Author: Awesome Theatre

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 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  

Premieres online December 1 , 7PM (PST)

Pay-what-you-can ($10 Suggested)

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!

HOW TO WATCH

-The film premieres online at 7 PM (PST), December 1. After that, the film will be available to watch on-demand at any time.

-Click this button

Pay whatever you want ($10 suggested), and you’ll be redirected to a page with the player.

-The player will go live shortly before the premiere. If you’re buying in advance, just bookmark the link. We will also email you the link again on the day of the premiere.

-Press play and enjoy!


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!



You New Favorite Musical Part 3

Thursday, August 27, 2020, at 8 pm
On the Awesome Theatre YouTube Channel

The Awesome Theatre Hour presents YOUR NEW FAVORITE MUSICAL! It’s a musical competition in which two writing teams pitch their original musical to our panel of celebrity judges (think the Voice meets Shark Tank). The winner goes on to fight for a chance to get their show produced by us! Entertainment for you, opportunities for writers, and a show for us. It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN scenario!

On our penultimate episode of Your New Favorite Musical you’re going to want to grab a drink, because our musical contestants will have you sipping your cocktail and downing shots all in the same night (please drink responsibly). SINergy, The Musical walks us through the dangers and hilarity of working for a demonic corporation, literally. On the flip side, Yer Darn Tootin will take us on a soothing cruise sipping our martini’s, while we listen to the jazzy tunes inspired by the musical stylings of the 1930s. Tune in at 8pm, August 27rd to find out who will join the ranks of our fabulous finalists.


THE PITCHES

SINERGY

Music and Lyrics by Mike Osgood and Liz Baker, Book by Sang S. Kim

In SINergy, the Musical, we follow our naive new hire, Liz, and jaded re-hire, Mike, as they quest to get from the bottom to top of the secretive and sinisterly demonic corporation, Exicorp Inc. Together, this business duo will sacrifice for their goals, perservere for their dreams, and maybe do some murder to travel through the Seven Floors of Business and escape the dangerous trials set in place for them, all while trying not to spill their morning cup of joe. Exicorp is here to cause turmoil for our heroes BUT wants to make sure we play it all by the book, because the book is GOD/important so please sign off these NDAs because it’s all about being transparent you know?

SINergy – “You should have quit while you had the chance.”


YER DARN TOOTIN

By Dennis Finnegan and Johny Blood

Singer/guitarist/composer Dennis Finnegan and poet/tuba player Johny Blood met while working at a classical music festival in Wyoming. They formed a song-writing partnership in the Tin Pan Alley and Brill Building traditions. Their Americana band Along Came Jones performed throughout the Bay Area and released two albums.  They began performing songs mixed with monologues as The Book of Jones at cafés and bookstores around the Bay Area.  Joined by performers Juliana Sorem and Kathy Sparling, they presented a full-length piece called “Adam & Eve on a Raft” at the Fringe Festival in 2018, which was awarded best of the SF Fringe for that year.  However, their dream has long been to create a 30s style musical which is set, like so many great musicals, on a ship.  “Yer Darn Tootin’” is their tribute to Preston Sturges, George S. Kaufman, Cole Porter and the Gershwin Brothers.


YOUR HOSTS

Wonder Dave is a comedian, writer, pro-wrestling commentator, and all-around swell human. His favorite musical is “Hair”. You can find him online at wonderdave.org and on social media @teamwonderdave

Tirumari Jothi is a geeky stand-up comedian, improviser, sketch comedian, and actor based in the Bay Area and has performed at a variety of venues around California and the country. His favorite musical is “The Music Man.”


YOUR JUDGES

Nikki Meñez– Director, YouthAware Program Director for NCTC. Casting Director for Awesome Theatre
Leslie Waggoner-Choreographer and Director (Ray of Light, Custom Made Theatre, BAM.)
Dave Moschler– Conductor and Artistic Director at Awesöme Orchestra Collective


Your New Favorite Musical Part 3

Hosted by Wonder Dave and Tirumari Jothi

Celebrity Judges: Nikki Menez, Dave Moeschler, and Leslie Waggoner

Contestants: “Yer Darn Tootin” by Dennis Finnegan and Johny Blood , and SINERGY by Liz Baker, Mike Osgood, and Sang S. Kim

Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 8pm on Awesome Theatre’s YouTube Channel


WATCH IT HERE!


Did you miss the Round 2? Watch it here!

