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TBA Online: News & Features: May 2016

Insider Theatre News - May 18, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Bay Area Theatre News 

The Speakeasy has become the first theatre project in the US to take advantage of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s new crowdfunding rules, which took effect May 16. The SEC Crowdfunding Regulation allows individuals to invest in American startup businesses—and receive returns on these investments—without becoming an SEC-accredited investor (which requires individuals to prove a net worth exceeding $1M by the SEC’s rules).

This regulation is likely to have a strong impact on the entire theatre field; it allows for-profit theatres to attract public investors but excludes nonprofits—which must rely, as before, on donors and funding bodies that do not expect a monetary return. This may lead to an increase in the number of partnerships between for-profit and nonprofit producing organizations; these have existed for some time as a way to share the financial burdens of developing work headed to Broadway.

On Monday, May 16, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and California Shakespeare Theater held a free symposium, “Breaking the Binary: Building Trans*/Gender-Non-Conforming/Non-Binary Inclusive Theatre.” Over NUMBER were in attendance for the half-day event, created and hosted by Berkeley Rep visiting artistic associate SK Kerastas and Cal Shakes associate director of artistic engagement Lisa Evans; activities consisted of a panel, a breakout session and staged readings of work by trans* identified playwrights of color Ty Defoe, Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko and Ariel Zetina.

Watch the HowlRound TV livestream.

Children’s Musical Theatre of San Jose has been awarded a $10,000 “Art Works” award by the National Endowment for the Arts in support of its summer season production of Rent. “Art Works” awards support the creation and presentation of work across 13 disciplines, as well as lifelong arts learning and public arts engagement. CMTSJ plans to use the funds for its “Second Screen Experience,” where Rent audiences may engage with the live performance through additional “second screen” content, such as livestreamed video, behind-the-scenes clips, social media and more. This award marks the 10th time that the NEA has recognized CMTSJ’s work in the company’s 48-year history.

Opera San José has announced three new additions to its resident company: soprano Sylvia Lee, soprano Ksenia Popova and bass-baritone Colin Ramsey. Tenor Kirk Dougherty, baritone Matthew Hanscom and baritone Brian James Myer will return to the resident company for the season.

#SFPublicCanvas, a free, innovative collaboration between artists and Tenderloin community members that uses art and technology to give voice to those impacted by the neighborhood’s rapid gentrification, will perform at 9 p.m. on the exterior of the Hastings School of Law at 333 Golden Gate Ave. Collaborators include Bandaloop, media artist Jonathan Rowe, producing partner Illuminate and residents of the Tenderloin/Central Market neighborhood, with guest performances by Campo Santo, Tassiana Willis and spoken word artists from Youth Speaks.

The Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors has announced its nominees for 2016. Of the nine high schools represented, six are in the Bay Area: Archbishop Mitty High School (San Jose), the Harker School (San Jose), Marin School for the Arts (Novato), St. Francis High School (Mountain View), San Mateo High School (San Mateo) and Valley Christian High School (San Jose). The nominees will perform at San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts on May 23; two finalists will be sent to the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York, where they will compete for scholarship opportunities to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Shotgun Players/California Employment Development Department (EDD) ruling and appeal update: the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board in Northern California has struck down the EDD’s recent decision to reclassify independent contractors at yet another Bay Area theatre—Sacramento Theatre Company—as employees. Read the LA Stage Alliance article.


Beyond the Bay 

Americans for the Arts will hold its annual convention in Boston, Jun. 15-19, 2016. The schedule, available here, includes sessions such as “Impact without Burnout: Resilient Arts Leadership,” “Strategies for Pursuing Respect and Equity inside Your Organization,” “Meet (and Ask) the NEA” and “How Can Local Arts Agencies Transform Communities Through the Arts?” Early-bird registration deadline is June 3.