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!

Wanna know more about upcoming episodes? Wanna watch past episodes?

The Awesome Theatre Hour: THE KAYLABRATION!

This episode of The Awesome Theatre Hour is a KAYLABRATION! We put a spotlight on our Artist-in-residence program. Featuring our 2019 A.I.R., Kaylamay Paz Suarez with footage from her incredible workshop production of THE KAYLAMAY PROJECT, and an appearance by our current A.I.R., Puja Tolton. And our special guest is a poet, performer, DJ and the Artistic Director of Kearny Street Workshop, JASON BAYANI!

The Awesome Theatre Hour- MERCY KILLING!

This inaugural episode featureS in its entirety, “The authorized, unauthorized bootleg” of 2018’s MERCY KILLING! Filmed live at PianoFight from the front row, we’re stoked to share this never before seen footage of one of our favorite shows.

“Mercy is a barista in San Francisco. She’s also a serial killer. The only one who knows is a Grim Reaper named Thana, her girlfriend, sort of, it’s complicated. The two of them navigate a tenuous romance while trying to evade detection by the authorities on either side of mortality.”

Written By Alandra Hileman, Directed by Claire Rice and Featuring Stephanie Whigham, Olivia Brown , Haley Bertlesen, and Noe Flores

Awesome Theatre’s statement on COVID-19


Due to City Ordinances caused by COVID-19, our home venue PianoFight has closed its doors for the next 8 weeks. This will result in the cancellation of our current show, Clickbait, and the postponement of Your New Favorite Musical. While it is sad and a little bit scary, we support their decision 100%. We want to thank the playwright, Tonya Narvaez for her brilliant, dark, and gutsy play. It was an honor to Produce. Thank you to our Stage Management team, Kerri and Tonya, our intrepid director Claire Rice and our wonderful cast Carly, Sam, Caroline, and Jorden. This is never how we want a show to end, but we are grateful for the time you shared with us.

While Awesome Theatre is small and runs on a modest budget, we are not impervious to the financial ramifications of canceling a show. Part of our deal with PianoFight is that a part of our rent is paid in the backend, simply put, ticket sales pay our rent. We have also committed to paying all of the actors and production staff the remainder of their expense stipends. When it is all said and done, we will take a loss north of $2000. 

Now let’s be honest, there are a lot of companies that need help, (big help). So what we are asking is to “Buy a ticket”. If you had tickets and got refunded, if you were planning on coming and didn’t buy a ticket, even if you would have bought a ticket if you lived nearby or wasn’t so dang busy, now is your chance to help.

Just follow this link and make a donation of $25, the price of a ticket to ClickBait. This small thing will help us immeasurably, it allows us to recoup the money we would have made through ticket sales, and make sure people are able to spread their generosity around to all the companies in need.

This brings us to PianoFight our home venue and partner. Their closing affects not just us but incredible groups like Killing my Lobster and The SF Neo-Futurists. It affects all the people working there who suddenly have no job for 8 weeks. In order for PianoFight to help its employees during this time and cover general expenses, they need $50K a month. So if there is one group you should heave money at, it is them. Awesome Theatre would not exist without PianoFight, they are a huge part of the SF Arts scene and like many small buisnesses, desperately need our help. 

So yes, throw us a little cash, $25 will do (If you give us $100, we can give you a T-shirt or something), but without PianoFight, we’re not much. So please show support and generosity to this wonderful bar, restaurant and performance venue that is an artistic home to so many. 

Donate to PianoFight Here

It’s a scary-ass time that becomes more real every day. The greatest thing we can have right now is hope. The belief that in 8 weeks or so we can begin living our lives again. You will be hearing from us on Social Media and our website, so stay tuned. We cannot wait to sit in a theater with all of you again. 

Anthony, Colin, Jess,Claire, and Kerri

Pitch your musical to Awesome Theatre!


Do you have part of one?

Do you have an idea for one?


YOUR NEW FAVORITE MUSICAL is a live musical theatre competition where 6 writing teams will be selected to do 15-minute pitches of their original musical to 3 celebrity judges in front of a live audience. 3 on April 15, and 3 on September 23 at PianoFight. The Judges will pick two winners to be developed into 30-minute workshops. One of those will become a fully produced musical by Awesome Theatre.

Send us a 5-minute video pitch with: Who you are, a brief synopsis, character description, and music samples. 6 winners will be chosen to participate in the competition.

The Judges

Leslie Waggoner (Director / Choreographer, Ray of Light Theatre Co, BAM, and Custom Made Theatre Co.)

Dave Moschler (Musical Director, Awesome Orchestra)

Nikki Meñez (Director, Awesome Theatre, Custom Made Theatre Co. )

The Rules

  • This must be a new and unproduced musical. No prior productions or workshops. 
  • Writing Teams must be complete and consist of a Writer and a Composer.
  • The entire writing team must be SF/Oakland/Bay Area residents.
  • No musicals based on, or adaptations of Copyrighted material you do not have the rights to.

Send your five-minute video pitch to submissions@awesometheatre.org



I am the writer AND  the composer, is that OK?

It sure is.

What are we looking for? 

As far as content, don’t worry about it, just pitch the idea you’re excited about. Criteria wise, we want to know the story, who the story is about and what the songs sound like. But also, why do you think it should be produced? Show us why you’re passionate about your idea.

Who picks the top 6?

The staff of Awesome Theatre

So is this a performance?

Think of it as a “Performed Pitch”. You are selling your show to our judges and the audience, It can be as elaborate or simple as you want.  The pitch itself should not only give us an idea of your musical and it’s potential, but it should be entertaining as well. 

