San Francisco Playhouse https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph The Bay Area's Fastest-Growing Theatre Fri, 06 Nov 2020 19:05:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Protected: ‘Art’ by Yasmina Reza – Rising Star Access https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/rsart2020/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rsart2020 https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/rsart2020/#respond Fri, 06 Nov 2020 19:01:58 +0000 https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/?p=22074 There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Art: A Note from the Artistic Director https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/art-a-note-from-the-artistic-director/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=art-a-note-from-the-artistic-director https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/art-a-note-from-the-artistic-director/#respond Tue, 27 Oct 2020 18:56:38 +0000 https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/?p=22068 When Art was first produced on Broadway 22 years ago, it was a brilliant fable about male friendship. An affectionate satire, written by a woman, about the challenges men encounter on the road to friendship; how difficult it can be for men to be open and vulnerable with each other. In Christopher Hampton’s translation, it ...

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When Art was first produced on Broadway 22 years ago, it was a brilliant fable about male friendship. An affectionate satire, written by a woman, about the challenges men encounter on the road to friendship; how difficult it can be for men to be open and vulnerable with each other.

In Christopher Hampton’s translation, it served as a great vehicle for many brilliant actors and was produced widely around the world, winning the Tony Award for best play, running for an unheard-of 600 performances of an non-musical on Broadway and a whopping eight years on the West End. It introduced Yasmina Reza as a powerful voice who re-invented the “drawing room comedy” to skewer contemporary human foibles in the tradition of Moliere and Ben Jonson and the comedy of humours.

But why produce Art now? Why revive it in the midst of the pandemic? Why open our 20-21 Season with a play written for three white men and their petty upper middle-class quarrel over a work of art?

Art is the only title to have survived from our original season announcement in March 2020. When the coronavirus turned our world upside-down the rest of the ambitious season fell under the axe. Huge casts, big musicals, animals on stage. Sadly, we had to scrap those plans for happier times to come. This too will pass.

However, Art somehow resisted the axe. The original impetus, back in February 2020, to revive it came from a conversation I had with a board member, Betty Nakamoto, in which she lamented, “Why have we turned on each other so viciously in the country?” Sister against sister, brother against brother, we lament, “If you could support a certain politician or ideology, I’m not sure I can be your brother, friend, colleague anymore.”

“Why does that sound familiar?”, I thought. I later realized, and called Betty to tell her that her comment reminded me very much of Art. Two close friends, who’ve been devoted for many years, perhaps since school days, who are suddenly and perhaps irrevocably torn apart by one’s choice to buy a white painting. The other questions whether he can remain friends with someone who could do something so stupid. Bingo.

So our presentation of Art, coming so close to perhaps the most important election of our lives, was chosen to confront us with the lamentable human capacity to be divided into political camps in which we cannot understand, or empathize or communicate with those on the other side; the tragic sundering of the American civilization. A world in which political adversaries have become sworn enemies, shouting insults across our own Maginot Line of entrenchment. Like the McCoys and Hatfields, there seems to be very little hope of reconciliation.

And yet, some may say unrealistically, the combatants in Art do find their way toward understanding and forgiveness. Do they give us hope that we from the red and blue could somehow do likewise? Could we put aside our hatred and walk a mile in the others’ shoes. Many of us may chant, “Never!” But at least in our dreams, at least in the theatre, we can see it is possible, that these stubborn souls, imprisoned in their own version of “No Exit,” can find the chainsaw to hack their way out into the light.

– Artistic Director Bill English

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San Francisco Playhouse Announces On-Stage Filming for Art https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/san-francisco-playhouse-announces-on-stage-filming-for-art/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=san-francisco-playhouse-announces-on-stage-filming-for-art https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/san-francisco-playhouse-announces-on-stage-filming-for-art/#respond Wed, 14 Oct 2020 19:16:39 +0000 https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/?p=22017 SAN FRANCISCO (October 2020) — San Francisco Playhouse (Artistic Director Bill English; Producing Director Susi Damilano) were given the green light to film their production of Art by Yasmina Reza on stage at San Francisco Playhouse. The announcement makes San Francisco Playhouse one of the first theatres in the United States to get approval for ...

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SAN FRANCISCO (October 2020) — San Francisco Playhouse (Artistic Director Bill English; Producing Director Susi Damilano) were given the green light to film their production of Art by Yasmina Reza on stage at San Francisco Playhouse. The announcement makes San Francisco Playhouse one of the first theatres in the United States to get approval for on-stage filming.

“We could not be happier to have passed all Actors Equity Association safety requirements and have permission to film live, in-person next week,” said director Bill English “After weeks of rehearsing over video chat, it is a thrill to be returning to our stage to bring this next phase of live theatre to our patrons.”

