This monthly Chatterbox column features members of the Bay Area theatre community discussing a favorite Theatre Bay Area magazine cover, which is really a great excuse for dipping into the rich history of Bay Area theatre and talking to wonderful theatre artists about their peers and memorable productions.
Theatre artist: Evren Odcikin
Favorite Theatre Bay Area cover: September 2010
Like so many theatre artists, Evren Odcikin wears many hats in his daily life. On the day job front, he’s the publicist for KQED. And in his theatrical life, he’s a director who has helmed shows with Brava, Impact Theatre, Boxcar Theatre, Crowded Fire Theater and Shotgun Players. He’s also the literary artistic associate for Golden Thread Productions and is in the midst of directing two solo pieces for the company’s ReOrient festival of new plays, which he is also helping to produce.
So when asked to pick a favorite Theatre Bay Area magazine cover, he does so wearing multiple hats. His choice is the September 2010 issue featuring a black-and-white photograph of Khamara Pettus biting into what looks like a saw. The photo, by Abie Hadjitarkhani, is from the Crowded Fire production of “The Secretaries” by Five Lesbian Brothers.
“I chose that cover for three reasons,” Odcikin says. “First, I loved that show, and Khamara has such a wonderful sense of humor about herself. She’s the kind of actress who would really go for it in that way for a photo. Second, on the marketing side of things, so much theatre photography tends to be so staged and boring. I love the fact that they went for something silly and it made the cover. That photo made me want to pick up the magazine and see what it was about. As an art form, theatre can afford to be more out there, make more fun of itself.”
And finally, Odcikin has to hand it to Crowded Fire, a company he knows well having just directed the play “Invasion!” for them. “Crowded Fire is an incredible small company doing really interesting work. It’s really nice to know that kind of work can get highlighted with a magazine cover. Believe me, I know the details of these kinds of things. It’s hard for small companies to have a photo far enough in advance to make the Theatre Bay Area cover deadline. So I’m impressed that Crowded Fire had their stuff together.”
Neither Odcikin nor one of his productions has yet to be featured on a Theatre Bay Area cover, but if that day—or issue—comes, he has some ideas.
“I’ve found that I’m drawn to stories of the ‘other,’ the outsider,” he says. “I’d love it if a production of mine were featured on the cover that conveyed a sense of the other – somebody you wouldn’t normally see on a magazine cover. But Theatre Bay Area is so inclusive, that might be impossible. On the aesthetic side, I think I’ve developed over the years a sense of visual storytelling. My plays tend to be beautiful, at least beautiful to me. As much as I like hard-hitting, political and edgy work, I also want it to be beautiful. So I’d want a beautiful photo telling a beautiful story. There’s something to be said for beauty in the art of theatre.”
Chad Jones has been writing about Bay Area theatre since 1992. He blogs at theaterdogs.net.
The views represented in this Chatterbox Art & Opinion post are those of the individual author, and do not necessarily represent the views of Theatre Bay Area or its staff.