THEATRE NEWS FOR SAN FRANCISCO THEATRE —week of July 16

 

SAN FRANCISCO’S 42nd STREET MOON  ASSUMES THE LEASE ON THE NEWLY-RENAMED GATEWAY THEATRE (FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE EUREKA THEATRE)

– San Francisco’s acclaimed 42nd Street Moon (Daren A.C. Carollo and Daniel Thomas, Co-Executive Directors) is thrilled to announce that it has assumed the lease (as of July 5, 2017) of the newly-renamed Gateway Theatre at 215 Jackson Street (the former home of the recently-shuttered Eureka Theatre Company).

 

42nd Street Moon’s Co-Executive Director Daniel Thomas said “We couldn’t be more pleased for the opportunity to work with The Gateway in running the theater space at 215 Jackson. There is immense potential for the space to become the hub of a vibrant and revitalized neighborhood as well as an anchor for the arts community by the Embarcadero. 42nd Street Moon is eternally grateful to the Eureka for all they have done for Bay Area theater over the last four decades, and we are especially thankful for their generous donation of the technical equipment in the space. We look forward to partnering with all of the current tenants of the theater to ensure the experience for the artists and patrons becomes more fulfilling in the coming years.”

 

42nd Street Moon is also excited to maintain (and grow) fruitful partnerships with shared users of The Gateway Theatre including Theatre Rhinoceros, SF Sketchfest, and SF ArtsED. The organization will continue to provide performance space for short-term and long-term rentals. Once the remodel is complete, 42nd Street Moon also hopes to offer the space for non-theatrical uses such as meetings and corporate events, music recitals and performances, lectures, community symposiums and more.

 

“42nd Street Moon is honored to take over the lease of 215 Jackson,” remarked Co-Executive Director Daren A.C. Carollo. “We enjoy reinvisioning classic musicals in our intimate setting. Our patrons adore the close connection to our storytellers, our live un-amplified voices and musicians, and the proximity to public transportation and restaurants. We look forward to sharing our space with other awesome San Francisco institutions including Theatre Rhinoceros, the longest running LGBTQ theatre company in the country, SF Sketchfest, and SF ArtsED. We also would like to thank The Eureka Theatre Company for the generous gift of all of the technical equipment.”

 

Negotiations are currently underway for a long-term lease on The Gateway. Once the long-term lease is finalized, 42nd Street Moon will inaugurate a capital campaign to transform the building into a modern, vibrant, sleek, welcoming venue. The new Gateway Theatre is envisioned as a hub of cultural electricity for San Francisco’s financial district, bringing artistic synergy to the community and providing patrons and artists with a highly comfortable, state-of-the-art venue.

 

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New Conservatory Theatre Center presents world premiere of “this bitter earth” by Harrison David  gripping activist love story to be directed by NCTC Founder & Artistic Director Ed Decker

 

In September, New Conservatory Theatre Center kicks off its 2017-18 subscription season with the world premiere of This Bitter Earth by Harrison David Rivers, directed by NCTC Founder & Artistic Director Ed Decker. An NCTC-commissioned play, This Bitter Earth directly responds to the personal and political impact of racial tensions in our country today. A protest brings Jesse, a black man, together with his white lover, a Black Lives Matter activist. But now, as his lover immerses himself in the struggle, Jesse must confront his own political apathy or risk his rights and their love. This gripping and intimate new play asks what is the real cost of standing on the sidelines?

This Bitter Earth was commissioned and developed as part of NCTC’s New Play Development Lab.

This Bitter Earth runs September 22 – October 22, 2017. Opening Night is Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 8pm. Tickets are $25–50 and available at nctcsf.org, emailing boxoffice@nctcsf.org or by calling (415) 861-8972.

 

For the world premiere of This Bitter Earth, NCTC is proud to partner with the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), presenting special events for their members based around the play. NCTC and MoAD previously partnered on last season’s world premiere of Leaving the Blues by Jewelle Gomez.