The in-person filming will be done next week on stage at the Playhouse following a deep clean, installation of PPE stations, and other safety regulations that include having all personnel tested for COVID-19 and isolating until in-person work is complete.

Art will be staged as a full-fledged production with professional costumes, set, lighting, sound, and properties design. The performance will be filmed straight through with three cameras and a switching system to capture the live performance. Filming is planned for three days, after which the video will be edited and provided to subscribers and single ticket buyers as an on-demand video stream from October 24th through November 7th, 2020. Tickets ($15 – $100) and subscriptions ($200 – $300) are now available.

The cast features Bobak Cyrus Bakhtiari, Johnny Moreno, and Jomar Tagatac. All actors appear courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.

The company hopes that as COVID rates continue to decrease in San Francisco, more in-person theatrical work can be performed, eventually leading to partial live audiences when safety permits.

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Protected: 2020/21 Online Subscriptions https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/virtual-subs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=virtual-subs https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/virtual-subs/#respond Fri, 04 Sep 2020 18:13:25 +0000 https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/?p=21859 There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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San Francisco Playhouse Announces Playwrights Selected for Year Three of 5-Year Commission Program https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/san-francisco-playhouse-announces-playwrights-selected-for-year-three-of-5-year-commission-program/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=san-francisco-playhouse-announces-playwrights-selected-for-year-three-of-5-year-commission-program https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/san-francisco-playhouse-announces-playwrights-selected-for-year-three-of-5-year-commission-program/#respond Wed, 19 Aug 2020 18:53:07 +0000 https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/?p=21764 SAN FRANCISCO (August 2020) — San Francisco Playhouse (Artistic Director Bill English; Producing Director Susi Damilano) continued its commitment to developing new plays and nurturing the voices of active writers with the selection of the playwrights who will comprise the third year of the company’s five-year commission program. The recipients of these commissions are Julia ...

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SAN FRANCISCO (August 2020) — San Francisco Playhouse (Artistic Director Bill English; Producing Director Susi Damilano) continued its commitment to developing new plays and nurturing the voices of active writers with the selection of the playwrights who will comprise the third year of the company’s five-year commission program.

The recipients of these commissions are Julia Brothers (first commission), Brian Copeland (Not a Genuine Black Man), Ruben Grijalva (Value Over Replacement), and Tori Keenan-Zelt (Truth/Dare).

“We are thrilled to announce the playwrights selected for the third year of our ambitious five-year, 20-play program,” said Bill English, Artistic Director. “Despite the pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the last half of our ‘19/20 Season, our New Works Program will continue unabated. In this unfathomable and frightening time, we desperately need the prophecy that these talented voices will bring to give us perspective as we find our way through the darkness. These four playwrights exemplify the diversity and breadth of life experiences that our community and our nation need to hear.”

This coming season, San Francisco Playhouse will continue to develop the plays announced in the first two years of the commission program with readings, workshops and virtual productions.

The 5-Year Commission Program, which is a part of the Playhouse’s acclaimed New Works Program, was established in 2018 dedicated to the creation of 20 new plays over the next five years. The goal of the program is to provide more structure and long-range planning to the company’s already robust but informal commission program which has produced such plays as Seared by Theresa Rebeck, Bauer by Lauren Gunderson, Pluto by Steve Yockey, and You Mean To Do Me Harm by Christopher Chen. Playwrights engaged in the first two years of the program included Theresa Rebeck (Seared), Aaron Loeb (Ideation), Chelsea Marcantel (A White Girls Guide to International Terrorism), Christian Durso (a first commission), Julie Hébert (Tree), Melissa Ross (An Entomologist’s Love Story), and Octavio Solis (Mother Road).

The New Works Program at San Francisco Playhouse includes monthly play readings, the 3-play Sandbox Series of world premieres, and the 5-year Commission Program. The Playhouse’s commitment to new works has been honored by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Edgerton Foundation, The Biller Foundation, The Zellerbach Foundation, The Hewlet and Gerbode Foundations and the American Theatre Wing. The program has achieved significant critical and commercial milestones: two Will Glickman Awards in the past four years; the Sandbox Series smash hit Ideation, which recently completed a successful Off-Broadway engagement in New York City; and George Brant’s Grounded, which went on to international acclaim after its Sandbox premiere.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS

