Author: Awesome Theatre

Awesome Theatre’s 2022 Safety Theatre Manual

Awesome Theatre is returning to the stage in 2022! (I mean, assumably. Who even knows anymore?) And we are bringing the (very safe) heat with the live finale of our online musical theatre contest, the premiere of our social unrest zombie movie, an urban legend that comes to life as a ghost story, a hilarious new play taking place at intersection of fame and religion, and the return of a Halloween staple.


Your New Favorite Musical FINALS

Hosted by
Wonder Dave and Tirumari Jothi

January 27, 7 PM

PianoFight

After battling it out online, three finalists will compete in front of a live audience to get their original musical produced.


THEM Film Premiere

A new film written by
J. Elliot Mendez

Directed by
Nikki Meñez

February, 2022

Our social unrest zombie movie shambles onto screens big and small.


Coffee Lady

Written By
Bridgette Dutta Portman

Directed by
Nikki Meñez

Thursday Nights at 9PM
March 3 – April 7

PianoFight

Desperate for money, two sisters hatch a plot to recreate the “McDonalds Coffee Lady” lawsuit. But the true story comes to haunt them.


The Path

Written by
Marc Abrigo

Directed by TBA

July 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 & 30 8PM

Bindlestiff Studio

In an attempt to boost his fame, a D-list celebrity joins a cult and unwittingly becomes its leader. 


Terror-Rama IV IN SPACE!

Hosted by
Sindie Chopper

Directed by
Colin Johnson

October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29 

Exit Theatre

Featuring: Parallax Denigrate by Alandra Hileman & Space Babes From Planet Evil By Jess Thomas

The Horror-Theatre Double Feature returns for Halloween and kick you in the death stars with twi tales of intergalactic terror taking place in the vast reaches of outer space.


Artist in Residence Workshop

December 2022

An original creation by our 2022 Artist-In-Residence, Nora Doane

Every year Awesome Theatre asks a local artist to hang out with us for a year, work on different shows, try different things, and at the end of the year, present a workshop production of whatever crazy idea they come up with.


Wanna help us make it happen?

Awesome Theatre is a Volunteer-run 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Arts Organization, so your gift is totally tax deductible. And there’s some pretty cool perks.

Support weird theatre.

The Jersey Devil Play (On Film)


A (filmed) play about Love and Cryptids
Written by Allison Page
Directed by Jan Gilbert 

Now available to rent or buy or Vimeo!

The devil’s in the details — and their house.

Abby and Norman Kristoff have impulsively moved away from their steady lives in Sacramento to a cabin in Moorestown, New Jersey, sight unseen. Thankfully, the quirky locals know everything there is to know: where to eat, what to do, and who’s had a run-in with the Jersey Devil, a centuries-old horse-headed beast with hooves, claws, bat wings, and a bad attitude. The Kristoff’s invested everything they have into their new home and they’ll fight for it, tooth and nail. And they’ll need everything they’ve got because when the devil comes knocking, he rarely comes alone.

This play will be fully staged, performed, and filmed in front of a live audience over two nights at PianoFight Oakland. The performances will premeire as a fully edited multi-camera film presentation online and at special live screenings in December 2021

Featuring: Isabel Anne To, Sam Bertken, Alicia Stamps, Michelle Peck, Edwin Jacobs, and Meghann Hayes

Artistic and Production Staff: Sarahi Arellano, Jan Gilbert, Jess Thomas, Kelli Westad, Sara Saavedra, Kenna Lindsay, Zephaniah Bensaid, Claire Rice, and Anthony R. Miller

THEM

A Social Unrest Zombie Movie

Written By J. Elliott Mendez

Directed by Nikki Meñez

Premiering Online and in Select Screenings, November 2021

When the hunger for justice means you’re on the menu.”

While trying to outrun the apocalypse, four strangers hunker down in an all-but-abandoned house for the night. As the world ends outside, the secrets of each, Dakota – a suburban mom, Argentina – a grassroots political activist, and Milwaukee – the group’s gun-toting self-proclaimed protector, come crawling out and pulling at the ties that bind them together. But one by one they realize that Cincinnati hides the most dangerous secret and that it may come back to bite them. With time running out to make a final run for the safe zone, these unlikely allies will first have to answer the question that looms; “is it us or THEM?”

