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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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Welcome Kimberley Cohan, New TBA Staffer!

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, August 11, 2015

TBA listings editor (and trained singer!) Kimberley Cohan began her time at TBA as an intern in December 2014, assisting marketing resource coordinator Alan Kline. She began working as staff in March 2015, much to everyone's delight, and has continued to inspire (and sometimes confuse) the rest of us with her Olympic-class cheery disposition, no matter what crazy stuff is going on around her. Come meet TBA's resident songbird!


So, Kim, where are you from?

I grew up mostly in Los Altos, except for several years of cruising and sailing on the East and West Coast. So I guess you could say that I’m a California girl with a serious traveling tendency. 

How long have you been involved in theatre? Any specialized training or experience?

Some of my earliest memories are of running around the house singing at the top of my lungs (much to the chagrin of my parents, sister and neighbors). I found an outlet for all of that noise at music school, and fell in love with the performing arts. Although I was involved in endless shows, choirs and jazz groups growing up, it wasn’t until college that I became seriously involved in music and theatre. I visited the music department at UC Santa Cruz looking to take a couple lessons and maybe do a show, and came out four years later with a degree in music and way too many music theory jokes. The opera department at UCSC is small, affording many more opportunities to undergrads than most classical programs. Between amazing teachers, intense music theory classes and lots of performance opportunities, I found a new appreciation for opera, and my love of theatre increased tenfold. 

What do you consider your artistic specialty now? 

As I have spent the past four years studying music and vocal performance, I would certainly call that my current artistic specialty. However, I feel much more as though I have only begun my journey into the performing arts and theatre world, and would like to continue experimenting and dabbling in as many fields, styles and approaches as I can. 

What's the biggest performance catastrophe you've ever experienced?

Hmmm…so many options to choose from! I’d probably have to go with Into the Woods at UCSC. Milky White the Cow—basically a box on dolly that we all attempted to drag around—fell over as Jack was singing goodbye. Everyone stood there trying desperately not to laugh as I dragged the cow offstage. Or when Rapunzel let down her hair and half of the length fell off, leaving me to yank the piece off as I jumped off the set and grabbed the was a truly wonderful production. 

Who are some of your artistic heroes?

Again, there are so many artists I admire that it’s hard to choose just a few. I love Audra McDonald and Kelly O’Hara, as performers who began in the classical world but successfully broke into musical theatre (and straight theatre). I would love to get the opportunity to work with Ricky Ian Gordon (My Life with Albertine, The Grapes of Wrath) or Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza). But first and foremost, my artistic hero would be my first voice teacher, Patrice Maginnis. Legally blind, she never let her disability hinder her—helping begin and performing at Opera San Jose, becoming the most beloved teacher at UCSC Opera and giving me the best, most honest advice for four great years. (For example: “You’re not a dumb blonde. You’re not even blonde. So stop acting like it!”)


Do you have questions about job or show listings, BAPAS or “The Insider”—or just want to say hello?
Contact Kim at

Tags:  BAPAS  Kimberley Cohan  listings 

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The Money You Might Be Missing

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, September 9, 2014

By Lily Janiak

Bay Area Performing Arts Spaces (BAPAS), a searchable database of performing arts venues and facilities, is growing by practically every possible metric! This amazingly useful tool, managed by Theatre Bay Area, Dancers' Group and Fractured Atlas, now lists 578 spaces—up from about 400 a year ago, with especially rapid growth in Alameda County. We also had 2,610 site visits in July 2014 (up from 1,891 in July of last year). And, in the first half of 2014, site visitors conducted 19,508 searches—over 6400 more searches than in the first half of 2013 (13,066).

These numbers tell us that the BAPAS database—which we've been building for the past three years, with the support of the Hewlett Foundation—is serving you better and better. But until now, a crucial figure has eluded us: How successful has BAPAS been in actually creating new rentals?

Previously, we estimated this success by looking at the number of times site visitors clicked through to a space's contact info, assuming that a visitor would take that step only if he or she were ready to make a rental inquiry. Even on that count, BAPAS has done swimmingly, with 156 such click-throughs just this July, up from 116 in July 2013.

Now that 25 spaces have added our free, streamlined "Book Online Now" feature, we have new—and much more telling—data on the number of rental referrals BAPAS is generating for its users.

(Special thanks to Joe Goode Annex, LevyDance, Little Boxes Theater, Studio 1924, the MilkBar, Zaccho Dance Studio, Alonzo King Lines Dance Center, Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, Bernhardt Studio, Kunst-Stoff Arts, Lux-SF, SF Playhouse, Smithwick Theatre, SoleSpace, Studio 12 Berkeley, Temple Isaiah Social Hall, the Body Academy Studio, the Lighthouse Berkeley and Transmission Gallery for being our earliest adopters of this feature. Y'all rock!)

How does the BAPAS "Book Online Now" feature work? When a venue adds the online booking option to its BAPAS profile, a "Book Online Now" button appears next to the listing. It's that easy! The "Book Online Now" feature allows potential renters to send a rental request directly to the venue manager in just a few clicks—no other website visits are necessary! This is similar to restaurant Yelp pages that let you make a reservation without having to navigate away to a new website. (Not that we theatre folks are going to tons of restaurants where you have to make a reservation, but you get the idea.)