Julia Brothers most recently performed in Dance Nation at San Francisco Playhouse, after performing here as Robyn in The Roommate and Sue in Abigail’s Party. Recent credits: God in the Kilbane’s rock opera, Weightless, directed by Becca Wolff, at The Public Theatre’s Under The Radar Festival, ACT’s The Strand Theatre and Z Space; Arthur Miller in Jeremy Tiang’s Salesman in the Rough Cut Festival at LPAC; and Frances in The Breath of Life at Portland Center Stage. Broadway: Relatively Speaking – George Is Dead by Elaine May (directed by John Turturro). Off-Broadway: Clever Little Lies by Joe DiPietro at Westside Arts. Regional: Walter Anderson’s The Trial Of Donna Caine at George Street Playhouse. Women In Jeopardy at GEVA, Be Aggressive, Ambition Facing West, Other Desert Cities at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley; and Seagull (as adapted by Libby Appel), Magic Forest Farm and Fortune at Marin Theatre Company, among others. Julia is a company member of The B Street Theatre and SF Playground; and an Artistic Associate at Merrimack Repertory Theatre and Arizona Theatre Company. A Recipient of several regional theatre awards, Julia was also named MVP for Theatre by the SF Chronicle.

Brian Copeland is an award-winning actor, comedian, author, playwright, television and radio talk show host based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He began his career in standup at the tender age of 18 performing in comedy venues in San Francisco. Soon he was traveling the country opening for such legendary performers as Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Ray Charles, The Temptations, Natalie Cole, Julio Iglesias, Ringo Starr and Gladys Knight. Copeland performed his brand of biting, cutting edge social commentary in venues including the Universal Amphitheater and Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

In 2004, Copeland debuted his first one-man play, Not a Genuine Black Man at the Marsh in San Francisco. The play explored his childhood experiences as a member of one of the only African American families living in the then 94% white suburb of San Leandro, California. His tale of laughter, tears, and sociology went on to become the longest-running solo show in San Francisco theatrical history with over 800 performances. The show has been performed in over 30 cities, including a critically acclaimed run Off-Broadway. The play is currently in television series development. In 2006, Copeland published a best-selling book based on Genuine that is now required reading in several high schools and colleges across the country. The book was the 2009 pick for Silicon Valley Reads, a library-based program in which all of Santa Clara County reads the same book simultaneously.

To date, he has written and performed three subsequent critically acclaimed solo plays including The Waiting Period (2015 Theater Bay Area Award for Outstanding Production of a Solo Play), the hit Christmas show The Jewelry Box and The Scion (PBS affiliate KQED’s Best New Play of 2014). His new play, Grandma & Me: An Ode to Single Parents, debuted in 2019.

In addition to his stage work, Copeland is a fixture in Bay Area broadcasting, where he has hosted programs on just about every television station, including KTVU (a five-year stint as cohost of Mornings on 2), ABC7 (host of the Emmy award-winning 7Live) and KNTV (the hit 2015 late night special Now Brian Copeland). He has also performed on MTV, A&E, NBC, VH1 and Comedy Central.

Ruben Grijalva is an award-winning San Francisco-based playwright and filmmaker. His short plays include Full Steam Ahead and the PianoFight ShortLived winning All The Worlds Are Stages. His full-length plays include ForesightAnna Considers Mars, and the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award-winning Value Over Replacement. He lives in San Francisco’s Sunset District with a human named Keli and a Labrador named Retha.

Tori Keenan-Zelt writes curiosity-chasing plays that sniff out in-between spaces in big theatre to change the world. Many of them decide to be comedies.

Originally and proudly from Pittsburgh, she lives in NYC and grows plays around the country. Recent works include How the Baby Died (Bay Area Playwrights Fest, Ingram New Works), Seph (Araca Project, Princess Grace Finalist, Fresh Ground Pepper), Air Space (Kilroys Top 5, Ingram New Works), Truth/Dare (Project Y, Best Ensemble Pittsburgh Fringe, Nashville Top 10), How to Be a Widow (Ellie Award), Egypt Play (InterAct Finalist, Playwrights Center Mentorship), Episode #121: Catfight! (Yale Cabaret), and others.

Having written for Colonial Williamsburg’s Emmy Award-winning PBS education series, Tori has been named an Emmy Nominee, Kilroys Lister, Jerome Finalist, 3-Time Princess Grace Finalist, 2-Time O’Neill Semifinalist, Playwrights of New York Nominee, and some other things. She is affiliated with The Lark, The Playwrights Center, New Georges, Ensemble Studio Theatre Playwrights Unit, Fresh Ground Pepper, & the Dramatists Guild. Currently, she’s a member of Project Y Playwrights Group. Some of her short plays are published by Next Stage Press. AB, Harvard. MFA, NYU Tisch Asia (Singapore).