Featuring: Jaq Moore, Pamela-Drummer Williams, Nicole Odell, Nikki Nutterfield, Vince Faso, and Janelle Aguirre

Artistic and Production Team: Eteya Trinidad, Colin Johnson, Erica Andracchio, Nikki Meñez, Claire Rice, Emily Dwyer, and Brittany Mellerson

Awesome Theatre’s Code of Conduct

As part of our EDI commitments, and to create a safe and positive environment for all of our artists and collaborators, we have created an Awesome Theatre Code of Conduct. Effective immediately, all Awesome Theatre team members and everyone who works with us will be asked to sign this document and conduct themselves accordingly. The Code of Conduct is a living document and will change and evolve based on experience and feedback from our artists and team members, but these initial 9 guidelines will serve as a foundation for creating a space where all artists feel welcome. In the near future, you will be hearing more from us on how we will be enforcing these guidelines and adhering to our anti-racism statement.

Community Statement

We at Awesome Theatre believe in creating a supportive, uplifting environment where project members can create, explore, invent, and critique creative work. We know that each individual’s success is a direct result of the cohort and that we are each stronger creators, and better community members when we work together in a positive and respectful environment. We know that creating theatre can be messy, and stressful and that this work can push people in ways that are emotionally uncomfortable. We know that creating a safe environment in which to do this work can be difficult, and is necessary. 

Code of Conduct

  1. We understand that everyone who is working with Awesome Theatre is here voluntarily, and is giving of their time, effort, and creativity openly. We promise to be respectful of each person’s time and energy, and to be as efficient and cognisant as possible when making rehearsal schedules, production decisions, and changes to existing time commitments.
  1. We believe that as respectful coworkers it is up to each of us to learn the best ways to speak with one another and to honor the individual ways that we each process information. We will raise our concerns in good faith, and discuss paths forward with growth and transparency at the center of our plans and actions. 
  1. We believe in taking care of one another, and that it is vital that each of us feels safe and welcome when they are on an Awesome Theatre project. We are open to feedback and helpful criticism, with the end goal of increasing awareness and physical and emotional safety for everyone working with Awesome Theatre.
  1. I understand that everyone who is working with Awesome Theatre is here voluntarily, and is giving of their time, effort, and creativity openly. By being part of Awesome Theatre, I acknowledge that I too am here voluntarily, and am ready to work with the group in a professional, honest, and respectful manner.
  1. I understand that gender pronouns and names are to be decided by the individual person to whom they refer and that I am expected to use each person’s pronouns and name as directed by that individual. 
  1. I understand that health and safety are a priority on every Awesome Theatre project and that concerns about health and safety are to be raised immediately with my director and/or producer.
  1. I understand that words matter, and that I am expected to speak from a place of humility, kindness, and curiosity whenever I am working with Awesome Theatre. I will ask questions when I don’t understand a task or an action, and I will be open to questions and discussions throughout each Awesome Theatre project.
  1. I understand that I am coming to Awesome Theatre with my own biases and that those biases may be challenged by the work the company does, the people that I work with, and the organizers that make each project possible. I acknowledge that these biases are part of my own personal journey and that it is up to me, and not up to Awesome Theatre, to work on or through these biases in order to bring my best self to each project.
  1. I understand that consent is vital, and that I am expected to respect and uphold the emotional and physical boundaries set by my coworkers.

Empress Yee and The Magical History of Chinatown

Awesome Theatre and Chinatown Historian Marc Pomerleau (The Fighting History of SF Chinatown) are teaming up again for EMPRESS YEE AND THE MAGICAL HISTORY OF CHINATOWN, a new documentary that tells the story of Cynthia Yee, a burlesque dancer, entertainer, educator, tour guide, all-around mover and shaker and bender of traditional norms, born, raised, and still creating magic in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Cynthia began dancing and touring with the famous Dorothy Toy Dance troupe at the age of 17 during the halcyon years of the Oriental-themed San Francisco NightClubs of the late 1950s and 60s. Today, Empress Yee and her wild band of former showgirls, artists, and dancing grandmas still perform today as the Grant Avenue Follies, delighting audiences with their amazing range of hula, burlesque, hip hop, and creative collaborations with exotic/erotic performers, drag queens, and anyone else who can try to keep up with their energy, sense of humor, and love of life.

Empress Yee and the Magical History of Chinatown is a chance to explore Chinatown’s alleys, experience stories of Chinatown’s past, and share in her dreams for Chinatown’s future.  Featuring interviews with the Rice Rockettes and the Grant Avenue Follies and stunning shots of Chinatown. This is chicken soup for the soul Chinatown-style with lots of chilies, chicken feet, and perhaps a few other things you’ve never tasted before


Watch the trailer!

