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Welcome to Backstage: The TBA Blog! This is the place for Theatre Bay Area announcements, info on upcoming events, grant deadlines, ticket giveaways, shout-outs and special profiles of featured members. Visit early and often!

 

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2016 Annual Conference Perspectives and Photos

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Building an event as large as the Annual Conference takes all kinds of input. In establishing a theme, determining the highest-priority topics facing our community and the field, engaging special guests with relevant expertise and planning (not to mention scheduling!) each individual breakout session, program director Dale Albright consults with TBA’s two advisory committees—the Theatre Services Committee (TSC) and Individual Services Committee (ISC)—as well as welcoming ideas, suggestions and requests from all TBA members.


A record-breaking number of attendees filled the 2016 TBA Annual Conference,
held at Berkeley Repertory Theatre on March 28. Photo: Cheshire Isaacs 

This year, the results were phenomenal. Not only did registration numbers easily top previous years, with 425 enthusiastic theatre-makers in attendance, but kudos have been rolling in from all sides. This year’s conference was, we are realizing, something very special for a lot of people—some of whom wrote to us to tell us so: 

“Congratulations on one of the best TBA Conferences of recent years.
The conversation was rich and the stakes were high. It felt really
important to be there and I learned a lot from the experience.
I'm proud to be a member of TBA. Here is to the next 40 years!”
—Torange Yeghiazarian, founding artistic director, Golden Thread Productions
 

  


Greg Reiner (director of theatre and musical theatre, National Endowment for the Arts),
Diane Rodriguez (associate artistic director, Center Theatre Group) and Teresa Eyring
(executive director, Theatre Communications Group) at the 2016 TBA Annual Conference.
Photo: Cheshire Isaacs 

TBA staffers are still putting the finishing touches on the video that was taken the day of the conference, but we want to share with you the amazing photos that capture the spirit of the day. So please visit the 2016 Annual Conference album on TBA’s Facebook page to see the whole day in pictures! 


2015 conference plenary speaker Mina Morita (artistic director, Crowded Fire Theater) and
Erica Chong Shuch (artistic director, Erica Chong Shuch Performance Project) at the 2016
TBA Annual Conference. Photo: Cheshire Isaacs 

And, as always, we love to hear what you think. If you have feedback on this year’s conference, or suggestions for next year, we welcome you to send them to tba@theatrebayarea.org. Thanks!

 

Tags:  advocacy  Annual Conference 

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Want to present your work in the Playwright Cabaret? Submit your script today!

Posted By TBA Staff, Thursday, January 28, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, January 27, 2016


The Playwright Cabaret
 is a place at the TBA Annual Conference for writers to have their work read and seen by colleagues. See below for how to submit your work for consideration.

Photo: "Playing with fire" by Matthias Weinberger on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.  

 

The Playwright Cabaret “Lucky Thirteen” (i.e., how it all works):

1. Membership. Playwrights must be TBA individual members in good standing through March 31, 2016 to present their work at the conference. (Join here!) Monthly membership holders are eligible. Playwrights who present their work at the Playwright Cabaret will receive half off their conference registration, as will their team members.

2. Selection process. Playwright Cabaret slots will be filled by lottery, with a short waiting list in the event of cancellations, lapsed memberships, etc. Scripts must be received by laura@theatrebayarea.org by 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. The selected and waitlisted writers will be notified via email by 5 p.m. that same day. Specific time slots cannot be guaranteed, but cabaret playwrights may trade spots with one another.

3. Venue and length. The Playwright Cabaret will be held in the Berkeley Rep bar. The stage space is tiny. Each slot is 15 minutes long, including setup, reading, and clearing the stage for the next team.

4. Timeliness. A playwright’s team must arrive on time, begin the reading on time, and clear the stage for the next team on time, or become ineligible for the following year’s Playwright Cabaret.

5. Writer participation. Playwrights are not to act in their own plays, read their own stage directions, or participate in any technical or logistical capacity. The whole point is to be free to experience the audience’s reaction. 

6. Stage directions. TBA will provide a production assistant (PA) to read stage directions. Please bring a PA script with desired text already highlighted. The TBA PA will not be available to rehearse the script on the day of the reading, so if your stage directions have complex vocabulary or timing, you will want to rehearse and bring your own PA.

