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 Statement on Diversity and Accountability.

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!

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

Friends,

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. 

Love,
Anthony, Colin, Jess,Claire, and Kerri

Pitch your musical to Awesome Theatre!

DO YOU HAVE A MUSICAL?

Do you have part of one?

Do you have an idea for one?

Pitch it to YOUR NEW FAVORITE MUSICAL!

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

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 2/1/20

FAQ

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.