Six Things God Hates

Beginning April 8

Directed by Jeunée Simon

Produced by Jess Thomas

According to Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things the Lord hates… haughty eyes, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are swift to rush into evil, one who sows discord among brethren and a false witness who speaks lies”. We asked 6 Bay Area writers to create an original radio play based on one of those things. Each writer uses their “thing” as a prompt, where they go from there, it’s anybody’s guess. Featuring a cast of 5 supplying the voices, and Directed by Jeunee Simon, you get a new play on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month starting April 8.


The Cast

Performed by Nic Sommerfeld, Renee Rogoff, Phil Wong, Neiry Rojo, and Alexandria Love

The Plays

GEND-O-FLUX

Written by Sean Owens

Prompt: A person who stirs up conflict in the community

“Let Professor Palanquin’s medical marvel set YOU free!”

A stranger pulls into Creve Coeur, Missouri, circa 1917, touting an invention that will revolutionize the citizenry— and wreak special havoc upon the denizens of the Trotter Residence. What will this mean for Suffrage? Arranged marriages? And the ever sacred Founders Day Dance?

Premieres on April 8


EPHRAIM THE URCHIN

Written by Rebecca Pierce 

Prompt: A Proud/Haughty Look

A murky tale of murder in the City by the Bay.

After a disturbing call to her late-night request show, DJ Sally Shabbaz hits the streets of 1960s San Francisco to solve the mysterious killing of local minor league baseball mascot, Ephraim the Urchin. Secrets rise to the surface as the intrepid DJ follows a trail of a murderer who is proud of their crime, and shameless about their tastes in music. Murder, conspiracy, and showbusiness come together as Sally gets to the bottom of who really killed Ephraim the Urchin.

Premieres on April 22


THE REVEALING ROLL

Written by Molly Olis Krost

Prompt: A false witness who pours out lies 

“That’s how the dice roll”

A top-notch private investigator is on the case to get the bottom of what happened at a local diner late last night. On their side is their trusted sidekick who has an…unconventional method for sussing out the truth. What happens when their only witness has the potential to unravel everything they’ve worked for?

Premieres on May 13


THE FAMILY JEWELS

Written by Alexandria Love

Prompt: A heart that devises wicked schemes

“Once the vault door opens, secrets begin to spill out…”

A fast-talking thief, a mousy hacker, and an unflappable mercenary pull off the biggest heist of their lives under the watchful eye of an aging crime matriarch. In their quest for diamonds, the ill-fated trio will discover that revenge is a family business — and business is booming.

Premieres on May 27


FEAT OF EVIL

Written By Drew Lucas

Prompt: Feet that are swift in running to evil

“Evil beckons when a young woman discovers she’s solely responsible for the murders and mutilations surrounding her.”

Murders and mutilated flesh haunt a young woman after befriending a dark-arts occultist. But when she discovers that her thoughts, in a moment of passionate hatred, are made real by a malevolent being, she realizes she can put a stop to them all. She must surrender to her dark nature and commit a feat of evil beyond compare in hopes to yield some good. Only then could all be rightfully restored to how things were…for the Devil himself. 

Premieres on June 10


MARS ONE

Written by Jess Thomas

Prompt: Hands that Shed Innocent Blood

“When you’re 127 million miles from Earth, there’s no one to save you.

Mars Colony One: the first successful human colony on another planet. A team of scientists and military personnel struggle to maintain sanity, and their very survival. When strange things begin happening, they must come together or perish on a desolate planet.

Premieres on June 24


Check out the trailer!

HOLY SH*T, THAT WAS SCARY Part 3: The Cloud

Available on-demand through April 1, 2021

PWYC ($10 Suggested)

Part Three of our found footage horror anthology series has gone virtual. Created and Curated by Artistic Director Colin Johnson and featuring three brand new horror shorts by local writers tied together by the story of a new and exclusive underground App that exploits your worst insecurities and fears.

Ever since Jules (Puja Tolton) became one of the first invited to join ReKomoZe, she’s become withdrawn. She thought it was just a game, but now her dreams are haunted by a dark figure that is creeping into her reality.  Her friends Eric (Marc Abrigo)  and Lacey (Sonia Sawkar) have to solve the mystery of the app before it’s too late.

THE FILMS

DOLORES

Written by Alexandria Love

Directed by Nikki Meñez

Kennedi (Yes, with an “I”) is an internet celebrity and lifestyle vlogger with the perfect life. She has a chic SF apartment, a hot surfer husband, and a dog named Sparkles. But when the ReKomoZe app asks her three questions, the answers could destroy everything.

Featuring: Sharon Shao and Edwin Jacobs


FOMO

Written by Tirumari Jothi

Directed by Sarah Coykendall

The ReKompoZe app made Dana and Trevor famous, now it may tear them apart. When Trevor leaves the app, he becomes distant and on the edge of sanity. While Dana tries to balance maintaining her fame and her relationship, she becomes a witness to his downward spiral.