7. Teams. Maximum team size is six: the playwright plus up to five team members (actors, outside PAs, directors, etc.). Playwrights are responsible for assembling their teams, furnishing them with scripts, and ensuring that they register for and arrive at the conference. All Playwright Cabaret team members receive half off their conference registration. We encourage writers to share actors, in order to reduce the danger of "no-shows." (This has happened; it was an incredible drag for the playwright.)

8. Stuff on Stage. Music stands and chairs will be provided. That’s pretty much it. Props are heartily discouraged; the space is tiny

9. Sound. Microphones and sound equipment will not be available (nope, not even a CD player). Simplicity in presentation is best.

10. Choice of material. You must present the same script you send to TBA. You may send more than one script to TBA, but no writer will get more than one slot. Script format may be whatever you like: one short play, several very short plays, or an excerpt from a longer piece. It can obviously address any topic in any style. TBA will not censor, edit, or even correct the spelling in scripts we receive, unless and until the script is published. About that...

11. Publication. Cabaret playwrights may be offered the opportunity to have their short play published on the TBA website and promoted via TBA’s social media channels. This is totally optional; playwrights may absolutely choose to decline. TBA may also decline to publish a script if we have concerns about super disturbing content, but only after a conversation about these concerns with the playwright.

12. Promotion. The Playwright Cabaret readings will be promoted in the conference program, likely as an insert. Please feel free to do your own promotion outside of the conference (email, social media, postcards) to invite people. There will be no room for postcards at the conference registration table, which is the most hectic spot at the entire event. Postcards left there, even accidentally, will be cleared and probably recycled.

13. Share the Love. Please cross-promote and watch the other playwrights’ readings! Support them the way you’d like them to support you.

 

Tags:  Annual Conference 

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Program Director's Note: Send Us Your 2016 Annual Conference Ideas

Posted By Dale Albright, Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, November 10, 2015

By Dale Albright

 

It’s hard to believe—as the TBA staff launches into final TBA Awards Celebration preparations (do you have your tickets?), continues to work on the 2015-16 TBA Awards cycle, begins to accept registrations for the General Auditions and plans for those pesky holidays—that it is already time to begin planning for the 2016 Theatre Bay Area Annual Conference. But it is!


 TBA program director Dale Albright.

A massive, once-a-year event, the Annual Conference (held each spring) is the chance for every kind of theatre-maker from all over the Bay Area to get together with colleagues to hear the latest trends, discuss pressing issues, connect with the community and get energized for another year of fantastic work.

Generally, the conference is formatted with a plenary session (or two) for everyone to gather in one room, followed by many breakout sessions for deeper, more in-depth discussions around particular topics. Topics are brainstormed at our advisory committee meetings, at regional meetings and through input from our members.

In addition to topic-based discussions, we also have sessions that are more experiential (like speed consulting, discipline-to-discipline speed dating—we’ve even had a headshot photographer doing free photos!).

Here’s where you come in. We would love to hear from you—what you would like to see at the 2016 Annual Conference? Send us your thoughts about any or all of the following:

1.     The biggest challenges you are facing right now. Maybe you can’t put in the form of a suggested discussion. Just let us know the challenge and we can take it from there, based on the variety of feedback that we receive.

2.     Speakers whom you would like to hear at the conference.

3.     Particular topics that you would like to have addressed.

4.     Things that you would like to see happen at the conference (maybe you have an idea for an experience you would like to have, for example).

5.     Would you like to actually put a session together? Tell us about it! What would the topic be? Who would you invite to be a part of it? What format would it take?

6.     What bright spots have you seen this year that you would like our community to celebrate?

Please send your thoughts to dale@theatrebayarea.org. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Dale Albright is program director for Theatre Bay Area, as well as an actor and freelance director. 

 

 

Tags:  Annual Conference  Community Events 

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Program Director's Note: Tip of the Iceberg

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

By Dale Albright, TBA program director 


TBA program director Dale Albright.

What a community we have.

I had the pleasure of attending the Lemonade Fund Variety Show sponsored by Theatre Bay Area’s Individual Services Committee (ISC) at PianoFight a few weeks ago. It has already been reported far and wide that the event raised over $700 toward supporting the Lemonade Fund, Theatre Bay Area’s fund for theatre workers that are critically ill or facing a catastrophic life situation.

It struck me as yet another reminder of the generosity that abounds in our community. Members of TBA's Individual Services Committee, particularly the event’s organizers, Megan Briggs and Alan Olejniczak, donated considerable time and energy in putting together the event. PianoFight donated the space, the performers donated their time and talent—the servers even donated their tips! This is just another example of how extraordinary our community can be in support of each other and this field we all love so much.