 

Playwright Harrison David Rivers was hailed by NYTheatre.com as “a refreshing, authentic voice” and has had plays performed and developed at The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Lincoln Center, P73, LAByrinth Theatre Company, The Drama League, New York Stage & Film, The National Black Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Harlem Stage, Diversionary Theatre (San Diego), About Face (Chicago), TheatreLAB (Richmond), The Playwrights’ Center, Theatre Latte Da, Pillsbury House (Minneapolis), Williamstown Theatre Festival and The American Airlines Theatre on Broadway. Awards include the McKnight Fellowship for Playwrights, the Many Voices Jerome Fellowship, New Dramatists’ Van Lier Fellowship, New York Theatre Workshop’s Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship, Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Project Prize, New York Stage and Film’s Founders Award, and a GLAAD Media Award. Rivers was the 2016 Playwright-in-Residence at Williamstown Theatre Festival, currently is a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, and lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Casting and creative team for This Bitter Earth to be announced at a later date.

NCTC’s New Play Development was created in 2002 to commission and develop new work to expand the canon of LGBT-themed plays, give voice to new and diverse playwrights, and add to the list of over 40 World Premieres NCTC has produced since 1981. Past commissions include plays by Terrence McNally, JC Lee, and Jewelle Gomez. The Lab is currently developing a new play by Ryan Fogarty.

 

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BERKELEY REP ANNOUNCES FULL CASTING AND CREATIVE TEAM FOR WORLD PREMIERE OFAIN’T TOO PROUD—THE TEMPTATIONS MUSICAL

Single tickets on sale beginning Wednesday, July 19

 

Berkeley Repertory Theatre today announced the full casting and creative team for the world premiere of AIN’T TOO PROUD—THE TEMPTATIONS MUSICAL. The musical stage production will be directed by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff. Berkeley Rep presents the show by special arrangement with Ira Pittelman and Tom Hulce (American Idiot, Spring Awakening).

 

Dominique Morisseau (Book)

Des McAnuff (Director)

Sergio Trujillo (Choreographer

Kenny Seymour (Musical Direction/Supervision & Arrangements)

Harold Wheeler (Orchestrations)

Robert Brill (Scenic Designer)

Paul Tazewell (Costume Designer)

Howell Binkley (Lighting Designer)

Steve Canyon Kennedy (Sound Designer)

Peter Nigrini (Projection Designer)

 

CAST

 

Esther Antoine (Swing)

Derrick Baskin (Otis Williams)

Shawn Bowers (Lamont

Jeremy Cohen (Shelley Berger)

James Harkness (Paul Williams)

Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr. (Swing)

Taylor Symone Jackson (Johnnie Mae)

Jared Joseph (Melvin Franklin)

Jahi Kearse (Berry Gordy)

Jarvis B. Manning, Jr. (Al)

Jeremy Pope (Eddie Kendricks) .

Devin L. Roberts (Swing)

Rashidra Scott (Josephine)

Caliaf St. Aubyn (Dennis)

Ephraim Sykes (David Ruffin)

Nasia Thomas (Mama Rose)

Christian Thompson (Smokey Robinson)

Candice Marie Woods (Diana Ross)

 

An electrifying new musical about the life and times of The Temptations, the greatest R&B group of all time (Billboard Magazine 2017). They were five young guys on the streets of Detroit when they were discovered by Berry Gordy, who signed them to his legendary new label. After 24 attempts, they finally had a hit and the rest is history—how they met, how they rose, the groundbreaking heights they hit, and how personal and political conflicts threatened to tear the group apart as the nation fell into civil unrest. Kennedy Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau, Olivier Award-winning choreographer Sergio Trujillo, and two-time Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff bring you this thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal. Iconic hits like “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and the signature dance moves that made the “Classic Five” Temptations part of our cultural history forever.

 

Previews begin Friday, August 31, 2017 and the show runs through Sunday, October 8, 2017. Press night for AIN’T TOO PROUD—THE TEMPTATIONS MUSICAL will be Thursday, September 14, 2017. Individual tickets will go on sale beginning Wednesday, July 19. Tickets are priced starting at $35, and can be purchased online at berkeleyrep.org and by phone at 510 647-2949 (Tue-Sun, noon-7pm).

 

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Dragon Theatre Launches New Late Night Series In Downtown Redwood City

Beginning in the summer of 2017 Dragon Theatre will be open late on select Friday nights to showcase some up and coming local talents and help make downtown Redwood City the peninsula’s premiere destination for entertainment.

Admission for these shows is $17 in advance or $20 at the door and each ticket includes one beverage. All shows are aged 21+.  Doors open at 10-ish (if there’s a show beforehand it might be closer to 10:15p) and shows start at 10:30p.  This series is sponsored in part by the Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission.

