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Theatre Bay Area at SF Pride 2016

Posted By TBA Staff, Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2016

By Tyler Jeffreys, communications intern

On June 26, a sunny Sunday afternoon, Pride was in the air throughout most of the downtown San Francisco area. The San Francisco Pride Festival began 46 years ago to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of New York, one of the first gatherings against the oppression of the LGBT community. People from all walks of life came to Pride to celebrate this year’s theme of racial and economic equality: drag queens, heterosexual couples and even older women in their Sunday clothes—who held up signs that read “Church ladies for Gay rights” to show their support.

Photo: Tyler Jeffreys

Theatre Bay Area staffers arrived at our booth on a bustling Larkin Street with free candy and our very own go-go dancer, and a haul of theatre news and zeal. We asked Pride attendees passing by if they liked live theatre; some responded by admitting they do not go as often as they would like. A number of visitors from different parts of the Bay even believed there was a limited amount of live theatre where they lived. One fellow from San Jose expressed concern that there was no theatre near him; after showing him some listings of productions taking place in San Jose next month, he excitedly thanked us and departed clutching show postcards.

Photo: Tyler Jeffreys

We met movie buffs, bookworms, and story lovers in general who did not realize how easy it is to attend live theatre in the Bay Area. Most visitors showed great interest in the upcoming show posters and asked questions about TBA’s Audience Membership program, which gives members a new way to access discount theatre tickets. TBA membership and events associate Laura Ng said, “We launched a new Audience Membership to bring more people to theatre, so it was great to hear folks of different tribes excited to realize they can support the community in these alternative ways.”

TBA staffers Kim Cohan and James Nelson chat up a Pride attendee about the wonders of Bay Area theatre.
Photo: Tyler Jeffreys

TBA staffers were able to answer membership questions in person, which solidified and reconnected relationships with members. Several bright-eyed actors who were not yet TBA members eagerly introduced themselves to us; they were especially thrilled about our members-only general and regional auditions held three times a year. TBA’s listings editor Kim Cohan had the chance to talk to a wonderful number of local theatre technicians and said, “They [the technicians] were super excited to find out about job listings and the fact that they can directly reach companies through our theatre company directory.” Family and friends of theatre-makers were more than happy to nab information for those who could not attend Pride. James Nelson, our membership and programs coordinator, said, “It was exciting to see some old friends of TBA and have them be reminded that we are still here helping the community.”

Enthusiastic crowds filled the streets for the 2016 Pride Festival. Photo: Tyler Jeffreys

As the Pride Festival came to a close, the contagious spirit and enthusiasm lingered in the crowd. Those of us staffing the TBA booth were happy to have directed some of that energy toward Bay Area theatre. Hope you had a happy Pride, and see you all next year!


Tags:  Membership  pdn  sf pride 

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