Your New Favorite Musical PART 2

Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 8 pm
On the Awesome Theatre YouTube Channel

The Awesome Theatre Hour presents YOUR NEW FAVORITE MUSICAL! It’s a musical competition in which two writing teams pitch their original musical to our panel of celebrity judges (think the Voice meets Shark Tank). The winner goes on to fight for a chance to get their show produced by us! Entertainment for you, opportunities for writers, and a show for us. It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN scenario!

Next up on Your New Favorite Musical is an episode filled with mothers, babies and…weasels? Well…yup,, that’s right. Tune in on July 14th at 8pm PST to find whether these babies will “pop goes the weasel.” One thing’s for sure is you don’t want to nap on this episode filled with hilarious hijinks, touching moments, and dare we say…DRAMA.


THE PITCHES

MOMMALIA

Book, Music and Lyrics by Jennifer Gallagher

From the mandolin player and vocalist for the nationally acclaimed Americana band “Run Boy Run” comes a brand new musical, “MOMMALLIA”. This all original comedy/drama tells the story of three new mothers whose lives intertwine when they decide to form a “nanny share”. Filled with relatable moments of connection and hilarity, this musical will have you rolling from start to finish as you witness the women navigate the early days of sleep deprivation and longing for some “alone time.” Though the story draws you in with its comedic timing, you’ll stay for the more contemplative exploration of race, class, and privilege as it pertains to motherhood. Whether or not you are a mother, have a mother, or know a mother, this musical is enjoyable for all. 


Weasels

Book, Music, and Lyrics by David G. Smith

Weasels is a musical romp through the violent world of being a weasel. A competition for the year’s best weasel is hastily interrupted by Adoreselle, a young curious weasel who wants nothing else but to find magic in their measly world.

‘Better than it should be” – World Weasel News.


YOUR HOSTS

Wonder Dave is a comedian, writer, pro-wrestling commentator, and all-around swell human. His favorite musical is “Hair”. You can find him online at wonderdave.org and on social media @teamwonderdave

Tirumari Jothi is a geeky stand-up comedian, improviser, sketch comedian, and actor based in the Bay Area and has performed at a variety of venues around California and the country. His favorite musical is “The Music Man.”


Your Judges

Nikki Meñez– Director, YouthAware Program Director for NCTC. Casting Director for Awesome Theatre
Leslie Waggoner-Choreographer and Director (Ray of Light, Custom Made Theatre, BAM.)
Dave Moschler– Conductor and Artistic Director at Awesöme Orchestra Collective


Your New Favorite Musical Part 2

Hosted by Wonder Dave and Tirumari Jothi

Celebrity Judges: Nikki Menez, Dave Moeschler, and Leslie Waggoner

Contestants: Weasels by David G. Smith, and MOMMALIA by Jennifer Sandoval

Thursday, Augusrt 13, 2020 at 8pm on Awesome Theatre’s YouTube Channel


WATCH IT HERE

Your New Favorite Musical Part 1

The Awesome Theatre Hour returns July 23 with Part 1 of YOUR NEW FAVORITE MUSICAL! It’s a musical competition in which two writing teams pitch their original musical to our panel of celebrity judges. The winner goes on to fight for a chance to get their show produced. Hosted by the hilarious duo of Wonder Dave and Tirumari Jothi. 


Your Writers:

“Color Your World” 

Music and Lyrics by Christian Cantrell, Book by Terry Amara Borero

“Young Natalia faces adversity and overcomes it with help of the Colors and Gigi. She learns several truths: friendship matters, imagination can overcome, and keeping a happy thought is an act of courage. Act 2 takes place 25 years later and Natalia is a college grad, struggling to put her life together. Are the lessons she learned from Gigi and the Colors still applicable or was it child’s play?”




“Pinball The Musical” 

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Derek Lipkin.

“You may have played pinball, but have you ever wondered what life is like “under the glass”? Now, you can! Experience the thrilling sights and sounds of a pinball adventure with Pinball! The Musical, a new Broadway-style show about one pinball trying to save the day. You will simply flip for this show! Just don’t tilt!”




Your Judges:

Nikki Meñez– Director, YouthAware Program Director for NCTC. Casting Director for Awesome Theatre
Leslie Waggoner-Choreographer and Director (Ray of Light, Custom Made Theatre, BAM.)
Dave Moschler– Conductor and Artistic Director at Awesöme Orchestra Collective


Your Hosts:

Wonder Dave is a comedian, writer, pro-wrestling commentator, and all-around swell human. His favorite musical is “Hair”. You can find him online at wonderdave.org and on social media @teamwonderdave

Tirumari Jothi is a geeky stand-up comedian, improviser, sketch comedian, and actor based in the Bay Area and has performed at a variety of venues around California and the country. His favorite musical is “The Music Man.”



