Editor’s Note March/April 2013: It Might as Well Be Spring
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
By Sam Hurwitt
We’ve just put out the Spring Preview issue of Theatre Bay Area
magazine! Really we should call it our spring/summer issue, because our
season listings run all the way through August, but do we really need
another slash involved? Do I really want to have to say "our March/April
Spring/Summer Preview issue"? I find that I do not. The line must be
drawn somewhere, and no, I don't mean the diagonal line that I just said
I wasn't going to do.
"Brilliant Jacarandas jostling for the attention they deserve” by Motographer on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.
Inside the magazine, you'll find listings of the shows our company
members are showing from March through August all around the Bay Area
and beyond. We aspire to be as comprehensive as possible, but all season
listings are submitted by Theatre Bay Area company members, so if
perchance your company isn’t included, we look forward to hearing from
you...the next time we send out the call for season listings. (That will
be in June, for the September/October Fall Season Preview issue.) If
you somehow missed our many reminders, contact our membership department
to make sure your company membership is current and its associated
contact info is up to date.
Also published in the March/April issue (and on the website on April 1),
Jean Schiffman considers the curious coincidence that two major South
Bay theatre companies are producing new musicals based on classic
comedies of manners from the 1890s written by Irishmen of legendary wit: Being Earnest at TheatreWorks, based on Oscar Wilde's The Importance
of Being Earnest, and A Minister's Wife at San Jose Rep, based on
George Bernard Shaw's Candida.
One theatre we haven't heard from in a very long time is the Black
Repertory Group, but it appears to be going about its business in South
Berkeley unbeknownst to the general public. Former East Bay Express
theatre critic Rachel Swan headed over to the Black Rep to find out what
goes on there other than the occasional Paul Mooney gig that we see
announced in flyers around the neighborhood. She found that there's
stuff going on there all the time, but they don't seem too concerned
whether anyone outside the theatre's immediate circle knows about it.
The story will appear on our website April 15.
Our "Business of Show Biz" columnist Velina Brown contributes a feature
on the need for feminist theatre companies, with a look at current
efforts in that direction and a look back at some groundbreaking women's
theatre groups of the Bay Area's recent and not-so-recent past (web
publication date March 18). We've been having a lot of conversations
about diversity of all kinds in recent months, as Brad Erickson notes in
his Executive Director's Note in this issue, and we'll be talking about
these issues a lot more in the coming months, on our website, in the
magazine, and at our Annual Conference at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and
Aurora Theatre on April 29. Come on down and be part of the
conversation—and, inshallah, part of the solution as well.
We recently celebrated various notables of the Bay Area theatre
community at our 2013 Faces of Theatre Bay Area Celebration, March 4 at
the new San Francisco Playhouse. We gave out the 30th annual Glickman
Award for best play to premiere in the Bay Area the previous year, and
I'm thrilled to report the prize went to local playwright Christopher
Chen for The Hundred Flowers Project, a coproduction of Crowded Fire
Theater and Playwrights Foundation. You can read all about it in the
Newsfeed section of the magazine (web publication date March 21).
Elsewhere in the print mag, SF Weekly theatre critic Lily Janiak checks
in with Hayward's Douglas Morrisson Theatre in Company Spotlight, and
our associate editor Laura Brueckner interviews The Fourth Messenger
playwright Tanya Shaffer in the Encore Q&A. Both will appear on our
But the biggest news here in the Theatre Bay Area office is that
director of communications and audience development Clayton Lord has
left to take a plum job at Americans for the Arts in Washington, DC, as
the arts advocacy group's vice president of local arts advancement.
Clay's done some amazing work here at Theatre Bay Area, especially in
the realm of research, spearheading Theatre Bay Area's first book, the
research report "Counting New Beans: Intrinsic Impact and the Value of
Art." We'll miss Clay here, and we look forward to seeing the
contributions he'll make to the field on the national stage. At the same
time, we're looking forward to working with his successor, Sam Read,
who comes to us from the arts service organization Theatre Puget Sound
in Seattle, where he's been serving as the deputy director. Sam will be
joining us in the newly created post of director of advancement and
communications starting on March 18.
Coming up in May/June is our Youth Issue, featuring summer camps and
year-round youth classes all around the Bay. The deadline for the youth
listings is March 7, so don’t say I didn’t tell ya.
Sam Hurwitt is editor-in-chief for Theatre Bay Area. He is also the author of The Idiolect, a blog about theatre, movies, comics, media and the decline and fall of Western civilization. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.