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Standing in Solidarity https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/standing-in-solidarity/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=standing-in-solidarity https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/standing-in-solidarity/#respond Tue, 02 Jun 2020 23:58:59 +0000 https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/?p=21446 A Message to the San Francisco Playhouse community: We at the Empathy Gym stand in solidarity and love with the black community. We dedicate ourselves to give a voice to the racial injustice in this country. Arts and culture are among the powerful ways that existing racial and ethnic representations, messages and stories are created and shared. While the doors to ...

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A Message to the San Francisco Playhouse community:

We at the Empathy Gym stand in solidarity and love with the black community. We dedicate ourselves to give a voice to the racial injustice in this country.

Arts and culture are among the powerful ways that existing racial and ethnic representations, messages and stories are created and shared. While the doors to our theatre need to remain closed, we commit to using our voice and our network to shed light and inspire change on the racial injustice in this country.

We dedicate ourselves to be anti-racist. To stand up for our dear friends who live in fear of being harmed purely because of the color of their skin. We raise our voice to unequivocally say that black lives matter.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King

We encourage you to explore these resources, many of which have already been shared by our peers in the arts:

American Civil Liberties Union
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Black Lives Matter
Campaign Zero
Color of Change
I Run With Maud
George Floyd Memorial Fund

In solidarity,
Bill English, Susi Damilano, and everyone at San Francisco Playhouse

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TEST Donation page https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/test-donation-page/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=test-donation-page https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/test-donation-page/#respond Thu, 23 Apr 2020 18:37:43 +0000 https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/?p=21274 Choose your donation DONATE ONCEGIVE MONTHLYEMPATHY GYM MEMBERSHIP Monthly donation Your monthly support makes an enormous impact. Recurring gifts give us dependable funding to sustain our mission and plan for the future. Your monthly gift

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Choose your donation

DONATE ONCEGIVE MONTHLYEMPATHY GYM MEMBERSHIP

Monthly donation

Your monthly support makes an enormous impact. Recurring gifts give us dependable funding to sustain our mission and plan for the future.

Your monthly gift


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April 23, 2020 at 7:00 P.M A Fireside Chat with Lauren Gunderson https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/fireside-chats-lauren-gunderson/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fireside-chats-lauren-gunderson https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/fireside-chats-lauren-gunderson/#respond Fri, 17 Apr 2020 19:36:19 +0000 https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/?p=21247 A Fireside Chat with Lauren Gunderson

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A Fireside Chat with Lauren Gunderson

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Fireside Chat | Aaron Loeb https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/fireside-chat-aaron-loeb/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fireside-chat-aaron-loeb https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/fireside-chat-aaron-loeb/#respond Fri, 17 Apr 2020 19:35:24 +0000 https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/?p=21244 A Fireside Chat with Aaron Loeb

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A Fireside Chat with Aaron Loeb

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Empathy Gym Fireside Chats https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/empathy-gym-fireside-chats/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=empathy-gym-fireside-chats https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/empathy-gym-fireside-chats/#respond Fri, 17 Apr 2020 01:00:44 +0000 https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/?p=21237 San Francisco Playhouse announced their new Empathy Gym Fireside Chat series which will be streamed live for free on YouTube. Each week, Artistic Director Bill English invites playwrights to join him for a one-hour conversation about playwriting, business, and the future of theatre. Audience members can participate in the conversation by leaving a comment on ...

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San Francisco Playhouse announced their new Empathy Gym Fireside Chat series which will be streamed live for free on YouTube. Each week, Artistic Director Bill English invites playwrights to join him for a one-hour conversation about playwriting, business, and the future of theatre. Audience members can participate in the conversation by leaving a comment on YouTube.

The Empathy Gym Fireside Chat series will begin this Thursday, April 16th at 7:00 P.M. PST. Playwright Aaron Loeb will join Artistic Director Bill English for the series’ first one-hour live discussion. Playwrights Lauren M. Gunderson, Carey Perloff, and Lauren Yee are confirmed to join Bill English as guests for the subsequent fireside chats on the following dates: April 23 (Lauren M. Gunderson), April 30 (Carey Perloff), and May 7 (Lauren Yee). The Empathy Gym Fireside Chats will each take place at 7:00 P.M.

The series can be streamed live at the following links:
Aaron Loeb, April 16 at 7:00 P.M. PST
Lauren M. Gunderson, April 23 at 7:00 P.M. PST
Carey Perloff, April 30 at 7:00 P.M. PST
Lauren Yee, May 7 at 7:00 P.M. PST

“Playwrights are the prophets of our time, blessed with sensitive antennae that are able to gather essential insights from the tumultuous roar of our culture,” said Bill English. “They absorb what is happening around them and channel it into words and stories that help us understand our world. And while we are unable to experience the joy of live theatre, it is the perfect time to introduce these incredible human beings to our theatrical family.”

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