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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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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:



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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Gender Parity Events at the 2015 TBA Conference

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Bay Area theatre community is leading the way on the important issue of gender parity, both onstage and off, thanks to proactive theatre-makers and awareness-raising groups like "Yeah, I Said Feminist," Counting Actors, and the TBA Gender Parity Advisory Committee.

The 2015 TBA Annual Conference is delighted to host a number of gender parity-related events for all theatre-makers who want to know more about this movement and how it's transforming Bay Area theatre.



Photo: "Bildung für Alle" by rosmary on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.



Gender Parity Events at the 2015 TBA Conference



Who's Got Next? – Gender and the Season Planning Process

Time: 10:45 a.m.-11:45 p.m.
Type: Breakout session (roundtable)
Location: Bakery Room, Berkeley Rep School of Theatre


Moderator: Christine Young (Professor, University of San Francisco)
Confirmed panelists: Patrick Dooley, artistic director; Liz Lisle, managing director; Joanie McBrien, development director; Fontana Butterfield, actor

In this roundtable discussion, Shotgun Players' artistic leaders and company members will reflect on the process of planning their 2015 all-female playwrights season and will consider how their company values and season-planning methods have been transformed. 


Equal Opportunity Obstacles Overcome – Successful Strategies

Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Type: Breakout session (roundtable)
Location: Bakery Room, Berkeley Rep School of Theatre

Moderator: Rebecca Ennals (Artistic director, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival

This roundtable discussion will feature artistic leaders sharing their successful strategies for diversifying audiences, overcoming casting obstacles, and integrating artistic and social values in the season planning process. 

Negotiation for the Individual Artist

Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Type: Lunchtime session (informal discussion)
Location: Bakery Room, Berkeley Rep School of Theatre


Velina Brown (Actor, Theatre Bay Area columnist and career consultant, The Business of Show Biz)
Valerie Weak (Actor and creator of the Counting Actors Project

Bring your lunch and talk with fellow artists about negotiation, a crucial part of securing work. Whether it's financial compensation, scheduling, childcare or something else entirely, individual artists have the opportunity to negotiate as part of accepting any role, job, or gig. We'll share stories about successes and challenges, and offer peer support to those with upcoming negotiations.


While everyone is welcome to attend, we recognize that women may face unique challenges relating to confidence and negotiation which we hope to address as part of this session.

See you at the Annual Conference! Registration is open now!

Remember to tweet #TBACon15! 


Tags:  #tbacon15  advocacy  casting  Gender Parity 

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Special Guests at 2015 Annual Conference: Tijuana Hace Teatro

Posted By TBA Staff, Friday, March 20, 2015


Exciting conference news! Joining us for our opening plenary session will be very special guests Jesús Quintero and Ramón Verdugo, founding codirectors of Tijuana Hace Teatro (Tijuana Makes Theatre).


Jesús Quintero and Ramón Verdugo, founding codirectors of Tijuana Hace Teatro. Photo: El Sol de Tijuana


Part theatre collective producing provocative new plays, part innovative theatre service organization, THT describes itself as a movement to unite the people of Tijuana with the power of theatre. Founded in 2007, THT has emerged as a cultural force on the southern side of our border, now bringing its Escuela de Espectadores (School for Audiences) across the international frontier. Quintero and Verdugo, darlings of last summer's TCG Conference in San Diego, will share their insights and their passion for connecting people with great theatre. 


Register for the 2015 TBA Conference now to see these special guests!


2015 TBA Annual Conference main information page 



Tags:  #tbacon15  audience development 

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Theatre Bay Area’s Annual Conference Shines Spotlight on Change

Posted By TBA Staff, Thursday, March 19, 2015
Updated: Friday, March 27, 2015


Change, in all its forms and variations, will be center stage at Theatre Bay Area's Annual Conference on Monday, April 13, hosted by Berkeley Repertory Theatre. This year's theme, "Be the Change," references the many forces coming together to reshape the theatrical landscape in the Bay Area and beyond.

"It's an exciting time to convene our members and partners, as Theatre Bay Area itself has just completed its strategic plan, funded by the Flora and William Hewlett Foundation. The year-long process, coupled with a survey of our members, enabled us to discover what is important to build upon and what activities may have to end," says executive director Brad Erickson.

One visible change for Theatre Bay Area is its magazine transitioning to exclusively online after the May/June issue. What started as a mimeographed sheet 40 years ago has grown into the preeminent Bay Area publication for theatre companies, actors, playwrights, and those who love performing arts. "The most popular parts of Theatre Bay Area magazine will continue, and Theatre Bay Area members can choose to have certain journalistic categories, such as audition notices and job listings, pushed to them through email. It's time to make the move completely to convenient, electronic communications," continued Erickson. 

In a recent survey of 500 local artists, Theatre Bay Area was the #1 source of auditions and theatre jobs in the Bay Area and the #1 place for directors and companies to post for actors and other theatre artists.

Other changes at Theatre Bay Area, as a result of its strategic planning process, include:
A greater focus on audience engagement and helping theatre companies build a bigger base
Strengthening the tools TBA offers artists throughout the trajectory of their careers
Engaging theatre-makers in an annual awards program that recognizes achievement
Working with members to advocate on behalf of the performing arts and making the San Francisco Bay Area recognized as a center of excellence for live theatre

Erickson will discuss the strategic planning process in more detail at the conference. Registration is now open for the all-day gathering, which will be held in the East Bay on April 13. Other highlights include panels on gender parity, innovations in audience interactions, and a Playwrights' Cabaret featuring new work from emerging writers. A complete agenda for the day and pricing can be found at

Everyone interested in theatre and the Bay Area performing arts community is welcome.


Update: Robert Hurwitt at the SF Chronicle has this to say about the shuttering of TBA's print magazine.

Tags:  #tbacon15  Community Events  TBA Magazine 

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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 on Twitter - hashtag #tbacon15!

Tags:  #tbacon15  Annual Conference  Community Events  Intrinsic Impact  volunteer 

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Resource Expo at TBA Annual Conference

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Updated: Monday, March 9, 2015


The TBA Annual Conference is right around the corner, and it's going to be great! United under the theme (and the increasingly clear imperative to) "Be the Change" are panels and roundtables on topics for every role in theatre—onstage or offstage—a Playwright's Cabaret of new short works, and now—a Resource Expo!


Photo: "Clock - Success" by Flazingo Photos ( on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.   

The Resource Expo is going to be a space packed with people and organizations who help theatre-makers boost their careers. Does this describe you? Sign up for a table in the Resource Expo!

Space is now available for anyone who provides career-related services to theatre artists, including:

• audition coaches 

• career advisors

• headshot photographers

• voice and movement teachers

• website designers well as representatives of actor training programs, circus arts programs, graduate programs, internship programs, improv groups, and organizations offering playwright opportunities!

New! TBA has relocated our conference food depot inside the Resource Expo to ensure friendly mingling. Full and half resource tables are available here in our online store



Contact conference contact Kimberley Cohan

Tags:  #tbacon15  Acting  Actor Training Guide  arts education  Auditions  casting director 

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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 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.



Email Laura Brueckner

Tags:  #tbacon15  Annual Conference  playwright  reading 

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2015 Annual Conference - Save the Date!

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Updated: Thursday, December 18, 2014




It's official! The 2015 TBA Annual Conference will land on April 13, taking over downtown Berkeley for yet another exciting day of networking, socializing, sharing ideas, information, and best practices.


Save the date, and we'll see you there!

Tags:  #tbacon15  Annual Conference  Membership 

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