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2014 Annual Conference Schedule
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TBA Loves You!

2014 Annual Conference 


9:00 – 9:30 a.m.: Registration
Location: Roda Lobby
Pick up your conference packets and name badges and plan your day! 
Live-tweeters - remember, our event hashtag is #tbacon14!

Also, ongoing all day in the Roda lobby: Visit with conference sponsors! Chat with friendly, helpful TBA staff members who will happily answer your questions about TBA membership, our granting and training programs for artists, our new website, the Talent Bank, and what a "Blushing Orchid" is! 

9:30 – 11:15 a.m.: Opening Plenary Session

What Is the Ideal Theatre Community? 

Location: Roda Theatre

If we think of ideal as a standard of excellence and not in terms of Plato's expression of unobtainable abstract perfection, what are the components that make up an “ideal” theatre community? Join this discussion with six notable theatre professionals (three expats who return to the Bay Area to discuss what they miss about the Bay Area and what they admire about their current artistic home and three locals who choose to keep the Bay Area their home while also working around the country and internationally) to discuss what it takes to make a region where theatre and theatre makers can truly thrive.

Moderated by: Brad Erickson, executive director, Theatre Bay Area

Desdemona Chiang, director

Heather Kitchen, Dallas Theater Center

Meredith McDonough, Actors Theatre of Louisville 

Rob Melrose, The Cutting Ball Theater

Reggie White, actor

Ben Yalom, foolsFURY


11:15 – 11:30 a.m.: Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.: Breakout Sessions #1

Is the Bay Area an Ideal Theatre Community? 

Location: Roda Theatre

Continuing the morning discussion about the ideal theatre community, let's come together as a group and talk about the ways that the Bay Area theatre scene can be more of an ideal community. What are the central issues facing us as a community and how can we work together to address them?

Moderated by: Brad Erickson, Theatre Bay Area

Pre-Session Spotlight: Anna Shneiderman, Flight Deck

Tech & Design/Director & Producer Speed Dating

Location: Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Blue Room 

Reprising one of our most popular sessions from last year! Stage managers, technicians of any stripe, designers: Come with your résumés, portfolios and business cards and meet directors and producers looking for YOU! Directors: Find the team of your dreams right here, right now! Note: seats are limited; attendees must sign up in advance.

Moderated by: Stephanie Henderson, production manager

Uncommon Excellence: Teaching Artists and the Common Core

Location: Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Loft 

What is the Common Core and where does it stand in the California schools? How is the Common Core affecting the world of teaching artists? Then hear from a high school teacher who will talk about the implementation process and how much teachers actually know and don't know right now.

Moderated by: Nina Meehan, Bay Area Children's Theatre

Bradley Diamond, teacher

Sabrina Klein, consultant, teacher

Karen Altree Piemme, San Jose Repertory Theatre

Nicole Sandoval, teacher/teaching artist


Slapping the Monkey: Offensive Theatre

Location: Aurora Theatre

When is pushing boundaries or punching a sacred cow artistically viable—and when is it just being an a**hole? In an era when offensive statements are often being justified as satire, how do we understand satire and other performance genres that challenge our personal sensibilities as artists and audiences? 

Moderated by: Stuart Bousel, San Francisco Theater Pub

Russell Blackwood, Thrillpeddlers

Megan Cohen, playwright

Kat Evasco, performing artist
Philip Huang, performance artist

Nathaniel Justiniano, Naked Empire Bouffon Company

Rob Ready, PianoFight

Phil Wong, performer


Forging Business Partnerships: Finding Shared Goals Between Private Businesses and Nonprofit Theatres

Location: Arpeggio Building (Berkeley Annex), Osher 

This panel starts the dialogue on the conversation theatre companies, regardless of their size, should be having with businesses. Bay Area businesses have a stake in contributing to their communities; a vibrant arts scene helps create a vibrant, attractive environment vital to recruiting and retaining top employees. There are more ways than a donation paycheck that a business can contribute to the theatre community—ongoing in-kind donations, halo effect marketing, and, simply, finding shared goals that we all work towards. 

