I’m going to try something out.
One of the things I enjoy most about running this site is the ability I have to amplify works from artists of color. I love hearing from people I’ve never met asking if there is something I can do to help get the word out. Theatre making in the Bay Area is tough – so many entertainment options, so much other stuff to compete with. Movies, sports, hiking, biking are just some of the things going on in a crowded market competing for your entertainment dollar.
There are so many theatre organizations doing incredibly important work, providing spaces for wonderfully creative and talented artists to ply their trade. And I have a modest platform in this little corner of the Bay Area theatre universe.
This thought came about while interacting with a Bay Area artist who pitched me a story to help, an artist I’ve spoken to before and featured. And that pitch gave me an idea.
I want to spend one post a month amplifying work from artists of color, women, LGBTQIA, stuff that’s a bit off the beaten path, different than a company that has a regular season going for it. Featuring companies and the way I cover theatre isn’t going to change, but I want to add this dynamic. It is something I am going to call the “Color Capsules.”
Once I add things to the post and publish, I will then tag your company on Facebook (Bay Area Plays.com) and Twitter (@davidjchavez). At that point, share the heck out of it, sell yourselves a buttload of tickets, make a shit ton of money and keep doing more amazing work. Or something like that. This is an opportunity for me to do what I am most passionate about – engaging myself and any readers out there with opportunities to support works from marginalized groups.
For post consideration, please provide the following information to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org):
- Name of the company
- Dates, venue, price range and a high-resolution photo
- In the subject line, please put ‘Color Capsules’
- A couple of quotes about the project. I won’t be conducting interviews but if I can get some quotes to consider, that would be awesome.
My goal will be to publish something the first of every month. I’m going to do everything I can to make that happen. Submission deadline is a week before on the 25th.
Here are a few capsules for August to get the party started:
GOMEZ AND FRIENDS WANNA CRACK YOU UP
Thursday night, Aug. 8th, Bay Area actor and comedian Marga Gomez kicked off a project where she is curating and booking a monthly event at Brava Women in the Arts in their new cabaret space. “Who’s Your Mami Comedy” got started with a sellout and tickets are on sale for their September offering. It’s a show rooted in Gomez’ own history as one of the first openly lesbian performers in the nation. She performs all over the country and is well known for multiple critically acclaimed one person shows and has seen an industry dominated by males and wants to help.
“Our shared goal is to provide audiences with an alternative to male dominated standup in San Francisco, by turning our cabaret stage over to outstanding comedians who don’t get equal time: women, people of color, LGBT+ and political comedians in general,” said Gomez. “This is how I started in standup in the 80’s, playing at a cabaret that celebrated underrepresented voices and an audience hungry to hear something that “questions authority.”
The show runs on the second Thursday of every month, with the next performance scheduled for Sept. 12th. All seats are general admission and are $10.
Tickets and more information: https://www.brava.org/all-events/2019/8/8/whos-your-mami-comedy
EMERGING THEATRE COMPANY ‘QUEER CATS’ READY TO SCRATCH
An emerging queer theatre company is readying for a new show at San Francisco’s Potrero Stage. “The Gay Divorce Play” runs for two weeks beginning on Aug. 15th is an immersive interactive theater ritual of a queer marriage dissolution party produced by Queer Cat Productions. The three founders, Carson Beker, Nicole Jost and Nara Dahlbacka were students in the San Francisco State MFA program and turned their playwriting skills into a full-fledged company.
The company’s focus is to create playful, perspective-queering, boundary-pushing theater and immersive experiences at the intersection of theater, games, and storytelling.
“The Bay Area has a strong LGBTQ community with a rich history and deep roots,” said Jost. “We wanted to engage that community with boundary-pushing, genre-defying art that not only presents queer characters, but ‘queers’ storytelling itself.”
The experience lasts about two hours, during which time audience members will be called upon to bear witness, take sides, misbehave, eat, drink, and consider: What is a queer marriage? Is marriage queer? Can you fall out of love? What does it mean to be monstrous in a relationship? What is queer intimacy? What is love? And what does it mean when two people who once loved one another separate or when a play ends: are we a community of friends, colleagues, and families, or are we just strangers in a room?
To learn more about Queer Cat Productions and purchase tickets, visit https://www.queercatproductions.com/
SUPPORT WOMEN IN THEATRE!
The Bay Area is gearing up for next year’s Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival, slated to take place over three months beginning in March. The festival is made up of writers, actors, producers, directors, artists, designers, and technicians who care about gender equality and whose mission is to create, produce, and promote extraordinary theatre by women+ and non-binary artists.
It takes a ton to get something like this off the ground, and clearly, one of the biggest necessities is money. The festival organizers are doing much to fund raise and can certainly use help big and small to make sure these critical voices are heard.
To make a financial contribution, check out the groups fundraising page. There are also fundraisers held in various locations, the next one taking place on Monday, Aug. 26th at Farley’s East in Oakland, where 20 percent of your bill goes to the festival. For information on that event, click here.