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Backstage: The TBA Blog
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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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Top tags: Featured Member  Acting  Annual Conference  Community Events  #tbacon15  ATLAS Program  TBA Awards  TBA general auditions  actor  Membership  advocacy  BOB14  playwright  audience development  Auditions  casting  casting director  Director  Executive Director's Note  Gender Parity  volunteer  #tbacon14  arts education  auditor  Glickman Award  Intrinsic Impact  Titan Award  BAPAS  internship  marketing 

Updated 2015 "Sources of Publicity" Book on Sale Now!

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Updated: Monday, May 18, 2015


What do you want? Butts in seats. 

How do you get them? Publicity!

Theatre Bay Area proudly presents its newly updated summer 2015 edition of Sources of Publicity, the indispensable guide for reaching (and wooing) the media professionals who can get the word out about your show.  

The updated 2015 Sources of Publicity is the premier guide to print, web, radio, television and, now, social media sources of publicity in the Bay Area, now featuring up-to-date information on almost 300 media contacts in the Bay Area. 

The 2015 Sources of Publicity also includes a wealth of useful information for anyone with a project to share, whether you're an old hand at the publicity game or a bright new star looking for ways to shine!

Additional content includes:

• Contact info for the members of the Glickman Award committee and the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle

• Indexes by alphabetical order and by geographic region

• Advice on avoiding common publicity mistakes

• Tips on photography best practices

• Social media etiquette when contacting journalists

• And even a deadline guide (hooray!)

Don't wait - order your copy today!

Tags:  audience development  Community Events  Glickman Award  journalism  marketing  Sources of Publicity 

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Lemonade Fund Benefit Variety Show on June 1

Posted By TBA Staff, Friday, May 15, 2015
Updated: Thursday, May 14, 2015


The Lemonade Fund Variety Show Benefit - Come Out and Play!
Hosted by Megan Briggs and Alan Olejniczak

Witness community in action on June 1 at the Lemonade Fund Variety Show Benefit! The Mary Mason Lemonade Fund is a valuable and confidential resource for theatre practitioners with terminal or life-threatening illnesses. All proceeds from this benefit will go to provide supplemental financial assistance to improve the quality of these individuals’ lives as they deal with medical conditions.

The Lemonade Fund Variety Show will feature performances by PianoFight's Chardonnay, Charlie Gurke and the Ondine Band, the cast of Custom Made Theatre Co.'s Grey Gardens, The Musical, Kevin Rolston, Michael Gene Sullivan, Trevor Allen and Velina Brown.

RSVP for the event here!

Theatre Bay Area members: Creative. Committed. Community.

Tags:  Community Events  Mary Mason Lemonade Fund  Michael Gene Sullivan  PianoFight  Velina Brown  volunteer 

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New Feature in "What's Playing" Listings: The Gender Parity Flag

Posted By TBA Staff, Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Theatre Bay Area is pleased to announce that, as a result of the diligent work of the Gender Parity Advisory Committee, and in response to a field-wide movement to recognize theatres that exemplify gender parity in their work, TBA's "What's Playing" listings will now highlight Bay Area theatrical productions that observe gender parity. 

Listings for theatre productions that meet the GP criteria listed below will display an easy-to-spot Gender Parity flag (see image at right). We feel that this will provide a valuable service to both theatregoers who want to see and support women artists and theatre companies that deserve recognition in this area. 

Visitors to TBA's "What’s Playing" listings will be now able to search for productions bearing the Gender Parity flag, in addition to "TBA Awards Recommended" and "Discounted TIX Available" designations.

Theatre productions displaying the Gender Parity flag must meet two of the following 4 criteria:

Writer: 50% or more of writers are female or female-identified. This category includes a production's playwright, composer, lyricist, translator, adaptor, librettist, source author.

Director: 50% or more of directors are female or female-identified. This category includes a production's director, music director, choreographer.

Design team: 50% or more of design team are female or female-identified. This category includes a production's costume designer, set designer, lighting designer, props designer, sound designer, specialties designers (mask/wig/makeup/effects/projections), fight choreographer

Performers: 50% or more of performers are female or female-identified. This category includes a production's actors, dancers, musicians, singers.

AEA: In addition, if the company employs members of Actors’ Equity/AEA, 50% or more of AEA contracts go to performers who are female or female identified.

The Gender Parity flag can be set by producers at the time they enter their show listings, or can be set by Theatre Bay Area's listings editor at the request of individuals posting qualifying productions.

Tags:  Gender Parity 

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Theatre Bay Area Announces New Communications Manager

Posted By TBA Staff, Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Theatre Bay Area announced today that journalist and dramaturg Laura Brueckner, Ph.D., will oversee communications at Theatre Bay Area, the nation’s third largest theatre service association, which connects more than 350 theatre and dance companies to job and funding opportunities, professional training resources and the larger theatre field.

Dr. Laura Brueckner.
Photo: KS Haddock 

Brueckner, who received her Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama from U.C. San Diego in December 2014, joined TBA as associate editor in 2011, and was promoted to digital content manager in 2014. She also serves as resident dramaturg for Crowded Fire Theater Company, and provides freelance script development support, journalism, and other theatre writing to organizations including HowlRound, Playwrights Foundation, and California Shakespeare Theatre.

