THE PATH is an ensemble dark comedy about Vance Chadwick, a ’90s television relic desperate to rejuvenate his career by joining a budding religious cult in rural Georgia. When things go awry during a ritual ceremony, the Hollywood D-lister suddenly finds himself in a position of leadership and must learn to navigate cult politics, hidden agendas, and what it takes to inspire a community. Can he lead them down THE PATH of salvation, or will his newfound family go down in a hail of bullets and Bruno Mars songs?
Featuring:David Boyll, Annie Dick, Lisa C. Hu, Tavis Kammet, Emanuel Morales, and Rasheed.
Artistic and Production Staff: Marc Abrigo, Colin Johnson, Anne Yumi Kobori, Kenna M. Lindsay, Nikki Meñez, Claire Rice, Alejandro Torres, Kelli Westad, and Stephanie Whigham.
In 2020, 6 writing teams duked it out in an online contest to get their new musical produced. Now, the wait is over. At long last, our three finalists will pitch their original musical idea to our panel of celebrity judges and the winner will get their musical produced by Awesome Theatre. (Think Shark Tank for Musicals). Hosted by the STUPENDOUS Wonder Dave and Tirumari Jothi, featuring incredible live performances and a special musical guest! Be there for a night of fun, competition, and some ding-dang musical theatre.
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, persevere 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.”
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.
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!”
Nikki Meñez– Curatorial Director for Z space. Casting Director for Awesome Theatre Leslie Waggoner-Choreographer and Director (Ray of Light, Custom Made Theatre, BAM.) Ryan Marchand– Artistic Director at Handful Players
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.”
A New Comedy by Bridgette Dutta Portman Directed by Nikki Meñez
Thursday Nights at 9PM April 7 – May 12 PianoFight SF, 144 Taylor
Desperate for money, two sisters hatch a plot to recreate the “McDonalds Coffee Lady” lawsuit. But the truth comes to haunt them.
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 tort-reform ghost story about sibling rivalry, denial, and the power of truth.
Featuring: Nikki Nutterfield, Anne Yumi Kobori, Ray Dequina, Janelle Aguirre, Barbara Ann Cecchetti, and Matt Gunnison.
Production Staff: Erica Andracchio, Jakob Bernardino, Zephaniah Bensaid, Colin Johnson, Kenna M. Lindsay, Brittany Mellerson, Nikki Meñez, Anthony R. Miller, Claire Rice, Puja Tolton, and Kelli Westad.
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.
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.
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
A feature length film written By J. Elliott Mendez
Directed by Nikki Meñez
Cinematography by Colin Johnson
Premiere Screening, March 25, 2022 8PM
PianoFight SF, 144 Taylor
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. Soon they realize Cincinnati – the house’s owner, hides the most dangerous secret. With time running out, these unlikely allies will first have to answer the question that looms; “is it us or THEM?”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I understand that consent is vital, and that I am expected to respect and uphold the emotional and physical boundaries set by my coworkers.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.