The Awesome Theatre Hour Presents: Your New Favorite Musical Part 1 (of 3)

Hosted by Wonder Dave and Tirumari Jothi

Celebrity Judges: Dave Moschler, Leslie Waggoner, and Nikki Meñez

Featuring: “Color Your World” by Christian Cantrell and Terry Amara Borero and “Pinball The Musical” by Derek Lipkin

Premieres July 23, 8 PM PST


WATCH IT HERE

The Awesome Theatre Hour Presents: The Fighting History of Chinatown

Stunning Stories of Audacious Resilience

Thursday, July 9, 8 PM PST

Facebook Live and YouTube

This summer, “The Awesome Theatre Hour” RETURNS with six brand spanking new episodes, featuring ALL NEW CONTENT! Starting in June, on the second and fourth Thursday of every month at 8PM, tune in to Facebook for a wonderfully weird time. Hosted by Awesome Theatre’s Artistic Director, Colin Johnson.

Our next episode takes one of the most popular and notorious tours in San Francisco and brings it into your home. “The Fighting History of San Francisco’s Chinatown- Stunning Stories of Audacious Resilience” starring local writer and lecturer, Marc Pomerleau is a fascinating virtual tour of Chinatown like you’ve never seen. Based on his award-winning Airbnb experience, The Fighting History of SF Chinatown takes you back to the birth of the first and largest Chinatown in the United States and tours you through stories of brutality, beauty, resilience, and sheer audacity and creativity that have enabled the Chinese to survive and thrive against the odds. From the Tong Wars of the 1800s, The Chinese Exclusion Act and relentless racism, to Bruce Lee’s battles in the bay area, and the gang wars and Triad presence of modern-day, this tour promises to transform the way you see San Francisco and the Chinese immigrant experience forever. 


The Awesome Theatre Hour

Hosted by Colin Johnson
Featuring “The Fighting History of SF Chinatown: Stunning Stories of Audacious Resilience” Written and performed by Marc Pomerleau
Thursday, July 9, 8 PM PST
Facebook Live and YouTube


WATCH IT HERE

The Awesome Theatre Hour Presents: Coffee Lady Part 2

Thursday, June 25, 8 PM PST

Facebook Live and YouTube

This summer, “The Awesome Theatre Hour” RETURNS with six brand spanking new episodes, featuring ALL NEW CONTENT! Starting in June, on the second and fourth thursday of every month at 8PM, tune in to Facebook for a wonderfully weird time. Hosted by Awesome Theatre’s Artistic Director, Colin Johnson.


The second season of The Awesome Theatre Hour continues with Part 2 of our special look at COFFEE LADY, a new play by Bridgette Dutta Portman. Originally scheduled to open in June 2020, this world premiere is now postponed until February 2021. So what do you do when you already have a great cast, a hilarious new play, and a brilliant director? YOU TAKE IT TO THE INTERNETS! Tune in for interviews with the writer Bridgette Dutta Portman, and back by popular demand, DRUNKATURGY with local comedian Alexandria Love.

Joanne hates her job at McCarby’s: minimum wage, irritating customers, an overbearing boss, and a geeky coworker. When Jo’s sister, Char, comes up with a scheme to spill hot coffee on herself and sue McCarby’s, Jo goes along with it. Can they pull it off, or is it too tall an order? Will someone spill the beans? How many coffee puns can we cram into this synopsis? And why is a mysterious old woman following Jo? Inspired by the 1992 McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit, Coffee Lady is a comedy about corporate greed, individual responsibility, sibling rivalry, the dangers of denial, and the power of truth.

Written by Bridgette Dutta Portman, Directed by Nikki Meñez and Featuring Jess Rankin, Isabel Siragusa, Ankur Garg, Matt Gunnison, and Barbara Cecchetti.


The Awesome Theatre Hour

Hosted by Colin Johnson
Featuring Part 2 of “Coffee Lady” , an Interview with playwright Bridgette Dutta Portman and “Drunkaturgy” with Alexandria Love.
Thursday, June 25, 8 PM PST
Facebook Live and YouTube


WATCH HERE


Click here to see more epsiodes

Awesome Theatre’s commitments to Equity and Accountability.

UPDATE 9/29/20

Friends,

Awesome Theatre is proud to stand with all members of our community to create a more equitable, more diverse environment for local artists to create, to be seen, and to be heard. To that end, we are releasing this document (and more documents to come) in order to be as transparent as possible with our former, current, and future business practices. Transparency is accountability. Within these documents, we hope you will see what changes we have made to further foster equity in our business and in our productions.