Moderated by: Brandi Brandes, Theatre Bay Area

Don-Scott Cooper, American Conservatory Theater

Lindsay Krumbein, Gritty City Repertory

Liz Lisle, Shotgun Players

Phil Santora, TheatreWorks

Peter Shanley, Neo


Being Agents of Change: Advocacy Tools and Representation Strategies for Individual Artists

Location: Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Bakery 

Do you ever feel like you don't see enough people like you onstage? Are you concerned about what stories are overand underrepresented in theatre? Do you struggle with trying to figure out how to have an impact as an individual on social issues in our field? Hosted by TBA's Gender Parity Advisory Committee, this roundtable discussion and interactive workshop will explore specific tools and strategies that individual artists can use to advocate for equal representation in theatre. With a focus on effective activist tactics that have emerged out of the gender parity movement, panelists will share details about specific efforts they have undertaken to address their own representation concerns. Participants will have the chance to share personal stories and representation challenges in small groups and to strategize collectively about the social impact of individual action. Everyone (including folks who missed the session!) is invited to continue this conversation with panelists during the lunch period. 

Moderated by: Christine Young, University of San Francisco

Velina Brown, actor

Eugenie Chan, playwright

Rebecca Ennals, SF Shakes

Martha Richards, WomenArts

Valerie Weak, actor


Meet Working Actors

Location: Arpeggio Building (Berkeley Annex), Studio A 

For emerging actors who want to get insight about taking their career to the next level. Set up à la "speed dating," we will have two circles of chairs. The outer circle is stationary, with a selection of local working actors. The inner circle is filled with actors who have questions for the "working actors." Like musical chairs, after a few minutes with the first actor opposite them, the people in this inner circle will move to the next chair, meet a new actor and start over again. 

Actors include: Patrick Alparone, Ryan Drummond, Safiya Fredericks, Nick Gabriel, Cindy Im, Patrick Kelly Jones, Carrie Paff, Benjamin Pither, Kathryn Zdan


Confident Decision Making: Data as a Means to Smarter Administration

Location: Arpeggio Building (Berkeley Annex), Studio B 

Working in the arts requires fast decision making based on knowledge of your audience and donors. Data can help. While often left to the researchers, data gives you unique insight into your constituents that allows you to make choices based on more than just gut instinct. Not only does it work, but it’s the sort of thinking funders are looking for. It's also easier than it seems. Sources you already have can be supplemented by programs such as the Audience Database, Sustain Arts and Cultural Data Project to augment your work. Discover how companies quickly and easily access numbers and use them not just to take action, but to act effectively.

Moderated by: Marc Vogl, consultant

Katie Fahey, Kenneth Rainin Foundation 

Heather Johnson, Marin Community Foundation 

Alan Kline, Theatre Bay Area

Robert Sweibel, Berkeley Repertory Theatre


Audience Access Hackathon Meetup

Location: Roda Theatre, Upstairs Lobby (Board Room)

Hackathons are generally intense ordeals where hordes of smart, driven software folks flood a work venue to team up and double down on some stubborn problem in a fixed amount of time. Are we asking you to learn XML before the conference? No. We do feel, though, that the hackathon model has benefits to offer other fields that face complex and entrenched problems, because the pressurized environment inherently fosters innovation through no-holds-barred collaboration and rigorous and irreverent questioning of assumptions—even assumptions about the actual nature of the problem itself.

This session is not an actual hackathon, but we'd like it to be a first step toward one. What we hope to accomplish is a gathering of like minds interested in envisioning together what a theatre practice hackathon might look like—the calm before the brainstorm. As for the stubborn problem, we've chosen audience access. So, if all this sounds like your cup of Zero Carb Red Bull, we want to meet you, and we want you to meet each other. Come convene with your fellow future theatre hackers.

Moderated by: Laura Brueckner, Theatre Bay Area and Wolfgang Wachalovsky, Mugwumpin


Speed Consulting

Location: Roda Theatre, Upstairs Lobby 

We are thrilled to be able to bring back one of our popular conference sessions! Visit the registration desk to schedule a 15-minute individualized "Speed Consulting" session at the conference with a fantastic consultant. We bring expertise in board development, fundraising, finance, strategic planning, and career planning for individual artists and artistic staff working on new creative projects. We can help you identify some of the key next steps to make these great ideas work for you and your organization. 