 

We kick off the series on Friday, July 21st at 10:30p with Michael Riley and Friends: A Night of Serious Comedy. Opening act Eric Rubin will bring his unique brand of musical comedy to Redwood City. Eric merges music, technology, character work and storytelling to create unique and disorienting comedic performances. He has taught and performed improv on three continents with ImprovBoston, Washington Improv Theater, La Liga Tica de Improvisacion (Costa Rica), and Sexy Mugshots Comedy (Indonesia). He has also used theater as a tool for social change in prisons, youth centers, and with Colombian refugees in Latin America. You may have seen Eric earlier this year at SF Sketchfest. You can learn more about Eric on his website http://ericrubin.net.

 

Then join stand-up veteran and headliner Michael Riley who’s opened for Bill Burr, Ellen DeGeneres and Robin Williams on a night of thoughtful humor and humorous thoughts as he headlines with his act “Attitude is Everything or Cancer Sucks, so Let’s Have Fun!”

 

In May of 2012 Michael was diagnosed Stage 3 cancer. The odds were not good. He has always lived by the motto “Attitude is Everything,” and cancer really put that motto to the test. The next seven months were spent in chemotherapy and radiation. His doctors were amazed he made it through, all the while keeping a positive attitude. Today he is cancer free. His doctors asked him if he could share his experience and attitude with newly diagnosed cancer patients. He considers it an honor to talk with them and help them on their journey.

 

He believes one of the few things we have control over in our lives is our attitude. We have a choice, a negative attitude or a positive one.  A negative attitude will always bring a negative result.  A positive attitude will always bring you positive results. Your attitude is always your choice!

WHEN: Friday, July 21st, 2017. Doors open at around 10p, show starts at 10:30p.

WHERE: The Dragon Theatre in downtown Redwood City at 2120 Broadway Street at the intersection of Broadway and Theatre Way

HOW MUCH: $17 in advance, $20 at the door. Every ticket includes one beverage from the concessions bar.

CONTACTING THE BOX OFFICE: Leave a voicemail at 650-493-2006 x 2 and your call will be returned within 2 business days. If you’d rather email, contact Josiah at tickets@dragonproductions.net. The Dragon Box Office is not staffed 7 days a week so there might be a delay in response. Buying tickets online at http://www.dragonproductions.net is the very best way to reserve a ticket in advance, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

TIX & MORE INFO: https://www.dragonproductions.net/activities/latenight.html

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THE BREADBOX PRESENTS WORLD PREMIERE OF ORIGINAL PRODUCTION “MACBITCH” July 28 – August 19, 2017 Featuring an all-female cast of 10

 

— The Breadbox presents the World Premiere of MACBITCH, written and assembled by Oren Stevens and conceptualized by The Breadbox Artistic Director Ariel Craft. Ariel Craft (The Awakening, The Pillowman, Blood Wedding, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore) directs this wildly creative hybrid of new work, adaptation, and classical text, featuring an all female cast of 10. MACBITCH plays July 28 through August 19 (press opening: July 29) at EXIT Theatre (156 Eddy St.) in San Francisco. For tickets ($15-$20) and more information, the public may visit breadboxtheatre.org.

 

Fluff up your shoulder pads and unsheathe your daggers: MACBITCH doth come. From the creative team behind last season’s critically acclaimed, award winning hit production, The Awakening, comes a brand new Frankenplay sprung forth from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Using Macbeth as an entry-point MACBITCH collages source material from the Scottish play and other pieces of Shakespearean, classical, and canonical verse text alongside original, contemporary dialogue, drawing upon cult classics for aesthetic inspirations. Sporting hints of Golding’s Lord of the Flies and totally sick aesthetics pillaged from favorite cult films about high school hierarchies, such as Heathers, MACBITCH examines the formation of female identity around ambition and a prevailing culture of woman-on-woman violence.

Set in a lawless high school, teenage girls, under the influence of a witchy trio-spirit of self-interest, ruthlessly ascend to social power (or die trying) only to emerge strangers to their former selves on the other end of the carnage. Harnessing clichés and subverting tropes, MACBITCH employs the stark juxtaposition of humor and horror to explore how modern female identity shapes itself around ambition and how women are conditioned to view other women as competition, rather than allies. MACBITCH clarifies the dangers of a culture where women are perpetually pitted against one another and how habituation to this dynamic keeps them isolated and complicit in a patriarchal society.