Featuring: Ed Gonzalez Moreno, Kaylamay Paz Suarez, and Tasi Alabastro


THE CONVERGENCE

Written by Claire Rice

Directed by Alejandro Emmanuel Torres

He is reclusive, mysterious, and powerful. He is The Founder, the tech genius behind.  ReKompoZe. After a driven young journalist has tracked him down, he grants a rare interview. But The Founder has much bigger plans.

Featuring: Jennifer McNeal and Dan Kurtz





Awesome Theatre’s 2021 Theatrical Entertainment System.

We are proud to present our 2021 lineup of new digital and live (we hope) content! From January to August, we’ll be rolling out a new horror anthology, a podcast, and an exciting new documentary. In the Fall, we plan to make our return to live shows with the finale of “Your New Favorite Musical”, and two brand new plays. 


It started in the woods. It found its way to the city. Now… it’s everywhere.”

February 2021

Featuring short films written by Alexandria Love, Tirumari Jothi, Claire Rice, and Colin Johnson.

Directed by Sarah Coykendall, Nikki Meñez, Alejandro Torres, and Colin Johnson

Part Three of our found footage horror anthology series has gone virtual, with four brand new horror shorts contextualized into an unrelenting stream of horror entertainment. Imagine a new, underground App that chooses you as an inaugural participant. What starts out as spooky fun with friends soon turns sinister, exploiting your worst insecurities and fears and daring you to uninstall at your own risk.

Watch the trailer!

It turns out there’s a list.

April 2021

A New Podcast featuring 6 original radio plays

According to Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things the Lord hates… haughty eyes, hands that shed innocent blood,a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are swift to rush into evil, one who sows discord amoung brethren and a false witness who speaks lies”. We’re asking 6 Bay Area writers to create an original radio play based on one of those things.

Watch the trailer!

Chinatown at night will change the way you see the world in daylight. 

July 2021

A documentary featuring Marc Pomerleau and Cynthia Yee

Following up on the incredibly successful “Fighting History of SF Chinatown”, host Marc Pomerleau teams up with Cynthia Yee to present “The Haunted History SF Chinatown”. This new documentary introduces explorers to the fascinating ghost stories of San Francisco Chinatown, stories rooted in the actual, bizarre, chilling, and sometimes brutal events and conditions that brought these stories into being. Watch as they walk Chinatown’s alleyways connecting Chinese supernatural folklore going back thousands of years and the historical and cultural context of the Chinese immigrant experience.

Watch the trailer!

It’s time to pick a winner!

Late Summer, maybe Fall, ehh TBA

Featuring “Mommallia” by Jennifer Gallagher, “Pinball the Musical!” by Derek Lipkin, and “SINergy” by Liz Baker, Sang S. Kim and

After 3 rounds of online competition, our three finalists will have 15 minutes each to pitch their original musical LIVE to our panel of judges. The winner will get thier show produced by Awesome Theatre.


“When the hunger for justice means you’re on the menu.”

Fall 2021

Written By J. Elliot Mendez

Directed by Nikki Meñez

While trying to outrun the apocalypse, four strangers hunker down in an all-but-abandoned house for the night. As the world ends outside, the secrets of each, Dakota – a suburban mom, Argentina – a grassroots political activist, and Milwaukee – the group’s gun-toting self-proclaimed protector, come crawling out and pulling at the ties that bind them together. But one by one they realize that Cincinnati hides the most dangerous secret, and that it may come back to bite them. With time running out to make a final run for the safe zone, these unlikely allies will first have to answer the question that looms; “is it us or THEM?”


The devil’s in the details — and their house.

Fall 2021

Written by Allison Page
Directed by Jan Gilbert 

Abby and Norman Kristoff have impulsively moved away from their steady lives in Sacramento to a cabin in Moorestown, New Jersey, sight unseen. Thankfully, the quirky locals know everything there is to know: where to eat, what to do, and who’s had a run-in with the Jersey Devil, a centuries-old horse-headed beast with hooves, claws, bat wings, and a bad attitude. The Kristoff’s invested everything they have into their new home and they’ll fight for it, tooth and nail. And they’ll need everything they’ve got because when the devil comes knocking, he rarely comes alone.


2021 Artist-In-Residence

Alexandria Love

Alexandria is a stand-up comedian, writer, and performer from Oakland, California. She has been performing all over California since graduating from college in 2014. She’s performed at every major club in the Bay Area including SF Punchline, Cobb’s Comedy Club, and the San Jose Improv. She’s been a part of the following festivals: SF’s Comedy Day (2018), SF SketchFest (2018, 2019 and 2020), Out of Bounds in Austin, TX (2019), Silicon Valley Comic Con (2018, 2019), and South by Southwest (2019).