This session's consultants include: David Gluck, Stephanie Johnson, Bruce Pachtman, Yesenia Sanchez

(Ongoing all day) Space Rental Lab

Location: Roda Theatre, Downstairs Lobby 

Want to advertise your space for rental, but never seem to get around to it? Need to find a cheaper, more convenient venue for your next performance? Check out the Space Rental Lab, where you'll work with our crackerjack team from, a searchable database of 467 performing arts spaces in 11 Bay Area counties. Bay Area Performing Arts Spaces, or BAPAS, matches spaces with renters—for free! Stop in and walk away with a profile that's synced to your organization's calendar, highlighting your unbooked rental times. Drop by and get a list of spaces that you didn't already know about and that meet your needs for your next rehearsal, audition, performance or event. Already got a BAPAS profile? You rock. Visit our lab and we'll help you make your profile even more appealing to potential renters. If you're a theatre person of any stripe, you can't afford to not use this resource!

Moderated by: Lisa Niedermeyer, Fractured Atlas

Michelle Lynch Reynolds, Dancers' Group

Lily Janiak, Theatre Bay Area

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.: Lunch

(Ongoing 12:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m.) Playwright Cabaret

Location: The Bar at Berkeley Rep

The Playwright Cabaret is a new event at our Annual Conference. Staged readings of 20-minute plays or excerpts by Bay Area playwrights will run continuously in the Berkeley Rep Bar. 

Moderated by: Addie Gorlin, director, and Carina Salazar, Theatre Bay Area 

(Lunchtime Discussion) Being Agents of Change: Advocacy Tools & Representation Strategies for Individual Artists

Location: Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Bakery

A continuation of the conversation started in the previous breakout.

1:45 – 3:00 p.m.: Breakout Sessions #2

Framing the Value of the Arts

Location: Arpeggio Building (Berkeley Annex), Osher

We often talk about theatre with people who already love it. But if we want new audiences, better funding and greater recognition as a field, we have to learn to express our value to those who don't yet know it. Whether you are talking to policy-makers, funders or individuals, this interactive roundtable discussion will address how you make the case for your work.

Moderated by: Brad Erickson, Theatre Bay Area

Kristin Margolis, California Arts Council

Marc Vogl, consultant


Bread & Circuits: Technology in/as Theatre

Location: Roda Theatre 

Technology is changing not only how we choose to tell stories but the very stories we tell. Since so many human interactions are now at least partially mediated (and therefore shaped) by different communications applications, we have developed new ways of relating to others and ourselves that are native to digital environments—with new forms of language, intimacy, humor, emotional distancing and self-presentation. This panel will introduce you to theatre artists who have used technological approaches to explore these new stories, then will open the room up to a conversation about the digital in/as the theatrical. [Note: This panel will be livestreamed on HowlRound TV.]

Moderated by: Laura Brueckner, Theatre Bay Area

Desdemona Chiang, director

Sara Kraft, KraftyWork

David Szlasa, media artist


Navigating Social Media for Individuals

Location: Arpeggio Building (Berkeley Annex), Studio B 

It’s a given that to be fully engaged in the field you will have a social media presence. But how can an individual navigate dos and don’ts in the world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and (insert new social media options here)? This panel will discuss the ins and outs of this ever-changing world.

Moderated by: Claire Rice, director/playwright

Melissa Hillman, Impact Theatre

Scott Ragle, actor 

Anthem Salgado, business coach and marketing strategist


Successful Strategies for Putting More Women Onstage 

Location: Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Bakery

Artistic leaders from various sized organizations demonstrate and discuss the strategies they have used to increase the number of women onstage at their respective companies.  Case studies from each of the panelists' theatres will be explored. The session will specifically address the following three topics: casting women in traditionally male roles (including a performed scene from Twelfth Night), committing to gender parity in all disciplines (acting, directing, writing, design, etc.) and creating an all-female season. The panel will explore how each of these strategies has affected their institution and themselves as artists. Areas of focus will include how this choice has altered the perception of the company in terms of staff and supporters, how audiences and donors have responded, and the impact on artists. A Q&A period will follow to continue the dialogue with the audience. 

