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TBAConnect 2023: Schedule

Saturday, October 28, 2023, 11 AM - 7 PM Pacific
Z Space, San Francisco, CA


11 AM - 12 PM: Coffee Networking Mixer & Conference Check-in

12:00 - 12:45 PM: Keynote Speech by Nataki Garrett

Nataki Garrett
The Threat of An Inclusive American Theatre

Nataki Garrett is kicking off TBAConnect with her brilliant insight! As a trailblazing theatre artist, administrator, director, producer, playwright, educator, activist, and mentor Nataki Garrett brings a unique perspective to what it means to be a theatre artist today. Speaking from her leadership and artistic experience she will share her vision for what it truly means create organizations that are both artists driven and artists centered.

1:00 - 2:15 PM: Breakout Session A

The Importance of Arts Journalism in this Theatre Crisis

with David John Chávez & Jeffrey Lo

Artists and critics — do we need each other? Join David John Chávez and Jeffrey Lo in conversation about what arts journalism brings to our current theatre crisis. How do theatremakers relate and respond to theatre critics in our work? Press coverage is often considered a lifeline to the performing arts, but how does it support theatres in practice? From shaking off a bad review to the journalistic process of writing about performance, bring your listening ears and your burning questions to these experts for discussion and insight. If you are interested in the role arts journalism should — or should not — play in this critical moment, don’t miss this session!

Selfie of David in a baseball cap with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
A brown skinned Filipino American person in a grey hoodie on the steps of a theatre looking toward the ground.
Nightmare Fuel

with Dani Spinks

Get into the spooky spirit: incredible special effects artist, designer, and director Dani Spinks brings Halloween horror to TBAConnect with a monstrous make-up demonstration. Want to make your next show’s wounds, bruises, and monsters unforgettable? Dani will demonstrate how to create horrifying stage looks live on a model! Learn how to conjure the blood and gore you need to create chilling characters.

Black and white photo of Dani Spinks. SHe is wearing a patterned button up and glasses. Her arms are crossed and she has tattoos on her arms
Spoken and Unspoken: Writing Killer Dialogue

with Lauren Gunderson

America’s most-produced living playwright, Lauren Gunderson, will guide you through this hands-on workshop that includes writing exercises for about the spoken and unspoken ways to tell stories. Supercharge your storytelling through incisive dialogue, powerful stage directions, and action that fuels plot.

Brunette woman with pink streak in her hair and pink glasses
Tech Basics for Actors and Directors

with Jax Steager

Looking to up your game as director? Want to become your lighting designer’s new favorite person? This session is for you! Bay Area designer and technician Jax Steager will walk you through the basic terminology and functions you need to communicate with lighting designers, set designers, and technicians. This session will help directors understand exactly what to ask for, calculate more accurately how much work is involved in each request, and collaborate more effectively with designers and technicians. Actors will come away with a better understanding of their work environment and learn the practical skills and mechanics of theatrical storytelling.

A headshot of a woman with dark hair and glasses, wearing black.
Visual Storytelling from Stage to Still

with Tasi Alabastro

Ignite your storytelling inspiration using the tools at your fingertips! Experiment with other theatremakers at this hands-on photography workshop led by photographer and inspirational storyteller Tasi Alabastro. Whether it’s through his acting, photography, design, podcasting, game reviews, or teaching, Tasi’s stories are unique-- profound while remaining engaging and fun. Tasi will guide you through this visual storytelling workshop through the use of still images. All you need is your camera phone and your creativity! This workshop is great for directors, designers, playwrights, and anyone who wants to sharpen their storytelling skills.

A portrait photo of artist, Tasi Alabastro. He's a Filipino man wearing a blue button-up shirt. He's at a three-quarter angle head turned towards the camera, eyes making direct contact with the lens. His curly hair came down past his jawline, framing his face.
Working Toward Sustainable Production Models

with Carlos Aceves & Devon LaBelle

Designers and techs are some of the hardest hit in this economic crisis due to outdated production models. Together, we can create real change, like inclusive production scheduling and people-first production models. Let's develop strategies we can use to shift the culture in our industry, discuss our collective needs as designers and techs, and build a coalition to support each other in this work. Join Bay Area designers Carlos Aceves and Devon LaBelle in a community conversation that can transform the future of our industry. Bring your ideas, concerns, and experience to this vital gathering.

Carlos Antonio Aceves Headshot
A shoulders-up photo of a white woman in her mid thirties with a slight smile. She is wearing a black t-shirt with a pattern of white o’s on. She has a nose ring, gauged ears and rainbow hair. The background (a grey sofa) is blurred out of focus.

