CA$H | Emergency Grant for Small Theatres

CA$H | Emergency Grant for Small Theatres is a grant program for the Bay Area’s small organizations with budgets of under $250,000 to address either AB5 compliance or the economic impact of COVID-19. Organizations may only submit one proposal for each granting round, and must choose to apply for either AB5 or COVID-19 relief. 

The fund provides grants of $5,000 per organization for one of two purposes: 1.) to engage an attorney to help the awarded organization in crafting their own unique plan for complying with AB5; 2.) general operating funds to assist the awarded organization in dealing with projected or realized financial losses due to COVID-19.

Please read the guidelines below very carefully. While this emergency grant is based on the CA$H | Theatre program, it varies in a few key ways. 

AB5 Applications: $ 5,000
COVID-19 Applications: $5,000
(see guidelines below)

4/20 - Application Opens
5/15 at 5pm - Application Deadline
5/26 - Panel for Applications
5/29 - Notification Date


Click here for grant guidelines

Click here for a template organizational budget

Applications for the May 2020 round of CA$H | Emergency Grant for Small Theatres are now closed. 

CA$H | Emergency Grant for Small Theatres is a program of Theatre Bay Area and is funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Questions? Contact Programs Manager Kim Cohan at


May 2020 Recipients 

We are deeply proud of the following recipients of CA$H | Emergency Grant for Small Theatres!

CA$H | Emergency Grant for Small Theatres- AB5 Compliance


AlterTheater is a bottom-up, ensemble company, where choices about the material that will be produced and the artists to support are made by the company’s ensemble of artists. AlterTheater is committed to lifting up underrepresented voices: in the past 10 years, almost 2/3 of mainstage productions were written by women; more than 75% by writers of color, and all included diverse casts. AlterTheater will hire an employment attorney to bring their labor practices fully into compliance with current labor law.


CA$H | Emergency Grant for Small Theatres- COVID-19 Aid



Studio 210 is a low-cost performance, as well as rehearsal space, which has featured groups like Detour Dance, Scott Wells, David Herrera & Company, Rogelio Lopez, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, playwrights Julie Hébert, Brian Thorstenson, the Nature Company of Oklahoma and Giulio Cesare Perrone’s opera company Inferno Theater. 210 is a space in which people come in and make work. Studio 210 will use the grant for general operating support, including the rent for the dance studio and theater space.



BACCE originates and produces plays and salons that commemorate, cultivate and celebrate Black People, Black Art, Black Life and the Black avant-garde. BACCE is inspired by inclusivity and plurality of thought, by work that challenges entrenched assumptions and by artistic processes that undermine or ignore the dominant culture’s economic, political and/or social paradigms. Two new works will be developed by Black artists, that BACCE will stage soon after the region’s theatres re-open, which will promote the creative growth of the Bay Area’s Black theater community. These projects represent two desires of the company – to create original work and to present the work of an African playwright.



Eye Zen Presents artistically recaptures LGBTQ+ stories and traditions erased from historical records to create a lasting body of evidence and to make these vital legacies available to future generations. Eye Zen’s productions experimentally blend performative and visual disciplines: contemporary theatre and dance are fused with live music, puppetry, drag, and video, creating an immersive theatrical experience. Eye Zen Presents will launch an online live-streaming OUT of Site: SOMA, an immersive LGBTQ2+ history tour through San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood.



FoolsFURY’s mission is to revitalize the American theater by creating ground-breaking visceral performances that inspire audiences and artists to reconsider and reconnect with the world around them, while advancing artistic dialogue and community through accessible training, research, and presentation. FoolsFURY will be creating a virtual convening, BUILD From Here, to sustain their community in 2020. The curation of the 2020/21 festival reflects a huge investment in EDI practices.



The primary purpose of the Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc. is to foster the creation, production, and presentation of quality theatre in the tradition of the Black Arts continuum. The Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc. purposefully use performance as a way of increasing social awareness, providing an entry point to community concerns, as well as to stimulate, celebrate and enhance understanding of themselves and others through the shared experience of live theatre. Oakland's oldest Black Theatre company will create the virtual production of anchor theatrical pieces such as Mama at Twilight: Death by Love, SPELL#7, and the Black House as well as a reading series as part of BAMBDFEST 2020; an arts event that will employ over 50 artists in a time of dark venues and canceled contracts.



The Phoenix has in its near 35 year existence served the community as both a producing company as well as a venue to hundreds of other nomadic companies of all ethnicities and gender expressions, especially seniors, women (3Girls Theatre is one of our resident companies) and LGBTQ. Phoenix Arts Association will use the grant for general operating support, including salaries for their creative staff, rent, and possible moving costs while determining next steps for the organization.



Queer Cat Productions creates playful, perspective-queering, boundary-pushing theatre and immersive experiences at the intersection of theatre, games, and storytelling. We are committed to curiosity about evolving forms; haunting: memory, resilience, genre-fluidity; and to the spirit of play, as interactive and consensual, as a space for risk and spectacular failure, as stories that we co-create, storytellers and audience, and that create us in return. Queer Cat Productions will recover tangible and intangible losses due to COVID-19, and to create CAMP!, a zoom-based immersive interactive experience.



The San Francisco Neo-Futurists are a wildly prolific collective of writers / directors / performers committed to making theatre that is consistently engaged with the world around them. Neo-Futurism prioritizes brevity, authenticity, chance, and risk. For over 6 years, the Neo-Futurists have performed their flagship show The Infinite Wrench every Friday & Saturday, 46 weekends a year. The Neo-Futurists will receive bridge funding and continue paying their emerging ensemble of local performance artists while suspending performances of "The Infinite Wrench" and continuing the shift to the virtual world.



Theatre of Yugen envisions a world in which people are connected heart to heart, without boundaries, by experiencing the beauty expressed by the Japanese sensibility of yugen, derived from the Japanese characters yu, meaning “deep, quiet, or other-worldly,” and gen meaning “subtle, profound, or obscured.” We see a world where physical theatre unifies disparate disciplines to evoke yugen. Theatre of Yugen will continue creating a new work titled BRAIDED: A Native Noh Story, which explores the intersection of Native American experiences and Japanese American immigrant experiences, and will also remunerate and retain our artists and staff.