will be presented in Word for Word’s signature style, punctuated by excerpts from, a project of Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC).

The reading will be followed by a multidisciplinary panel delving into issues raised by the case: our legal and moral obligations to non-citizens in detention and the power of courts and principles like due process and habeas corpus in this area. The panel will include Tina Shull, who oversees storytelling projects for CIVIC, and Vasudha Talla, Staff Attorney at ACLU of Northern California (full bios below.)

After expenses, donations to the event will go to the ACLU of Northern California and to CIVIC.

The project is made possible by a grant from the California Humanities Foundation.


PlayGround & Dances With Light Present

THE 2017 PLAYGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 9 Programs Of 22 Short & Feature-length Films Adapted From Stage To Screen December 15 Opening To Feature 5 New Short Films From Best Of PlayGround Short PlaysBy Playwrights Ron Burch, Ruben Grijalva, Katie May, Malachy Walsh & Ken Prestininzi December 15-17, 2017 Friday-Sunday Potrero Stage 1695 18th Street, San Francisco, CA

– “If you want to make a living as a screenwriter, stop what you’re doing… and start writing plays!” –Greg DePaul. The PlayGround Film Festival, a unique showcase of Bay Area films adapted from stage to screen, returns December 15-17 with nine programs and twenty-two different films over three days, at PlayGround’s state-of-the-art Potrero Hill theatre, Potrero Stage. The festival opens on Friday, December 15, 8pm, with a special program of five brand-new short films, each adapted from Best of PlayGround short plays. The opening program features the new short films: Meeting Matt Damon by Ron Burch (Best of PlayGround-LA 2015), Value Over Replacement by Ruben Grijalva (Best of PlayGround 2013), Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero (final animated cut) by Katie May (Best of PlayGround 2011), Iowa (animated short) by Malachy Walsh (Best of PlayGround 2001) and Reading in Bed by Ken Prestininzi (Best of PlayGround 1998).

“Playwright Halley Feiffer got one of her first TV writing jobs on an as-of-yet unreleased show co-created by filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu called “The One Percent” after one of the show’s other creators found a 10-minute play she had written on the bar at a theater festival.”

On Saturday evening, December 16, PlayGround will rescreen the best short films from the first two PlayGround Film Festivals, originally shown in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Rounding out the festival are six feature-length films, including: two family-friendly screenings, The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) and Nutcracker (1986); Amy Glazer’s Seducing Charlie Barker (2010), adapted from Theresa Rebeck’s play, The Scene; Josh Kornbluth’s Love & Taxes (2015), Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love (1985); and Roger Grunwald’s solo performance hit, The Obligation, filmed live at Potrero Stage earlier this Fall. Films will be followed by recorded or live interviews with the originating writers.

All screenings will take place at Potrero Stage and are free, with the exception of the Opening Night program on December 15 ($15-$30), and open to the public. Capacity is limited and advance reservations are recommended. For tickets and more information, visit

2017 PlayGround Film Festival Schedule

December 15, 2017, Friday

8:00pm – OPENING NIGHT, featuring five premiere shorts adapted from Best of PlayGround short plays. The Opening Night program includes: Meeting Matt Damon by Ron Burch and Frieda de Lackner; Value Over Replacement by Ruben Grijalva; Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero (final animated cut) by Katie May, Seth Podowitz, Eileen Laitinen, and Liz Anderson; Iowa (animated short) by Malachy Walsh and Alex Vietti; and Reading in Bed by Ken Prestininzi and Sandor Weiner.

December 16, 2017, Saturday

12:00pm – The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), adapted from the novella by Charles Dickens.

2:00pm – Fool for Love (1985) by Sam Shepard.

4:30pm – Seducing Charlie Barker (2010) by Amy Glazer and Theresa Rebeck, based on Theresa Rebeck’s stage play, The Scene.

7:00pm – 2012 Shorts, featuring The Beginning by Tom Swift and Brian Tolle, Ecce Homo by Jonathan Luskin and Mark Leialoha, The Etymology of Zero (animated rough cut) by Katie May, Seth Podowitz, Eileen Laitinen, and Liz Anderson, Reunion by Kenn Rabin, Gregory Runnels and Mark Runnels, and Wednesday by Daniel Heath and Jennifer Arzt.

8:30pm – 2013 Shorts, featuring Aegis by Jonathan Luskin and Mark Leialoha, The Secret Life of a Hotel Room by Garret Jon Groenveld, Gregory Runnels and Mark Runnels, Climax by Sean Owens and Jeremy Solterbeck, Miss Finknagle Succumbs to Chaos by Kirk Shimano and Amy Harrison, Obit by Geetha Reddy and Brian Tolle, and Undone by Diane Sampson and Bruce Coughran.

December 17, 2017, Sunday

12:00pm – Nutcracker (1986), a filmed version of the classic ballet.

2:00pm – The Obligation (2017) by Roger Grunwald, filmed by Barry Stone/Dances With Light.

4:00pm – Love & Taxes (2015) by Josh Kornbluth and Jacob Kornbluth.

6:00pm – CLOSING NIGHT/2017 Shorts Reprise, including Meeting Matt Damon by Ron Burch and Frieda de Lackner; Value Over Replacement by Ruben Grijalva; Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero (final animated cut) by Katie May, Seth Podowitz, Eileen Laitinen, and Liz Anderson; Iowa (animated short) by Malachy Walsh and Alex Vietti; and Reading in Bed by Ken Prestininzi and Sandor Weiner.


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