Moderated by: Kirsten Brandt, San Jose Rep

Chloe Bronzan, Symmetry Theatre

Patrick Dooley, Shotgun Players

Rebecca Ennals, SF Shakes

Cindy Im, actor 

Rami Margron, actor

Susannah Martin, director


Engaging Tweens in Out-of-School-Time Arts Activities

Location: Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Blue Room 

Who are the tweens and what do they want in an arts program? You have the program, the scholarship money, the how do you get them in the door? In a time when many low-income and urban youth are missing out on high-quality arts experiences in their schools, arts organizations have stepped up to provide classes, ensembles, camps and performance programs aimed at closing the arts gap for youth. Yet attendance at many of these programs remains inconsistent, despite best efforts and intentions on the organizations' behalf. The Wallace Foundation commissioned a report to address these issues and to shed light on the barriers to arts participation that urban and low-income youth face today. This session will present the findings of their report, published in 2014 and based on the research of Next Level Strategic Marketing Group (a New York marketing and brand-strategy firm), with a panel discussion on the subject to follow.

Moderated by: Sylvia Hathaway, New Conservatory Theatre Center

Kiku Johnson, Girls Leadership Institute

Salim Rollins, teaching artist trainer/supervisor 


Triumphantly Using Ticketing Technology

Location: Aurora Theatre 

The smallest hiccup in ticketing access can turn a hit into an empty house. Yet most companies don't have time to research which ticketing system is best for them. Are you using the best technology you can? Have you maximized your system's patron tracking potential? How can you make group and other ticket sales simple? Join a roundtable discussion to share lessons learned, compare best practices and learn from panelists who have successfully addressed these and other challenges.

Moderated by: Robin Dolan, Aurora Theatre Company

Richard Mosqueda, American Conservatory Theater

Jonathan Spector, Just Theater



The Envelope Please: Theatre Bay Area's New Awards Program

Location: Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Loft 

Theatre Bay Area is pleased to be in the midst of the inaugural season of the TBA Awards. Join Robert Sokol, program manager, for a Q&A session on how to enroll your productions in this first-ever region-wide, peer-adjudicated program, how to be an adjudicator in the program, and what's in the works for the future of this exciting new program. 

Moderated by: Robert Sokol, Theatre Bay Area


En Garde! Fight Demonstration and Safety Consultations

Location: Arpeggio Building (Berkeley Annex), Studio A 

Join this us for a demonstration in the use of both swords and unarmed fights (including grappling and falls). In addition, Durand will offer those who have scheduled productions with violence in them and need an experienced fight designer, special actor safety handouts regarding the use of swords, unarmed combat and/or firearms. 

Presenter: Durand Garcia and students

Speed Consulting
Location: Roda Theatre, Upstairs Lobby 
See full description above in Session #1. This session's consultants include: Carrie Blanding, Bruce Pachtman, Yesenia Sanchez, Meryl Shaw, John Simpson, Robert Weiner

(Ongoing 12:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m.) Playwright Cabaret

Location: The Bar at Berkeley Rep

The Playwright Cabaret is a new event at our Annual Conference. Staged readings of 20-minute plays or excerpts by Bay Area playwrights will run continuously in the Berkeley Rep Bar. (See full description above in Session #1.)

(Ongoing all day) Space Rental Lab
Location: Roda Theatre, Downstairs Lobby 
Want to advertise your space for rental, but never seem to get around to it? Need to find a cheaper, more convenient venue for your next performance? Check out the Space Rental Lab! (See full description above in Session #1.)

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.: Breakout Sessions #3

Making Strategic Decisions for Sustainability

Location: Arpeggio Building (Berkeley Annex), Osher 

CompassPoint CEO Jeanne Bell will introduce the Matrix Map, a model for strategic decision-making that holds impact and financial return holistically. The framework is an excellent way to kick off a strategic planning process or to engage in strategic decision-making in real time. The session is intended to support leaders in thinking about how best to engage others in bold decision making to strengthen their organizations.