This free option makes booking a venue rental much more convenient for everyone. It also gives TBA a dollar figure for the rental referrals BAPAS is generating for its spaces! This is still a very imperfect metric, of course, covering only a fraction of the bookings that BAPAS facilitates—because it's so easy to use BAPAS to find out about a space, but users are not required to book that space through BAPAS. (BAPAS users—this means it's super helpful if you tell rental managers you found out about their spaces through BAPAS!)

All this notwithstanding, we can proudly say that BAPAS has generated $16,585 in rental referrals across the 16 venues who've been early adopters of online booking. We believe this number will prove very telling as we chart it over time. More impressive, though, is the growth in this number over the course of 2014 (with a seasonal dip in rentals during the summer months):


Limited as these data are, they do show that 1) renters are using BAPAS to rent spaces, and 2) spaces who aren't listed on BAPAS—as well as those who are, but aren't using the "Book Online Now" feature—are missing out on potentially lucrative rental referrals.

We'll be excited to report back once we have more information. In the meantime, venue and space managers, you can list your facility and encourage renters to "Book Online Now" right here!

See you on BAPAS!

Tags:  BAPAS  Dancers' Group  Fractured Atlas  rehearsal  rental 

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TBA Awarded Three Major Grants

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We are thrilled to announce that Theatre Bay Area has recently received three major grants that will support exciting projects benefiting theatre companies, theatre venues, and individual artists alike.

First, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded us an Art Works grant of $25,000 over one year to further our Intrinsic Impact work. Over the 2014-15 season, Theatre Bay Area will partner with different local theatre companies to survey audiences to measure the highly individual, deeply felt personal response—the intrinsic impact—of the work on stage. Participating companies will then meet to share and discuss their survey results and next steps to deepen their work's intrinsic impact. Eventually, we'll share those results publicly so the field as a whole can benefit from the research. Theatre Bay Area executive director Brad Erickson says, "I'm delighted that we have received renewed support from the Endowment to continue our intrinsic impact research, exploring how theatres can better understand and deepen the lasting effect of their work on their audiences." Learn more about Theatre Bay Area's Intrinsic Impact work here.
Second, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation gave us a grant of $75,000 over three years to support the continued development of Bay Area Performing Arts Spaces, a searchable database of 500 local performing arts venues and facilities in 11 Bay Area counties. Theatre Bay Area and Dancers' Group, with whom we're partnering and who has also received a grant from Hewlett, will use the funding to grow the site, in terms of the number of spaces listed, the number of site visitors and the number of searches conducted. We'll also be working on improving existing profiles, especially by encouraging spaces to adopt the now-free Calendar Sync feature. Explore Bay Area Performing Arts Spaces here.

Finally, the Zellerbach Family Foundation awarded us a one-year grant of $20,000 to support the Performing Arts Assistance Program, or PAAP, through which Theatre Bay Area gives consulting support to Zellerbach grantees in the small to midsize range. Find out more about PAAP here.
Many thanks to all our generous donors!

Tags:  BAPAS  Dancers' Group  Grants  Intrinsic Impact  rental  Zellerbach 

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Find Your Soul Mate at TBA's Annual—Your Space Soul Mate

Posted By TBA Staff, Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Here's the scenario, friends: 


Spacey Spaciopolis owns a rockin' dance studio, but it's lonely a lot of the time. It's a shame to let it just sit there, and she knows she could make some extra loot by renting it out whenever she isn't Turkey Trotting in it herself, but she can’t pay for publicity (obviously). Plus she wouldn't know where to advertise it anyway, and she sure as Zeus doesn’t have time to design some spiffy ad, especially when she could be doing the Kangaroo Hop!


Across town, Thespis McThespian has been using the same black box for years to teach his "Find Your Voice Through Mime" classes, but the usurious landlord has just jacked up the rents, summarily ending McThespian's tenure. He's not familiar with the rental market any more (where's his phone book?), and every Google search he does just turns up porn theaters & Wikianswers pages.


Before Bay Area Performing Arts Spaces (BAPAS), the story might have ended here: a tragedy of the perfect match whose paths never cross. 


But sometimes, all a match needs is a matchmaker. Behold: the Space Rental Lab at Theatre Bay Area's Annual Conference on April 14!


Do you 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? At the Space Rental Lab, you'll work with our crackerjack team from BAPAS, a searchable database of 467 performing arts spaces in 11 Bay Area counties. We match spaces with renters for free! 


Stop in any time during the conference and Duck Waddle (real dance name) away with a complete, live, beautiful profile that's synced to your organization's calendar, highlighting your unbooked rental times. Or drop by to get a list of spaces that you didn't already know about and that meet your needs for your next rehearsal, audition, performance or self-help-through-mime seminar. 


Already got a BAPAS profile? You rock. Visit our lab and we'll help you make your profile even more appealing to potential renters. We just made some of the site's most popular features free! More about that here


If you're a theatre person of any stripe, you can't afford to not use this resource! Your match is out there waiting for you. Let us help you find it!

Oh, and you can register for the conference here. See you at the Space Rental Lab!

Tags:  #tbacon14  Annual Conference  BAPAS  performance  rehearsal  rental  space 

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