Our new strategic plan articulates something that has been in TBA’s DNA for a long time, but never really said in this way: “acting for the good of the entire Bay Area theatre ecosystem.” While the Lemonade Fund is a perfect example of this, it is also an example of something that TBA, as an organization, can’t do on our own. Sure, we can put the pieces in place (we make guidelines, draft the application forms, put them all on the website and process those applications), based on our belief that this fund acts for the good of people who make up this ecosystem. But without community involvement and support such as this recent event, the Lemonade Fund is just a page on a website without any real connection or benefit to anyone.

This is true of almost all of the programs that we do. They are here for you—and they need you. The General and Regional Auditions are useful because of the actors and companies that participate. The TBA Awards program owes its ongoing existence to community adjudicators, participating companies and artists. Every CA$H Grant selection panel is made of artists from our community who want to make sure others get support for their work. The list goes on and on.

How can you join us in our efforts to continue to strengthen, unite, promote and advance Bay Area theatre? There are oh so many ways!

You might read that and think that I am asking for time or for money. And while yes, those things are important (and would certainly be utilized!), I am also thinking of the simple act of staying in touch with us. We are constantly reaching out to our members and the community at large via our Annual Conference and other events, as well as emails and surveys. Do you speak up? Or do you leave someone else to make decisions on your behalf? Do you assume that “surely TBA knows (insert issue here)”? All of our online journalism and blog posts have the option for you to share or post a comment. Have you shared an article or commented? Will you comment on this? Is TBA on your email list when you promote your shows (and I mean this for individual artists as well as companies!)? Have you gotten involved in the social media aspects of the TBA website—groups and forums—to find resources and like-minded allies? Your involvement makes our work possible.

An image has been circulating around Facebook recently with a picture of an iceberg. The top of the iceberg is labeled as “the show” and the vastly larger underside is labeled as “what the audience doesn’t see.” What’s great about this image is that it is so transferrable to TBA’s work. For instance, I love the tip of the “TBA membership” iceberg, those folks who actively participate in community building and professional activities. I really, really do.

But I can’t help but think about what we as an organization, a theatre community and a field would accomplish if we were able to count on the whole darn iceberg that is sitting just out of sight.

Dale Albright is program director for Theatre Bay Area, and a Bay Area actor and director.

Tags:  Annual Conference  discussion  journalism  TBA general auditions  volunteer 

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Rejoin and Reconnect with the TBA Spring Membership Sale!

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Updated: Monday, May 4, 2015

 

Do you remember your first theatre experience?  Of course you do. That amazement, that sudden desire to be part of all the magic, that irreplaceable thrill. Dive back into the community of theatre makers today with an individual TBA membership!

Rejoin today, and get a special Spring Sale price of $50 for a full year!

How? Visit our membership page and use this discount code: 2015SpringSale

“I hadn’t realized how much I missed TBA! Renewing my membership reconnected me with the all the unique vitality of the Bay Area theatre community. It’s good to be back in the loop again. TBA is the pulse of local theatre, and the new website makes it even easier to find out what’s going on." —TBA member Valerie Wagenfeld, rejoined April 23, 2015

 

Your year-long individual membership includes:

• A weekly e-newsletter, “The Insider,” packed with theatre news, free tickets, and info on upcoming events!
• Discounts of up to 50% off TBA gatherings like the Annual Conference, where the Bay Area theatre community meets up to share ideas and excitement!
• Eligibility to see shows as a TBA Awards adjudicator—for free!

 

If you've missed that "plugged in" feeling, click on over here and rejoin TBA for only $50 with this promo code: 2015SpringSale. (Offer good for new or lapsed TBA individual members only.)


Act now - offer ends June 30!

Tags:  Annual Conference  Community Events  Membership  Sale 

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Stuff We Love: 15 Best Tweets from #TBACon15

Posted By TBA Staff, Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

 
We're still tingling from the excitement and energy after TBACon15! Relive the day with these 15 highlights pulled from over 500 #tbacon15-tagged Tweets!