“As Theatre Bay Area adapts to the more rapid pace of modern digital communications, I hope to connect our readership with even more ideas, conversations, information, and insights from the region and the wider field,” says Brueckner. “I also plan to continue to increase the diversity of voices and points of view represented in our journalism, blogs and forums, knowing that a vigorous theatre scene creates—and deserves—vigorous discourse.”

Brueckner replaces former editor-in-chief Sam Hurwitt, who has headed Theatre Bay Area magazine and overseen organizational communications since 2006. Hurwitt will be leaving the organization to focus on contributing freelance theatre journalism to Bay Area news outlets such as KQED, Marin Independent Journal, San Jose Mercury News and, as well as continuing to freelance for Theatre Bay Area. “I'm tremendously proud of the legacy of Theatre Bay Area magazine,” says Hurwitt. “I think we did great work covering and connecting the Bay Area theatre community, all the way back to the early days of what was then Callboard. Most of all, I'm honored to have been in some way of service to this tremendously vital, vibrant and varied artistic community. I'm not just proud of Theatre Bay Area—I'm prouder still of Bay Area theatre. I'm glad to have spent the last decade giving it much needed and much warranted attention.”

According to Brad Erickson, executive director of Theatre Bay Area, “This transition is part of a yearlong strategic planning process, funded in part by The Hewlett Foundation, which resulted in many shifts in our thinking and our organizational structure, including going from seven print magazines published annually to content being delivered exclusively through digital means.”

Theatre Bay Area’s mission is to unite, strengthen, promote and advance the theatre community in the San Francisco Bay Area, by providing career development, grants, journalism and by creating a community of theatre makers and building a larger audience of theatre goers.


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TBA Wants You!

Posted By TBA Staff, Thursday, May 7, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, May 6, 2015


What’s it like to work in a fast-paced office full of other theatre professionals who share your passion for the Bay Area theatre community? Find out! (Spoiler alert: There's lots of candy.)

Theatre Bay Area is hiring a membership and events associate to help our members (mostly member companies) get the most out of their TBA memberships!

Read on for the juicy details...


Job Description
Membership and Events Associate

The membership associate assists the program director in all aspects of support for our membership services and events. The position is hourly, initially approximately 26 hours/week (part-time) and effective July 1, 2015 goes to 35 hours/week (full-time).

1. Assist in membership support duties (concentration on company memberships)
     • Answer phones and provide customer service to members
     • Maintain databases (membership)
     • Provide clerical assistance (filing, data entry, mailings, etc.)
     • Email/send membership packets/invoices to members as needed 
2. Primary coordinator of logistics for all Theatre Bay Area events.
Events include, but are not limited to:
     • General and Regional Auditions
     • Annual Conference
     • Workshops as scheduled
3. Event logistics duties include but are not limited to:
     • Assist in organizing pre-event logistics (pre-planning, venue, vendors, registration,        marketing, etc.)
     • Attend events as necessary for day-of event logistics
4. Assist in the generation and distribution of information about and marketing materials for Theatre Bay Area services as appropriate, including but not limited to:
     • Events
     • Membership
     • Granting Programs
5. Be the primary presence at Theatre Bay Area front desk: answer questions, handle cash/credit card transactions, manage mail/e-mail correspondence, assist with postcard distribution, etc. 
6. Be the primary contact for Theatre Bay Area office vendors (office supplies, phone, IT, etc.)
7. Various duties as needed

Excellent oral and written communication skills
Basic knowledge of clerical procedures and standard office practices
Working knowledge of computer software (Microsoft Office suite)
Ability to interact with a variety of people in a courteous and professional manner
Graphic design knowledge helpful (Adobe suite)
Some knowledge of theatre and/or theatre administration helpful 

Starting wage is $14/hr with paid vacation and sick time; full health benefits (benefits effective October 1, 2015)

To apply:
Submit cover letter and resume by May 12, 2015 via email to OR by mail to: Theatre Bay Area, ATTN: Membership and Events Associate, 1119 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103


Tags:  job opening  Membership 

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Rejoin and Reconnect with the TBA Spring Membership Sale!

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Updated: Monday, May 4, 2015


Do you remember your first theatre experience?  Of course you do. That amazement, that sudden desire to be part of all the magic, that irreplaceable thrill. Dive back into the community of theatre makers today with an individual TBA membership!

Rejoin today, and get a special Spring Sale price of $50 for a full year!

How? Visit our membership page and use this discount code: 2015SpringSale

“I hadn’t realized how much I missed TBA! Renewing my membership reconnected me with the all the unique vitality of the Bay Area theatre community. It’s good to be back in the loop again. TBA is the pulse of local theatre, and the new website makes it even easier to find out what’s going on." —TBA member Valerie Wagenfeld, rejoined April 23, 2015


Your year-long individual membership includes:

• A weekly e-newsletter, “The Insider,” packed with theatre news, free tickets, and info on upcoming events!
• Discounts of up to 50% off TBA gatherings like the Annual Conference, where the Bay Area theatre community meets up to share ideas and excitement!
• Eligibility to see shows as a TBA Awards adjudicator—for free!


