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TBA Online: News & Features: March 2013

Editor’s Note March/April 2013: It Might as Well Be Spring

Tuesday, March 5, 2013  
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By Sam Hurwitt



We’ve just put out the Spring Preview issue of Theatre Bay Area magazine! Really we should call it our spring/summer issue, because our season listings run all the way through August, but do we really need another slash involved? Do I really want to have to say "our March/April Spring/Summer Preview issue"? I find that I do not. The line must be drawn somewhere, and no, I don't mean the diagonal line that I just said I wasn't going to do.



"Brilliant Jacarandas jostling for the attention they deserve” by Motographer on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license. 


Inside the magazine, you'll find listings of the shows our company members are showing from March through August all around the Bay Area and beyond. We aspire to be as comprehensive as possible, but all season listings are submitted by Theatre Bay Area company members, so if perchance your company isn’t included, we look forward to hearing from you...the next time we send out the call for season listings. (That will be in June, for the September/October Fall Season Preview issue.) If you somehow missed our many reminders, contact our membership department to make sure your company membership is current and its associated contact info is up to date.

Also published in the March/April issue (and on the website on April 1), Jean Schiffman considers the curious coincidence that two major South Bay theatre companies are producing new musicals based on classic comedies of manners from the 1890s written by Irishmen of legendary wit: Being Earnest at TheatreWorks, based on Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and A Minister's Wife at San Jose Rep, based on George Bernard Shaw's Candida.

One theatre we haven't heard from in a very long time is the Black Repertory Group, but it appears to be going about its business in South Berkeley unbeknownst to the general public. Former East Bay Express theatre critic Rachel Swan headed over to the Black Rep to find out what goes on there other than the occasional Paul Mooney gig that we see announced in flyers around the neighborhood. She found that there's stuff going on there all the time, but they don't seem too concerned whether anyone outside the theatre's immediate circle knows about it. The story will appear on our website April 15.

Our "Business of Show Biz" columnist Velina Brown contributes a feature on the need for feminist theatre companies, with a look at current efforts in that direction and a look back at some groundbreaking women's theatre groups of the Bay Area's recent and not-so-recent past (web publication date March 18). We've been having a lot of conversations about diversity of all kinds in recent months, as Brad Erickson notes in his Executive Director's Note in this issue, and we'll be talking about these issues a lot more in the coming months, on our website, in the magazine, and at our Annual Conference at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Aurora Theatre on April 29. Come on down and be part of the conversation—and, inshallah, part of the solution as well.

We recently celebrated various notables of the Bay Area theatre community at our 2013 Faces of Theatre Bay Area Celebration, March 4 at the new San Francisco Playhouse. We gave out the 30th annual Glickman Award for best play to premiere in the Bay Area the previous year, and I'm thrilled to report the prize went to local playwright Christopher Chen for The Hundred Flowers Project, a coproduction of Crowded Fire Theater and Playwrights Foundation. You can read all about it in the Newsfeed section of the magazine (web publication date March 21).

Elsewhere in the print mag, SF Weekly theatre critic Lily Janiak checks in with Hayward's Douglas Morrisson Theatre in Company Spotlight, and our associate editor Laura Brueckner interviews The Fourth Messenger playwright Tanya Shaffer in the Encore Q&A. Both will appear on our website mid-April.

But the biggest news here in the Theatre Bay Area office is that director of communications and audience development Clayton Lord has left to take a plum job at Americans for the Arts in Washington, DC, as the arts advocacy group's vice president of local arts advancement. Clay's done some amazing work here at Theatre Bay Area, especially in the realm of research, spearheading Theatre Bay Area's first book, the research report "Counting New Beans: Intrinsic Impact and the Value of Art." We'll miss Clay here, and we look forward to seeing the contributions he'll make to the field on the national stage. At the same time, we're looking forward to working with his successor, Sam Read, who comes to us from the arts service organization Theatre Puget Sound in Seattle, where he's been serving as the deputy director. Sam will be joining us in the newly created post of director of advancement and communications starting on March 18.

Coming up in May/June is our Youth Issue, featuring summer camps and year-round youth classes all around the Bay. The deadline for the youth listings is March 7, so don’t say I didn’t tell ya.

Sam Hurwitt is editor-in-chief for Theatre Bay Area. He is also the author of The Idiolect, a blog about theatre, movies, comics, media and the decline and fall of Western civilization. E-mail