1. On plenary speaker, Jesús Quintero from Tijuana Hace Teatro:


2. On that #tbacon15 livetweeting life:


3. On Mina Morita, artistic director of Crowded Fire Theater Company, another plenary speaker:


4. On Gender Parity:


5. On Triple Play,
a national project led by TBA and Theatre Development Fund reinforcing the relationship between audiences, artists and theatre organizations:


6. More on Gender Parity, behind the glass curtain:

 

7. On directors/stage managers acting as de facto HR reps:

 

8. On the lunchtime lull, from an active participant participating remotely:


9. On the Playwrights' Cabaret:

 

10. On Partnerships:

 

11. On reacting to #tbacon15!

 

12. On Sarah Moser, accepting the 2015 RHE Artistic Fellowship!

 

13. On Marcus Gardley, 2014 Glickman Award recipient, and his moving acceptance speech:

 

14. One of the many breathless (as far as we can infer) reactions to Marcus Gardley's speech:

 

15. On letting it all sink in, post-#tbacon15:

 

Honorable Mention:
Is it tastelessly self-aggrandizing to post one of our own? Nonetheless, one of the most engaged-with Tweets was a quote from Marcus Gardley:

 

That's all for this year. So many inspiring (and clever!) thoughts, reactions and conversations took place on #tbacon15—and in real life. Thank you for jumping in and speaking up. Say those changes aloud! Let's see what progress we've made next year at #tbacon16.

 

Tags:  #tbacon15  Annual Conference  audience development  Community Events  Gender Parity  Glickman Award  Marcus Gardley  Mina Morita 

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A Huge #TBACon15 Thank You!

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Updated: Friday, April 17, 2015

Theatre Bay Area would like to say THANK YOU to the many, many people who made the 2015 Annual Conference such a success!


Thank you to all invited speakers, panelists, coordinators and consultants, for sharing your expertise and passion. You inspired literally hundreds of people at this event.

Thank you to all attendees, for being the reason we hold this event. It's amazing to get to spend a whole day together, hearing about what excites, challenges and moves you.

Thank you to all volunteers, for helping to get it all done. Your cheerful assistance reflects our community at its best: generous, collaborative and committed. You are deeply appreciated. 

Thank you to all donors and sponsors, for taking a stand to show your support for the arts, the Bay Area theatre arts community, and a world made better through expanding the public's access to the particular power of theatre. 

Special thanks to these major sponsors:

   

Goldstar

Musson Theatrical

 

See you next year at #TBACon16! 

Tags:  #tbacon15  Annual Conference  audience development  Community Events  Gender Parity  Glickman Award  Intrinsic Impact  Marcus Gardley  Mina Morita  RHE Fellowship  Works by Women SF 

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Toast the Toast of the Town at the TBACon Closing Reception!

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, April 7, 2015

By TBA Staff
 

This year's Annual Conference will close with a very special plenary session, where Theatre Bay Area will be delighted to present two prestigious awards to members of our creative community: the Glickman Award and the RHE Fellowship. And then there will be wine!

The Will Glickman Award for Best Play to Premiere in the Bay Area in 2014, will be presented to playwright (and Bay Area native) Marcus Gardley, for his stirring drama The House that will not Stand. The Glickman award comes with a $4,000 prize, and garners national recognition in the field. Berkeley Repertory Theatre, which produced the world premiere production, will receive the affiliated Horty Glickman Award.

 

 

TBA, in partnership with the RHE Foundation, will also be applauding actor Sarah Moser, recipient of the 2015 RHE Fellowship. The fellowship, which comes with a $10,000 grant and a year's worth of professional mentoring, is designed to make a significant investment in an individual artist that allows for learning and experimentation, and enables them to focus on specific areas of learning they otherwise might not have the opportunity to explore.

 

Directly following the closing plenary, you can toast these talented artists and our community at the complimentary wine reception! We'll close the conference day by gathering for light refreshments and camaraderie in the upstairs Roda lobby.

Go to main TBACon information page

Register for TBACon today!

 

Tags:  #tbacon15  Annual Conference  Glickman Award  playwright  RHE Fellowship 

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TBA Annual Conference Registration Now Open!

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, March 17, 2015

 

 

 

Are you a Bay Area theatre-maker who wants to make some connections?
Discuss the art, craft, and business of making theatre?
Hear some fantastic new ideas?

  


Come to the TBA Annual Conference!

 

 

Theatre-makers of all stripes will gather for the TBA Annual Conference in downtown Berkeley on April 13 to connect, learn, and celebrate. Whether you make your theatrical magic onstage or off, this conference will have something for you!

 


Registration for the conference is now open - sign up today!

 

Sign up before April 1 and get the "early bird" discount to attend one of the biggest, most inspiring theatre events of the year!

 

Sign up more than one person and save even more!

More info is available here, including locations, times, sessions, and lunch options. 

 


Hope to see you there!