She’s been written about in the SF Chronicle multiple times, once referring to her as a “stand-out” for the Comedy Day Celebration. She was also voted as a “Comedian to Watch” by the SFist in 2019. Oakland residents might know her as the 19-time winner of Tourettes Without Regrets Haiku Battle. She has recently signed on to be a contributor for SF’s Awesome Theatre hour where she creates historical storytelling videos in a segment called Drunkaturgy. She has a M.A. in Communications from USF. You can see more of her writing at hereswhythatsfunny.com


Wanna help us make this awesome lineup happen? There’s two ways to do it!

DONATE: Awesome Theatre is a Volunteer-run 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Arts Organization, so your gift is totally tax deductible. And there’s some pretty cool perks.


JOIN THE FRIENDS OF AWESOME: For $10 a month, you get access to all of our content for free. Anything we release digitally, you can watch as much as you want. When we have live performances, you can see them as often as you want. And it’s the best way to support us.


I Broke The Looking Glass

A Short Film written by Puja Tolton

Directed by Phil Wong  

Eddy is on an epic quest… to get her shit together.

Times are strange and Eddy is cracking up. She’s lost her job, her housemate is mad at her, and long avoided family issues have peaked their ugly head. After one bad day leads to an overdue breakdown, Eddy falls into a fantasy realm that looks suspiciously like our own. Will her quest through this fantastic world help her face her fears and go to therapy? Or will she give up and become the Dark Lord’s social media manager? Featuring catcalling dragons, wise goblins, hip half-orcs, and licensed therapists (who also happen to be elves). Written by Awesome theatre’s 2020 artist in residence, “I Broke the Looking Glass” is a funny and sincere love letter to Oakland, Nerd Culture, and Self Care. 


Featuring: Alicia Piemme Nelson, Charlie Gray, Puja Tolton, Sango Tajima, and Troy Rockett, 

Puppets created by Shadow Circus Creature Theatre

Soundtrack by Suits of Steel


Watch the newest trailer!

Watch the trailer here!


Awesome Theatre’s Socially Distanced Halloween Special and Fundraise-A-Thon

Wednesday, October 28, 7 PM
Awesome Theatre’s YouTube Channel

Join us for a special online event! “The Awesome Theatre Socially Distanced Halloween Special Fundraise-A-Thon” promises to be a hilarious and entertaining evening benefiting our 2021 lineup of online and live productions.  Watch the entire staff of Awesome Theatre attempt to put on a super-spooky telethon hosted by clown legend Sara “Toby” Moore and our 2019 Artist in Residence, Kaylamay Paz Suarez, loud punk rock by our “Haunted House Band”, THE CREEPY CRAWLIES, and a cavalcade of circus, music, poetry, burlesque, and comedy acts, a kickass online silent auction and the unveiling of our 2021 lineup! 





Marc Pomerleau (Fighting History of SF Chinatown) returns with Chinatown legend Cynthia Yee to regale you with true stories of grisly murders, hauntings, and terror on the streets and alleyways of Chinatown.

Bay Area Comedian Alexandria Love is back with a special and “Spooky AF” edition of DRUNKATURGY. This episode covers The Zodiac Killer, the SS Hornet, and other terrifying tales that go well with whiskey.

It would be illegal to call this a Halloween Special without Awesome Theatre’s beloved scream queen and TERROR-RAMA horror-host, MISS SINDIE CHOPPER. She’s rolling in with a coffin full of fun and a very special performance guaranteed to tickle your depraved fancies.

Why are two of the coolest people / playwrights in SF being interviewed by our casting director on a special that is also announcing our 2021 lineup of plays and digital content? We’re sure those things have nothing to do with eachother, but tune in just in case.

JUSTICE NEVER SLEEPS, unless it’s naptime or after 9PM. Direct from AwesomeTown, “Judge Judy Blume: Distance Learning Edition” brings law and order to the virtual playground. Featuring Nora Doane.

One of the coolest people we know, DeMarcello Funes, is rising from the grave to give a bone-chilling performance featuring freaky finger magic and hambone. WARNING: This performance may scare your dog.

Rob Ready goes on a search for the legendary PianoFight Theatre Ghost.

Joyce Lee is an award winning poet, writer, and storyteller from Oakland, Ca. She has performed all over the world, toured with NPR’s Snap Judgement, and for some incredible reason, is willing to perform on our show. We’re pretty excited about it.


Watch the trailer


Watch the show!