The Breadbox has assembled a talented ensemble for MACBITCH: Mikka Bonel, Lauren Hayes, Rebecca Hodges, María Ascensión Leigh, Carla Pauli, Amitis Rossoukh, Cassie Rosenbrock, Neiry Rojo, Roneet Aliza Rahamim, and Jessica Waldman. Lauren Hayes portrays Maxine (inspired by Macbeth) and María Ascensión Leigh, an Associate Artist at The Breadbox, previously seen in the company’s World Premiere adaptation of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, portrays Ladybird (inspired by Lady Macbeth). Mikka Bonel, Carla Pauli, and Jessica Waldman portray the witch-inspired trio. Lauren Hayes, María Ascensión Leigh, and Neiry Rojo have been in development with MACBITCH since its inception. The production features scenic design by Randy Wong-Westbrooke, costume design by Brooke Jennings, lighting design by Amanda Ortmayer, sound design by Ryan Lee Short, properties design by Stephanie Dittbern, and effects design by Carlos Mendoza. The production also features choreography by Margery Fairchild and combat choreography by Jon Bailey.

 

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Sue Trigg named new Artistic Director

Altarena is pleased to announce the appointment of Sue Trigg as its Artistic Director, starting August 1st. Sue is both delighted and excited to take on the role at her theatrical home away from home. Sue graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art with honors in 1974 and brings a wealth of artistic talent and integrity to Altarena.

 

Her history at Altarena is a long one, having worked with the company since 1986. Sue has directed more than 10 shows for Altarena, including the critically acclaimed Death of a Salesman, and has also performed in more than 10 shows. Favorite roles include Martha in Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Berthe, the acerbic maid, in Boeing, Boeing! for which she received a TBA nomination for best actress.

 

Sue looks forward to working closely with the Board of Directors to build on Altarena’s solid foundation. She vows to listen carefully to our patrons, and develop a season for 2018 that honors their input and our community’s diversity as well as it entertains Altarena’s audience.

 

Sue is committed to creating a welcoming environment built on trust and respect and will be a regular presence at the theatre. She is truly looking forward to serving the Board, the staff and above all, our valued audience members as Altarena moves into its 80th season!

 

For the official press release click here. For an interview with Sue or more information please contact: Jaime Ciabattoni at publicity@altarena.

 

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PLAYWRIGHTS FOUNDATION HIRES FIRST EXECUTIVE MANAGING DIRECTOR

Neal Spinler To Join Playwrights Foundation Following40th Anniversary Bay Area Playwrights Festival

– Playwrights Foundation’s Board of Directors will announce the engagement of Neal Spinler as the 40-year old nonprofit arts organization’s first executive Managing Director at the Festival’s kick-off 40th Anniversary Celebration today Thursday, July 13th at 6:30PM on the historic Rooftop Terrace at 343 Sansome St, San Francisco.. Spinler will work alongside Artistic Director Amy Mueller to lead the acclaimed playwright development company, beginning in August following the 40th Anniversary Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

The engagement culminates a multi-year strategic planning process and the organization’s first capital campaign. “We as a Board, and specifically those of us board members, artists and theater leaders who participated in the crafting of the Strategic Plan, are excited, energized and grateful that we have successfully completed our national search with the appointment of Neal Spinler,” remarks Board Chairperson Ditka Reiner. “The real work of transformation begins now and I for one look forward to supporting the great work Neal and Amy will do as a team to evolve, elevate and lead Playwrights Foundation and our artists into the 21st century.”

Neal Spinler has over twenty years of theater and arts leadership experience with key marketing, communications, and development roles at The Children’s Theatre Company, Pillsbury House Theatre, LA STAGE Alliance, Rogue Artists Ensemble, Tears of Joy Theatre, Pasadena Symphony and Pops, and ODC/Dance. He received a BFA in Theatre Direction from U-WI Superior and an MBA from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at U-WI Madison.

“I am thrilled to be joining Playwrights Foundation during this time of momentous change,” says Spinler. “It will truly be an honor to work alongside Amy and the Foundation’s dedicated Board to help bring the organization to greater heights by exploring operational platforms, developing new fundraising initiatives, and increasing engagement with the community. I am especially pleased to become a part of an organization dedicated to helping playwrights craft and hone their art of storytelling, one of humankind’s oldest art forms.”

 

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