Is there money involved? 

Yes, the six teams selected to pitch also win $75 each. The two teams chosen for workshops also win a cash prize.

Can someone else perform the songs

Yes, do whatever you want. 

What if I have a director already attached?

We can talk about it.

This feels like a mix of “Gutenberg, The Musical” and “Shark Tank”.

Yes, exactly.


Written by Tonya Narvaez
Directed by Claire Rice

Thursday Nights at 9 PM
Feb 6 – March 26
PianoFight, 144 Taylor, SF

$22 online advance, $25 at the door

Two internet celebrities spend the night in an abandonded cabin. You won’t believe what happens next.

Beckah and BryBry are self-obsessed internet celebrities who take on crazy challenges for their YouTube channel. When the challenge is to survive one night in a deserted cabin, it is their own duality that is the biggest threat. Along with their Producer, Owen, and their new cameraperson, Sam, who both have their own dreams of fame and their own agenda, the game becomes deadly real, or real deadly, either way.

Local writer Tonya Narvaez’s (SF Neo-Futurists) one-act play takes a dark and satirical look at influencer culture and the difference between who we are online and who we are IRL. Directed by acclaimed Bay Area artist, Claire Rice (Let’s Kill Jessica), CLICKBAIT blends video and live-action to create a dark, modern and stylized story about what we do for fame.

Featuring: Samuel Barksdale, Caroline Boyll, Carly Van Liere, and Jorden Charley-Whatley

Production Staff: Claire Rice, Kerri Blake Cavanaugh, Colin Johnson, Dani Spinks, Sara “Edie” Saavedra, Alexandra Danylyszyn, Puja Tolton, Tunuviel Luv, Tanya Acosta, Tonya Narvaez, Anthony R. Miller, Jess Thomas, and Stephanie Whigham


Q & A Tonya Narvaez explores dark side of YouTube fame in new horror play. – Lily Janiak, SF Chronicle – 2/4/20

Awesome Theatre’s ‘Clickbait’ is ready to scare the ‘Tube’ out of ‘You’ – David John Chavez, Bay Area Plays, 2/4/20

CONTENT WARNING: This play contains realistic depictions of verbal and physical violence.

…there is also a strobe light.

What is a “ThursPlay”?
It’s your new favorite thing to do on a Thursday night. A 60-minute play designed for a fun and casual theatre experience. Always new, always entertaining, always weird. Come early for drinks and food and bring your beverage right into the theater. Perfect for the first time theatre-goer. 

The Kaylamay Project

Written and Performed by Kaylamay Paz Suarez

with Jason Bayani

Directed by Claire Rice and Jess Thomas

November 15 & 16, 8PM
Arc Gallery, 1246 Folsom, SF
$15 Online advance, $20 at the door

“Come laugh at my trauma”

Kaylamay Paz Suarez- a First generation, Philippine-American performer, begins to trace the source of her fears, insecurities, and strengths with a cast of her friends, family, and selective memory through a wild ride of the intersections of her mind and media. This is just the beginning of a lifelong project.

Every year, Awesome Theatre invites one local artist to spend the year developing a new show from the ground up totally conceived and created by them.  This culminates in a workshop production facilitated by Awesome Theatre. We hope this special presentation is just the first step in the development of Kaylamay’s “One-Human show”. 

Blending theatre, multimedia and heart, The Kaylamay Project promises to be an exciting new piece by an emerging Bay Area Artist 


Awesome Theatre presents their THIRD YEAR of new plays, written by local artists, that are guaranteed to supply you with laughs, bloodcurdling screams, and WTF moments. 


Written by
Tonya Narvaez

Directed by Claire Rice

Thursday Nights at 9 PM
Feb 6 – March 26

Beckah and BryBry are two self-obsessed internet celebrities who take on crazy challenges for their YouTube channel. But when they have to survive one night in a deserted cabin, the game gets very real, deadly real, or real deadly, either way.

Written by
Bridgette Dutta Portman

Directed by
Nikki Meñez

Thursday Nights at 9 PM
June 4 – July 24

Joanne had high hopes after graduating, now she has student loan debt, an unpaid internship and a fast-food job at McCarby’s. Out of desperation, Joanne, her sister Char and their co-worker Pete hatch a plot inspired by “The McDonalds Coffee Lady” story. Problem is, the story they know is wrong.

Hosted by
Wonder Dave

April 15 and September 16, 8 PM 

Six writing teams have fifteen minutes each to pitch and perform their new Musical to a celebrity panel of judges, the winners receive a workshop and one gets a full production. 

Your Celebrity Judges are, Nikki Menez, David Moschler, and Leslie Waggoner

Hosted by Sindie Chopper / Directed by Colin Johnson

October 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31 8 PM  

The Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy St. SF

The Horror-Theatre Double feature returns for Halloween and aims for the death stars with two new horror plays taking place in the vast reaches of outer space!


Written by
Alandra Hileman

When six spacecraft workers are quarantined in a server room with no way to communicate with the outside world, mistrust, and paranoia quickly breed carnage.

Written by
Jess Thomas

After most of the crew is killed in an alien drug-related incident, the USS Steve Gutenberg, the worst ship in the fleet, will face their greatest threat, two perfectly nice aliens. 

Artist in Residence Showcase

2020 Artist in Residence:
Puja Tolton

Every year, Awesome Theatre invites one local artist to spend the year developing a new show totally conceived and created by them.  This culminates in a workshop production facilitated by Awesome Theatre.  

November, TBA

Join the Friends of Awesome

For $10 a month you can see any Awesome Theatre production, any time, and as many times as you want.