2:30 - 3:45 PM: Plenary Panel

Making Artists a Priority: Sustainability, Advocacy, and the Current Economic Moment

Moderated by Sean Fenton, with Ezra Reaves, Michael Gene Sullivan, Katja Rivera, Claudio Silva, and Tanya Telson

This year’s plenary is an all-star panel that will delve into the pressing issues faced by playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and stage managers in our current climate. They'll discuss the challenges of sustainability, advocating for personal needs, and ensuring accountability and integrity during these complex economic times. Don't miss this candid, cross-disciplinary discussion on the Bay Area’s ever-evolving landscape of theatre.

Sean Fenton
Ezra Reaves
Headshot of Michael Gene Sullivan. A light skinned black man with light brown eyes, short curly white and grey hair and a mustache. He is wearing a yellow and black scarf
A Black and white photo of yound clean shaven man in a white shirt with comb back medium length hair with shaves sides.
Woman wearing glasses holding coffee cup painted to look like a sugar skull.

4:00 - 5:15 PM: Breakout Session B

Acing Your Next Dance Call

with Christina Lazo

Want to ace your next dance call? Bring jazz shoes and your best self to this mock audition! Get practical pointers from a choreographer and dance professional while learning combinations in real time. Come ready to move! This workshop is for performers who want to waltz in, stand out, and bring the house down at their next audition. Get on your feet and get that gig!

This photo is of Christina Lazo. She is a white woman with brown hair and blue eyes. In the photos she is smiling, and wearing a blue tank top. The background image is blurred out to focus on the image of her.
Arts Activism: Because All Theatre Is Political

with Michael Gene Sullivan

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” — Brecht Actor, writer, director, and teacher Michael Gene Sullivan has been at the heart of arts activism in the Bay Area for decades. This session calls us all as workers and artists together to ground ourselves in our artistic activism and reaffirm our commitment to the radical act that is creating theatre in this moment. Theatre challenges us to connect with one another, to stay active, to sustain our transformational work, and carry forward this theatrical activist tradition onstage and off.

Headshot of Michael Gene Sullivan. A light skinned black man with light brown eyes, short curly white and grey hair and a mustache. He is wearing a yellow and black scarf
Creating a Culture of Consent: Q&A with an Intimacy Director

with Amanda Pulcini

What does it take to create a culture of consent in your theatrical space? Bring your curiosity and ask an intimacy director! No matter your experience level, this session will deepen the conversation and practicalities around consent in the rehearsal room and on stage. Come with your questions about your individual experience, company culture, or the wider world of theatre. This session is for anyone interested in what it takes to make rehearsal spaces where cast, crew, and leadership have the emotional safety to take creative risks. Continue the conversation on intimacy direction in an upcoming webinar with Amanda this November.

Amanda Pulcini
Feminist Acting Class

with Gina Young

This transformative approach to actor training is for actors of all genders and levels of experience. LA-based award-winning actor and director Gina Young has been offering Feminist Acting Class since 2016. Gina describes this work as “a series of experiments to see if the form and content of an acting class can both be made feminist. A paradigm shift.” This session is a bite-sized look at the full weekend class TBA will be offering in November. Let's flip the script together!

a white nonbinary person with long brown hair sits facing the camera directly in a coral-colored shirt
Resume Doctor

with Krystle Piamonte & Cassidy Brown

Is your resume properly formatted? Does it have everything directors need to know? Bring your theatrical resume and get one-on-one tips to make it more polished and professional. Whether you’re an actor, designer, dramaturg, or director, make sure your resume stands out!

Headshot of an Asian American woman of Filipino and Chinese descent. She is smiling in front of a white background. She has a black bob haircut and is wearing a black tank top.
Picture of a white man with a serious expression, wearing a white shirt and Dark Grey Checked Jacket
Directing as Advocacy: Moving Forward Artistically through the Lens of Equity and Collectivism

with Karina Gutiérrez & Ely Sonny Orquiza

A session designed for directors and all theatre artists who are eager to learn more strategies to advance arts equity, advocating for change, and fostering peer learning within the Bay Area Theatre community. This breakout session provides a platform for theatremakers (with a focus on theatre directors) to come together, share experiences, gain insights, and collectively work towards a more inclusive and vibrant arts industry.


5:30 - 6:00 PM: Closing Remarks

6:00 - 7:00 PM: Happy Hour Networking Mixer

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