If you've missed that "plugged in" feeling, click on over here and rejoin TBA for only $50 with this promo code: 2015SpringSale. (Offer good for new or lapsed TBA individual members only.)

Act now - offer ends June 30!

Tags:  Annual Conference  Community Events  Membership  Sale 

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Featured Member: Alan Olejniczak

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Our newest featured member, Alan Olejniczak, has been a terrific support to us by serving on our Individual Services Committee, and has gone even further by helping produce fundraisers for the Mary Mason Lemonade Fund, including an upcoming variety show at PianoFight in June that he's coproducing with Megan Briggs. On top of that, he's an exciting up-and-coming playwright. Sign us up to the fan club!

TBA Featured Member Alan Olejniczak.

Tell us a little about your theatre work.

I’m new to playwriting and have only recently become involved in San Francisco theatre. I have an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee focusing on performing arts and have sung in the choruses of The Florentine and Atlanta Opera companies. I’m a Theatre Bay Area ISC Board member and the producer for the fledging At Last Productions with cofounder Rik Lopes. I am currently in the early stages of writing a play for We Players. I’m grateful to work with such an amazing company and for the challenges of writing an epic site-specific play. I’m also excited for this November, when the SF Olympians Festival will present my short play, Hylas. More about my work at

What’s one of your favorite shows that you’ve worked on?

I guess it would be my last play, Present Tense, which premiered last March. It was my first time as a playwright and a producer. The learning curve was pretty steep. Thankfully, I was supported by talented people who knew what they were doing. In the end, it was a beautiful production with a successful run.

What do you like about the theatre scene here in the Bay?

I see a lot of theatre and opera and it’s amazing how much is produced. You can’t see everything. If theatre is dying, then that's happening someplace else.   

Do you have a resource or piece of advice you’d like to share?

It’s hard for any playwright to get their play produced, and I’ve had little luck with open submissions. I’ve learned that theatre companies look to build relationships with artists, and opportunities are most often earned. My advice would be to volunteer with theatre organizations you love, support the work of others, endear yourself to everyone, and, most importantly, expect nothing in return.

Anything coming up soon that you’re excited about?

This month, I will be an audience leader for We Players’ Ondine. This fanciful play is rarely produced, and the logistics of this complex production are mind-boggling. It’s going to be a spectacular production and tickets will sell quickly. I’m excited to see Paul Rodrigues as Hades in Faultline Theater's Trailer Park Gods at PianoFight. Megan Briggs and I are also looking forward to hosting TBA’s Lemonade Fund Variety Show on June 1, also at PianoFight. It is for a great cause: providing financial assistance to theatre artists who have life-threatening or terminal illnesses. Get your tickets here.

Theatre Bay Area members: Creative. Committed. Community.

Tags:  Featured Member  Mary Mason Lemonade Fund  volunteer 

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Spring Sale for New Members: A Great Graduation Gift - just $50!

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, April 21, 2015



You read that right: for a limited time, individual Theatre Bay Area membership can be had for just $50 (new and lapsed members only). If you know someone who should be a member but hasn’t taken the step to join, now is a great time to nudge them towards our website. Use the promo code: 2015SpringSale.

A Theatre Bay Area membership makes a great graduation gift for students in your life! TBA membership includes lots of perks for them to enjoy: 

Free and discount tickets to shows around the Bay Area
Audition and job postings
Eligibility for General Auditions
Opportunity to adjudicate for the TBA Awards - meaning more free tickets to shows!

Act now - offer ends June 30!

Tags:  arts education  Membership  TBA Awards  TBA general auditions 

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Claire Rice to Head TBA Awards Program

Posted By TBA Staff, Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hello, TBA Awards adjudicators and theatre-makers at participating companies,

It is my extreme pleasure to announce that much-loved former staff member and frequent local director and playwright, Claire Rice, has returned to Theatre Bay Area to lead all aspects of the fledgling TBA Awards program. Some of you will remember Claire as our events coordinator from 2010-2013, managing the General Auditions, the Annual Conference and numerous fundraising events.

New TBA Awards program manager Claire Rice. Photo: Claire Rice

Claire brings with her a terrific background in theatre as a writer and director. Having earned her MFA in playwriting at San Francisco State, her work has been produced by such companies as Thunderbird Theatre Company and No Nude Men. Recently, she directed the critically acclaimed Hilarity as part of DIVAfest.

Claire says, "I'm excited to be back at Theatre Bay Area working to support a program that is bringing the community together to celebrate our combined success."

I want to thank Robert Sokol for his fantastic work in bringing the TBA Awards to this point. Because of his dedication to Bay Area theatre-makers and his thoughtful development of the awards program, our community can now take pride in having a credible, region-wide, peer-adjudicated awards program that raises the profile of theatre in the Bay Area.

Beginning April 16, 2015, please direct all questions about Theatre Bay Area's TBA Awards program to Claire by emailing or by calling (415) 430-1140, ext. 35.


Dale Albright
Theatre Bay Area Director of Field Services


Tags:  Adjudicator  Claire Rice  TBA Awards 

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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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