Accessibility

  • In order to make our shows non cost prohibitive, our ticket prices do not exceed $25, discount codes are regularly distributed, half price tickets are made available and we have a generous group discount. By continuing these practices and by telling stories from multiple backgrounds and experiences, we hope everyone has the opportunity to see themselves on our stage. We pledge to increase our outreach to communities that have been historically excluded from and made to feel unwelcome in theatre spaces.

Hiring and Casting

  • In 2021, auditions for our planned stage productions will be conducted virtually. This is to accommodate health concerns due to COVID-19, but also to accommodate actors who may have to spend significant travel time to attend a 5 minute audition.
  • We exclusively produce new works written by local artists. This is one of the central tenets of our company’s artistic identity.
  • In 2021 We will be commissioning 13 local writers for theatre, film and radio projects. At least 50% of them will be BIPOC writers and at least 50% of the directors will be BIPOC. In addition, at least 50% of writers and directors will be female identifying or non-binary artists.
  • In March, we committed to ensuring our production teams and our casts in 2021 will also comprise of at least 50% BIPOC artists and at least 50% female identifying or non-binary artists. This also applies to our remaining 2020 presentations.

Finance

  • We are a volunteer run organization, however all artists we work with receive an expense stipend comparable to any other artist working on the project. These payouts will increase by 25% until we are able to classify everyone as a regular employee with an hourly wage. In the coming weeks, we will release summaries of our 2020 and 2021 budgets to show exactly how much we spend, where we spend it, and our plans to increase those levels. 
  • Because all of our plays are commissioned, development periods for each play are needed which involve readings. Awesome Theatre is doing away with the unpaid “Living Room Reading” model and will be conducting all developmental readings virtually and providing a stipend to each artist.

Values Statement

  • In addition to our mission statement,  and our policy on only hiring local artists, we will add a corporate values statement to our website. This values statement will focus on our business practices. Highlighting our commitments to financial equity, the treatment of everyone we work with, and creating a work environment where everyone feels welcome. 

Code of conduct in all artists agreements

  • While our artist agreements already provide language stating the expectation that respectful language and behavior must be practiced at all times, in 2021, we will provide an additional code of conduct for everyone to sign and adhere to. This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in our productions/invited into the Awesome Theatre community. This code of conduct will be posted at all rehearsals, filming, meetings, and backstage.

Interim Marketing Director

  • We have hired Lorenz Angelo Gonzales to create a formal annual marketing strategy and increase outreach to new audiences.

Human Resources

  • In 2022, Awesome Theatre will add a human resources director to the team. This person will handle artist agreements, payouts, and most importantly, workplace conduct. If any person working with Awesome Theatre in an administrative or artistic role, needs to file a complaint, report misconduct or needs to speak in confidence, the human resources director will assist those people. This also takes a responsibility usually given to the Director or Stage Manager (who are often not in a position to give issues the immediate attention they sometimes need) and creates a neutral place where accountability can happen in a safe and meaningful way.

At the beginning of 2021, we will release our next update with new policies. And while we are proud of these changes, the work is never really done. But we hope that these new commitments, in addition to ones we have already introduced will help Awesome Theatre better serve the entire Bay Area Theatre Community.

UPDATE: 8/5/2020

Friends,

We have read the recently released BIPOC Equity Action Plan, and want to thank everyone involved with its creation. To take hundreds of painful and unjust experiences and to use them to create a blueprint for how we can create equity in the art world is a gift. While several demands have been addressed in our prior statement (see original statement below), far more have not. We are committed to meeting them head-on and to the best of our abilities. The entire company and our Board of Directors support these demands 100%. To that end, and as promised, Awesome Theatre will be releasing a comprehensive Accountability Report in September that explicitly states our goals, the work we’ve already done to meet these goals, and the work we intend to do moving forward. This will include several new policies focused on accessibility, financial transparency, and outreach.  As time goes on and we increase in size, we will be able to grow to meet more of the financial demands outlined in the BIPOC Equity Action Plan.

While we are a small, volunteer-run nonprofit arts org (for now), we are not immune to the needs of the moment and of our community. We aim to be an example for other micro-theatre companies, both locally and nation-wide to show what role we can play.

To our BIPOC friends, collaborators, and allies: Thank you, we see you, we hear you, and we will fight against oppression and systemic white supremacy in our community and in all that we do. 