Presenter: Jeanne Bell, CompassPoint Nonprofit

Pre-Session Spotlight: Tabard Theatre Company, Cathy Cassetta

Taking Arms Against the Sea: Playwright Residency Programs

Location: Roda Theatre 

In the wake of 2009's Outrageous Fortune, which exposed tensions in the relationship between playwrights and the companies that produce their plays (or don't), organizations of all sizes have launched programs exploring new ways for theatres and writers to work together. One idea that’s gotten traction on both the national and local levels is the playwright residency; the popularity of residency programs indicates that they offer real benefits to both writers and theatres. At the same time, no two residency programs function the same way; they offer different resources, observe different timetables and have different goals. So, how do interested theatre-makers learn what’s working and share ideas on where to go next? This panel features artistic staff and writers involved in three different residency programs: the nationwide Andrew W. Mellon Foundation residencies, the Playwrights Foundation’s Resident Playwright Initiative and AlterTheater’s AlterLab. Are you a writer considering a playwright residency? Or do you work for a company hoping to develop a residency program? You want to be here. [Note: This panel will be livestreamed on HowlRound TV.]

Moderated by: Laura Brueckner, Theatre Bay Area

Ann Brebner, resident playwright, 

Jeanette Harrison, artistic director, AlterTheater

Rob Melrose, artistic director, The Cutting Ball Theater

Andrew Saito, resident playwright, The Cutting Ball Theater 
Kate E. Ryan, resident playwright, Playwrights Foundation

Jayne Wenger, former artistic director, Playwrights Foundation
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, resident playwright, Z Space
Lisa Steindler, artistic director, Z Space

Working Toward a More Representative Theatre: Talking About Greater Race and Ethnic Representation

Location: Arpeggio Building (Berkeley Annex), Studio B 

Continuing the discussion started in "Being Agents of Change" in Session #1, this roundtable discussion will brainstorm effective strategies for greater race and ethnic representation onstage. 

Moderated by: Leslie Martinson, TheatreWorks

Panelists: Cindy Im, actor 

Min Kahng, playwright/composer

Vidhu Singh, Brava


Size Doesn't Matter: Marketing on Limited Resources

Location: Aurora Theatre 

When working on a budget, every dollar means more and there isn't much room to experiment. Smart marketing decisions are essential to make the most of what you've got. With these high stakes it literally pays to learn from one another. A diverse panel reveals the secrets of their successes and answers questions like: How do I know a distributor's audience? When is it worth it to splurge? How do I successfully brand a company? What choices will help get butts in seats?

Moderated by: Suzanne Appel, The Cutting Ball Theater

Niall Adler, Children's Musical Theater San Jose

Shamsher Virk, CounterPULSE


Rally Your Troops! How Individual Artists Can Galvanize Support for Their Work

Location: Arpeggio Building (Berkeley Annex), Studio A

How can you leverage your current support system in order to take your career to the next level? Join our latest Titan Award winners, who will share the importance of career planning in order to help you solicit feedback, articulate the kind of help that you might want to move forward in your career and identify the people that you might already know that can contribute to the development of your artistic path.

Moderated by: Dale Albright, Theatre Bay Area

Terry Bamberger, actor

Hugo E Carbajal, actor

Patricia Miller, director

Evren Odcikin, director

Doyle Ott, director


Speed Consulting

Location: Roda Theatre, Upstairs Lobby 
See full description in Session #1 above. This session's consultants include: Carrie Blanding, Roberta Yuen

(Ongoing 12:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m.) Playwright Cabaret

Location: The Bar at Berkeley Rep

The Playwright Cabaret is a new event at our Annual Conference. Staged readings of 20-minute plays or excerpts by Bay Area playwrights will run continuously in the Berkeley Rep Bar. (See full description above in Session #1.)

(Ongoing all day) Space Rental Lab
Location: Roda Theatre, Downstairs Lobby 
Want to advertise your space for rental, but never seem to get around to it? Need to find a cheaper, more convenient venue for your next performance? Check out the Space Rental Lab! (See full description above in Session #1.)



4:45 – 5:30 p.m.: Closing Plenary
Location: Roda Theatre 

I. Presentation of the Glickman Award for 2013

Presenting the 2013 Will Glickman Award to Aaron Loeb for his play, Ideation, produced by San Francisco Playhouse 

II. State of the Art

In his annual State of the Art address, Theatre Bay Area executive director Brad Erickson assesses the state of the region's theatre community and points toward a possible future.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Closing Reception

Location: Roda Lobby 


6:30 - ?: Dine-Arounds at Local Eateries
Sign-ups: Roda Lobby 
Continue informal conversations into the night! Tables are reserved at local eateries for you to connect with your fellow conference attendees.



 See you at the Conference!