Remember to follow us @theatrebayarea.org on Twitter - hashtag #tbacon15!


Tags:  #tbacon15  Annual Conference  Community Events  Intrinsic Impact  volunteer 

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Playwright Cabaret at the 2015 TBA Annual Conference

Posted By TBA Staff, Friday, February 6, 2015

Want to present your work in the Playwright Cabaret?

Submit your script today!

 

The Playwright Cabaret is, quite simply, a place at the TBA Annual Conference (April 13, 2015) for writers to have their work read and seen by colleagues. See below for how to submit your work for consideration.

 

  

 
Photo: "Cafe Flambe" by user Brain Toad on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license. 



The Playwright Cabaret "Lucky Thirteen" (i.e., how it all works):

 

1. Membership. Playwrights must be TBA individual members in good standing through April 30, 2015 to present their work at the conference. Monthly membership holders are eligible. There is no membership requirement for the cast or production assistant (PA). Playwrights who present their work at the Playwright Cabaret will receive free admission to the conference.

2. Selection process. All Playwright Cabaret slots will be filled by lottery, with a short waiting list in the event of cancellations, lapsed memberships, etc. Scripts must be received by laura@theatrebayarea.org by 4 p.m. on March 15, 2015. The selected and waitlisted writers will be notified via email by 5 p.m. that same day. Specific time slots cannot be guaranteed, but cabaret playwrights may trade spots with one another.

3. Venue and length. The Playwright Cabaret will be held in the Berkeley Rep bar, which will be open for business during that time (expect noise and very honest audience reactions!). Each slot is 20 minutes long. Each team has 5 minutes to set up, 10 minutes to read, and 5 minutes to reset the stage for the next team. If you set up and clear quickly you may use the rest of the time however you wish, including announcing your reading verbally to draw a crowd. Common-sense caveat: Do Not Do This During Another Writer's Reading. You Will Go To Playwright Hell, Where You Will Be Forced to Write "Disney On Ice" Adaptations of Epicoene, By Ben Jonson, For All Eternity.

4. Timeliness. If a playwright's full team fails to arrive on time, start on time, or clear the stage for the next team on time, s/he will become ineligible for the following year's Playwright Cabaret.

5. Participation. Playwrights are not to act in their own plays, read their own stage directions, or participate in any technical or logistical capacity. The whole point is to be free to feel the audience taking in your work. 

6. Stage directions. TBA will provide a production assistant (PA) to read stage directions. However, the TBA PA will not be available to rehearse or even read through the script before the reading. So if your stage directions have complex vocabulary or timing, you will want to rehearse and bring your own PA.

7. Cast. Maximum cast size is 6, plus one PA (optional). Playwrights are responsible for casting their shows, furnishing their teams with scripts, and ensuring that their teams register for the conference. Actors and PAs will receive 50% off conference admission. We encourage writers to share actors, to reduce the danger of "no-shows." (This has happened; it was an incredible drag for the playwright.)

8. Stuff on Stage. Music stands and chairs will be provided. Props are heartily discouraged; the space is tiny

9. Sound. Microphones and sound equipment will not be available (nope, not even a CD player). Unplugged singing or instrumental music is fun, sure, but remember: simplicity always wins. 

10. Choice of material. You must present the same script you send to TBA. You may send more than one script to TBA, but no writer will get more than one slot. Script format may be whatever you like: one short play, several very short plays, or an excerpt from a longer piece. It can obviously address any topic in any style. TBA will not censor, edit, or even correct the spelling in scripts we receive, unless and until the script is published. About that...

11. Publication. Cabaret playwrights may be offered the opportunity to have their short play published on the TBA website and promoted via TBA's social media channels. This is totally optional; playwrights may absolutely choose to decline. TBA may also decline to publish a script if we have concerns about super disturbing content, but only after a conversation about these concerns with the playwright.

12. Promotion. The Playwright Cabaret readings will be promoted in the conference program, likely as an insert. Please feel free to do your own promotion outside of the conference (email, social media, postcards) to invite people, but if you bring promotional materials to the conference, be prepared to carry and hand them out yourself. There will be no room for postcards at the conference registration table, which is the most hectic spot at the entire event. Postcards left there, even accidentally, will be cleared and probably recycled.

13. Share the Love. Please cross-promote and watch the other playwrights' readings! Support them the way you'd like them to support you.

  


Questions?

Email Laura Brueckner

Tags:  #tbacon15  Annual Conference  playwright  reading 

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