ORIGINAL POST 6/10/2020

Friends,

In light of the unrest and growing strife in our country, Awesome Theatre put out the following statement last week: 

“Awesome Theatre was created to make the things we thought should exist, to create art that was the change we wanted to see. We cannot stand silently by in the face of social revolt. Silence is complicity. This is the time to recognize injustice, to recognize the strife of our fellow humans, and to recognize the privilege we’ve so often either taken for granted, or flat out denied. To produce theatre is a privilege. To tell stories is a privilege. To tell the truth is an imperative.

We at Awesome Theatre can’t push on the lever of justice and bend the world. But we can tell stories. Your stories. We will use this privilege, this platform, to empower black voices, proactively create opportunities for artists in marginalized communities, to showcase the truth no matter how difficult it is to hear, and continue to be the change we want to see in the world, not just through our art, but in how we do business.

Black Lives Matter. Justice for all.”

After discussing as a company what our next steps would be to keep these promises, we believed a more in depth statement was necessary, so here it is:

From the beginning, Awesome theatre made a commitment to encompassing diverse voices and telling diverse stories. But we’ve failed in many ways. We have been complicit in the systemic prevalence of white supremacy in this country, and we will no longer be party to ignorance, fear, and hate, whether wittingly or unwittingly.

We could trot out pathetic excuses for why our actors, technical staff, and board members lack the full diversity we so genuinely want to represent. We could place the blame for our inaction at the feet of others. But the fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves. We can do better. And we will do better.

Today we’re making a promise. A promise to improve our culture, improve our hiring practices, and a promise to represent voices of color in all that we do. Here are our goals for the upcoming year, and all the years moving forward.

We have hired Nikki Meñez, an incredible artist and creative voice in Bay Area theatre, as our casting director. With their help, we will be working to bring diversity to our productions and will work to create a more equitable and safe place where all artists feel welcome. They will help us develop as a company, and will help us commit to the following policies:

  • All shows must feature a cast that is at least 50% Women, Trans, or non-binary.
  • All shows must feature a cast that is at least 50% POC.
  • All shows must feature a design team that is at least 60% Women, Trans, or non-binary, and 50% POC.
  • Our Artist in residency program will be exclusively offered to women/trans/non-binary and/or POC.
  • We will seek to diversify our board, and will include at least one black voice if not more.
  • We will compile a public accountability report every year to be as transparent as possible as to how we’re living up to these promises.

We recognize that this is only a start, and a late start at that. We will strive with all the love, understanding, and compassion we can muster to stand with and listen to the black and other disenfranchised voices in our community. We will be here. Listening. Learning. And Growing.

With love and sincerity,

Awesome Theatre

The Awesome Theatre Hour Presents: COFFEE LADY.

This summer, “The Awesome Theatre Hour” RETURNS with six brand spanking new episodes, featuring ALL NEW CONTENT! Starting in June, on the second and fourth thursday of every month at 8PM, tune in to Facebook for a wonderfully weird time. Hosted by Awesome Theatre’s Artistic Director, Colin Johnson.

The second season of The Awesome Theatre Hour kicks off with a special look at COFFEE LADY, a new play by Bridgette Dutta Portman. Originally scheduled to open in June 2020, this world premiere is now postponed until February 2021. So what do you do when you already have a great cast, a hilarious new play, and a brilliant director? YOU TAKE IT TO THE INTERNETS! Tune in for interviews with Director Nikki Meñez, and our new segment, DRUNKATURGY with local comedian Alexandria Love.

Joanne hates her job at McCarby’s: minimum wage, irritating customers, an overbearing boss, and a geeky coworker. When Jo’s sister, Char, comes up with a scheme to spill hot coffee on herself and sue McCarby’s, Jo goes along with it. Can they pull it off, or is it too tall an order? Will someone spill the beans? How many coffee puns can we cram into this synopsis? And why is a mysterious old woman following Jo? Inspired by the 1992 McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit, Coffee Lady is a comedy about corporate greed, individual responsibility, sibling rivalry, the dangers of denial, and the power of truth.

Written by Bridgette Dutta Portman, Directed by Nikki Meñez and Featuring Jess Rankin, Isabel Siragusa, Ankur VG, Matt Gunnison, and Barbara Cecchetti.

Hosted by Colin Johnson
Featuring “Coffee Lady” by Bridgette Dutta Portman, an Interview with Nikki Meñez and “Drunkaturgy” with Alexandria Love.
Thursday, June 11, 8 PM PST
Facebook Live and YouTube

Watch it now!

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